Why You Need an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney
Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that results from exposure to asbestos. If you or a loved one has recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you have options to fight this battle. While your doctor will help create a strategy to battle cancer, a mesothelioma lawyer can help hold the at-fault party responsible for your illness and liable for your medical bills.
To do this, you need to reach out to an experienced mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible after your diagnosis. Mesothelioma claims are incredibly complex, partly because a great deal of time may have elapsed since the asbestos exposure actually occurred. Just like there is no time to wait on your medical treatment, do not delay discussing your legal options with a mesothelioma lawyer.
Mesothelioma claims come in two forms: personal injury and wrongful death. If you are the victim of asbestos exposure, you can file a personal injury claim to try and recover compensation for your injuries. If you have a loved one who recently died as a result of mesothelioma, you can file a wrongful death claim to try to collect damages from the company that exposed your loved one to asbestos. An experienced attorney can help with both of these claims.
Personal Injury Claims and Mesothelioma
These two types of claims take different paths, but both require the keen eye of an experienced mesothelioma attorney. With a personal injury claim, you allege that a company exposed you to asbestos, which resulted in your mesothelioma.
Plaintiffs attempt to collect compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Present and future medical bills
When filing a personal injury claim for your asbestos injury, you must understand the full value of your claim. This will include your future medical needs, which may be a larger amount than what your treatment has cost up to this point. Your doctor can help in your understanding of the medical needs you face, but your lawyer can give you a good picture of the financial impact that this treatment will have and how much you will need to ensure you do not have to pay out of pocket.
If you do not understand the full value of your claim, an insurance company may succeed in convincing you to settle your claim for less than it is worth. Accepting a low-ball claim may result in you and your family suffering financial hardship, all due to an injury you played no part in causing. More Americans file bankruptcy each year due to medical expenses than for any other reason.
This presents a tragic situation where not only does medical care take a back seat, but also the added stress and worry of a victim’s finances can create additional healthcare concerns in the form of anxiety and depression.
To avoid this scenario, you should choose to work with a seasoned mesothelioma lawyer who has your best interests at heart. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will understand what you are going through and help you maximize your compensation, so you can focus on your physical well-being.
Wrongful Death Claims Involving Mesothelioma
Unfortunately, many mesothelioma patients do not survive. In fact, because the cancer is usually discovered so late in its progression through a victim’s body, less than 10 percent of victims survive more than five years. As a surviving loved one, you may qualify to bring a wrongful death claim against the company that exposed your loved one to asbestos.
The time you have to file a wrongful death claim varies, but it is not long. That’s why you should speak with a mesothelioma wrongful death attorney soon after your loved one passes. While you grieve and spend time with loved ones, your lawyer can begin the process of holding the negligent party liable for your loved one’s death.
Filing any wrongful death claim is a complex process. A mesothelioma wrongful death claim is even more challenging because of the time that may have elapsed between the asbestos exposure and your loved one’s mesothelioma diagnosis.
It’s also important to note that not just anyone can bring a wrongful death claim.
You need to have some relationship with the deceased, which might include:
- Financial dependent
When a plaintiff succeeds in a mesothelioma wrongful death claim, any money collected will go to the estate of the victim, not directly to the person who filed the wrongful death claim. As the money becomes part of the estate, each heir will then receive a portion of the wrongful death claim settlement or jury award based on the will or trust of the deceased.
Wrongful death claims usually result in lesser awards than personal injury claims. Because the victim has died, he or she no longer has ongoing medical expenses.
Regardless, you may recover compensation for:
If you suspect your loved one died because of a mesothelioma diagnosis or asbestos exposure, speak with a mesothelioma wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after your loved one’s passing. The law may entitle you to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim, and the only way to know for sure is to speak with a lawyer today.
How to File a Claim For Mesothelioma
Filing a mesothelioma claim is complex and requires the assistance of a skilled lawyer. By retaining a lawyer, you will have a trusted legal advisor at your side guiding you along the way to ensure that you do not miss any important deadlines and that all of your documentation is in order.
