If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos on the job or by using talc baby powder, you can file a claim yourself. If you have a loved one who is suffering from mesothelioma and isn’t well enough to file a claim, you or another family member may begin the claims process yourselves.
If your loved one has already passed away from mesothelioma, your family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their estate. Depending on your state, the following individuals may be able to act as an estate representative:
- The spouse
- The children
- The parents
- The grandparents
- A friend
- A person who was financially dependent on the deceased
Another thing to keep in mind if your loved one is seriously ill to the point that they can’t function is the fact that it will be advantageous to have a videotaped deposition. If it’s not possible, you will need to rely on witness testimony. You should get written or videotaped statements from anyone who can testify about the seriousness of the illness and the effect it’s had on your loved one’s life as soon as possible.
Why Should I Consider Filing a Claim?
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma means having tens or possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses like doctors, surgeries, caretaking, and medical travel. Almost all cases of the disease were caused by negligent exposure to asbestos at work. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you get a settlement or award that can help cover your expenses.
These lawsuits are often necessary to pay for treatments, and that’s why 4,000 of them were filed in 2018 alone. Many people file these claims and are either offered a settlement or they prevail in court. Don’t assume you won’t be eligible without trying. You could lose a lot of money you could have had right when you need it the most.
How Do You File a Mesothelioma Claim?
The first thing you’ll need to do to file a lawsuit is gathering your evidence. This should include documentation of your mesothelioma diagnosis. It should also include documentation of your asbestos exposure, including how often you were exposed and for how many months or years.
This is the stage of the process where that deposition or your witness depositions will be valuable. If this documentation is strong and compelling, your former employer’s insurance, a trust fund, or the Department of Veterans Affairs may offer you a settlement. This will result in getting your money faster and save you money because you don’t have to go to court.
You should get a lawyer and file your claim as soon as you receive your diagnosis. The statute of limitations could be just one or two years, depending on your state. Filing early also means your witnesses’ memories will still be fresh, so they’ll remember more and their testimony will be more effective.
When Can I Get Mesothelioma Compensation?
The average mesothelioma settlement or award is $1 million to $2.4 million. If you’re getting a settlement from an asbestos trust or an insurance provider, you may have your money in a matter of months. If you’re going to trial, it could take years to get your settlement.
After a mesothelioma diagnosis, your loved one won’t have years to wait for the courts. The prognosis is usually one to two years. If your loved one passes away during this process, a spouse, dependent, or family member may be entitled to the award. Your attorney can walk you through this process and tell you how to get the highest possible compensation for your claim.
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