People who have developed mesothelioma due to long-term asbestos exposure may wonder, “how do you win a mesothelioma case?” Hiring a lawyer with a demonstrated history of handling asbestos-related cases is your best bet at winning a mesothelioma case. Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that affects the tissue that lines your heart, lungs, stomach, and other major organs. Long-term asbestos exposure is the known cause of this serious, life-altering disease.
A mesothelioma lawyer can help you or a loved one recover compensation following a mesothelioma diagnosis. The lawyer will achieve this by investigating your case and obtaining employment documents and medical records linking your illness to asbestos exposure. The lawyer will also oversee settlement negotiations with the responsible asbestos company and take the case to court if necessary.
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Statistics of Mesothelioma Cases in Illinois
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that grows in the lining around organs like the abdomen, lungs, or heart. About a quarter of asbestos lawsuits in the U.S. are filed in Madison County, Illinois. Manufacturing and heavy machinery industry jobs cause the most asbestos-related deaths and have the highest lawsuit incidences. Several law firms in Illinois are helping asbestos victims navigate the complex compensation process involved in mesothelioma lawsuits.
Mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancer, with up to 3,000 new diagnoses reported in the country yearly. These statistics suggest that one in 110,000 people develop this type of cancer every year. Research shows that the five-year survival rate is 65% for peritoneal mesothelioma and 12% for pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma.
Who Is Eligible to File a Mesothelioma Case in Illinois?
Anyone who has lived or worked in Illinois and has been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases may have a right to file a mesothelioma case. Employment history and liable asbestos company’s location can determine a person’s eligibility to pursue compensation. Individuals whose loved ones have developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure and died while undergoing treatment may also initiate a lawsuit.
Various industries in Illinois might have exposed their workers to Mesothelioma. Manufacturing, oil refining, construction, and zinc smelting are some examples of these industries.
Besides workers, residents of Illinois who have developed mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses are eligible to sue asbestos manufacturers and distributors. In other words, you might be able to recover compensation even if your exposure did not happen at work.
Statute of Limitations in Illinois
The statute of limitations for mesothelioma claims or lawsuits is the length of time victims and their loved ones have to pursue legal action. In Illinois, this timeframe is two years after a medical diagnosis. The clock will start running at various times depending on the type of lawsuit.
The clock for a personal injury lawsuit will start when you get diagnosed. The clock for a wrongful death claim, on the other hand, will start running on the deceased’s date of death. Mesothelioma class-action lawsuits follow the statute of limitations to give victims a fair chance at seeking compensation.
Building a Strong Mesothelioma Case
Several factors determine how strong your mesothelioma case will be, including the unique variables involved in the case and the type of claims filed. Once you meet the eligibility requirements, the steps involved in building a strong mesothelioma case are collecting evidence, identifying liable parties, and assessing damage as discussed below:
Medical records, including diagnostic records, doctor’s notes, prescription documentation, and medical bills, are crucial evidence in a mesothelioma case. These records will specify the exact stage and form of your mesothelioma. They will also specify the cost of your medical care and treatment. This information will help determine how much you can pursue as compensation.
Make copies of your income statements, if you had an income stream before the injury, to prove that you lost your earning potential.
Your lawyer will need to know the type of products that increased your risk of mesothelioma in your workplace. Be sure to keep a record of such products. These products may include construction materials and vehicle parts made with asbestos. Most law firms have records of products known to contain asbestos to help determine whether their clients were exposed to asbestos through their work history.
Identifying Liable Parties
Potentially liable parties in your mesothelioma case include your employer, your supervisor, or the asbestos manufacturer or distributor. You must prove that the liable party owed you a legal duty of care and failed to honor that duty to improve your chances of receiving reasonable compensation. You must also demonstrate that the liable party’s negligence caused your injury or losses.
A mesothelioma case can have several liable parties, depending on the level of responsibility they owe a victim. Without legal knowledge, you may not understand the duty of care these parties owe you. Hiring a lawyer to help you identify the liable parties can help you save time and focus on your recovery.
A lawyer can gather evidence required to show that the liable party was aware of the risks of asbestos exposure. The lawyer can also demonstrate that the liable party failed to do anything about it. Since many asbestos companies have been listed as defendants in previous lawsuits, establishing their liability in your case will take less time and resources with a lawyer on your side.
Assessing the Damages
Damages encompass the total cost of the asbestos exposure, including economic and non-economic losses an individual suffers. Depending on the nature of injuries and losses you sustained, damages in the lawsuit may include medical expenses, future medical costs, emotional damages, and pain and suffering. Other damages include diminished quality of life, permanent disability, and loss of consortium. You may also pursue lost wages and lost earning ability if your asbestos-related illness has prevented you from working.
Hiring the Right Mesothelioma Attorney in Illinois
You should hire the right lawyer when pursuing compensation for your illness and other losses arising from asbestos exposure. Ensure that the lawyer has a track record of helping mesothelioma patients and their loved ones hold entities financially accountable for exposing them to asbestos. The lawyer’s legal practice should have the capacity to pursue a case that has the same magnitude as yours. Here’s how to find a good mesothelioma lawyer for your case:
Knowledge of the Mesothelioma Case Process in Illinois
A good lawyer should have an in-depth understanding of the Mesothelioma case process in Illinois. Generally, a typical mesothelioma case in Illinois involves five main steps, including:
- Settlement or trial.
The timeline of a mesothelioma case will depend on the details involved in the steps mentioned above.
Your lawyer will want to know more about your personal, occupational, and medical history in the preparation and filing stage. As such, you should share with him or her details about your exposure history and the impacts of the exposure on your life. Records of medically proven disabilities, physical discomfort, and medical expenses can help the lawyer understand your case and guide you through your legal options.
Once you share this information with your lawyer, it’s important to determine where to file the mesothelioma claim. You’ll have to file the claim within the statute of limitations to avoid missing the chance to seek compensation. If there are exceptions to the statute of limitations, your attorney will help you understand how they can be applied to your case.
During the discovery phase, medical experts and key witnesses may have to explain the incident that led to your exposure to asbestos. You may also be required to attend a deposition and testify. To challenge your claim, the accused parties will also testify in the deposition.
If you agree on a settlement with the other party, the case won’t need a trial. At this point, the liable parties will pay a mesothelioma settlement amount, and this action will end any legal claim against them. If both sides don’t agree on a settlement, the case will be tried in court under the relevant state laws.
The Importance of Compensation for Mesothelioma Victims in Illinois
A good mesothelioma lawyer should also understand the importance of compensation for mesothelioma victims in Illinois. The goal of a mesothelioma lawsuit is to compensate victims or their loved ones for any or all damages they endured due to someone else’s negligence. Under Illinois law, plaintiffs in a civil case like a mesothelioma lawsuit are entitled to damages, which are monetary awards that remedy their injuries or losses.
Asbestos-related illnesses, like lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, cause great physical suffering. As they progress, they leave victims with high medical expenses, disabilities, or an inability to work. Compensation can help alleviate the financial burden victims and their loved ones face since it covers medical costs, travel expenses for treatment, health insurance premiums, and lost earnings, among other expenses. An asbestos compensation claim can help you take legal action against individuals or entities that disregard regulations, fail to identify cancer risks in the workplace, and fail to take adequate safety measures.