About 3,000 people annually receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma, according to the American Cancer Society. This cancer is rare but often fatal; the median life expectancy for patients with mesothelioma is just one year after diagnosis. This disease can affect the lining of the lungs, heart, abdomen, and testicles.
A mesothelioma diagnosis often devastates you and your family members. However, if it resulted from exposure to asbestos, you might receive compensation for your cancer-related expenses through a lawsuit or a claim on an asbestos trust fund. Since asbestos is a dangerous substance, the employer, seller, manufacturer, or other parties responsible for exposing you or your loved one to asbestos could owe you financial damages.
A Washington mesothelioma lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm could help you deal with a mesothelioma diagnosis by fighting for the compensation you need. Learn more about mesothelioma, asbestos exposure, and who could have liability for your suffering by reaching out to us today. Call (800) 794-0444 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a team member.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
The leading cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, with nearly eight in 10 patients reporting exposure. Asbestos is a natural fiber derived from a mineral that became popular because of its durability and resistance to heat. Beginning in the 1920s, it went into wide use in the creation of many products and structures, such as insulation, ship and auto parts, and stovetops. In the 1960s, researchers worldwide began establishing the connection between the inhalation of asbestos fibers and the development of mesothelioma and other serious health concerns.
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can sometimes help patients suffering from mesothelioma, but this disease is often fatal. Just 10 percent of mesothelioma patients survive five years after diagnosis. The expensive cost of medical treatments often makes mesothelioma a significant financial burden on top of the physical and emotional challenges cancer poses. In the 1990s, companies created trust funds for asbestos victims under 11 USC § 524(g) to help people suffering from diseases related to asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma can lay dormant in a person’s body for up to 71 years after their initial exposure to asbestos, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This long latency period means that even if you or your loved one’s asbestos exposure occurred decades ago, you could still hold the responsible party liable for your suffering.
While government agencies now strictly regulate the use of asbestos, it is not outright banned, and many structures built many years ago may still contain asbestos products. Known sites of asbestos exposure in Washington state include military bases, refineries, aluminum manufacturing plants, shipbuilding yards, and power plants. People who worked at these facilities have an exceptionally high risk for developing mesothelioma. The Washington State Department of Health explains that you can also find asbestos hazards in household products such as roofing materials, attic and wall insulation, old pipes, and furnaces.
If you believe that asbestos exposure caused you or your loved one to develop mesothelioma, a Washington mesothelioma lawyer could help you receive compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney can investigate your case, gather evidence, identify the best way to recover your losses, and file a claim. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to get started with a free consultation.
Possible damages you could recover for an asbestos-related mesothelioma case include economic and noneconomic losses, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of essential services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If your loved one dies from mesothelioma, you could pursue the following awards in a wrongful death claim:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of future income
- Loss of consortium
If an asbestos manufacturer or seller has responsibility for your illness or loved one’s death, you deserve to receive compensation for your damages. You should not have to pay the expenses related to a disease caused by another person. Besides suing for compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, you could also receive funds through an asbestos victims’ fund.
The Statute of Limitations May Affect Your Case
A statute of limitations designates how long you can pursue legal action for a wrongful event. After this time limit has passed, you typically cannot recover any damages. According to RCW § 4.16.080, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Washington state, such as mesothelioma liability claims, is three years. Three years is also the limit for wrongful death cases.
However, there are several exceptions to this statute, so even if you or your loved one received your mesothelioma diagnosis more than three years ago, you might want to contact a Washington mesothelioma lawyer to ensure you know your legal options.
The Team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Is Here to Help
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we know how devastating a mesothelioma diagnosis can be. Even with health insurance, medical expenses can become extremely costly, and this disease can cause severe emotional damage. We are here to help so that you and your family can focus on healing.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you by:
- Identifying if, when, and how your exposure to asbestos happened and gathering evidence.
- Reviewing medical records and obtaining expert medical testimony to identify asbestos as the cause of your mesothelioma.
- Determining who could have liability for your asbestos exposure.
- Identifying the damages that you may be able to recover.
- Making a claim on an asbestos victims’ fund on your behalf.
- Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf.
- Managing all necessary communication and documentation.
- Negotiating for you to receive a settlement that accounts for all your current and future financial needs.
Contact us today about your mesothelioma case. Our Washington mesothelioma lawyers might be able to help you. We operate on contingency, so you will never owe us anything upfront, and we will only take our fee if we can earn an award for you. Call (800) 794-0444 today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation at your convenience.