Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis is devastating for patients and families alike. This aggressive cancer is directly caused by asbestos exposure, and prognosis is often bleak. When a beloved family member passes away from mesothelioma, the grief can be overwhelming. However, family members may have legal options to hold negligent asbestos companies accountable and recover compensation after their loss. This guide covers mesothelioma wrongful death claims and financial support families may be entitled to.
Mesothelioma’s Impact on Families
Mesothelioma specifically affects the mesothelial lining around internal organs. As tumors grow and spread, they cause severe, debilitating symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Intense chest pain
- Abdominal swelling or fluid buildup
- Excruciating coughing
- Difficulty swallowing
This agonizing suffering takes a significant toll on the patient’s loved ones as well. Family members experience:
- Helplessness watching their loved one deteriorate
- Anxiety about finances and the future
- Exhaustion providing intensive caregiving
- Depression and grief as their loved one nears death
Coping with this level of emotional trauma while still tending to usual responsibilities can be overwhelming. Mesothelioma robs families of precious time with their loved one and their financial stability.
Why Do Family Members Deserve Compensation?
Most mesothelioma cases trace back to asbestos exposure in the workplace. Companies knowingly exposed workers to the toxic mineral for decades before restricting its use. This callous disregard for human life must be held accountable.
While the mesothelioma patient suffered most directly, their family also deals with significant hardship from their loss. Mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits allow certain surviving family members to recover compensation for their own struggles.
Money cannot possibly replace a loved one. But financial relief helps families move forward in their loved one’s honor while:
- Alleviating stress over expenses
- Securing resources for grief counseling
- Preventing lost income from impacting daily life
- Funding advocacy to support other families
Recovering compensation is one way families can find meaning by bringing awareness and justice after losing someone to asbestos exposure.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Mesothelioma?
The legal right to file a wrongful death claim varies by state. But typically the following relations may be eligible:
- Surviving spouse
- Children and grandchildren
The estate executor or administrator also may file the suit on behalf of beneficiaries named in the will.
Family members should consult with a mesothelioma attorney to determine their standing for a wrongful death claim in their specific state. The law firm assists eligible family members through every step of the claims process.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Suit?
Successful suits have awarded families tens of millions of dollars in compensation. There are two main categories of damages:
These cover quantifiable monetary losses the family suffers, like:
- Medical costs from their loved one’s mesothelioma treatment
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support and inheritance
- Lost household services the loved one used to provide
Thorough documentation of all current and ongoing financial impact is crucial.
Non-economic losses are intangible but equally devastating. Compensation can include:
- Emotional anguish, grief, depression
- Pain and suffering before their loved one’s death
- Loss of companionship and guidance
- Disruption to family life and activities
There is no set dollar amount for these damages – a mesothelioma attorney advocates for a fair recovery.
Punitive damages may also be awarded if negligence was particularly egregious. Collectively, these damages aim to make up for what families lose.
What Evidence is Needed in Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Claims?
These types of suits require in-depth investigation and documentation. With compassion and skill, mesothelioma attorneys gather evidence like:
- Detailed work history – proving asbestos exposure
- Medical records – confirming the mesothelioma diagnosis and efforts to treat it
- Financial records – substantiating lost income and compensation for caretaking expenses
- Obituary and death certificate – verifying wrongful death
- Testimony from family on emotional suffering and daily struggles
Reputable mesothelioma law firms have resources to thoroughly develop all necessary evidence. Their experience also identifies what legal strategy is most likely to maximize compensation for each family’s unique situation.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for Causing Mesothelioma?
Many entities may share liability for asbestos exposure that led to mesothelioma. Potential defendants include:
- Asbestos product manufacturers
- Companies that used asbestos in worksites
- Premises owners that failed to safely manage asbestos
- Employers that neglected worker safety
- Contractors that directly exposed workers
Thorough investigation identifies each party that contributed negligence so they can be held fully accountable. This prevents corporations from evading responsibility.
What If a Family Member Passed Away Without Filing a Claim?
It’s heartbreakingly common for mesothelioma patients to pass away before seeking legal help. However, most states allow eligible family members a 2-4 year window after death to file a wrongful death suit.
Never assume it is too late to act. Consult a mesothelioma attorney immediately so they can evaluate your options and preserve your claim window. Don’t let companies escape liability because time ran out.
Can a Trust Fund Claim Be Filed on a Loved One’s Behalf?
Yes – personal injury claims and trust fund claims are not mutually exclusive options. Over 60 trusts exist to provide financial compensation to asbestos victims and families.
After investigating where asbestos exposure occurred, a mesothelioma law firm can pinpoint which trusts your loved one may have been eligible for. They then file trust fund claims just as they would have for your loved one when they were living.
These trusts are specifically designed to support families like yours. Don’t miss out on this potential avenue for compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should each family member file their own wrongful death claim?
Not necessarily – one combined lawsuit representing all family members can be more strategic. A mesothelioma attorney tailors the approach for maximum total compensation.
What if other factors like smoking also contributed to my loved one’s death?
Even if asbestos was not the only cause, if it substantially contributed to the mesothelioma you can still demand accountability and compensation. Experienced lawyers know how to overcome defense tactics.
Can I recover compensation if my loved one had contributory negligence?
Perhaps – comparative negligence rules in most states reduce damages based on the victim’s percentage of fault. But don’t assume companies will escape liability – file a claim and let your lawyer fight for justice.
What portion of a settlement goes to my attorney?
Mesothelioma firms work on a contingency fee basis, collecting around 30-40% of your total settlement. No upfront fees are required.
How long do these cases usually take to resolve?
Many settle within 12-18 months, but complex cases with multiple defendants can take 2+ years. Your lawyer works as quickly as possible while pursuing maximum compensation.
Take Control of Your Family’s Future
The devastation of losing someone to mesothelioma is worsened when negligent corporations escape responsibility. Yet financial recovery remains possible through wrongful death claims. Justice is the only hope of emerging from grief and finding purpose again.
With compassionate legal experts guiding your family, you can hold corporations fully accountable while also easing financial stress. Let a respected mesothelioma law firm help open the door to a secure future in your loved one’s memory. You and your family deserve stability and the means to heal.