How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
Mesothelioma usually develops 10 to 40 years after asbestos exposure. People normally have one to five years from the diagnosis or discovery of mesothelioma to initiate a claim under state statutes of limitations. However, it’s critical to act quickly because the statute of limitations in a few jurisdictions, including California, Louisiana, and Tennessee, is only one year from the date of diagnosis or discovery.
If a mesothelioma sufferer has already passed away, his or her spouse and other heirs normally have one to three years from the date of death to initiate a wrongful death claim, which can result in considerable damages being recovered.
If you were exposed to asbestos while working in multiple states, it’s not always apparent which state’s statute of limitations applies to your case. If you developed mesothelioma or another sort of cancer as a result of using talc products like baby powder, the deadline may be the same as for product liability claims. Consult an attorney for information on the statute of limitations that may apply to your case.
(Note that because each person’s medical history and prognosis are unique, mesothelioma victims cannot file or join class-action lawsuits.)
How much money can I get back?
It’s difficult to predict how much money you’ll get as compensation if you get an asbestos-related sickness. Some instances result in multimillion-dollar settlements or jury awards, while others settle for a fraction of that. This is because many corporations that manufactured or installed asbestos have closed or gone bankrupt over the years, necessitating courts to set aside enormous sums of money to pay future victims. Some of these funds are still substantial enough to pay out all claims at their full value, but others have been drained to the point that settlement amounts must be rationed.
A financial settlement or jury verdict is dependent on the quantity of the asbestos victims’ compensation fund available for payment, as well as each victim’s specific mesothelioma sickness and how it has affected their life. The number of wages lost as a result of the disease, the cost of medical costs, and, most importantly, the degree of the victim’s “pain and suffering” are all crucial elements in determining a case’s cash value.
Time is a third issue to consider when determining how much money you’ll be able to recoup. When cases are settled fast, the amount obtained is usually much less than if your lawyer waits for a trial jury to hear your case. A jury trial, on the other hand, can take many years to prepare and conduct, whereas settlements can typically be reached in a year or less. As a result, many chronically ill plaintiffs prefer a rapid settlement, especially when they realize that under their contingency fee arrangement, some lawyers charge significantly more when a case gets to trial (more on this later).
Despite this, many mesothelioma claims result in settlements or awards ranging from $1 million to $5 million or more, although after attorneys’ fees, court costs, and medical expenditures are deducted, victims often only receive around two-thirds of these amounts.