A mesothelioma diagnosis will require lifelong medical treatment to control the symptoms and treat the disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure. It is vital to preserve your health, and compensation for your injuries is critical for your care.
From the date you are diagnosed, you have three years to file for compensation. However, this timeframe could be more or less, so beginning the legal process as soon as possible is critical to your claim. To begin, speak with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer in South Carolina at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for answers about asbestos lawsuits and mesothelioma compensation.
Mesothelioma can stay latent or dormant for decades before someone with the disease knows their health has been affected. Unfortunately, some victims lose their lives before compensation is received. There are two types of lawsuits that can be filed for mesothelioma compensation.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit is filed by victims against former employers or product manufacturers where asbestos exposure occurred. A lawsuit carries many complexities, including which court will preside over the case and what timelines apply to the victim’s claim. Working with a South Carolina mesothelioma lawyer is the most straightforward way to navigate legal constraints and make forward progress in securing compensation.
No guarantee exists that you will receive financial compensation from a lawsuit, so seeking this compensation is not without risk. What damages can you recover in a personal injury lawsuit?
- Medical bills and expenses related to treatment
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Caregiver costs
- Possible punitive damages
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When the victim dies before filing a lawsuit or deciding on a settlement, the victim’s family may proceed with a wrongful death claim. This type of lawsuit will also be against the employer or manufacturer that introduced the exposure to the victim and failed to inform them of the dangers.
To bypass a lengthy trial producing expense and public exposure, the defendant, or company responsible for the asbestos exposure, will often offer to settle out of court. The benefits of settling are not only worthwhile for the defendant. A settlement is often a less traumatic event for the victim and their family than a trial and does not carry the weight of uncertainty that court proceedings can produce.
Settlements may be less than the damages received in a lawsuit. But a settlement is a guaranteed payment benefitting the victim and their family, covering medical expenses, and providing financial stability. What factors determine a settlement amount?
- Proof of employment by the defendant or evidence of exposure to their products
- Proof of negligence by the defendant, mainly if the defendant was aware of the dangers to employees
- State guidelines for filing a claim and the statute of limitations
- The victim’s current ability to achieve gainful employment if they are not retired
- Evidence of disease documented by medical tests and physicians’ documentation
- Diagnosis: A mesothelioma diagnosis is more significant in impact than other asbestos diseases
- Where the exposure occurred and for how long: The discovery process has uncovered and exposed many corporations operating with the knowledge of the dangers of asbestos
A benefit you will find from working with the Shelly Leeke Law Firm is their ability to understand all aspects of lawsuits and settlements and prepare you with the facts. When a mesothelioma attorney in South Carolina represents you, their readiness to prepare for court litigation is evident if the benefits of a lawsuit outweigh your settlement options and compensation.
Many companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy when proof of negligent business practices became evident in order to protect their assets. This reorganization of company funds ordered by the courts created a trust that holds money to guarantee that victims of mesothelioma and other diseases related to asbestos exposure receive compensation.
Bankruptcy has been the course of action for many companies. Individuals may have worked for more than one company operating under the same negligent practices. Because of this, the victim may be eligible for compensation from multiple trusts.
For these companies, filing bankruptcy does not mean they have gone out of business. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a form of protection from both personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Additional Mesothelioma Compensation
Other forms of compensation may exist for victims. We discuss a few of those avenues below.
Veterans Assistance Claims
Veterans with no dishonorable discharge from service and exposure to asbestos through active service or inactive duty training may qualify for benefits. When asbestos exposure results from military service, the victim’s compensation can increase. Veterans are prohibited from suing the government for injuries caused during service, but they can seek settlement from the companies that sold products containing asbestos to the military.
Benefits veterans may qualify for include:
- Monthly disability compensation
- VA pensions benefitting low-income veterans
- VA health care
- Educational compensation aiding the veteran or the spouse and children if the veteran is deceased
- Survival benefits payable to the survivor of the veteran in the event of their death
- Burial benefits, including a burial plot in a national cemetery and a headstone
Insurance options may also be available in addition to other forms of compensation.
- Health Insurance: Assistance for medical treatment expenses, depending on the plan
- Disability Insurance: Assistance available through an employer that can compensate for lost wages
- Social Security Disability Insurance: Assistance for individuals under the age of 65 who cannot work
Workers becoming ill from exposure on the job may qualify for workers’ compensation, a form of insurance providing possible medical care and monetary benefits. Before applying for worker’s compensation, consult a South Carolina mesothelioma attorney. Receiving worker’s compensation benefits may render a victim ineligible for filing future mesothelioma lawsuits.
South Carolina Mesothelioma Representation
South Carolina has a history steeped in naval military service and industries such as power plants, commercial manufacturing, and construction that have confirmed links to asbestos exposure and diseases such as mesothelioma, which are detrimental to your health. Begin the process of recovery and compensation by reaching out for a complimentary consultation with the team at Shelly Leeke Law Firm to discuss how we can help.
In some instances, compensation has already been designated to repay the workers and military veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma. Your health should never suffer as a result of your service and dedication. We are ready to represent you and demand accountability.