Mesothelioma is an unusual health condition in that it typically takes several decades to manifest, after the original exposure to asbestos. It could even be 40 or 50 years.
In most jurisdictions, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until you are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Once you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, you have several options for obtaining financial help, whether it’s for yourself or for a family member.
- You may be able to file a social security disability claim for monetary help
- You can file a workers’ compensation claim if your exposure was at a particular job site
- You could potentially file a disability claim through your employer’s health insurance policy (or your family member’s employer)
- Your own current health insurance may cover medical costs
- If your health insurance company denies coverage (on the basis, for example, of the fact that asbestos exposure was too long ago) you may have a valid legal claim for insurance bad faith
Your Legal Rights
Aside from the above possibilities, if you or your loved one developed mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure you may be able to obtain compensation through legal action. Although it became known as early as the 1920s that asbestos was causing health problems, and eventually became widely known that it caused asbestosis and mesothelioma, manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos products failed to warn about the hazards of asbestos.
Moreover, many companies continued to use asbestos but failed to provide any protective clothing or masks. If you were exposed to asbestos and suffered an injury as a result, you may be entitled to a financial recovery that includes pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, medical costs, and potentially punitive damages.
Many of these awards are in the millions of dollars and provide financial security for families who have lost a wage-earner. In fact many asbestos manufacturing companies have now been driven into bankruptcy by such claims, although part of the bankruptcy arrangements have included a trust fund for future mesothelioma claims.
If you decide to file a workers’ compensation claim and are wondering if you can also file a lawsuit, if would be wise to talk to an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. You may indeed be able to obtain a financial recovery from more than one source, and it would be wise to obtain legal advice as soon as possible. Mesothelioma claims can be complex and you would need to avoid conflicts between the workers’ compensation claim and any other legal path you follow.
Our lawyers are experienced in fighting for mesothelioma sufferers and have been very successful in obtaining financial compensation. Please call or email our mesothelioma lawyers today.