If you or a loved one has mesothelioma, it is possible that an employer or several employers exposed you or a family member to asbestos. If it can be proven in court that specific employers exposed you or your loved one to the deadly mineral asbestos, you could be entitled to mesothelioma compensation.
Below is more information about mesothelioma lawsuits and the timelines involved.
Types of Asbestos Exposure Legal Claims
The type of claim you can file hinges on whether you developed an asbestos-related disease or a family member died and passed away.
Personal Injury Claim
If your claim involves you personally, your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf. A personal injury lawsuit for asbestos exposure may be appropriate if you have an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma.
Wrongful Death Claim
If your claim involves a loved one, your attorney can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death lawsuits in asbestos exposure cases are often filed because the person with mesothelioma dies before they were able to file a claim. It could start as a personal injury claim but become a wrongful death claim because the person died. Or, your family could file a wrongful death lawsuit after your loved one passes away.
Steps of the Timeline for Asbestos Claim Compensation
The process of filing and prevailing in a mesothelioma lawsuit can be complex and take a lot of time. That is why it is crucial to rely on the skills of an experienced mesothelioma attorney. Below are the key steps of the lawsuit process: (Asbestos.net)
Step 1: Finding a Mesothelioma Attorney
To win your case against a negligent employer, you need an attorney skilled and knowledgeable in mesothelioma lawsuits. The laws that govern asbestos-related claims and personal injury differ in each state.
Your attorneys should have an excellent handle on the relevant asbestos and mesothelioma laws in your state and have access to data about companies that used asbestos when you were working. (mesothelioma.net)
Step 2: Lawsuit Preparation and Filing Complaint
Once a mesothelioma law firm takes the case, they will begin to collect information about your situation. They will start with an investigation to determine which company or companies caused your asbestos exposure.
Your attorneys will need your input. Be ready to provide your medical records, employment records, and other essential information to make a strong case. With all of this information collected and prep work completed, your lawyer will file a complaint against the defendant or defendants.
Step 3: Defendant Response
The defendant will respond to your allegations once the lawsuit has been filed in the proper venue. Defendants get a certain amount of time to respond. Usually, they have 30 days from the date they learn of the lawsuit to file an answer.
It is common for defendants to deny liability and might even allege you are responsible for your own illness. For instance, some defendants in mesothelioma lawsuits have claimed that smoking caused the victim’s illness, even though smoking does not cause mesothelioma. They also could deny your illness was caused by asbestos or could claim another company caused your exposure.
Step 4: Discovery
If the defendant does not offer a response, you would win the case by default. Usually, the defendant will respond and the discovery period will begin. During this time, both sides continue to collect information to bolster their case. This process can include collecting documentation from the other side, taking depositions from witnesses, and more.
This is also where the plaintiff can identify where they were exposed by telling there attorney where they worked what occupations that they had that would expose them to Asbestos.
Step 5: Settlement Negotiations
The vast majority of mesothelioma cases do not go to trial. Attorneys on each side are able to reach a settlement. It can take an average of 18 months to reach a settlement, but there are cases that have taken less than a year.
Step 6: Trial
Mesothelioma trials almost always take longer than settlements. Juries are unpredictable, but trials can have some benefits. One of them is the corporation that exposed you to asbestos is exposed to the general public. If you win a verdict, the amount you recover is usually higher.
Step 7: Appeals
Both sides can appeal the verdict after a trial. This can delay you from getting compensation, but a skilled mesothelioma attorney understands this process and will work to get you compensated as quickly as possible.
Factors That Affect The Payout Timeline
Most mesothelioma settlements take less than 12 months. However, many factors influence how long it takes to settle these complex cases: (Asbestos.net)
- Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations is how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. Usually, statutes of limitation kick in the day you were injured. But in mesothelioma cases, the disease can take decades to develop, so the statute of limitations ‘clock’ usually starts to run on the day of your diagnosis. The statute of limitations can run from one to five years, depending on the state.
- State jurisdictions: Some states allow mesothelioma lawsuits to be heard sooner than other cases. For instance, some states have a law that guarantees a mesothelioma victim the right to have a trial in one year.
- The number of companies in the suit: The more manufacturers named in your lawsuit, the more likely that one of them will want to settle faster than the others. You might be able to obtain compensation from some companies faster than others.
- Trials and motions: If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may need to be resolved through a motion or trial. Settlements can still occur in these phases.
Average Settlement Payouts
A claim for mesothelioma is a lengthy process but often results in substantial compensation for the plaintiff, with most settlements averaging between $1 million and $1.4 million. The average trial verdict is approximately $2.4 million. (Lexisnexis.com)
Some settlements also involve payments from mesothelioma trust funds, which are typically less than from lawsuits. Mealey’s reported in 2015 a trust fund recovery of $662,000 for one claimant who filed claims with 30 mesothelioma trust funds.
Notable settlements in recent years include: (Asbestos.com)
- Illinois: US Steel was ordered in 2005 to pay $250 million to the wife of a deceased steelworker who died of mesothelioma.
- Missouri: A circuit court judge in 2011 approved a $10 million settlement for a woman who worked in the Jackson County courthouse during a renovation project that exposed her to asbestos for months. She passed away from mesothelioma before she could collect but her family was awarded the settlement funds.
- Montana: Mass asbestos exposure that occurred in the asbestos mines in Libby has resulted in two large settlements. In 2011, a judge approved a $43 million settlement that covered 1,300 miners and their estates. A class-action lawsuit provided a $25 million settlement to 1,000 asbestos-related disease victims in 2017.
- New York: A retired police officer and brake repair worker reached a $25 million settlement with Daimler-Chrysler in 2006.
In order to obtain the most compensation for your Asbestos case in the shortest amount of time you need to hire an attorney with years of experience and the ability to get you to settlement or trial quickly. Our attorneys can get you compensation in as little as 90 days depending on the circumstances of your Asbestos Exposure and Diagnosis. If you don’t hire an experienced attorney a Mesothelioma personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can take several years to resolve.
With over $30 billion available for Wyoming victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial mesothelioma victim compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll-free (800) 352-0871
Talk to one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys to see how much compensation you may be entitled to.
- Mesothelioma Payout Timeline. Retrieved from https://www.asbestos.net/legal/compensation/settlements/payout-timeline/
- Filing Mesothelioma Asbestos Lawsuit. Retrieved from https://mesothelioma.net/filing-mesothelioma-asbestos-lawsuit/
- Mealey’s Litigation Report for 2015 and 2017. Retrieved from https://store.lexisnexis.com/products/mealeys-litigation-report-asbestos-skuusSku41082
- Asbestos Claim Settlements. Retrieved from https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma-lawyer/settlements/