Asbestos and Mesothelioma Law
What is Asbestos and Mesothelioma Law?
Asbestos and mesothelioma law covers personal injury litigation brought by victims of a rare cancer, whose condition resulted from exposure to a toxic mineral previously used in the construction and manufacturing industries. These tort actions seek compensation for the medical expenses and suffering of victims. Or, if the victim has passed away, the goal is to compensate family members for the loss of their loved one. In either case, the basis of the suit is the gross negligence of the defendant, for exposing the victim to a substance known to cause disease.
History and Scope of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is the name used to describe several natural minerals with physical characteristics making them ideal for all sorts of commercial applications. These minerals are strong, heat resistant, and cheap to produce. Asbestos fibers can be mixed with cement or woven into cloth. Until several decades ago, the material was commonly used to make home ceiling insulation, floor tiles, vehicle brake pads, firefighting suits, and more. The maritime industry also made extensive use of asbestos in the manufacture of civilian and military vessels.
Concerns over the health related impacts of asbestos began during the industrial revolution and continued well into the 20th century. Early cases of illness involved asbestos workers who suffered respiratory problems from breathing the airborne fibers. The first case of mesothelioma traced to asbestos exposure was reported in 1964, and widespread use of asbestos finally ceased in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Evidence suggests that during the time asbestos health concerns were on the rise, so too was the use of the material, as companies made the strategic decision to increase production and use profits to pay future legal claims. This was possible due to the lengthy amount of time (20 to 50 years) that typically elapses between exposure and the onset of mesothelioma. The reprehensible conduct of asbestos producers, and the devastation mesothelioma inflicts on its victims, have led to mass tort litigation in recent years.
Legal Recourse for Mesothelioma Patients
Financial compensation is available for those diagnosed with mesothelioma. But legal action must be taken quickly, as a number of factors can make obtaining compensation difficult or impossible for victims who delay. For example, all states have enacted "statutes of limitation" that impose time limits for bringing an asbestos-related lawsuit. Statutes of limitation generally run from the time of diagnoses. In a few states, including California, the deadline for filing suit is as short as one year.
Sadly, patients who wait to pursue legal action will also find themselves up against the reality of the short lifespan associated with mesothelioma. Money awarded in these cases is meant to provide an opportunity to seek the best medical treatment possible, and alleviate financial concerns so the victim can concentrate on fighting the disease. If a legal claim is not brought immediately, the proceeds may come too late to directly benefit the victim (although the money can be a means for the victim to provide for the financial security of surviving family members).
Hiring an Attorney and Filing Suit
Once a victim meets with an attorney, the attorney's law firm will step in and handle nearly all aspects of the case, so the client can concentrate on medical and personal matters. The responsible parties will be identified, as well as any additional sources of funding, such as victim trust accounts set up by asbestos companies that have closed down or gone bankrupt. Suit will be brought either in the state where the client lives, or in another state if doing so will increase the odds of obtaining a large damage award.
The attorneys for both sides of the case will then conduct "discovery." Discovery is the process of exchanging records and other evidence. During discovery, the client may need to appear and give testimony at a deposition, which will be held nearby for the convenience of a client who is sick and suffering. Representatives for the defendant will also be deposed. This is the opportunity for victim's lawyer to question the defendant about the case, on the record and under oath.
When discovery is complete, the parties will have the evidence they need to evaluate the value of the plaintiff's claim. Settlement discussions will then be held, and if a dollar amount can be agreed on, the money will be paid to the plaintiff and the case will be dismissed. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial. Often, mesothelioma victims will opt to resolve the matter through settlement, although those who go to trial are routinely rewarded with large, multimillion dollar jury verdicts.
Mesothelioma Lawyers are Standing By
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, you do not need to worry about the cost of seeking justice. Attorneys who specialize in these cases are available to meet with you for free, and to pursue your claim on a contingency basis. Contact a lawyer now to find out more.
More about Asbestos and Mesothelioma Law
- Asbestos in Schools - Children's Exposure and Legal Options
Risk of exposure to asbestos and the resultant mesothelioma cancer does exist for school children of any age when there are materials and substances containing this dangerous fiber within the walls or in the products within the school buildings.
