Answers to Our Frequently Asked QuestionsGet Help Now
When you are involved in an accident or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice or abuse, you may not even know the right questions to ask at first. Browse our collection of frequently asked questions to see what others have asked and read our answers to learn all you can about your case.
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What evidence is needed to pursue a mesothelioma case?
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure, and for many people, that exposure occurred at work. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma and want to file a claim against a past employer, there is specific evidence you need to help prove your case.
A Successful Mesothelioma Claim Requires Evidence
To help ensure that you receive fair compensation for a mesothelioma case, you need evidence that shows where you were exposed to asbestos, how you were exposed, and when. To get this evidence, your lawyer will ask you detailed questions about your previous jobs and the jobs of people you lived with. This often helps narrow down the potential defendants and guide the search for evidence. Then, through the legal discovery process, your attorney will search for more information by:
- Looking at employment and Social Security records
- Using deposition testimony
- Using written interrogatories
- Using requests for production of documents
These legal discovery tools may be used to gather relevant information from your employer, the employer of someone you lived with, other people who worked for the employer, and companies that provided equipment, goods, parts, or other materials to the employer. Together, the information that is gathered may establish the timeframe for your asbestos exposure and help prove your claim.
Getting the Evidence You Need for a Mesothelioma Case
The legal discovery tools are regulated by the state’s rules of civil procedure. Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers know how to get the information you need to help prove your claim and to get the recovery you deserve. We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation. It won’t cost you anything to meet with us, and if you choose us to represent you, you won’t owe any legal fees until your claim has been successfully settled or resolved in court.
To learn more, please contact us, or download a free copy of our book, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.
Can I afford to hire a mesothelioma lawyer?
It's not uncommon to experience financial difficulties after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Between increased medical bills and an inability to earn a living, many patients often struggle to make ends meet—and the thought of taking on legal expenses may seem impossible.
Fortunately, many mesothelioma lawyers represent clients on a contingency fee basis. This means clients don't have to pay anything up front to receive legal assistance.
Contingency Fees Give Victims Access to a Mesothelioma Lawyer
Many injury victims don't have the funds to hire an attorney, even if they could receive a great deal of money by filing a legal claim. Contingency fees offer a way for mesothelioma victims to get quality legal representation without going into debt.
When an attorney is retained under a contingency agreement, he or she assumes the cost of filing fees and court expenses until the case is over.
Rather than charging an hourly rate, the attorney is paid with a portion of the settlement he or she is able to obtain for the client. If the case isn't successful, the attorney does not collect a legal fee.
While it's possible for victims to represent themselves in these cases, it's usually more cost effective and beneficial to the case to hire an attorney. As our client, our mesothelioma lawyers pay for court costs and fees on your behalf until the claim is settled, allowing you to keep your money when you need it most.
We're also experienced with these types of cases, and can advise you on:
- Whether you can sue. To establish the viability of the case, we examine your work history to determine how and where you were exposed to asbestos, as well as which companies may be liable for your illness.
- How to pay for costs right now. Many mesothelioma patients qualify for public benefits, such as Social Security disability, workers’ compensation, or VA disability.
- The value of your claim. Mesothelioma lawyers are adept at calculating the full amount of a person’s losses, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Time limits. Each state places a limit on how long a person has to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, and an attorney can ensure these deadlines are met.
In addition to working on a contingency fee basis, the legal team at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault offers free initial consultations to all mesothelioma patients, allowing them to make informed decisions whether or not they choose to retain us.
Simply fill out the contact form on this page to get started or learn more about your options in our free eBook, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.
Can I file a lawsuit if I’m getting other types of benefits because of my mesothelioma?
A mesothelioma diagnosis can force a person to retire early while facing expensive medical bills. As a result, many people rely on public benefit programs to pay for the high cost of treatment. However, many patients can file a lawsuit in addition to collecting public benefits, giving them the maximum amount of financial support they need.
Mesothelioma Patients May Be Eligible for Several Benefit Types
Even if you are currently receiving multiple types of benefits for your mesothelioma, you can still file a third-party lawsuit to get compensation for your disease. A successful claim can be worth much more than the amounts offered through benefit programs and can provide compensation for pain and suffering—a cost typically not covered by medical and wage replacement benefits.
You may be able to file a mesothelioma lawsuit in addition to collecting:
Most asbestos exposure occurs in the workplace, making employees eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers who file these claims may recover for costs related to treatment as well as a portion of lost wages.
Social Security Disability
Mesothelioma is a recognized condition under the Social Security disability program, and claimants usually qualify for expedited payment.
If you are over age 65 or you have been approved for Social Security disability benefits, you may also qualify for Medicare. This insurance coverage can be used to pay for the medical costs of your illness.
