Mesothelioma lawyers hold negligent parties liable for exposing workers and other individuals to asbestos. A skilled lawyer can determine if your case is eligible to receive compensation from an asbestos victims’ trust fund, which was created to pay out victims of mesothelioma and asbestos-related legal claims.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that lines the lungs, chest, and abdomen. This cancer is caused by asbestos exposure, which may have occurred in someone’s home, workplace, or community. Malignant mesothelioma was responsible for over 45,000 deaths between 1999 and 2015.
Although regulations have been put in place to decrease asbestos exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the number of malignant mesothelioma deaths are increasing. If you suffer from mesothelioma, you can file a claim and collect significant damages for your injuries.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is classified as a human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) and refers to six minerals that naturally occur in the environment.
These minerals break down into fibers that can be separated into durable threads used in industrial and commercial applications and products. Because of how resistant the fibers are to heat, asbestos has been used across various industries, from construction projects to automotive manufacturing.
The Dangers Of Asbestos Exposure
If any product containing asbestos is disturbed, tiny fibers can be released into the air and breathed in by humans. Once you breathe in asbestos fibers, they could remain in your lungs for long periods of time.
Once these asbestos fibers accumulate, they could cause:
- scarring and inflammation
- breathing issues
- lung cancer
- larynx cancer
- ovary cancer
- other serious health issues
Occupations At Risk Of Asbestos Exposure
The majority of people who develop mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos on a job. If you had one of the following occupations and were exposed to asbestos fibers, you may be at risk for developing mesothelioma.
Workers at risk of asbestos exposure may include:
- brake mechanics
- some military personnel
- asbestos miners
- home remodelers
- shipyard workers
- demolition workers
Mesothelioma Signs And Symptoms
Although rare, mesothelioma is the most associated form of asbestos-related cancer. Mesothelioma refers to the tissue that lines your stomach, lungs, heart, and other vital organs. This cancer tends to start in the lungs and may not develop until 10 to 40 years after asbestos exposure.
Because the cancer starts in the lungs, it can be difficult to tell the difference between mesothelioma and lung cancer. Unfortunately, malignant mesothelioma isn’t usually found until the cancer is advanced.
Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- chest pain
- painful coughing fits
- pain under the rib cage
- lumps, swelling, or pain in the abdomen
- weight loss that can’t be explained
- breathing problems
How To Choose A Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, you likely have cause to file a legal claim. Since asbestos-related lawsuits can be lucrative for plaintiffs, it’s important to hire a skilled and qualified lawyer.
Mesothelioma cases are complicated. A lawyer can help identify who should be held liable to give you the best chances of winning your case. This could be the company responsible for installing or manufacturing asbestos. It could also be a claim to collect damages from a trust fund.
Here are some tips to consider when hiring a mesothelioma lawyer.
Hire A Multi-State Law Firm
It can be helpful to hire a multi-state law firm because a lawyer with experience in mesothelioma-related cases can file your case in a district where they can yield the highest payouts. If you stick with a local law firm, you may find they lack the experience and knowledge necessary to win your case.
Contact The Lawyer’s Offices
If you’re considering filing a claim, reach out to the lawyer’s law offices by contacting them via phone or online. Many law firms, including Florin|Roebig, offer free case evaluations to determine the foundation of your case. You can also request to speak with someone directly and ask a lawyer about their history with asbestos cases, cost, and other concerns you may have.
Understand The Cost
There can be several costs associated with asbestos-related cases. Costs refer to any expenses the law firm will have to pay to move your case forward. Experienced lawyers will likely deduct these costs from a settlement award should you win the case. Costs can range from filing fees to obtaining medical records and other case-related expenses.
Negotiate Fees And Avoid Paying Upfront
Trusted law firms will charge a contingency fee for representing your case. This means they collect fees from a settlement or judgment, and you don’t have to pay upfront. Contingency fees tend to be around 25 to 40 percent of the agreed settlement. For mesothelioma lawsuits, settlements can include a very large sum of money.
Knowledge And Communication Skills
Since you may live away from the best lawyer for your case, it’s important to select a firm with good communication skills. A skilled attorney will not only be knowledgeable about mesothelioma and your legal options, but will also help you feel comfortable discussing sensitive subjects like medical issues and your work history.