- Common Questions About Mesothelioma
If you have been exposed to asbestos and been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may want to know if you have a case against someone for your injuries, and if so, what the process for making that claim will be.
- Expert Witness Explains Home Asbestos Exposure Liability
ases of asbestos exposure may be complicated due to how long the material has been in the building, who put it there, why it was there and how the exposure occurred.
- How Much Time Do I Have to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit generally depends on the statute of limitations, but the primary time period for filing with certain conditions relies on the discovery of the illness based on symptoms or diagnosis by a trained physician.
- How to Pursue a Mesothelioma Claim
Through the usual processes, a person may seek a traditional claim for contracting mesothelioma with a trust set up for these issues or by suing a specific company responsible for the matter that may take longer.
- What Legal Claims Are there for People Harmed by Asbestos?
Asbestos exposure has been proven conclusively by scientists to be deadly to individuals that are around the material.
- What Legal Claims Are there for People Harmed by Asbestos?
sbestos exposure has been proven conclusively by scientists to be deadly to individuals that are around the material. It is important that employers protect workers from these potential hazards that affect the health of those exposed to asbestos.
- Where Could I Have Been Exposed to Asbestos?
There are some locations that have a higher chance of asbestos materials and products that expose the individual to the dangerous fibers that could lead to cancer and other respiratory complications.
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Law Articles
- The History of Legal Impediments to Justice for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination VictimsFrom the 1950s until the late 1980s, people living or working at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, North Carolina may have been exposed to the drinking water contaminated with dangerous chemicals, according to numerous government studies. Two contaminated wells closed in 1985 but sailors, Marines, families and civilians on the base had already been exposed to the contaminants for decades. For years, the Navy and the U.S. Government has denied a link between toxic water contamination and the illnesses suffered by those exposed.
- The Equal Access to Justice Act Helps Injury Victims in ColoradoThe physical and emotional trauma caused by accident can change the course of a person’s entire life. It can take a long time and a large expense to work through recovery. A recent law change will impact recovery for victims of auto accidents, sexual assault and more.
- Artificial Intelligence Brings Hope for Mesothelioma DiagnosesMesothelioma is a notoriously difficult disease to diagnose. Often, its victims do not realize anything is wrong until the disease is at advanced stages, when it becomes difficult and painful to breathe. Even then, measuring the progression of the disease presents its own challenges.
- Health Risks Associated With AsbestosUnfortunately, asbestos exposure is still a danger for most employees as the health hazard appears in building materials, floor tiles, insulation for pipes and other common materials on construction sites.
- Asbestos Exposure at Work: Health Risks and Legal ClaimsUnfortunately, asbestos exposure is still a danger for most Kentucky employees as the health hazard appears in building materials, floor tiles, insulation for pipes and other common materials on construction sites.
- Some Talc-Based Products Contain Asbestos, Study ShowsInhalation of even the smallest amount of asbestos in talc can cause mesothelioma and other fatal diseases which can occur even many years after exposure.
- There Is More Than One Type of MesotheliomaAsbestos exposure has the potential to cause a variety of medical problems, including mesothelioma.
- Toxic Exposure : Identifying the Cause Is Central to Recovering DamagesExposure to toxic substances in workplaces or homes sometimes sickens victims and leaves them with serious medical problems like mesothelioma or other cancers.
- Asbestos Ban Currently Held Up in U.S. SenateAsbestos exposure causes more than 40,000 deaths each year in this country, according to the chair of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee. But a recent bill to ban most uses of asbestos has stalled in the U.S. Senate.
- The Purpose of Asbestos TestingMany old homes, offices and schools in Louisville still contain asbestos, a fibrous mineral that’s known to cause lung cancer.
- Asbestos Mesothelioma Law Articles
Legal articles about Asbestos Mesothelioma published by law firms to help you understand your rights
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Law - USA
- Illinois Asbestos Mesothelioma Law
Illinois has an important history of asbestos use and the development of laws surrounding it. Asbestos and mesothelioma laws regard personal injury litigation that claimants bring when they suffer such life-altering conditions as mesothelioma, asbestosis or other asbestos-related medical conditions. These lawsuits arise because of exposure to dangerous asbestos substances. These claims seek compensation for individuals who have incurred damages due to this exposure.