When a loved one diagnosed with mesothelioma passes away, there may be an opportunity to hold the responsible party financially accountable. The surviving family members of mesothelioma patients may be able to file a wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit or legal claim.
This legal action may bring justice to the deceased and provide some comfort and security to the surviving family members. With a mesothelioma death certificate, an experienced lawyer can help navigate the legal process. They can ensure the best outcome for the surviving loved ones.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for a Mesothelioma Death?
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a mineral that has been used in consumer products, construction materials and other products. It was used for decades in industries such as construction, shipbuilding and automobile manufacturing. The mineral was a popular additive due to its affordability, durability and fire-resistant properties.
Despite its sought-after properties, asbestos is also a human carcinogen. Exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer and several other types of cancer. Because of its frequent use in many industries, workers and military veterans have been exposed to asbestos.
Now, asbestos victims and their loved ones are holding companies and manufacturers responsible for their roles in victims’ asbestos exposure.
Are Workers Still at Risk of Mesothelioma?
Due to public health concerns, U.S. lawmakers began regulating asbestos in the 1970s. However, older homes and buildings may still contain asbestos products. If damaged or disturbed, these products can release asbestos fibers. When inhaled, these fibers can lead to asbestos-related illnesses in modern-day workers and the public.
Many mesothelioma patients have filed personal injury lawsuits against companies and manufacturers. Surviving family members may also be eligible to file a claim. Family members of a deceased mesothelioma patient may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Patients and surviving family members may also be eligible to file a trust fund or a workers’ compensation claim to seek financial justice.
What Is a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death lawsuit is filed when a death was caused by the negligence or misconduct of another entity. In the case of a mesothelioma death, the victim’s asbestos exposure can be traced back to either an employer or a parts manufacturer that used the mineral.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the responsible party is held financially accountable. This may occur by reaching a settlement out of court or a jury determining a verdict in trial. These outcomes provide compensation to surviving family members for the untimely loss of a loved one. It can ease some of the emotional or economic burdens faced by a victim’s death.
Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit After a Death
If a loved one has passed away from mesothelioma, it is best to contact a legal professional as soon as possible. Legal claims must be filed within a certain time frame. This time frame is determined by the applicable statute of limitations. These statutes vary by state.
An experienced lawyer can help grieving family members understand their eligibility to file a lawsuit and other claim options. They can explain the statute of limitations and other criteria that may impact claim options. A dedicated lawyer can also file the lawsuit or claim on the loved ones’ behalf.
Who Can File a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
The following individuals may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased mesothelioma patient:
- Parents of unmarried children
- The executor of the estate
States may also allow siblings, financial dependents and other family members to file a claim.
Other Claim Options for Asbestos Victims and Loved Ones
If the deadline to file a lawsuit has passed, there may be other legal options available. The victim or their surviving loved ones may be eligible to file a different type of claim.
Filing a Trust Fund Claim
One alternative option to filing a lawsuit is an asbestos trust fund claim. Due to a high volume of lawsuits, some asbestos companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They created trust funds to financially compensate current and future victims. More than 65 trust funds hold more than $30 billion for mesothelioma victims and their families.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Some victims or their surviving family members may also be eligible to file an asbestos-related workers’ compensation claim. Asbestos exposure is considered a workplace injury. Thus, a patient with an asbestos-related illness may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim if they were exposed on the job.
Loved ones of a deceased victim may also be able to file a claim for compensation. However, it will depend on the applicable state’s laws.
How Legal Claims May Help Surviving Loved Ones
A legal claim filed after a mesothelioma-related death can bring closure to a grieving family. It can hold companies accountable for their negligence. It can bring peace of mind to surviving loved ones by helping with medical bills and funeral costs. In a way, seeking legal action or compensation following a mesothelioma death allows the deceased to care for their family after passing.