One of the first things a patient needs when diagnosed with mesothelioma is help – first medical and then legal. This deadly cancer is always the result of exposure to asbestos, and usually long-term, repeated exposure. For this reason, most people diagnosed with the disease are working or have worked in a high-risk environment. This includes people working in construction, aerospace and demolition industries, along with law enforcement professionals and firefighters. With so many people at risk, it should be no surprise that thousands are at risk, even if they don’t realize it.
WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE DO IF THEY ARE DIAGNOSED WITH MESOTHELIOMA?
Extensive medical help is a must if someone is diagnosed with this deadly form of cancer, as it spreads quickly and can kill within months. In most cases, the disease is fatal, so victims will also need an attorney to help review legal options. And because victims don’t have years to meticulously plan a claim, an attorney will be needed to expedite a settlement.
When an attorney takes a case, they will first review the victim’s work and medical history. A settlement will be much easier to secure if a victim’s work history is clear and coincides with the disease’s timeline. The cancer normally takes between 10 and 40 years to develop, but with a concise work and medical history, it is almost always clear what caused the disease.
Once an attorney has determined the course of the mesothelioma, they can help build the victim’s case against the defendant, which is usually a former employer. The attorney will name the defendant and produce a demand package that outlines the victim’s condition and the settlement amount the victim is seeking. While these cases can go to trial, attorneys and courts understand that a victim may not have several years to dedicate to a case, so both sides are strongly encouraged to reach a settlement. If the victim settles, it can reduce the time it takes to receive compensation.
During the settlement process, the attorney will present the victim’s case and all of the relevant evidence. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to recover compensation from some employers, especially those that have gone out of business or have already settled with many other employees for the same reason. However, mesothelioma attorneys can help victims by getting a clear picture of the defendant’s assets and determining what a realistic settlement would look like. If a fund has been set aside for victims, an attorney can target it and ensure their client receives the restitution they are entitled to.
This cancer represents one of the worst pieces of news a victim could receive, and it is only natural to think about loved ones if it comes up. An attorney can help a victim ensure their loved ones are taken care of, and that their client is able to get the closure they deserve.