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Essential Facts About Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Oct 11, 2007
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. The most common form of the disease affects the lining of the lungs, while more rare forms affect the lining of the chest or abdominal cavity. While this disease is uncommon, it is always fatal, with an average survival time after diagnosis of just one year. If the disease is diagnosed early, around twenty percent of patients may live up to five years.

If you have been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be feeling as though your life has been turned upside down. There is so much to do-finding out as much information as you can about the disease and treatments, trying to determine how and when you were exposed to asbestos, and, unfortunately for many people, trying to get help with the costs associated with this devastating disease.

If you fall into this last category, it may be of some comfort to know that you will be able to seek legal help in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. Winning a mesothelioma lawsuit can not only help recover the cost of treatment, but can also provide compensation for lost earnings, and the pain and suffering that this disease causes in its sufferers. In addition, even if you do not have much time left to you, your loved ones will be more assured of being financially secure after your death.

Before seeking legal advice, it is important to have as many facts about your case as possible. Because almost all cases of mesothelioma are associated with asbestos exposure, if you are diagnosed with the disease it is very likely that you were exposed to asbestos at some point. However, because symptoms may not appear for up to forty years after exposure, it is also important to be able to pinpoint with as much accuracy as possible how and when the exposure occurred.

If you were exposed at work, for example, you should try to recall your occupation at the time, and what type of work you were doing when you were exposed to asbestos. If the exposure occurred at home, it will be important to determine how your home was exposed to asbestos. A successful mesothelioma lawsuit will require that your information be as accurate and detailed as possible, because the nature of your exposure to asbestos will determine who should be held legally responsible for your having developed mesothelioma.

To ensure the success of your lawsuit, your lawyer will need as much information as you can supply, and it is also important to supply this information as quickly as possible. This can be difficult to do at such a stressful time, but it is essential because each state has a statute of limitations that governs how long a period of time you have in which you can legally file a mesothelioma claim. Note that the statute of limitations is based upon the time of your diagnosis, rather than when your asbestos exposure occurred. Depending on the state you live in, you may have between one and three years to file a lawsuit once you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. In most states the limitations period is two years, and in some states this is three years or more.

Most mesothelioma lawsuits are conducted to cause as little inconvenience as possible to the person making the claim. In many cases settlement can be made out of court, and depending on the circumstances, a case may be expedited so that it can be resolved more quickly. If you decide to file a claim, you will be required to sign documents that allow your lawyer to gather medical information relevant to your case, and will likely need to give a deposition, in which you will answer questions from the defendant's lawyer, and perhaps your own lawyer as well. In some cases, you may also be asked to supply video footage or testimony that documents how your life has been affected by mesothelioma.

For the most part, law firms that deal with mesothelioma cases do so on a contingency basis, meaning that you will not have to pay any fees until your case has been won. If you are awarded compensation as a result of the lawsuit, your lawyer will be paid a fee from that money; if you are not awarded any compensation, you will likely not have to pay any fees at all.
About the Author
Nick Johnson is lead counsel with Johnson Law Group. Johnson represents plaintiffs in many states and focuses on injury cases involving Fen-Phen and PPH, Paxil, Mesothelioma and Nursing Home Abuse. Call Nick Johnson at 1-888-311-5522 or visit http://www.johnsonlawgroup.com
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