Mesothelioma Settlements And Verdicts
The majority of mesothelioma cases never go to trial. Instead, a legal agreement or settlement provides compensation for the victim’s development of cancer.
The average settlement for a mesothelioma case is around $1 million, but can be more. If the case goes to trial and your lawyer is victorious, you could potentially collect over $2 million on average. The highest asbestos-related settlement was worth $250 million.
However, the settlement you receive will depend on the specific details of your case.
Asbestos-related settlements may be determined by:
- medical expenses
- cancer diagnosis
- lost wages
- overall pain and suffering
- history of asbestos exposure
- other factors
Understanding Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos or mesothelioma trust funds were created when multiple asbestos manufacturers and other companies filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to a 2011 report by the U.S. Government Accountability office, several companies have set aside over $30 billion to settle mesothelioma claims since the 1980s.
More than 100 companies have filed for bankruptcy to fund money for compensating relevant claims. Instead of suing the manufacturing company, you may have the option to file a claim with the trust fund. The trust fund may ultimately be the one to pay out your settlement or verdict.
How You Can Establish Your Asbestos-Related Case
Besides contacting an attorney, you can also take measures to gather evidence and help establish your case. Start by identifying when and where you were exposed to asbestos. This is a crucial element to your claim.
After you identify where you were exposed to asbestos, gather any evidence you can, including documents, reports, or anything else that proves you were exposed. Once you do this, reach out to a lawyer who can help determine what kind of lawsuit you should file.
Types Of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
If you file the appropriate mesothelioma lawsuit for your case, you could collect significant monetary damages. After being diagnosed and receiving treatment from your doctor, don’t hesitate to file a claim. Some states have statutes of limitations for these cases that are only one year after diagnosis (most states have five-year statutes of limitations).
With an asbestos-related mesothelioma case, there are a few different lawsuits you can file:
- personal injury lawsuit
- wrongful death claim
- class action lawsuit
Mesothelioma Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury lawsuits make up the bulk of mesothelioma-related claims. Plaintiffs in these lawsuits have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and seek to hold the defendant responsible for exposing them to asbestos.
Asbestos-related personal injury lawsuits have been filed for decades. By proving the defendant was negligent for exposing you to asbestos, you may collect significant damages to help cover medical costs, lost wages, or other injuries that resulted from mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Claims
As a type of personal injury claim, wrongful death lawsuits also try to prove negligence if your loved one was exposed to asbestos and died from mesothelioma. Wrongful death claims can lead to significant compensation because of a loss of life. These claims can be filed by spouses, children, or anyone who was financially dependent on the deceased.
Mesothelioma Class Action Lawsuits
Although a class action lawsuit may come to mind when countless people are affected by a similar issue, mesothelioma cases are no longer being filed as class action lawsuits. Instead, you can file an individual lawsuit as a personal injury claim. If your claim is warranted, you may have the option to join multidistrict litigation (MDL).
The primary MDL for mesothelioma cases is located in a federal court in Eastern Pennsylvania. The goal of a MDL is to consolidate similar cases into a single court with one presiding judge. Unlike class action lawsuits, where individual claims are combined into one lawsuit, cases remain separate in a MDL.
Mesothelioma Lawyers Serving The U.S.
As a multi-state law firm, Florin|Roebig is well-positioned to file your mesothelioma lawsuit. We serve multiple states across the country and can assess your asbestos-related claim to determine where it should be filed. We offer free case evaluations to get you started.
At Florin|Roebig, our team of mesothelioma lawyers includes:
- Wil H. Florin, B.C.S.
- Tommy D. Roebig, B.C.S.
- Michael L. Walker, B.C.S.
- Chase P. Florin, B.C.S.
- Shaun M. Cummings
- Luca G. Esposito
- Chad K. Florin, M.B.A., LL.M.
- Nicholas S. Costantino
- Jordan A. Kolinski
- Matthew L. McMullen
Contact Florin|Roebig To File A Mesothelioma Lawsuit Today
Asbestos exposure can do significant damage to your health and well-being. If you were on the job performing work duties, your health should not have been compromised. Although a mesothelioma diagnosis is life-changing, you can recover some of the finances you lost as a result of medical expenses, caregiver costs, pain and suffering, and more.
To start your free asbestos-related case evaluation, contact Florin|Roebig today.