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"The average mesothelioma case settlement amount is $1 million - $1.4 million US dollars"

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Do I Need A Mesothelioma Lawyer (Asbestos Lawyer)? Pros and Cons

Mesothelioma is a cancerous disease mostly caused by exposure to asbestos. You and your loved ones may have legal rights to ask for compensation. And this is where you might wonder to yourself, do I need a mesothelioma lawyer?’ It is important for you to know where you stand before making the decision on whether to hire an asbestos lawyer.

You can ask for legal compensation in the United States of America. In the US, you or anyone you can ask for monetary compensation for mesothelioma if you or anyone you know were working in jobs for companies that were responsible for your exposure to asbestos. It is important that you consult an asbestos attorney as soon as possible if you wish to seek compensation for your diagnosis of mesothelioma. This is because the US law imposes a statute of limitations, which varies from state to state. This means you have a limited amount of time to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, depending on which state of the USA you reside in.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a type a cancer which can develop in the tissues that cover the lungs and abdomen. Mesothelioma is considered a rare cancer, but it’s becoming more common with the number of people diagnosed with it is now approaching 3,000 every year in the US (source: cancer.org). Most of mesothelioma contractors are male. This is possibly because of the nature of jobs many men are accustomed to. There are 3 main types of mesothelioma cancer. They are pleural mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma of the three.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a heat and fire resistant insulating material that was widely used in the building, ship building and motor plants in the past. It was also used to manufacture household appliances. As a result, most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in men who have used asbestos products in a work place in the past. There was a significant rise in the use of asbestos in the years following the second world war, where asbestos use was particularly common.

Mesothelioma cancer often does not develop until 15 to 40 years after you have been exposed to asbestos. This is probably why the number of cases of mesothelioma lawsuits had a sharp increase in the late 70s and 80s and then again in the early 2000s. Mesothelioma lawsuits might be expected to keep going further throughout the next 20 years.

All types of asbestos including blue asbestos, brown asbestos, and white asbestos are harmful. Since the late 1980’s blue asbestos and brown asbestos products have been banned in the UK. Asbestos can no longer be imported into the UK either. White asbestos was banned from use in the UK in 1999. However, surprisingly in 2019, the United States is one of the few major first-world nations without an asbestos ban in place. Asbestos in the US is still used in gaskets, friction products, roofing, fireproofing materials and other everyday products.

 

How does asbestos cause Mesothelioma?

Asbestos is made up of tiny fibres. These fibres can be inhaled when you come into contact with asbestos. The asbestos fibres can then make their way to the pleura, which lines your lungs. The fibres irritate the pleura and damage its cells. Asbestos fibres that have been inhaled can also be coughed up and swallowed – this is believed to be the cause of peritoneal mesothelioma. 

 

Why is asbestos cancer hard to diagnose?

Mesothelioma cancer is grouped by how the cells look under a microscope. When grouped in this way, there are three types of mesothelioma.

  • Epithelioid
  • Sarcomatoid or fibrous
  • Biphasic (mixed type)

Between 50% and 70% of diagnosed mesothelioma cases are the epithelioid type.

Between 7% and 20% of diagnosed mesothelioma cases are the sarcomatoid type.

Between 20% and 30% of diagnosed mesothelioma cases are the biphasic type – and has both epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells.

The different cell types that are found in mesothelioma can divide into other cancerous cell types called:

  • Clear cell
  • Small cell
  • Acinar cell
  • Tubulopapillary cell

With so many cell types with the ability to develop mesothelioma it is very difficult to diagnose this disease.

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What is the list of elements that may contain asbestos?

All of the following may contain asbestos:

Cement Pipes

Elevator Brake Shoes

Cement Wallboard

HVAC Duct Insulation

Cement Siding

Boiler Insulation

Asphalt Floor Tile

Breaching Insulation

Vinyl Floor Tile

Duct-work Flexible Fabric Connections

Vinyl Sheet Flooring

Cooling Towers

Flooring Backing

Pipe Insulation (corrugated air-cell, block, etc.)

Construction Mastic (floor tile, carpet, ceiling tile, etc.)

Heating and Electrical Ducts

Acoustical Plaster

Electrical Panel Partitions

Decorative Plaster

Electrical Cloth

Textured Paints/Coatings

Electric Wiring Insulation

Ceiling Tiles and Lay-in Panels

Chalkboards

Spray-Applied Insulation

Roofing Shingles

Blown-in Insulation

Roofing Felt

Fireproofing Materials

Base Flashing

Taping Compounds (thermal)

Thermal Paper Products

Packing Materials (for wall/floor penetrations)

Fire Doors

High Temperature Gaskets

Caulking/Putties

Laboratory Hoods/Table Tops

Adhesives

Laboratory Gloves

Wallboard

Fire Blankets

Joint Compounds

Fire Curtains

Vinyl Wall Coverings

Elevator Equipment Panels

Spackling Compounds

 

Why isn’t asbestos banned in the US?

Until the late 60s, till the time no cases or very few cases of mesothelioma were reported and knowledge of the harmful effects of asbestos were few and far between, asbestos remained mostly unregulated. However, in the early 1970s, the US government set up agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limit exposures of workers to asbestos and other toxic pollutants.

The EPA declared the Clean Air Act in 1973. Under the act, most spray-applied asbestos products were banned. In 1989, the EPA issued another Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule, that was created ban all manufacturing, importation, processing and sale of asbestos-containing products.

However, the asbestos industry and asbestos supporters in the USA challenged and overturned the ban in a landmark lawsuit: Corrosion Proof Fittings v. the Environmental Protection Agency (1991). While the case resulted in several asbestos regulations, the EPA ultimately failed to put a complete end to asbestos use. 

