Since your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may have spent countless hours researching his or her condition and the medical treatments available. The thought of pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit on top of the care required for mesothelioma can seem overwhelming.
Knowing this, our asbestos attorneys have structured the way we approach the mesothelioma lawsuit process to be as stress free for you as possible. We understand you have other concerns on your mind. The main step is to meet with us for a few hours to tell your story. From there, we can do the majority of the work to ensure you and your family receive the compensation you deserve.
The following lists just a few things to keep in mind should you and your family choose to help your loved one file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
1. Act Quickly
The most important step in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is understanding the deadlines that govern how much time you have to file. Each state has different time limits, called statutes of limitations, in which you can file a mesothelioma lawsuit; therefore, it is exceedingly important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible –even if you’re still unsure whether you’d like to take legal action.
Furthermore, statutes of limitations can vary depending on whether mesothelioma victims are filing a personal injury claim for themselves, or whether a family is filing a wrongful death claim after their loved one has passed away.
Mesothelioma Personal Injury vs Wrongful Death
If the well-being of the mesothelioma patient who initially filed a claim worsens over time, and he or she can no longer participate in the lawsuit, a family member can step in on behalf of the patient.
A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit allows immediate family members, such as spouses, parents and children, to hold the company who exposed their loved one to asbestos accountable for their actions. In legal terms, “wrongful” means a death was caused by the reckless or negligent acts of another party. Many of the companies that used asbestos knew about its dangers but failed to properly warn or equip workers with safety equipment.
Simmons Hanly Conroy has staff in various offices throughout the country, so regardless of where you live, we can send someone to meet with you within 24 hours of hearing from you. During this no-obligation appointment, you can ask our attorneys anything you’d like about the legal process.
2. Schedule a Family Meeting
Should you decide to move forward with filing a lawsuit, the process can be made easier if your family and friends work together to support your loved one. It might be helpful to call a family meeting to openly discuss the best ways for you to work together, and to document who will be responsible for different components of care, from cooking meals and managing treatment to communicating with your attorney.
In addition to building a support system, the meeting could also serve as a platform to educate family members about mesothelioma, answer important questions they might have and discuss plans for the future.
It will be difficult to decide whether your loved one, whom you’ll all be discussing, should attend. If they are unable, be sure someone who’s present has reviewed the meeting agenda with them and can accurately voice their ideas, desires and concerns.
Here’s just a sample of topics to include in the family meeting:
• What support role will each person play
• Share feelings about illness and caregiving
• Daily caregiving needs
• Financial concerns
• Who will make decisions and how will they be made
3. Count on a Law Firm with Resources
After your first meeting with the firm, your case will be assigned to one of our asbestos trial teams. Each team consists of 3 or 4 attorneys, two paralegals, two investigators and a nurse paralegal. This team will be with you throughout the legal process. They will gather the necessary information and determine what evidence is available to successfully prosecute a claim on your behalf.
Our attorneys have helped hundreds of families with extremely ill loved ones. They are able to do this not only because they have the support of our in-house medical and discovery departments, but also because they have decades of experience litigating these types of cases.