Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of lung cancer most commonly associated with asbestos exposure. For years, asbestos was used in manufacturing and construction primarily due to its superior fireproofing ability. Buildings across the United States were insulated with asbestos as a fire prevention measure. Unfortunately, it was later discovered that asbestos is carcinogenic and capable of causing fatal lung cancer.
Mesothelioma develops when asbestos fibers are inhaled and embedded inside the lungs. One of the most difficult aspects of addressing mesothelioma is the fact that it commonly appears years or even decades after exposure. There can be very few noticeable symptoms that appear before the disease reaches critical levels, and the victim could face a tragic diagnosis of minimal life expectancy.
If you or a family member was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to know your options for legal recourse and what compensation may be available to you. If you acquired the condition through your work, you can claim workers’ compensation benefits, and the right attorney is an invaluable asset for this claim.
Filing a Claim for Mesothelioma
It is possible to file a workers’ compensation claim for a mesothelioma diagnosis if you acquired the condition through performing your work-related duties. It is also possible to have ground for a civil claim against a negligent asbestos manufacturer, even if they have gone out of business. There are many asbestos trust funds all over the country that collect funds in anticipation of future asbestos-related cancer claims. You could have access to one of these funds depending on how and where you acquired mesothelioma.
One of the more challenging aspects of a mesothelioma claim is proving the source of the condition. You must be ready to prove exactly how you were exposed to asbestos, and sometimes mesothelioma will not noticeably develop until many years after initial exposure. Your attorney can help gather the evidence you will need to show the source of your condition and to hold any liable parties accountable for the harm you have suffered.
If you succeed with a workers’ compensation claim, this can yield two forms of compensation. First, the insurance carrier will cover all your medical treatment costs associated with your diagnosis. Second, you can receive disability benefits for the time you are unable to work due to your condition. If you have grounds for alternative civil action, such as a personal injury claim against a negligent asbestos manufacturer, this could enable you to secure even more expansive recovery, including compensation for your pain and suffering. Ultimately, you could be entitled to claim more compensation than you initially expected, and it is vital to have legal counsel you can trust if you want to maximize your total compensation for a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Q: What Is the Average Mesothelioma Settlement?
A: Once you have proven the cause of your mesothelioma diagnosis, an experienced attorney can potentially help recover compensation for your medical expenses and your inability to work and earn income. Most people who file mesothelioma claims do so through workers’ compensation insurance, but it is also possible to have grounds for a civil suit against a specific party, depending on how your condition arose. Speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your diagnosis so you can thoroughly explore all your options for recovering compensation.
Q: How Do You Prove Mesothelioma?
A: One of the most challenging aspects of a mesothelioma claim is proving the exact cause of the condition. The victim must prove how and when they acquired the condition to determine the most suitable path to seeking compensation. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help their client pinpoint the location where they were most likely exposed to asbestos. It’s possible for mesothelioma to appear years after exposure, so this can be a very difficult process without legal counsel.
Q: Are Mesothelioma Settlements Taxable Income?
A: Money secured from a successful mesothelioma claim or any type of work injury claim is generally exempt from taxation. The proceeds from these cases are meant to repay a loss, so they do not qualify as income. The same applies to workers’ compensation benefits and proceeds from personal injury claims. However, any claimant awarded punitive damages could face a tax obligation for this aspect of their case award. If you have any questions regarding potential tax liabilities for a civil settlement, it is vital to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Q: How Are Mesothelioma Settlements Paid?
A: It’s possible to recover compensation for mesothelioma through workers’ compensation insurance or an asbestos trust fund. These funds have been created to account for the damages owed by negligent asbestos manufacturers who have gone bankrupt. These trusts set aside money for future claims due to the fact that mesothelioma sometimes takes decades to manifest noticeable symptoms after initial exposure. Your attorney can help determine the target of the legal efforts you must pursue to recover compensation for your diagnosis.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
A: If you intend to file a workers’ compensation claim, most of the attorneys handling these cases in the state accept clients on a contingency fee basis. With this billing policy, the client is only required to pay a legal fee if and when their attorney wins their case. The fee is a percentage of the total amount recovered for the client, and the client does not pay anything if the attorney cannot obtain compensation for their damages for any reason. Verify a potential attorney’s billing policy before agreeing to their representation so there are no surprises regarding your legal fees.
M. Reid Acree, Jr., has helped many past clients recover compensation for mesothelioma. Our team knows the stress and uncertainty that an asbestos-related cancer diagnosis can cause for the victim and their family, and our goal is to help our client maximize their recovery in the most efficient possible manner. If you believe you have grounds for a legal claim pertaining to a mesothelioma diagnosis, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an attorney you can trust.