Navigating Wrongful Death Claims
Asbestos is a highly dangerous and carcinogenic material that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries in the United States until the late 20th century. The health effects of asbestos exposure can be devastating and, in many cases, fatal. Victims of asbestos exposure and their families have legal recourse to seek compensation for their injuries or losses. However, when the victim passes away, the process of filing an asbestos claim can become more complex.Understanding Asbestos Claims
Asbestos claims are legal actions that seek compensation for the harm caused by exposure to asbestos. There are two types of asbestos claims — personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. Personal injury claims are filed by victims of asbestos exposure who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis. Wrongful death claims, on the other hand, are filed by the surviving family members of a victim who has died due to asbestos-related disease.Filing a Wrongful Death Asbestos Claim
When a victim of asbestos exposure passes away, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. To file a wrongful death claim, the family members must prove that the victim's death was caused by asbestos exposure and that the responsible party (usually the employer or manufacturer of the asbestos-containing product) was negligent in protecting the victim from harm. The damages awarded in a wrongful death claim may include compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and loss of companionship.Examples of Asbestos Claims
There have been many high-profile asbestos cases in the United States, some of which involved the death of the victim. One such case is the landmark case of Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Products Corporation , which was decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1973. The plaintiff, Clarence Borel, had died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working for Fibreboard Paper Products Corporation. The Court ruled that the manufacturer was liable for the harm caused by its products, even if the harm occurred many years after the exposure.
Another notable case is the case of Lohrmann v. Pittsburgh Corning Corporation , which was decided by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1986. The plaintiff, Richard Lohrmann, had died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while working for his employer. The Court established a test for proving causation in asbestos cases, known as the "frequency, regularity, and proximity" test. The test requires the plaintiff to prove that the asbestos exposure was frequent, regular, and proximate enough to cause the disease.Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Claims
It is important to note that there is a statute of limitations for filing an asbestos claim, which varies by state. In some states, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two or three years from the date of diagnosis, while in others, it is two or three years from the date of the victim's death. For wrongful death claims, the statute of limitations may be different from personal injury claims. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with an experienced asbestos attorney as soon as possible to determine the applicable statute of limitations.The Role of an Asbestos Attorney
An experienced asbestos attorney can help family members of a victim of asbestos exposure who has died to navigate the complex legal process of filing a wrongful death claim. The attorney can investigate the circumstances of the exposure, gather evidence, and identify the responsible parties. Additionally, the attorney can negotiate with the defendants and their insurance companies to reach a fair settlement or take the case to trial if necessary.Throneberry Law Firm: Experienced Asbestos Attorneys
Throneberry Law Firm is a national law firm with extensive experience in handling asbestos claims. The firm is dedicated to representing victims of asbestos exposure and their families and has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for their clients. The firm's attorneys are skilled negotiators and litigators who will fight to ensure that their clients receive the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been affected by asbestos exposure, contact Throneberry Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.