If someone endured past asbestos exposure and has received a mesothelioma diagnosis, they may ask about the possibility of receiving monetary damages in a lawsuit. When a person discovers that they’ve contracted mesothelioma because they’ve worked with asbestos, or, if a spouse files a survivor’s claim, they have a significant chance of receiving damages from the company installing the asbestos or from a trust fund.
How Long Do Victims Have to File a Claim?
Mesothelioma often develops decades after asbestos exposure. The state’s statute of limitations typically gives a person up to five years from the discovery or diagnosis of mesothelioma to file a claim. However, it is important to act immediately, as some states only give victims one year to file. If the victim has died, his or her heirs and spouse have up to three years from that date to file a wrongful death claim. A mesothelioma victim can’t file or join a class action suit because everyone’s prognosis and history are different, and these cases must be individually filed.
How Long Do These Cases Take?
Many asbestos cases are settled before they get to a jury, and parties agree to the amount of damages the victim will receive. If a person gathers all the facts of their employment history and medical condition, has a competent attorney, and there’s an identifiable source of payment, they may receive their damages in under a year. However, when settlement is contingent on a trial’s outcome, it may take years. Thankfully, many states recognize that a mesothelioma victim has a diminished life expectancy, and therefore, cases are fast-tracked.
How Much is Recoverable?
The amount of compensation a person may receive for their mesothelioma diagnosis is difficult to estimate. Some cases result in multimillion-dollar awards, while similar cases settle for much less. Over time, many companies that installed or manufactured asbestos products have gone out of business, which led to court requirements for large trust funds. Some of these trust funds are still sizable enough to pay claims at their full value, but others have been used to the point that settlement funds must be carefully allocated. Potential clients can learn about it here at survivingmesothelioma.com/lawyers/mesothelioma-law-firm/.