If you were exposed to asbestos during your time in the military, you may be eligible for disability and healthcare benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If you choose to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, you should know that these claims are filed against the manufacturers or distributors of the products containing asbestos that caused your illness, not the military or federal government.
The attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault know how overwhelming a mesothelioma diagnosis can be. That is why we offer a free consultation for all mesothelioma clients, and we do not charge for our services until after your claim is settled. Simply fill out the contact form on this page, or learn more about your options in our free eBook, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.
How long does a mesothelioma lawsuit take?
Right now, time may be constantly on your mind. You may be thinking about the time until your next doctor’s appointment, the time that it will take to get your affairs in order, and what to do with the time that you have left to live.
Mesothelioma is a devastating diagnosis and you want to make the most of the time that you have left with your loved ones. You don’t want to start things that you can’t finish or burden your loved ones after you are gone.
Where does that leave you if you are considering a mesothelioma lawsuit?
Every Mesothelioma Case Take a Unique Amount of Time—But Your Lawyer May Able to Speed Your Case Up
Many mesothelioma cases go faster than you might think. Your attorney may be able to get a preferred trial date because of your medical condition. Even after your case is filed, your lawyer will continue to negotiate a settlement to try to resolve your case fairly and quickly.
How long it will actually take depends on numerous factors including, but not limited to, the quality of the evidence available in your case, how complex the evidentiary and legal issues are in your case, and how aggressively your lawyer fights for you. Some cases may be resolved in a few months and other cases may take more than a year to complete.
A Mesothelioma Case Won’t Burden Your Family If it Continues After Your Death
Even if your mesothelioma lawsuit continues after you pass away, it will not create a burden for your family. Instead, the day to day work will be done by the lawyer that you hire rather than your loved ones. Your lawyer will continue to work to get the fair compensation that your family deserves and may be able to secure your family’s financial future so that they don’t have to worry about money while they grieve.
Call a Mesothelioma Lawyer Today
Your lawyer will focus on protecting your rights and your recovery while you focus on your medical treatments and your family. It won’t cost you any money and it will only cost you a little bit of time to contact our experienced lawyers for a free, no-obligation consultation today. Once we begin work on your case, you can devote your time to the people and causes you choose while we work on your legal case. All of our work will be done on a contingency fee basis which means we won’t charge you for our services until your case is resolved. Then, our fee will be a previously agreed upon percentage of your legal compensation. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 today to schedule your free consultation and to begin getting the legal help that you deserve.
Is lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure?
Yes, multiple studies link asbestos exposure to lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. These studies determine the following:
- People who inhale asbestos fibers have an elevated risk of developing lung cancer.
- All types of asbestos may increase a person’s risk of lung cancer.
- The greater the exposure to asbestos fibers, the stronger probability of lung cancer.
- The danger of lung cancer is higher in people who are exposed to asbestos and who also smoke.
- Symptoms of lung cancer may not present for 15 years or more after contact with asbestos.
Typically, this cancer is a possibility for people exposed to asbestos frequently over a significant amount of time. This includes construction workers, factory workers, military veterans, and shipbuilders.
The Early Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Lung cancer has the greatest number of cancer deaths in the United States. Each year, this disease claims more lives than cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate combined.
However, the prognosis is better for people who are diagnosed early and receive prompt medical treatment. Accordingly, it's important to see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- Coughing with or without blood
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Hoarseness or wheezing
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent or chronic respiratory infections
- Swelling in the face or neck
How Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Differ
Both lung cancer and mesothelioma can manifest due to asbestos exposure. However, they're two distinct diseases.
In 1942, the National Cancer Institute confirmed that asbestos could cause lung cancer. By 1986, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration declared lung cancer to be the greatest risk for people who work with asbestos.
Lung cancer is caused by many things, including asbestos. It develops inside the lungs and typically appears as distinct masses with clear borderlines.
In 1909, British pathologist J.G. Adami used the term mesothelioma to describe cancer in thin tissue lining various organs, including the pleura, or the lining surrounding the lungs and thorax. In 1935, another pathologist, Steven Gloyne, made the connection between mesothelioma and occupational asbestos exposure.
Pleural mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. It appears as interconnected tumors in the tissue lining that don't have clear borderlines.
Financial Recovery for Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer or Mesothelioma
If you have lung cancer or mesothelioma after working with asbestos, you deserve a fair financial recovery. Our experienced asbestos injury lawyers are pleased to offer you a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
If we take your case, we'll represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means you won’t owe us any legal fees until your case is resolved. To learn more, contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303.
How long do I have to file a mesothelioma lawsuit?
