What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is formed on the protective cover of the abdomen and lung. The main cause of this cancer is exposure to asbestos which is a group of minerals naturally occurring in the environment in the form of fiber bundles that are then separated into thin threads. These threads are fire, heat, and chemical resistant and hence are used on a large scale in industries. And workers in such industries are at high risk of developing Mesothelioma.
Lawsuits related to the ill effects of asbestos are the ones that have run the longest and have the largest running mass tort in the history of the U.S. The average settlement that mesothelioma patients get from the company is between $1 million and $1.4 dollars. According to the latest litigation report, the award that is offered for a positive verdict result is an average of $7.4 million.
Workers of hundreds of companies were exposed to toxic asbestos between the 1920s and 1970s this put thousands of workers at risk of developing life threatening asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer but it is very rare and most cases are that of workers of negligent companies that were exposed to asbestos that is highly carcinogenic. These patients and their families file lawsuits against the factories that produce these asbestos products so that they will be able to pay for the treatment. However, there are deadlines that are associated with this kind of case. Different states have a different limit to the time in which you have to file the lawsuit after you or your loved one is diagnosed with this disease.
It is important that you consult a lawyer as soon as possible when dealing with such cases. Most of the lawyers who work on mesothelioma cases work on the contingency that they get paid only if you get a settlement or you will the case.
Process of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Cases like mesothelioma lawsuits are never the same; however, each of these cases will have the same general procedure. This is what you have to do if you want to do if you or a loved one has to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
- File a complaint: the first step in this process is to gather all the information about the case and then you and your lawyer can file a legal document i.e., a complaint that gives the details of your injury and also lists down the reasons why the defendant is responsible for your injuries.
- Wait for a response: the next step is to wait for the defendant to respond to the claim in the complaint. Many times the defendant will approach the judge that your case is assigned to and try to get it dismissed. This is where your attorney is of great help and they make sure that the case is not dismissed.
- Discovery: this is the part in the case that happens before the case either goes to trial or it is settled. Both the sides of these cases gather the evidence and take depositions and the requested documents. The lawyer is supposed to brief you and prepare you for any questions that the defense will ask.
- Settlement or trial: most of the times the lawyers in mesothelioma cases will settle these cases out of court, in times that the case goes to court the defendant will push for a settlement before the verdict of the jury. The judges are also very understanding in cases like this and they will allow you to participate in the proceeding from the comfort of your home either by phone or via video chat.
- Appeal: if you are awarded a verdict there are chances that the defendant will file an appeal. In such cases there, will be a delay in receiving the money awarded to you. In an unfortunate case if the appeal gets upheld then the verdict of the jury will be considered void and a whole new trial will be required.
- Receiving of payment: if the jury awards you an amount and the defendant does not file an appeal or the filed appeal is denied then you and your family will be entitled to the reward and you will receive it within a few months.
Many times the defendants in a mesothelioma case will prefer to settle the case out of court rather than go to trial. This is mainly because juries are very unpredictable and if the case is in favor of the plaintiff then the jury can decide the amount that the defendant will have to pay the plaintiff on the basis of two main types of damage
- Compensatory damages: based on the actual economic losses that the plaintiff suffered
- Punitive damages: this type of damage is based on the behavior of the defendants; this kind of damage is to deter the defendant and other similar companies from causing the same type of injuries.
Why are Veterans Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuits?
One out of every three persons who file mesothelioma lawsuits are military veterans who have been exposed to asbestos. This is because aircrafts, tanks, trucks, ship, and also some military bases contained asbestos.
Although the department of veteran affairs (VA) provides these military professionals service-connected compensation and health-care services along with disability benefits, some of these veterans feel that this is not enough and they need more compensation to make up for the cost of living along with fighting this disease. Due to this reason more and more veterans have started electing to file mesothelioma lawsuits against those companies that produce the products that have asbestos and are being used by the military.