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It wasn’t until the late 20th century that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially concluded that exposure to asbestos caused certain serious diseases, including mesothelioma. As a result of this, along with the potentially long period before symptoms appear, many new cases of asbestos-related disease arise every year. At the Throneberry Law Group, we work diligently for you to obtain the resources you need in order to receive the best medical treatment available by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations describes the amount of time an individual has to file a lawsuit. Each state has different laws regarding the statute of limitations as it relates to asbestos-related claims. Generally speaking, the person making the claim (the plaintiff) must file a lawsuit within two years of the diagnosis. If the person exposed to asbestos has died, a wrongful death lawsuit may be initiated by that person’s survivors. In this case, the wrongful death lawsuit must be made within two years of the victim’s date of death. Again, each state has different statute of limitations so speaking with an attorney is necessary to determine if you are within the statute of limitations to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.

Information Required

In order to prove a mesothelioma case, there are several items that must be documented, including, but not limited, to:
The victim’s past employment history;
The victim’s medical history and reports;
The medical expenses related to the illness;
The asbestos in the workplace;
A list of activities the victim can no longer do as a result of the illness; and
Disabilities the victim now has due to the illness.
It is important to locate and provide as much of this information as possible. The more thorough the documentation, the better chance of success you will have.

What happens if the Victim in an Asbestos-related Case has died?

Asbestos can remain in the body, seemingly dormant, for a long period of time. As a result, it may be very near the end of the victim’s life before it is clear that exposure to asbestos caused a life-threatening disease. This raises an important question for victims and the families of victims: if the victim predeceases a lawsuit for being exposed to asbestos, what recourse does the victim’s family have?

Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A claim of wrongful death alleges that the death would not have occurred were it not for the negligent actions of the defendant. In mesothelioma or asbestos-related claims, the defendant is often the company the victim worked for. It is important to note that it is irrelevant that the exposure may have been unintentional. Another consideration, particularly because of the long period in which asbestos-related injury may not appear, is the statute of limitations. It is critical to determine if the statute starts from the time of the misconduct or from the date of the discovery of the disease. The statute of limitations varies from state to state.

In a wrongful death claim, a representative will file suit on behalf of the victim’s survivors, who are called the “real parties in interest.” The representative is typically the executor of the estate. In all states, immediate family members, such as spouses and children, are considered the real parties in interest. Other individuals, such as more distant relatives or domestic partners, may also be considered the real parties in interest, but this varies by state.

The potential awards or settlements in asbestos-related injury claims can be substantial. But what happens if the defendant has filed for bankruptcy? Does that mean recovery is impossible? Fortunately, the answer is no, there is still a way for people hurt by exposure to asbestos to receive compensation from liable companies that have since gone into bankruptcy.

Meosthelioma Compensation – Bankruptcy Trust Funds

Many victims of mesothelioma developed the disease as a result of exposure to asbestos, often in relation to employment. Companies that used asbestos can be held liable through lawsuits. However, it is possible that these companies filed for bankruptcy, which provides them protection from being sued. But, in exchange for this protection, companies entering bankruptcy are required to set up trust funds that compensate victims who make successful claims.

There are many factors that contribute to how much compensation a victim will receive from a trust fund, such as the severity of the condition and the age of the victim. Approved claims are liquidated, which means they are assigned a monetary amount. The actual compensation received is usually a percentage of the liquidated amount. This is to help ensure that there will be enough funds in the trust to make all payments to future claimants.

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