Every state has a statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit after you become injured. Statutes of limitations serve several purposes. In a typical personal injury case, the statute of limitations allows a case to be heard while the evidence is more likely to be available. This time limit also provides a specific deadline when defendants know they can make a motion to the court to have the claims dismissed.
Mesothelioma Is Different, but Statutes of Limitations Still Apply
Generally, the statute of limitations begins when you knew (or should have known) about your injury. In mesothelioma cases, this may mean the date of your diagnosis or the date when your symptoms prompted you to see a doctor. It is not the date when you were exposed to asbestos.
Each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death cases:but no longer than 20 years after asbestos exposure
State Personal Injury Statute of Limitations Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations AL 2 years 2 years AK 2 years 2 years AZ 2 years 2 years AR 3 years 3 years CA 1 year 1 year CO 2 years 2 years CT 3 years * 3 years * DE 2 years 2 years FL 4 years 2 years GA 2 years 2 years HI 2 years 2 years ID 2 years 2 years IL 2 years 2 years IN 2 years 2 years IA 2 years 2 years KS 2 years 2 years KY 1 year 1 year LA 1 year 1 year ME 6 years 2 years MD 3 years * 3 years * MA 3 years 3 years MI 3 years 3 years MN 2 years 3 years MS 3 year 3 year MO 5 years 3 year MT 3 years 3 years NE 4 years 2 years NV 2 years 2 years NH 3 years 3 years NJ 2 years 2 years NM 3 years 3 years NY 3 years 2 years NC 3 years 2 years ND 6 years 2 years OH 2 years 2 years OK 2 years 2 years OR 2 years 3 years PA 2 years 2 years RI 3 years 3 years SC 3 years 3 years SD 3 years 3 years TN 1 year 1 year TX 2 years 2 years UT 3 years 2 years VT 3 years 2 years VA 2 years 2 years WA 3 years 3 years D.C. 3 years 2 years WV 2 years 2 years WI 3 years 3 years WY 4 years 2 years * but no longer than 20 years after asbestos exposure
In some cases, the statute of limitations may be shortened or extended. Therefore, it is important to act as quickly as possible.
Don’t Let Time Run Out on Your Mesothelioma Claim
Contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You have nothing to lose by talking to a lawyer now. However, if you wait too long, the lawyer will be unable to file a claim on your behalf.
Our mesothelioma lawyers understand that you are facing a difficult time. When you decide to hire us, we will not charge you any upfront legal fees. Instead, we will be paid a percentage of your mesothelioma settlement. To learn more or schedule your free consultation, please contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303.
Where do I file a mesothelioma lawsuit?
You should only file a lawsuit with a court that has the jurisdiction, or legal authority, to hear your claim. This may seem straightforward, but it in many complex circumstances, such as mesothelioma cases, it can be quite complicated.
You May Have More Than One Choice
Where you can file a mesothelioma lawsuit depends on many factors, including where you were exposed to asbestos.
You may have worked in the same industry in different states or you may have moved around a lot if you were in the military. Thus, your asbestos exposure may have occurred in more than one state and you may be unsure where to bring your lawsuit.
It’s important to get jurisdiction right the first time. If you file your lawsuit with a court that doesn't have jurisdiction, then your case will be dismissed and you won't recover any damages. You will have wasted your time and delayed your eventual recovery.
Don’t Let This Happen to You
Instead, contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer as soon as you're diagnosed. Your lawyer will review all of the facts of your case, including where you lived and worked when you were exposed to asbestos. Then, he'll advise you on the different courts where your claim may be heard and on the pros and cons of each jurisdiction.
You may have lived a long life without ever thinking about legal jurisdiction. Now, this issue and other complicated matters are of major concern. Get the counsel you deserve in order to make decisions that will help you and your family during this difficult time.
We invite you to do this risk-free. Our mesothelioma lawyers work on contingency fee basis. We won't charge you for our services until after your claim is resolved. You won't have any upfront legal fees to worry about. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn how to seek your mesothelioma recovery in the right court.
How can I tell if I was exposed to asbestos in the past?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral with the potential to affect nearly anyone in low levels. However, people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma have typically suffered significantly high levels of exposure over a long period of time.
Since asbestos was not regulated in the U.S. until the 1970s, people in areas where asbestos use was common may develop mesothelioma, even if their exposure occurred decades ago.
Common Sources of Asbestos Exposure
It's important to determine where your exposure occurred so you can hold that party accountable for your medical treatment and costs of care. In addition, mesothelioma patients who were in contact with asbestos prior to 1980 don't have to repay Medicare for their treatment, allowing them to save more of their settlement funds.
