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What Claims Can a Mesothelioma Lawyer Handle?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on January 25, 2022

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to financial compensation. One or more parties may be legally and financially responsible, or liable, for causing or failing to prevent your asbestos-related condition. If so, you can file a claim against the responsible party in pursuit of a monetary recovery. A successful claim can help you and your family pay for related medical expenses, including palliative care. Learn about the three main types of claims that a mesothelioma lawyer can handle for more information about your rights.

Personal Injury Claim

A personal injury claim is a civil suit brought by the victim (or the victim’s lawyer or personal representative) who has allegedly been harmed by the defendant’s wrongful or careless acts. It is a lawsuit filed in pursuit of financial compensation, or damages, for the victim’s related economic and noneconomic losses. The most common losses for which mesothelioma victims seek compensation via personal injury claims are:

  • Past and future medical care
  • Surgeries and therapies
  • Mesothelioma clinical trials
  • The costs of traveling to a mesothelioma specialist
  • Lost wages and employment benefits
  • Lost capacity to earn due to a permanent illness
  • Loss of love, care and sexual relations with a spouse (loss of consortium)
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Lost quality of life
  • Attorney’s fees and out-of-pocket costs

Most mesothelioma cases reach settlements, meaning they do not have to go to court. Some, however, require trials before a judge and jury. The value of a settlement or jury verdict achieved with a personal injury claim for mesothelioma will depend on the circumstances surrounding the case. Some of the factors that can impact the value of a claim are the victim’s age and overall health, the stage of the mesothelioma cancer, and the patient’s prognosis.

Note that a personal injury claim for mesothelioma may take the form of a product or premises liability case if the victim suffered exposure to asbestos from a defective product or dangerous premises. The parties named as defendants in a mesothelioma personal injury suit can include an individual, business, school, product manufacturer, property owner, employer or the government.

Trust Fund Claim

A unique issue involved in mesothelioma claims is the fact that this cancer does not arise immediately – or even soon – after the patient’s exposure to asbestos. Instead, it develops over the course of decades. By the time a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the workplace or location where he or she was exposed to asbestos may no longer exist or have the funds to pay for a settlement. The government’s answer to this predicament is asbestos trust funds.

A mesothelioma lawyer can help you file a trust fund claim if the entity or company that exposed you to asbestos has gone bankrupt or no longer exists. You may be eligible for financial compensation from a trust fund if you or your lawyer can provide proof of a mesothelioma diagnosis, a statement from your doctor, proof of asbestos exposure from the particular trust and medical documentation proving the extent that asbestos has contributed to your disease.

Wrongful Death Claim

If you tragically lost a loved one to mesothelioma, the type of claim that you will file is a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of legal action seeks financial compensation for the victim’s losses, such as pain and suffering up to the date of death, as well as losses suffered by surviving family members. These losses may include burial and funeral costs, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and lost earnings. Surviving beneficiaries, such as a surviving spouse or child, can receive financial compensation from this type of lawsuit.

The rules and laws surrounding each type of claim will vary based on the state in which you are filing. Hire an experienced mesothelioma lawyer in New York for more information about your legal rights as a patient or surviving family member.

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