If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you probably have a lot of questions – especially if you’ve never had to hire an attorney or file a lawsuit before.
Below, we’ve addressed the most commonly asked questions about taking legal action for a mesothelioma diagnosis. We hope the answers can provide you and your family with some direction.
Here’s What You Need to Know
What legal options are available for mesothelioma patients?
In general, mesothelioma patients – or family members acting on their behalf – have two options for taking legal action. These options are filing a lawsuit and/or filing a claim with an asbestos trust fund.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What’s an asbestos trust fund?
Many asbestos manufacturers have filed for bankruptcy and, in the process, set up trust funds to compensate those who developed mesothelioma, asbestosis and other illnesses as a result of their negligence.
If the company responsible for your or your loved one’s illness has set up a trust fund, you may be able to file a claim for compensation without going through the formal process of filing a lawsuit.
What’s the difference between filing a lawsuit and filing a trust fund claim?
Both options involve:
How can I get more information?
ClassAction.org is currently working with Simmons Hanly Conroy – one of the nation’s leading mesothelioma law firms – to help patients and their families hold asbestos manufacturers accountable for their actions.
If you’re interested in learning more about filing a mesothelioma claim, fill out the form on this page. It costs nothing to contact us or to speak to an attorney about your rights. Plus, the only people we will ever share your information with are the attorneys we work with – and you’re under no obligation to hire them after learning more about your rights.Get In Touch
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compiling evidence to show that an asbestos manufacturer is responsible for the illness and
seeking compensation from the company for medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of life’s enjoyment and more.
One key difference between filing a lawsuit and filing a trust fund claim is where your evidence and supporting information – work history, exposure history, medical records, etc. – are submitted.
In a lawsuit, this information will be compiled into a legal document known as a complaint and filed with the court. If filing an asbestos trust fund claim, your paperwork will be submitted directly to the trust fund.
Filing a lawsuit is, in general, a more involved and complex process than filing a trust fund claim and may take longer to resolve. That being said, your attorney will be the one doing the bulk of the work and, in some cases, may be able to have your case expedited.
How will I know which option to choose?
It will be your attorney’s responsibility – not yours – to determine which route you need to take.
Whether you file a trust fund claim or a lawsuit will depend on the company responsible for the asbestos exposure. It’s possible (and may be advisable) to file a lawsuit and file a claim with an asbestos trust fund if more than one company is responsible for the exposure.
I’m not entirely sure how the exposure happened. Does that mean I don’t have a case?
No. In fact, it’s not uncommon for mesothelioma patients to be unsure of the exact companies or products responsible for their exposure and resulting diagnosis.
Your attorney will ask questions about the patient’s work history and even show you pictures of certain asbestos-containing products to determine how the exposure could have occurred – and which company or companies are responsible.
How involved do I have to be?
As little or as much as you want to be. The beginning stages of your case will typically require you to provide your attorney with as much information as possible regarding the patient’s work history, diagnosis, medical care, etc.
After the bulk of the paperwork is finished, however, your involvement will decrease significantly. Your attorney will keep you apprised of all developments as your case moves forward.
How long will this take?
In general, asbestos trust fund claims take approximately six months or less. A lawsuit can take up to two years or longer, depending on the health of the patient. In both instances, it’s possible to have your case expedited.
Will I have to go to court?
Probably not. Even if you end up filing a lawsuit rather than a trust fund claim, most cases will be resolved via a settlement and without a jury trial.
You’ll have to pay nothing upfront. The majority of mesothelioma attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you’ll only have to pay if they win your case. Their payment will come directly from your settlement, judgment or trust fund award as a percentage of the total amount.
How much does a lawyer cost?
Thinking about taking legal action?
Get your questions answered today. Fill out the form on this page to learn more.Get In Touch