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 is the prognosis for people who have mesothelioma?
Before we discuss the prognosis for people with mesothelioma, it's important to remember that a prognosis is an expected or likely outcome: it's not a definite outcome.
There are many factors that will influence how this disease impacts your quality of life and life expectancy.
Survival Rates for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Currently, the American Cancer Society only provides survival rates for malignant pleural mesothelioma. For this condition, there is currently a:
- 46 percent two-year survival rate and a 16 percent five-year survival rate for stage IA mesothelioma.
- 41 percent two-year survival rate and a 13 percent five-year survival rate for stage IB mesothelioma.
- 38 percent two-year survival rate and a 10 percent five-year survival rate for stage II mesothelioma.
- 30 percent two-year survival rate and an 8 percent five-year survival rate for stage IIIA mesothelioma.
- 26 percent two-year survival rate and a 5 percent five-year survival rate for stage IIIB mesothelioma.
- 17 percent two-year survival rate and a less than 1 percent five-year survival rate for stage IV mesothelioma.
Of course, these estimates don't tell you exactly what will happen to you or your loved one.
Factors That Influence a Mesothelioma Prognosis
Since not everyone with mesothelioma has the same prognosis, it's important to understand the factors that influence an individual's unique circumstances. These factors include:
- Your age
- Your gender
- The stage of your cancer diagnosis
- Location of the disease
- The type of mesothelioma cells in your body
- Your health prior to the diagnosis
- Your physicians and their philosophies
- The treatment you receive
- If you participate in a clinical trial and whether that process is effective
- Whether you lead a healthy lifestyle which includes proper diet and adequate exercise
Your doctor can explain how each of these factors impacts your personal prognosis.
Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer Regardless of Your Prognosis
Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers help people who may have weeks, months, or years to live. Regardless of your prognosis, you have the right to pursue a fair legal recovery.
Contact us online today or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 for a free, no-obligation consultation. If you decide to hire us and we take your case, you won't owe any legal fees until your case is resolved. At that time, we'll receive a percentage of your recovery, as determined by prior agreement.
Neither your prognosis nor any financial concerns should prevent you from seeking justice. We're ready to help protect you and your family every step of the way.
I’m involved in a mesothelioma clinical trial. Can I still file a lawsuit?
Yes, you can still file a mesothelioma case, even while you're part of a clinical trial.
For example, in August 2018, the National Cancer Institute supported 34 different clinical trials for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The outcome of these trials is currently unknown. However, the goal of each trial is to either improve a mesothelioma sufferer’s quality of life or to extend it.
How a Clinical Trial Impacts a Mesothelioma Case
Whether or not you're involved in a clinical trial, your mesothelioma financial recovery is based on your unique damages.
Specifically, you may be able to recover financial damages for your medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering. In some cases, you may also be able to recover punitive damages.
The results of participating in clinical trial may impact the calculation of your damages, but it doesn't prevent you from filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, or recovering damages for the significant illness you've suffered.
Protect Your Legal Rights
You deserve the latest medical treatment and to make a fair legal recovery for cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Whether or not you're part of a clinical trial, our mesothelioma lawyers are ready to help pursue just compensation for your illness.
Please contact us today to learn more about your rights and aspects of potential recovery during a free consultation. You won't have to worry about legal fees during your case. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis—this means you won’t owe any money up front. Instead, we receive a percentage of your compensation after we win your case.
Therefore, neither financial concerns nor clinical trial participation should prevent you from seeking justice and getting the fair recovery you deserve.
Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys.
Are mesothelioma lawsuits class actions or individual cases?
Mesothelioma lawsuits are individual cases. In 1997, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a prior ruling of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding mesothelioma class action cases.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals found that asbestos litigation shouldn't be class action litigation because not everyone who is exposed to asbestos:
- Is exposed to asbestos in the same way.
- Is exposed to the same asbestos products.
- Develops the same diseases or health conditions from the asbestos exposure.
The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Third Circuit Court’s decision in the case of Amchem Products Inc. v. Windsor.
Benefits of Individual Mesothelioma Lawsuits
An individual mesothelioma lawsuit has its advantages, and shouldn't be seen as a deterrent to filing a mesothelioma case. Specifically, an individual case:
May get to trial faster than a class action case
Class actions, by definition, involve many people, which can slow down the decision making process in a case, sometimes by months or even years.
May result in a greater recovery
This estimation is based solely on your personal damages, not an overall average of everybody involved in a class action lawsuit.