To file a claim, you need the following:
- Medical records showing a mesothelioma diagnosis
- A pay stub showing you or your loved one worked for the company
- Testimony showing the asbestos exposure happened while working for the company
- Financial statements showing the detrimental impact the mesothelioma diagnosis has had on your family
The most important thing is to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer whom you trust as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help you gather the necessary information and ensure that your claim is filed and given the attention it deserves. Whether you are filing a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim, you need an experienced mesothelioma attorney in your corner.
Preserve Evidence of Mesothelioma
To help with filing your claim, you must preserve evidence from the moment you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis.
You can do this in many ways, all of which will help your legal team hold the negligent party liable.
- Note your symptoms. Symptoms designating asbestos exposure can vary. When you think you may have been exposed to asbestos, start keeping tabs on your symptoms. Do you have a sudden cough? Do you have sudden chest pain? Do you have difficulty swallowing? All of these symptoms, and many more, can provide insight into whether you have mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. By keeping a note of when your symptoms started, how long they last, if they get better or go away, and when you see a doctor, you will have important evidentiary details to provide your lawyer and strengthen your case.
- Take pictures. While most of your injury will be inside your body, you may suffer from some visible signs. Whether it’s a result of your doctor’s medical treatment or from the mesothelioma getting worse, you want to take pictures that document how you are suffering from your exposure to asbestos.
- Keep medical records. Crucial to your mesothelioma claim are your medical records. Not only will your chosen legal representative need to review these records, but also he or she can help make a strong case for why you deserve compensation for your injuries. Your medical records will also show when you first started having symptoms and when you were formally diagnosed with mesothelioma. Both of these details are important to hold the negligent party liable.
- Keep a journal. From the onset of your first set of symptoms on through to your mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment, keep a journal. Over time, your memory will fade as it relates to your daily struggles, your pain, your suffering, your mental anguish, and any progress in your treatment. By keeping track daily of these details, you will help your legal team prove that you have suffered a great deal as a result of your asbestos exposure. These notes may even help speed up the settlement process.
Settlements Are Not Always in Your Best Interest
Speaking of settlements, many victims get excited when they receive a settlement offer. Most victims want to put the legal issues behind them and focus on their health and well-being. That makes sense, and we fully understand that mindset.
However, if you do not have a lawyer to review your settlement offer, now is the time to get one. Your lawyer will look out for your best interests; the insurance company does not. That is an important point to remember. The insurance company wants nothing more than to settle your case quickly and cheaply. You, on the other hand, are looking to maximize your compensation so you do not have to bear the financial burden of your mesothelioma treatment.
That’s why you need to have a lawyer review any settlement offer you receive. Many people mistakenly believe that they can get a larger settlement without a lawyer, but the opposite is more often true. A lawyer can help you understand the full value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
When you sign a settlement offer, there is no going back. You will waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for your injuries, so you need to make sure the funds in the settlement are enough. That’s where your mesothelioma attorney can help you make sure you get the compensation you need to cover all of your bills.
Payment of a Mesothelioma Claim
When you settle your case or succeed at trial, your compensation will likely come from several sources. It will all depend on who is held liable and whether you’ve filed a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
If your claim succeeds, you could receive funds from:
- The company held liable for your asbestos exposure
- An asbestos trust fund from the company
- The insurance company representing the company you worked for
Even if you settle for a fair amount or win at trial, do not expect your check soon. Claim payments may take months to arrive. Your lawyer can help put pressure on the party making the payment to help get the money in your hands quickly. We know you need money to pay your medical bills and other expenses, and we can help.
The Right Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help With Your Mesothelioma
We cannot understate the complexities and challenges associated with mesothelioma claims. The lawyer you choose will make a big difference in your ability to recover, whether you’ve filed a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim. You should expect your lawyer to fully investigate your asbestos exposure, review medical records, speak with experts, guide you through the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights at trial.
While most claims settle out of court, you and your attorney should be fully prepared to take your case to trial if that is what’s required to maximize your financial recovery. You did not cause your asbestos exposure or your resulting cancer diagnosis, so you should not bear any responsibility for the medical expenses that you face. The at-fault company should pay for those. Your best chance to hold the at-fault company liable and collect compensation is to work with an experienced mesothelioma attorney.
If you or a loved one suffers from or has died from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, speak with a trusted lawyer today. Your ability to recover compensation for your injuries or the loss of your loved one may depend on the legal representative that you choose.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(833) 700-MESO