Mesothelioma is a rare type of malignant cancer that occurs in the thin layer of lining in the body’s internal organs, most commonly in the lungs.
The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a fibrous mineral found in many homes, buildings and vehicles.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is an incurable and fatal form of cancer that often lies dormant for several decades before symptoms begin to appear.
Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis is a devastating event that often comes as a complete shock to victims and their families. If you were unknowingly exposed to asbestos, you may be entitled to pursue legal action.
Identify the At-Fault Party
The first step to filing a mesothelioma claim is to determine when you first developed the disease and who might be responsible for your exposure to asbestos.
However, due to the latent nature of mesothelioma this task can be difficult. Asbestos was commonly used in many occupations, which exposed entire generations of workers to the deadly substance.
Industries with high risk for asbestos exposure include:
- Shipbuilding and repair
- Asbestos mining and milling
- Automotive manufacturing and repair
If you or someone you love was diagnosed with mesothelioma and worked in one of these occupations, you may have legal options.
The next step would be to consult with a legal professional to explore any options that might be available to file a claim.
Consult with an Experienced Attorney After Your Diagnosis
Once you have determined the party that might have been responsible for your or your loved one’s mesothelioma diagnosis, you will need to determine if you can pursue legal action.
To do this, you will need to consult with an attorney who has experience representing victims of asbestos exposure.
A qualified attorney will look into the origins of your mesothelioma diagnosis and determine whether you have a valid claim.
Your attorney will research your employment history and previous living situations to investigate your employer or landlord’s role in exposing you or your loved one to asbestos.
Any evidence your attorney produces can be used to construct a case that supports your claim and solidifies your allegations against the at-fault party.
Having professional legal help during the claims process is crucial to validating your claim.
Our asbestos injury attorneys can help you quickly establish proof that the at-fault party caused you to develop mesothelioma and determine which legal option is in your best interest.
Determine Your Legal Options
Once you consult with an attorney, you may discover there are several options available for you to pursue legal action against the at-fault party.
Workers’ Compensation Claim
If your mesothelioma diagnoses is an occupational-related illness, you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim.
If you are retired from the company you believe exposed you to asbestos, you may still have the option to file a claim as voluntary retirement does not prevent a worker from obtaining workers' compensation.
However, you must file your claim within one year after receiving your initial mesothelioma diagnosis.
If you file a workers' compensation claim, you can only pursue financial relief for medical expenses and partial lost wages. If you intend to pursue damages for pain and suffering, you should consider filing a third-party personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Claim
Another option is filing a personal injury lawsuit against a third-party that could be responsible for your exposure to asbestos.
This could include an asbestos manufacturer or the company that distributed or supplied the asbestos-containing product.
By pursuing a personal injury claim against a negligent or reckless asbestos-related company, you might be able to pursue damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of consortium
If you intend to file a personal injury claim, you must do so within one year of your original diagnosis under Tennessee Code § 28-3-104.
Our attorneys will help you explore the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit and will ensure your claim is filed in accordance with Tennessee’s statute of limitations, which requires claims be filed within one year of diagnosis of the illness.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Due to the high number of mesothelioma lawsuits filed against asbestos manufacturers over the last few decades, many created trust funds to compensate mesothelioma victims and their families.
However, these trust funds often compensate victims on a first-come, first-served basis. Several trust funds have been depleted over the years in order to pay medical expenses and other damages to patients suffering from asbestos-related illnesses.
Our experienced mesothelioma attorneys know which asbestos companies have established victim compensation funds and will be able to determine if you are entitled access to these accounts.
Unfortunately, many men and women who served in the U.S. military, particularly in the Navy, were routinely exposed to asbestos contained in barracks, ships, vehicles and pipe lining in buildings.
If you or your loved one is a veteran and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have a right to file a claim with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to seek compensation for your illness.
The VA allows veterans to pursue compensation for:
- VA health care
Our mesothelioma attorneys can discuss your options as a veteran during a free, no obligation consultation and will assist you during the claims process with the VA.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Mesothelioma is an incurable and fatal disease. Those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma are often in the advanced stages of the illness and may only have a few years at most to live.
If your loved one has died from mesothelioma, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the asbestos company that caused your loved one’s exposure.
Many asbestos companies were aware of the substance’s potential harm, but allowed people to be exposed to the substance regardless of the fatal consequences.
This display of gross negligence may allow you to explore the possibility of a pursuing a wrongful death claim against the asbestos company that caused your loved one’s demise.
You only have one year to file a wrongful death claim in Tennessee. You need to consult with our attorneys as soon as possible after your loved one has died from mesothelioma.
Contact our Experienced Attorneys
If you or someone you loved has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
Mesothelioma is a tragic and fatal disease that only occurs through negligent exposure to asbestos and may entitle you to damages for your illness.
The Knoxville mesothelioma attorneys at Greg Coleman Law understand the suffering and hardship you may be experiencing.
We will provide you experienced legal service at no upfront cost. Our Knoxville injury attorneys only require payment if we successfully recover damages for your claim.
Do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. Call (865) 247-0080 today.