You may also benefit from your lawyer’s personalized attention to your claim.
How an Individual Mesothelioma Lawsuit Works
If you have mesothelioma, or a loved one recently died from mesothelioma, then you may be able to bring an individual lawsuit. While individual mesothelioma cases can result in significant recoveries, they may also be complicated to resolve.
However, you don’t have to file your case or handle the litigation alone. Instead, you have the right to work with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Our attorneys know understand these complex cases, and we're committed to fighting for our clients' personal recoveries.
To learn more, please download our free guide, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights. Also, please contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. At this meeting, we can discuss your rights and review the process of building a mesothelioma case.
If we decide to work together, you won’t owe us any legal fees until after your claim has settled. Then, we'll receive a fee based upon a percentage of your recovery that we agree to in advance. There aren't any upfront costs required to get the legal help that you deserve.
How soon after asbestos exposure can I file a lawsuit?
While it has been known for many years that exposure to asbestos can cause deadly cancer, you cannot sue an employer or manufacturer for simply exposing you to asbestos—at least, you can’t sue for personal injury damages. If you are eventually diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you will then have the right to seek compensation for your illness from the party responsible for your exposure.
The Right Time to File an Asbestos Lawsuit
It can take many years for mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer to develop after being exposed to asbestos in the workplace or by living with someone who brought home the deadly fibers. Mesothelioma symptoms may not develop for 15 to 70 years after exposure, making it difficult to trace when and where the exposure occurred. However, once you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, the statute of limitations will begin to run. The amount of time you have to file a lawsuit varies from state to state, but is generally two or three years. In Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and California, however, you will only have one year from the date of your diagnosis to file a claim.
Be Prepared to Protect Your Health and Your Legal Rights If You’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos
While you may not be able to file a lawsuit immediately after asbestos exposure, there are two important things you can do as soon as you know you have been exposed to asbestos. First, you can talk to your doctor about medical monitoring so that any asbestos-related illness is detected early and treated quickly. Second, you can browse this website and read our free book, Your Guide to Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights, to learn more about protecting your legal rights if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis.
If you have been diagnosed with one of these diseases, please contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.303 for a free, no-obligation consultation. We represent clients on a contingency fee basis. That means you won’t owe us any upfront legal fees until and unless your claim is successfully settled. We certainly hope you never develop an asbestos-related health condition. However, if you or a loved one is affected, our law firm is here to help you,no matter where you live.
Can I sue the company that manufactured products made from asbestos if the company is now bankrupt?
You may still be able to file a claim and pursue a fair recovery even if the company that manufactured products made from asbestos and exposed you is now bankrupt. However, the rules for pursuing a claim may be different than they typically are in a personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, it is important to understand your rights and to work with a mesothelioma attorney who is going to fight for your fair and just recovery.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Many manufacturers of products made with asbestos seek bankruptcy relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 11 requires companies to submit reorganization plans. For many of these companies, trust funds to compensate people who develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related health conditions are a required part of that plan.
Trust fund claimants may be former employees of the now bankrupt company, or they may have been exposed to the products made with asbestos without being employees. For example, the now bankrupt company may have made a piece of equipment or a product that the claimant worked with as an employee for another company, or the claimant may have been exposed to asbestos because he lived with someone who worked with the product containing the asbestos.
Once the trust fund is established, it is managed by trustees who authorize payments to individuals who make claims. Most trusts have a schedule of payments that explain how much should be paid out to a claimant with an asbestos-related illness.
To make a recovery from an asbestos trust fund, a claimant must typically file a written statement and give supporting evidence to prove where and when he was exposed to asbestos and what medical condition he has developed because of the asbestos exposure.
Asbestos settlement trust funds have paid out billions of dollars to millions of claimants since the late 1980s. Yet, some trust funds are underfunded, and deserving claimants may only receive a small percentage of the recoveries they deserve.
Protect Your Recovery: Hire an Experienced Asbestos Injury Lawyer
You will need to provide convincing evidence and strong arguments to make a fair recovery from an asbestos trust fund. Our lawyers can gather the necessary evidence and negotiate with those managing the trust fund while you continue to focus on your health and your loved ones.
To learn more about how we can help you get a fair asbestos trust fund recovery , please contact us online or call our office directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. If we take your case, you will not owe us any upfront legal fees. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis, and our fee will be an agreed upon percentage of your settlement. You can also learn more about your rights by downloading a free copy of our book, Mesothelioma and Your Legal Rights.
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.