Most people are familiar with the term mesothelioma settlement. However, many people don’t know the devastating effect the condition has had on people’s lives and the lives of their families. Because this disease was caused by third-party negligence, many affected by it have been able to win financial settlements after being diagnosed. So how would a person go about trying to obtain compensation and what would they need to prove in order to have a positive outcome?
THE FIRST THING TO ADDRESS IS WHAT IS MESOTHELIOMA?
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the lining of the stomach, lungs, heart, and other internal organs. Symptoms of the cancer include shortness of breath, coughing up blood, fever, fatigue, and chest pain. It is an often fatal disease. The reason the cancer is rare is because it has one direct cause – asbestos.
WHAT IS ASBESTOS?
Asbestos is a natural mineral that has been mined for over 4,000 years. Around the end of the 19th century, asbestos mining became more prevalent due to the material’s growing demand. People discovered that the material had desirable properties for building material, including resistance to heat and fire, tensile strength, sound absorption, resistance to chemical or electrical damage, and affordability. The material was used in a great variety of building products including ceiling tiles, flooring materials, pipe insulation, drywall, and many others.
As early as 1899, asbestos was linked to negative health effects. The fibers in asbestos can cause many health problems when inhaled, including cancer. The asbestos manufacturing industry knew about these health effects as early as the 1930’s, but covered them up to continue profiting from the material. Because many people were unknowingly exposed to the harmful substance, lawsuits against those responsible for the exposure are often successful in providing compensation to those affected by asbestos.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A SETTLEMENT?
Because the implementation of asbestos was so widespread, people who worked in a large variety of industries were exposed to it. Mesothelioma is only one of the diseases caused by asbestos exposure, and it often doesn’t emerge until many years later. If a patient has been diagnosed with the disease, then that person has the right to seek compensation. Unfortunately, some have already passed away due to their disease. If so, their loved ones may seek restitution as long as they file within their state’s limit for a posthumous claim, which varies from state to state.
WHAT PROOF IS NEEDED?
The first thing needed to file a mesothelioma settlement is a positive diagnosis from a reputable oncologist. After the diagnosis, the claim should be filed within a certain amount of time, often a year. At this point, many consider hiring a lawyer experienced in these cases to assist them with the documentation needed to file a claim. This will usually include documentation of where the person worked, what materials they were exposed to while on the job, and the length of exposure. A qualified attorney can walk anyone through the process of obtaining these records.
Because filing a claim for a mesothelioma settlement can be a difficult process, it is important to consider finding the right attorney to guide the family through the process. While a settlement can’t take away the cancer, it can help with the financial security of those affected by this terrible disease.