A mesothelioma lawsuit is a way for a victim of asbestos-related cancer, or mesothelioma, to be awarded damages or compensation. By filing and winning a mesothelioma lawsuit, the person affected with cancer can receive reimbursement and compensation for their medical expenses, receive any income lost because of the disease, and receive compensation for pain and suffering due to the disease. Mesothelioma is caused solely from exposure to asbestos; however, it can take decades for the cancer to show up. Unless it is discovered early, the victim only has a short time to live, usually about one year after a late diagnosis.
Asbestos has been used in thousands of products for centuries. It is a natural product that is most commonly found in the brakes of cars, around the wiring of homes, and in other building materials, including rooftops and siding of older homes. The benefit of asbestos is that it reduces heat transfer and corrosion. The detriment of asbestos is that if it is inhaled or if someone is exposed to its fibers, it is deadly. The people at highest risk for asbestos exposure and who are most likely to file a mesothelioma lawsuit are those who work in home repair, construction, railroad, car, and factory industries; however, people who handle the clothing of those who work with asbestos are equally at risk.
There are several parties that can be held culpable for a mesothelioma lawsuit. Liability mainly rests with the employers and the product manufacturers. In other words, the company that employed the victim and the company that made or manufactured the asbestos-laden product can usually be sued.
There are several factors that must be considered before full liability will be passed on to a party for a mesothelioma lawsuit. Specifically, the court will consider whether the company was aware or should have been aware of the dangers of asbestos. For example, if the company knew or should have known that the product contained asbestos and knew that asbestos was dangerous, but opted not to tell its employees, it can be held liable. In addition, if the company knew of the dangers and failed to take the necessary precautions to protect its employees, it can be held liable.
As with most lawsuits, time is of the essence for a mesothelioma lawsuit. Every jurisdiction has its own laws that state how long a plaintiff has to sue a company before the statute of limitations runs out. For example, in some places, a person must sue a company within three years of discovering she has mesothelioma. If she attempts to sue the company after three years, she will be told it is too late.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits take a year to complete. In many cases, the plaintiff dies before the lawsuit is resolved. As a result, it is always best to consult a lawyer dedicated to asbestos litigation and mesothelioma as soon as the condition is discovered.