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Am I Entitled to Compensation from a Mesothelioma Claim?

Compensation for mesothelioma claim

If you or someone you love suffers from mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation by the party or parties responsible for the asbestos exposure that caused your illness.

Criteria for Compensation from a Mesothelioma Claim

If you feel you may have a lung disease caused by exposure to asbestos, the first step is to see your doctor and receive a medical diagnosis. Some of the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma or lung cancer are:

  • Persistent cough
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficultly swallowing
  • Fever
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness

If you receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, the next step is to trace your history of exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma may not manifest until many years after you were exposed, so you and your lawyer will need to investigate employers and locations where you may have encountered asbestos from when you were born until about the year 2000. This investigation will hopefully uncover the times and places where you may have been exposed to harmful levels of this toxic substance.

When corporations are named in asbestos lawsuits, they often go on the attack. They may argue that a plaintiff’s illness is caused by factors unrelated to corporate negligence, such as a plaintiff’s smoking or drinking habits or a family history of illness. In the face of this pushback, it is important to document past asbestos exposure as much as possible. Other asbestos lawsuits against these companies may help provide evidence on which to base your claims.

Even if you do have a history of smoking, asbestos may be implicated in your lung cancer. Studies have shown that asbestos fibers act together synergistically with cigarette smoke and cause increased rates of lung cancer among smokers, so you may still have a case even if you are or have been a smoker. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare and dangerous cancer that is only caused by asbestos exposure.

In order to build your legal case, you and your lawyer will also need to document your losses due to your illness. These can include financial hardship, from medical bills and lost income, and pain and suffering. In most cases, these losses are all too easy to document.

Proving your claim may sound like a challenge, but it’s not as hard as it may seem at first glance. Victims of asbestos exposure have been filing suit against negligent corporations since the 1970s and the procedures for proving and litigating a claim are well established. Millions of dollars have been paid out to people suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses, so the precedent for compensating victims is also well established.

Options for Compensation from a Mesothelioma Claim

Once you have established the responsible parties and filed suit, there are several options for receiving compensation for your mesothelioma claim.

  • Settlement: Most lawsuits end in settlement before trial. Settlement payments are often less than jury verdicts, but you will receive compensation more quickly and without the risk inherent in a jury trial and the appeals process. Your lawyer and the defendants’ lawyers may choose a mediator to help them come to an agreement on fair compensation for your losses.
  • Trial: If your case makes it to court, the outcome is not guaranteed. Even if you win at trial, the defendant may appeal the decision, which can stretch the trial process out by months or even years. However, juries often award higher damages than you could achieve through the settlement process, including punitive damages, which are sometimes greater than the compensation for your losses.
  • Asbestos trusts: Some companies that are known to have negligently exposed people to asbestos have declared bankruptcy because of asbestos litigation. In those cases, the bankruptcy court requires the companies to set up an asbestos trust fund to compensate victims. If you are entitled to damages from one of these funds, your lawyer can navigate the paperwork to document your diagnosis and your losses and to ask for compensation. While trust distribution procedures (TDP) may vary from trust to trust, the process is fairly standardized and most trusts will accept the same paperwork.

Work with an Attorney to Secure Your Compensation from a Mesothelioma Claim

Selecting the right attorney to represent you in your mesothelioma claim is an important choice. An attorney with experience in asbestos litigation can help you through the investigation and claims process quickly, as he or she has been through the process many times before. You deserve the best compensation for your injuries and to support your family and you deserve the best lawyer to get you there.

 

Meet Kazan Law Asbestos Attorney Irena Kin

asbestos attorneyKazan Law is proud to introduce our new asbestos attorney Irena Kin. Irena, who graduated cum laude from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2013 where she was a senior member of the Moot Court Honor Society, has a special affinity for the work we do here at Kazan Law as asbestos lawyers: empowering the powerless and speaking up for those whose voice is not heard. When Irena was three years old, she and her family left Tashkent, Uzbekistan as refugees and settled in Chicago.  They had to adjust to life in a new country with an unfamiliar language where they had no professional or social network, and no jobs. As Irina’s English skills flourished, she became at a very young age the voice for her dislocated family.

“I became their translator and as a result I also became their advocate and had to be involved in adult decisions and responsibilities,” Irena explains.

She went on to graduate summa cum laude from DePaul University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies prior to starting law school. Irena is a member of both the State Bar of California and the State Bar of Illinois.

Her early experiences inspired her to become a determined advocate for asbestos victims and we are pleased that she has come to the Bay Area from Chicago to join Kazan Law. Now, let’s talk a little more with Irena:

Why did you choose to go to law school?

Attorneys communicate persuasively, advocate for the injured, and fight to balance the scales of justice.  That sounded like a perfect match for my skills and goals.

How did you become interested in working with asbestos and mesothelioma cases?

Individuals suffering from mesothelioma are victims of corporate irresponsibility.  I wanted to help them seek compensation, and in doing so, send a message to companies that profits cannot be gained at the cost of worker health and safety.

Why did you choose to work for Kazan Law?

The people at Kazan are hard-working, passionate, and at the top of their game.  That’s the team I want to play for.

How do you hope your work at Kazan Law will help mesothelioma victims?

Unfortunately, the legal system cannot award improved health or bring back loved ones, but it can help to right injustice through compensation.  I hope to help mesothelioma victims achieve a sense of justice and cope with the financial burden of illness.

All the Information You Need to Start Your Asbestos Lawsuit

asbestos lawsuitWhen you want to file an asbestos lawsuit and are suffering from asbestos-caused illness, time is of the essence.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as the result of working with asbestos or living with someone who worked with asbestos, you’ve got a strong chance of winning a large sum of money in damages in an asbestos lawsuit. You will need an experienced asbestos attorney to help you sue the companies that manufactured or installed the asbestos materials you handled.

To help you win your asbestos lawsuit as quickly as possible, even the best attorney needs key information that only you can provide. Pulling together this information ahead of time will enable your attorney to move swiftly on your behalf.

Medical Information

You need to provide concrete evidence that you are suffering from mesothelioma so be prepared to provide the:

  • Date and place of your diagnosis
  • Name and phone number of the physician who diagnosed you
  • List of specific treatments and medications prescribed for you and how much you have had to pay out-of-pocket for these.

Work History

Your attorney also needs to prove that you developed mesothelioma because you or someone in your family was exposed to asbestos at work. Be prepared to provide:

  • The name of the company or companies you worked for. If any company has been sold to another company, try to find out that name, too.
  • The dates you worked for each company – when you started and when you stopped. Try to find and make copies of tax returns or W2 forms that support those dates.
  • The names of products and materials you handled as part of your job.
  • Your job title and specific job duties and job site locations.

Official Documents to Bring to Your Attorney:

  • Marriage, death, birth certificates
  • Health insurance cards, Medicare cards
  • Official Will or Trust Agreement
  • Personal representative papers, or Executor papers
  • Pathology report, chest X-ray reports, CT-chest reports
  • Social Security records (detailed earnings with employer names)
  • Job resumes or job summary/timeline
  • Military: DD214, other documents
  • If prior asbestos litigation: attorney correspondence, settlement correspondence, settlement checks/stubs, complaint.
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