Mesothelioma Lawsuits: Frequently Asked Questions
I was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma. I think I deserve compensation, but I have to start my medical treatment. Is it OK to delay a lawsuit?
It is important to start your mesothelioma lawsuit as soon as possible, even while you are undergoing medical treatment.
First, the law also provides a limited amount of time for filing a lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations. In most states it is no more than two years from the date of diagnosis and in some states it is only one year.
Second, the sooner you act, the sooner you might receive compensation that could help with your medical bills and financial needs. Some judges will speed up the process for mesothelioma plaintiffs because they know that mesothelioma is a life-threatening illness, requiring significant resources for medical treatment.
Third, under the laws of some states, if someone with mesothelioma dies before the case is concluded, the case could face significant delays.
Fourth, you are the best witness in your case, and it is important to preserve your testimony about your asbestos exposure history.
I can’t afford to pay a lawyer. How can I afford legal help with my limited means?
You will have no out-of-pocket costs when you hire a Baron & Budd mesothelioma lawyer to represent you. Baron & Budd handles cases on a “contingency fee” basis, meaning that you owe no legal fees or expenses until we conclude the case in your favor. If we do not achieve compensation for you, we do not get paid for our legal services. If we do, then we receive our legal fee as a percentage of your total recovery and are reimbursed court costs and litigation expenses from your portion of the recovery. This way, people without the financial ability to pay a mesothelioma attorney can receive the legal assistance they need, without the worries of how they will be able to afford it.
Several years ago I was diagnosed with asbestosis. I filed a lawsuit back then and received a settlement. Now I have mesothelioma. Can I seek compensation for the cancer?
The laws of several states allow a person with a second asbestos-related injury such as mesothelioma to file a lawsuit for that injury, even if you previously had a lawsuit for another asbestos-related disease. Baron & Budd is proud to have helped protect the rights of asbestos victims with second injuries by convincing courts in Texas, Iowa and Florida to recognize a second claim for asbestos cancer. Several other states also recognize this right. Contact us as soon as possible after your mesothelioma diagnosis because you have a limited amount of time to pursue a case once you’ve been diagnosed.
I have mesothelioma, but I’m not sure how I was exposed to asbestos. What can I do?
Some people with mesothelioma are surprised when their doctors suggest that the cancer was caused by asbestos. Some mesothelioma patients do not immediately realize that they have been exposed to asbestos in the past. Asbestos was once commonly used in a wide variety of products. The mesothelioma attorneys and staff at Baron & Budd can help you review your history and investigate how you may have been exposed to asbestos.
What is expected of me if I decide to pursue a case?
Many people are understandably apprehensive about what might be expected of them if they bring a mesothelioma lawsuit. At Baron & Budd, we know that your health needs come first, and we try to make the legal process as easy as possible for you. For example, we will travel to your home to meet with you, rather than having you travel to our offices. We will work around your doctors’ appointments and treatment schedule. Much of the paperwork can be handled by mail or email.
If a case is filed, you might be asked to give a deposition to preserve your testimony in case you are unable to testify. Your deposition can take place in your home or at another location convenient for you.
Can I settle my case out of court, or will I have to go to trial?
Many mesothelioma cases settle out of court, but we will not recommend a settlement unless we feel that it is to your advantage. Baron & Budd does have an excellent track record of achieving high-value settlements for clients. Yet in some instances, it might be necessary to go to trial in order to seek the compensation you deserve.
What kind of compensation can I expect from an asbestos lawsuit?
What if the companies responsible for my asbestos exposure are bankrupt?
Once a company has filed for bankruptcy, you can no longer sue that company. However, many currently bankrupt companies that produced asbestos products were required to establish a fund to compensate asbestos exposure victims. The amount of compensation you might receive through a bankruptcy trust fund is usually less than what you might have recovered had the company not filed for bankruptcy, yet it might be your only option for compensation. Our asbestos lawyers will evaluate your case and file claims on your behalf for compensation through bankruptcy trust funds if you are eligible.
If I pass away before my mesothelioma case is resolved, will my family receive the compensation owed me?
In most states, if a person dies before their asbestos lawsuit has concluded, their loved ones can continue to pursue the lawsuit. A person’s last will and testament can set forth who will receive any compensation that may have been due them. Depending on applicable law, certain family members might also have the right to seek compensation for their own personal loss.
My husband recently died of mesothelioma. Now that he is gone, is it too late for me to seek legal help?
Most states allow the spouse and family members of a person who has passed away from mesothelioma to bring a case for the wrongful death of their loved one. There is a limit to the amount of time you have to file a suit, and in some states a probate court must first officially name the personal representative of the estate of the deceased person. It is important to take action as soon as you can to make sure your legal rights are protected.