This guide, designed to educate and empower victims of asbestos and mesothelioma, is comprised of a four-part series with each installment answering an important and common question asked by those affected by a devastating and tragically preventable illness. By understanding your disease, you will be able to better cope with the impact it has on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Being informed about mesothelioma-its presentation, causes, legality, etc.-will also help you make decisions in the coming months about how to best prepare yourself and your family for future you now face.
For many patients, the news that they have fallen victim to a rare type of cancer called mesothelioma comes as a great shock-leaving them with a seemingly endless list of questions about the disease itself and how they contracted it. Over the course of this series, we will address the following issues and concerns:
“What is malignant pleural mesothelioma?”
“What can I expect after a mesothelioma diagnosis?”
“What are the known mesothelioma causes?”
“What do I need to know about mesothelioma law?”
In this fourth installment, you’ll learn about the basics of the law and asbestos-including an overview of your rights as a mesothelioma victim and how to find an attorney to help you file a claim.
The field of asbestos and mesothelioma law has grown exponentially over the past few decades to become the longest-running and costliest mass tort in U.S. legal history, with a total of more than 700,000 victims of negligent exposure having filed suit against more than 8000 defendants. By filing a mesothelioma claim against the party or parties liable-usually manufacturers or distributers of asbestos products-victims can receive a settlement or trial award amounting to one million dollars or more.
Knowing Your Mesothelioma Law Rights
As a victim of illegal or unethical asbestos exposure, you have the legal right to file suit against the responsible entity in one or more U.S. civil courts. Most viable claims result in an out-of-court settlement, negotiated by attorneys for both sides of the lawsuit, usually paid out of an asbestos trust-funds established by asbestos-based businesses that have filed bankruptcy under the heavy financial toll caused by the litigation landslide of the 1990s and 2000s. Cases that do not end with a settlement agreement proceed to trial, in which a judge or jury makes the final decision regarding defendant liability and the amount of compensatory or punitive damages awarded to the claimant.
Finding an Attorney to Represent You
To file a personal injury claim, you’ll need an experienced and qualified asbestos attorney on your side. This specialized type of lawyer practices primarily or exclusively in toxic tort law and will have successfully represented a significant number of victims like yourself. You’ll want to look for an attorney from a reputable law firm, preferably with at least five to ten years of practice in mesothelioma law specifically. Your attorney’s amount of experience can be key in the success of your claim, so be sure to ask for a list of references and then verify the competence of any attorney you may be considering with satisfied past clients-before you sign on the dotted line.