Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, usually affecting the lungs and abdomen, caused by exposure to asbestos, a flaky white insulation material once common in industrial applications as well as consumer products. One of the worst aspects of the condition is the long passage of time between exposure and the onset of symptoms that victims may recognize as a serious medical condition.
Often times, asbestos exposure victims are not diagnosed until they are older and the disease is at an advanced stage, giving patients fewer treatment options to improve their health and wellbeing. Due to the passage of time and the complex nature of litigating an asbestos mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, many plaintiffs ultimately succumb to their condition before their claim is resolved.
Situations like these leave surviving family members worried about whether they will receive the compensation necessary to make up for the loss of service provided by their deceased loved one. Fortunately, the law does allow surviving family members to continue lawsuits on behalf of their family members and hold wrongdoers accountable for their careless actions.
Depending on the state where plaintiffs file their claims and when the suits are filed, decedents may have different options to either bring their own claims or continue those brought by the original plaintiffs. These are known as wrongful death claims and survival actions and each has its own set of laws.
Elements of Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims are lawsuits brought by the representative of a deceased individual’s estate, usually the next closest living family member, like a spouse or child. Each state has its own set of laws for determining who gets appointed as the estate’s representative and how.
While each state has its own laws governing the types of damages that can be sought in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by family members, they generally include the loss of services the deceased once provided. These services can include domestic chores, income support (depending if the plaintiff is a spouse and/or minor children), and emotional guidance.
Damages in Survival Actions
Even after death, mesothelioma cancer victims have legal rights that extend to their estates and relatives can file claims on their behalf for harm suffered. This can include lost income and/or conscious pain and suffering, depending on the circumstances of the case.
In mesothelioma cancer lawsuits, the weeks and months of pain and suffering preceding the victim’s passing can add up to substantial damages. Additionally, plaintiffs may ask courts to award punitive damages to deter similar negligence if the defendant’s conduct was especially egregious.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.