In the Aftermath of Mesothelioma: Legal Issues and the Road to Recourse

When you are living with mesothelioma, legal interests may initially seem to be of petty concern. You may say to yourself, “I’m already sick—too late to take action now.” But the reality is that, although there is no way to turn back the clock and prevent the events that led to your illness, it is possible to recoup some of your financial losses and secure a more promising future for your family members and loved ones.

Literally, hundreds of thousands of victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses have collected hundreds of millions of dollars in total settlements and compensation awards. By holding the companies who manufactured and utilized asbestos-made products responsible for their negligence, those victims were able to regain at least some of what they had lost as a result of the illness.

Mesothelioma legal issues are complex, and the key to navigating them is a qualified mesothelioma lawyer. As soon as possible after diagnosis, mesothelioma victims are advised to find an attorney who is experienced in asbestos-specific personal injury claims and begin the process of filing a lawsuit.

It is through this process that compensation is received. Most cases of asbestos-related injuries settle out of court, though some do proceed to a judge or jury. Settlements are negotiated through your attorney and can equal a million dollars or more. Before a settlement can be reached, however, it must be proven that your illness was caused by exposure to asbestos that was a direct result of negligence on the part of the defendant.

Proving fault involves tracing back to the source and circumstances of exposure, a process undertaken by your attorney and his or her team. In cases of mesothelioma, legal recourse is reliant on the evidence gathered. Claimants must show that they were exposed to asbestos, at the fault of another entity, and became ill as a result. For many, this exposure was obtained in an occupational setting. For others, it may have occurred in the home.

Mesothelioma legal consequences have made a major impact on the economic viability of companies that were responsible for the manufacturing and use of asbestos in consumer products.

Litigation relating to asbestos personal injury and property damage claims became a major legal area of interest in the 1970s, once the causal relationship between mesothelioma and asbestos had become widespread public knowledge. As a result of the landslide of subsequent compensatory legal action, more than 100 U.S. companies have been forced into bankruptcy.

Today, there is a good chance that your asbestos lawsuit settlement will be paid out of a trust—a savings account with a designated purpose. These accounts were funded by now-defunct businesses that went bankrupt due to asbestos liability and serve to compensate the victims who bring suit in the aftermath.