Mesothelioma Lawsuits: How Do They Work?

Why Would Someone Need to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

For decades, asbestos was commonly used in a wide array of industries. Hailed for being fire-resistant and durable, the material was utilized frequently in building materials and for numerous industrial and commercial applications. In 1964, doctors proved asbestos causes lung damage and disease, including mesothelioma. The tiny fibers in asbestos can embed themselves into the lungs, causing damage that can progress into the cancer known as mesothelioma. This type of cancer is directly related to asbestos exposure. Asbestos companies and employers did not warn people about the dangers of asbestos exposure, and they may be liable.

You may eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit if you can show evidence that a doctor diagnosed you with the condition, or that a loved one who passed away was diagnosed with it. You’ll also need to offer proof that another party may be liable, like documentation showing a person worked a jobsite known to have a history of asbestos use/exposure. Any lawsuit also must be filed within the applicable state’s statue of limitation, and those time limits vary by state.

At Vogelzang Law in Chicago, Illinois, we’re focused on asbestos-related lawsuits. We have more than 20 years of experience, and we consistently achieve successful outcomes for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a no-cost consultation.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit, Chicago

Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Dealing with a diagnosis of mesothelioma is a frightening experience, and it can be costly as well. Victims may be entitled to compensation for treatment, lost wages, and other expenses. The two most common types of mesothelioma lawsuits are personal injury and wrongful death.

  • Personal Injury: In a personal injury lawsuit, liability is generally based on companies failing to adequately warn their employees about the dangers of inhaling asbestos. Affected individuals may be entitled to compensation for treatment, travel, lost income, and possibly pain and suffering.
  • Wrongful Death: With a wrongful death case, the family of a mesothelioma patient can seek to recover costs for medical care, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

Less commonly, people may seek to join a mesothelioma class action lawsuit, or multidistrict litigation (MDL). Compensation in class action law suits tends to be less than what’s received in a personal injury or wrongful death suit, and MDLs often are viewed as favoring asbestos companies. People should consult with an attorney to determine the best type of lawsuit for their case.

Working With a Qualified Mesothelioma Attorney

If you’re considering filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, the most important first step you can take is scheduling a consultation with a qualified attorney. In most cases, the consultation is free and no money is required to start work. At Vogelzang Law, we don’t charge for consultations and you only pay a fee if you receive a settlement.

Some law firms that concentrate on asbestos cases advertise on a nationwide basis, but they partner with local attorneys. Each state has its own regulations and laws, which is why it’s important to work with a lawyer who understands all the applicable statutes.

When you meet with your attorney, they’ll carefully collect applicable history related to the possible source of asbestos exposure. It can take decades for asbestos exposure to develop into a medical condition, and many people are over 70 before illness surfaces. Your lawyer will go over your work history, medical history, and other relevant background information to determine who may be liable.

Your attorney will help you determine which state to file the lawsuit in, as well as how much compensation you should request. They’ll then formally file the lawsuit and begin working on the next phase of your case.

What Happens During the Discovery Phase?

When a lawsuit moves into the discovery phase, information is exchanged between both sides. Each defendant (the alleged responsible party) receives a copy of the complaint and is provided a set period of time to respond. Attorneys on each side gather evidence, request information, and ask questions. Generally, the defendants will attempt to show that a person’s mesothelioma was caused by something other than asbestos exposure at the named location. They may attempt to argue that an individual’s mesothelioma was caused by exposure in a different place, that genetics are to blame, or that a person engaged in unhealthy behavior, like smoking. In some cases, the defendants may challenge the case on technicalities. An experienced mesothelioma attorney knows how to handle the discovery phase and protect their client.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements and Verdicts

In many cases, your case will be settled before going to trial. Your lawyer will review any proposed settlements for your asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit and will advise you on how to proceed. If any negotiating is required, the lawyer will take care of it. If your case does go to trial, your attorney will guide you through the process. Outcomes of settlements and verdicts vary and depend on a number of considerations, like the extent of your exposure, your medical history, and other factors.

At Vogelzang Law, we’ve won more than half a billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Lawsuit Alternatives

Lawsuits generally provide greater compensation than is received through other methods, but there are other ways to pursue compensation for mesothelioma. Victims and their families can also file claims with an asbestos bankruptcy trust, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or workers’ compensation.

How Long Will My Mesothelioma Lawsuit Take?

In most cases, mesothelioma lawsuits with Vogelzang Law take 9 to 12 months, although we can request an expedited trial. Several aspects can affect the length of your case, including the availability of witnesses, the specific facts of the case, the court’s caseload, and the type of lawsuit.

Contact Vogelzang Law

Vogelzang Law in Chicago, Illinois, advocates for asbestos victims and their families, and you can count on us to work tirelessly on your behalf. Contact us today for more information, or to request a free consultation.