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Are Family Members Eligible for Mesothelioma Compensation?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on September 13, 2023

Finding out that a loved one has mesothelioma is devastating. Family members may have to become caregivers and provide emotional support to a victim as the cancer progresses. Sadly, mesothelioma is a terminal type of cancer. When a loved one dies from mesothelioma, surviving family members can suffer great losses, both economic and noneconomic. Through a lawsuit or another type of legal action, your family may be able to achieve closure and the financial compensation that you deserve during this difficult time.

What Options Do Family Members Have After a Mesothelioma Death?

If your loved one lost his or her life due to mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, your family may be entitled to financial compensation for related losses. Although legal action might be the last thing on your mind while coping with an overwhelming loss, filing a claim could bring your family justice and closure. It may be the best way to pick up the pieces and move forward. Your family could have multiple options for seeking financial recovery.

Asbestos Trust Fund 

Mesothelioma lawsuits are unique in that in many cases, the lawsuit is brought long after the at-fault company or entity has gone out of business or declared bankruptcy. This led to the creation of asbestos trust funds by the government. These trust funds offer money to victims with mesothelioma or their loved ones, under certain circumstances. Your family may be able to submit a claim and receive a monetary award from an asbestos trust fund, depending on your loved one’s work and medical history.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil claim brought against an individual, company or entity by surviving loved ones or the representative of the deceased person’s estate. It seeks financial compensation for losses connected to the death. This includes economic losses, such as the cost of a funeral, as well as noneconomic losses, like emotional distress and mental anguish. In some states, a wrongful death suit can also result in compensation for the decedent’s pain and suffering from the date of injury or illness until death. Any financial compensation achieved in a wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit will go to the estate and be divided among eligible family members.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Becoming a Wrongful Death Claim

If your loved one had previously filed a mesothelioma lawsuit but passed away before he or she could finish it, the right to recover financial compensation does not disappear. Your family can continue the lawsuit and convert it into a wrongful death claim with assistance from an attorney. This strategy can mean less paperwork and legal fees than starting a new wrongful death lawsuit.

What Damages Are Available for Family Members?

Filing one of these types of claims could result in a compensatory award to make up for many of your family’s associated losses. Although no amount of money could ever replace your loved one, a successful case can help your family pay for related costs and move forward with less financial stress. Your family may be able to recover financial compensation for losses such as funeral and burial costs, lost earnings, lost household services, loss of consortium and companionship, mental anguish, psychological distress, legal fees, and more. The value of your case will depend on many factors.

When to Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney

Pursuing financial compensation as the family member of someone who lost their life due to mesothelioma can come with many challenges. Luckily, you do not have to navigate the legal process alone. A mesothelioma lawyer can guide your family through the steps that it takes to file a claim or lawsuit. Your lawyer will fight for maximum financial compensation on your family’s behalf while you focus on the future. 

For more information about your rights after a death caused by mesothelioma, contact an attorney at The Williams Law Firm, P.C. 

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