 

What are some of the symptoms of Mesothelioma?

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pain
  • Weight Loss
  • Coughing up blood
  • Fever
  • Raspy Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty Swallowing 

 

What are some high risk occupations for mesothelioma lawsuit compensation? 

  • Pipe-fitters
  • Plumbers
  • Construction Trade
  • Welders
  • Steam Fitters
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Iron and Steel Workers
  • Navy Personnel
  • Shipbuilding

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Why should I choose a Mesothelioma lawyer? (Hiring an asbestos lawyer Pros)

Once you are diagnosed with asbestos cancer, if conditions are met, you may be entitled to an industrial injury benefit. Here are a few of the advantages of hiring a mesothelioma law firm or a mesothelioma lawyer to fight your mesothelioma legal case.

  • A good mesothelioma lawyer must understand the complicated nature of your claim and mesothelioma injury case
  • An able asbestos lawyer can advise you on the level of compensation you should seek based on the facts of your specific mesothelioma injury case
  • Mesothelioma litigation can be a very complicated process as the symptoms usually take at least 15-20 years to show. If hired, a mesothelioma law firm can do lot of the investigation which is required Sometimes, a mesothelioma law firm can involve an asbestos lawyer having to go back over 50 years to gain evidence of where the mesothelioma injury or the exposure to asbestos occurred
  • Mesothelioma lawyers are aware of what benefits you are entitled to and how you can claim them, even if someone you are fighting the mesothelioma legal case for has already died of mesothelioma

Cons of Hiring a Bad Mesothelioma Lawyer

  • Unless you have legal expertise of your own, and can represent yourself in a court of law, you will most likely have to be dependent a mesothelioma law firm that has experience of handling such cases if you want to have a compensation settlement from the mesothelioma legal case. But, if you hire an asbestos cancer lawyer that does not have your best of intentions in mind, you can end up in the following situations:
  • A unethical mesothelioma law firm might overcharge you on your percentage of settlement. While, an unethical asbestos lawyer might prolong your case to keep charging you fees
  • An unprofessional mesothelioma lawyer might not understand your pain of dealing with mesothelioma and only be after the money
  • An inexperienced or untrained mesothelioma attorney might not be able to get the facts of your case in order properly to get the maximum value for you

 

Can I afford a Mesothelioma Lawyer?

Hiring a mesothelioma attorney or an asbestos cancer lawyer to act on your behalf can be very costly. Mostly because there has to be a lot of research and evidence gathering that needs to be done by your hired mesothelioma law firm or asbestos law firm. However, many mesothelioma law firms and asbestos lawyers may work on a ‘no-win no-fee’ basis. Under a ‘no-win no fee’ contingency, a mesothelioma law firm may tell you that they will fight your mesothelioma case in court, and only charge you a fee if they win.   

In such cases, a lawyer from the asbestos cancer law firm will initially discuss your case with you and decide on the circumstances of your claim. From this initial consultation they will usually decide if your mesothelioma injury case has a good enough chance of winning in court and then work on a contingency fee basis.

A contingency fee is   lawyers cut of any payment awarded to you. The asbestos industry can also pay you financial compensation if it is claimed. You may also be eligible for legal aid to get your case to trial. These are all things a competent mesothelioma lawyer or a good asbestos cancer law firm will be able to advise you on.

 

When should I consider Mesothelioma litigation?

If you or someone you know is diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, they almost certainly have been exposed to asbestos at some time in the past. You may not even have known you were being exposed to asbestos. In the unlikely case that you did, you may not have realized your employer had a legal obligation for your safety.
Cases of mesothelioma litigation can be complicated and mesothelioma lawyers need to highly qualified and skilled in handling the whole litigation process. They will be continually updating their knowledge of the cancerous disease and its causes along with the requirements to get a solid case to court. If you have been affected by this disease your quality of life may have, or will in the future suffer by having being infected with mesothelioma. You should consider all your options regarding litigation for a case but you may well benefit considerably by making contact with a mesothelioma injury lawyer and discussing your options. 

How long does it take to get a Mesothelioma settlement?

The amount of time required to get a mesothelioma settlement varies for each case. Experienced mesothelioma attorneys can help you expedite claims faster to obtain compensation. Depending on the strength of your case, some mesothelioma patients may receive settlement checks within a couple of months, while others may have to wait over a year.

 

What is the average Mesothelioma settlement amount?

According to a report on the mesothelioma settlement amount, the mean mesothelioma trial award is estimated at $2.4 million (US dollar). The report was published in 2016 by Mealey’s Litigation Report. The average mesothelioma settlement amount is $1 – $1.4 million (USD). In most cases, these amounts are paid by multiple defendants.

 

Will my Mesothelioma settlements be taxed as income?

Mesothelioma settlement amounts are taxable depending on the kind of damages awarded. Usually, compensation for lost wages and emotional distress are deemed as taxable income. On the other hand, medical expenses compensation is not taxable. An able mesothelioma asbestos lawyer can explain how your settlement might be taxed. However, you should know in the US, ‘The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017’ has increased the amount of settlement money that plaintiffs are required by law pay taxes on.

 

Who is awarded in a Mesothelioma wrongful death settlement?

In a wrongful death settlement pertaining to a mesothelioma lawsuit, the winning might go to the estate or surviving family members, depending on who the claim was filed by. How the mesothelioma settlement money is distributed amongst surviving family members usually varies upon the specific circumstances of each individual case.

Now you probably have all the information to decide for yourself, if you need the help of a mesothelioma law firm or an asbestos lawyer to seek compensation. Good job on finishing this helpful blog. Read another? Try!

 

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