You might have been exposed to asbestos:
- At work. Many industries rely on asbestos, found naturally in mines, for its fire-resistant properties, and it's still used to insulate industrial pipes. Shipbuilders, dockworkers, miners, power plant workers, electricians, steel workers, mechanics, plumbers, welders, firefighters, and railroad workers are all particularly at risk.
- In the military. U.S. Navy veterans and other former members of the armed forces may have been exposed to asbestos during service. In these cases, mesothelioma lawsuits may be filed against the companies that made asbestos products—not the government or military—and victims may qualify for disability and other benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- At home. Asbestos was commonly used in construction materials such as insulation and roofing. Anyone living in these homes has the potential for exposure, as well as people renovating or demolishing these structures. Finally, families of workers in trades involving asbestos may have suffered second-hand exposure through contact with contaminated work clothes.
In order to prove when and where your asbestos exposure occurred, the attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can conduct a thorough investigation of your past employers’ records. Depending on what we find, your former employers may be liable for your medical bills, travel costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Since we represent asbestos injury clients on a contingency fee basis, you won't pay us anything until your case is won.
Does OSHA regulate asbestos exposure for workers?
Today, the answer is yes. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates asbestos exposure for workers. However, this hasn’t always been the case.
U.S. Asbestos Regulations
The first OSHA regulations concerning workers’ use of asbestos went into effect in 1971. These regulations were revised throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and into the 1990s. Today, the agency regulates asbestos for the construction industry, shipyard industry, and general industry.
The regulation of asbestos in these industries specifies that no employee shall be exposed to an airborne concentration of asbestos that exceeds 0.1 fiber per cubic centimeter of air as an eight hour time weighted average or an airborne concentration of asbestos that exceeds 1.0 fiber per cubic centimeter of air as averaged over a sampling period of 30 minutes.
While the specific requirements vary, the regulations also require:
- Assessment and testing for the presence of asbestos
- Ongoing monitoring to determine the level of asbestos
- Hazard communications and warnings
- Employee training
- Medical surveillance
- Records regarding asbestos exposure kept for at least 30 years
Asbestos Regulations Can’t Prevent All Asbestos Injuries
The United States regulates, but does not prohibit, the use of asbestos, and there is no known minimum threshold that asbestos exposure is considered safe. Additionally, even with regulations in place, you may still be at risk of asbestos exposure that is above the regulated amount.
You are particularly at risk of serious health consequences of asbestos exposure if you worked in or lived with someone who worked in an asbestos-related industry in the 1980s or earlier. These health consequences, including mesothelioma, often do not appear for decades, and you may just now be experiencing symptoms of this serious cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related health condition, it is important to learn more about your legal rights. Please contact our experienced asbestos injury lawyers today for a free and confidential consultation. If you choose us to represent you, we will work on a contingency fee basis. That means, you won’t be charged any upfront fees for our services, and our fee will be an agreed on percentage of your settlement. Don’t spend another day wondering if you have a case or if you should take action. Get the reliable answers you need by contacting us online or calling us directly at 318.588.6303 today.
How can I prove asbestos is the cause of my medical condition?
From the late 1800s through the late 1900s, asbestos was used in a wide variety of ways. People who worked in the military, construction, automotive, and shipbuilding industries—and the people they lived with—were often exposed to asbestos products.
At the time, they may not have suffered any health problems. However, the ill effects of asbestos exposure often don’t appear for decades.
Today there's not a definitive medical test to see if you were exposed to asbestos years ago.
You Deserve Compensation If You Can Prove Exposure
Even without a blood test or other diagnostic tests, you may be able to prove that asbestos caused your medical condition. You can do this if you were:
- Diagnosed with mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of this aggressive type of cancer.
- Diagnosed with lung cancer or COPD, absent other risk factors. Without other potential causes, such as smoking, a doctor may determine your condition was caused by asbestos exposure.
Since there's not a definitive medical test for asbestos exposure, your doctor and your lawyer will each ask questions about:
- The jobs you held
- The jobs of your family members and people you lived with throughout your life
- Other risk factors for your medical conditions
If it can reasonably be determined that you were exposed to asbestos and that you developed cancer or another serious health condition as a result, then you may have the legal right to pursue damages.
Work With an Experienced Asbestos Injury Lawyer
You're going to need both evidence and persuasive arguments in order to make a fair and just financial recovery. Our experienced asbestos injury lawyers would be pleased to meet with you for a free, no-obligation consultation.
During our initial meeting, we can discuss your possible asbestos exposure and, if together we determine that moving forward with a claim is in your best interest, then consider representing you on a contingency fee basis. This means you won't owe any legal fees upfront. Instead, we'll only be paid for our services when your claim is settled.
Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule your free consultation.