For the children and spouses of mesothelioma victims, both the illness period and its aftermath are typically characterized by a myriad of powerful emotions-including fear, anger, guilt and regret. It is also common for the constant stress of the grieving and bereavement periods to be compounded by financial struggles and an overwhelming list of new responsibilities.
Losing a loved one is devastating enough. Families of asbestos cancer victims don’t deserve to suffer the logistics of their tragic loss too. This ongoing series is dedicated to providing information and guidance to the newly bereaved as well as those anticipating the loss of a loved one in the near future.
Over the course of the next month, we’ll feature articles covering topics including legal rights of asbestos victims' families, benefits available to asbestos-injured veterans’ dependents, making hospice and palliative care arrangements for a terminally ill loved one, providing support to a family member suffering from mesothelioma, coping with grief, types of bereavement and what to expect from each, helping the terminally ill draft advance directives and other final documents-and more.
Families of Meso Victims-PART TEN
Mesothelioma claims filed after the victim has passed away are called wrongful death suits. We discussed some of the key differences between wrongful death and survival actions; now we’ll look more closely at the former, zeroing in on three of the most important things family members need to know before taking legal action. Our next installment will focus on three additional things to know about mesothelioma compensation from a wrongful death suit specifically.
- Who is entitled to file a wrongful death from mesothelioma claim?
Who can file a posthumous personal injury claim on behalf of a deceased individual (called a wrongful death claim) is determined by the stipulations of the state in which you reside. All states typically allow surviving immediate family members-meaning spouses and children-to file a claim after an asbestos victim’s death. Some states, which recognize same-sex civil unions, extend this right to life partners. Finally, a handful of states allow non-related “financial dependents”-and some, even non-related individuals who claim they incurred financial suffering as a result of the victims death-to file a lawsuit seeking compensatory damages,if those claims are deemed verifiable.
- What is required for filing a wrongful death from mesothelioma claim?
Similar to the legal requirements for asbestos victims filing a mesothelioma claim, family members or others filing a claim after a victim’s death need-at minimum-three things: (1) Provable and/or documented exposure to asbestos, prior to the onset of illness; (2) Clearly demonstrated negligence on the part of the named defendant(s); (3) Demonstrable and significant impact-either financial, emotional or both-that the victim’s death had directly on the claimant.
- How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim?
Each state has a statute of limitations-restricting how long, after an individual has died, that a wrongful death claim may be filed. These statutes generally stipulate either one or two years after the date of death. Some states, however, recognize the beginning of limitation period as, not the date of death, but the date that harm was discovered (in cases where the former precedes the later).