What is Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that forms in the tissue lining the lungs, heart, abdomen or other organs in the body. People who have been exposed to asbestos are at an increased risk of developing Mesothelioma and those who are diagnosed with the condition may be eligible to file compensation claims. Here’s what you need to know about filing mesothelioma compensation claims and how you can begin the process if you believe you or your loved one has been affected by this devastating disease.
Consult with a lawyer
Consulting with a lawyer before filing a mesothelioma compensation claim can protect you from making mistakes, prevent you from missing deadlines, and increase your odds of a successful outcome. If possible, find an attorney who’s experienced in handling mesothelioma claims. Ask your doctor for a referral or call local legal aid offices to ask about free legal assistance programs available to help mesothelioma victims and their families.
Know that it’s okay if your loved one is gone
The worst part about a mesothelioma compensation claim is that even if you get all of your family members involved and have them help you gather paperwork and information, your loved one could still die before any settlement or award is made. Make sure that everyone knows it’s okay if it happens. If they’re not prepared for their family member’s death (especially when they pass so young), there could be serious emotional consequences as well as financial ones. You might want to set up some kind of trust fund just in case, but most families find that once they begin filing a claim, things move fast—you won’t have time for worrying about money anyway.
Decide if you can handle filing a claim
Mesothelioma is a cancer associated with exposure to asbestos. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, filing a claim for compensation might seem like an obvious step—but it’s not always easy. Before you move forward, consider if you are able and willing to handle all of what will likely be an extended and complicated process. Filing a successful claim for mesothelioma compensation is not easy, especially without experienced legal help. To be sure your best interests are protected, it’s essential that you work with an attorney who understands your specific situation and can devise a plan based on your unique circumstances and needs.
Make sure you have enough evidence to win your case
If you are filing a claim based on asbestos exposure, make sure you have enough evidence to win your case. Getting an attorney with extensive experience in handling these cases can greatly improve your chances of winning. If you were exposed to asbestos through employment, then you should go through your employer’s records and contact human resources if necessary. For example, if it was decades ago, try calling up former bosses or coworkers who could be a good source of information about what type of work and for how long you were exposed. Another important piece of evidence is medical records that indicate where and when you were treated for an illness like mesothelioma.
Give yourself time but don’t wait too long
Mesothelioma is a very serious and fatal disease, but it’s important not to feel pressured into filing your claim too soon. If you give yourself enough time (2-3 months) to research your options and meet with lawyers, you can take your time choosing which lawyer will represent you. Remember that these professionals are experts in their field of law and have spent years honing their skills. They’re there for a reason—so let them do what they do best.
Getting in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer or firm is simple. By visiting and filling out their online contact form, you’ll have an expert on your side within 24 hours. This can be especially important for victims who may not understand where to start after learning about their diagnosis. An experienced attorney or lawyer can help you file a claim and serve as your advocate throughout the process. The more quickly you get started, however, the better your chances of receiving compensation—and therefore potentially improving your quality of life. Online options are available if you don’t live near a law office and need immediate assistance.
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, it’s important that you immediately start monitoring your health for any signs of mesothelioma. Because some types of cancer develop years after exposure, getting a baseline on your health today is vital for treatment and recovery down the road. Though immediate treatment can save lives, there is still help available if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Asbestos victims are entitled to compensation from an asbestos trust fund created by Congress in 1999.
Include medical history, treatments, diagnoses, and prognosis
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s likely that doctors have discussed cancer treatments. In general, they’ll try surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation if possible. However, there are other treatment options you should consider as well. For example, intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) can be effective in treating early-stage mesothelioma cases that have spread outside of the lung but not yet elsewhere in your body. Sometimes called mini-chemo, IORT can improve quality of life for mesothelioma patients and extend survival time in some instances.
Write about asbestos exposure at home and at work
Inhaling airborne asbestos fibers can be deadly, but how do you know if you’ve been exposed? Did you work around it at a construction site or factory? Did it come home on your husband’s clothing after a day of work? If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, chances are good that you or a loved one has been exposed. Asbestos is tricky though—it can be extremely difficult to make a claim against an employer, which is why so many people have been denied compensation for their disease. This guide will walk through each step in making an asbestos exposure claim and help get you through what can sometimes feel like an impossible process.
Describe which family members were exposed to asbestos.
List occupations and employers. Include dates when each family member was exposed. Also list names of companies that produced or used asbestos products. The more specific you are about all details about exposure, injuries, treatments received, etc., the better chance you have of winning.
If a family member is diagnosed with mesothelioma, he or she has limited time to file a claim for compensation. Family members that have suffered from an asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma and lung cancer, should immediately contact a lawyer. A reputable asbestos attorney will be able to determine who in your family was exposed to asbestos, what products were used and where they were used. This information will be vital in determining if you are eligible for legal action. A compensation claim can be filed by either spouses or children of those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. However, in some cases parents have been able to win damages even after their death.