If you or someone you love has received a diagnosis for mesothelioma, seek legal help, advice, and representation as quickly as possible by scheduling a consultation to review your legal rights – including your right to compensation – with a California mesothelioma attorney.
What is mesothelioma? What are its causes, signs, and effects? If another party’s negligence – an employer’s negligence, for example – is the reason you are a mesothelioma victim, how much time do you have to bring a personal injury claim against that party to recover compensation?
If you’ll continue reading this short introduction to mesothelioma victims and their rights, you will learn the answers to these questions, but if you or your loved one is afflicted personally with mesothelioma, you should also discuss your rights with a California mesothelioma lawyer.
What is Mesothelioma and What is Its Cause?
Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable form of cancer. The only known cause of this deadly disease is an exposure to asbestos. However, after an asbestos exposure, mesothelioma may take as long as twenty to fifty years to develop in the heart, chest, lungs, and sometimes in the abdomen.
Mesothelioma may strike anyone, although it occurs most often in individuals fifty years old and older. This is because the use of asbestos was common until the 1970s and 1980s, when the federal government approved laws and regulations that severely restrict asbestos use in the U.S.
If you know – or if you think – that you may have been exposed to asbestos three or four decades ago – or at any time – and if you are experiencing mesothelioma symptoms (shortness of breath, fever, anemia, swelling, pain, or coughing), arrange to have a medical examination at once.
What Are Your Rights as a Mesothelioma Victim?
Some mesothelioma victims may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. It depends on the state where you live and the details of your diagnosis. And some victims will qualify to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for their exposure to asbestos.
A California mesothelioma attorney will help you determine when and where you were exposed to asbestos. If a liable party can be identified, your attorney can hold that party accountable, and you may recover compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, and other related losses.
What Are the Deadlines for Filing Mesothelioma Claims?
In all fifty states, there is a statute of limitations – a state law that limits the amount of time you are given to file a personal injury lawsuit after you have sustained an injury or harm caused by someone else’s negligence.
In most states, the statute of limitations for bringing a personal injury claim is two, three, or four years. In Louisiana and Kentucky, the deadline is only one year. In North Dakota and Maine, the deadline is six years. It’s five years in Missouri, and in California, the deadline is one year from diagnosis.
Every state allows specific exceptions to its statute of limitations, but in most personal injury cases, if you fail to meet the deadline set by the statute of limitations, you will not be allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit or to recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
When Does the Statute of Limitations “Clock” Begin?
If your asbestos exposure was thirty or forty years ago, do not be discouraged by the statute of limitations periods listed above. In most states, the statute of limitations period begins when you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, and not when you were exposed to the asbestos that caused it.
As mentioned previously, mesothelioma takes years to develop. Fortunately for mesothelioma victims, in many states, including California, the statute of limitations period starts on the date that the disease or injury is diagnosed, discovered, or should have been diagnosed or discovered.
If You Experience Mesothelioma Symptoms, See a Doctor at Once
What does it mean that a statute of limitations period begins when a disease or injury “should have been” diagnosed or discovered? One thing it means is that you must see a doctor at once if you were exposed to asbestos and you are experiencing the symptoms of mesothelioma.
If you ignore your symptoms and avoid a medical exam until you must have medical attention, the statute of limitations period for your case may begin before you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, since the mesothelioma “should have been” diagnosed or discovered earlier.
Wherever you live in the United States, a California mesothelioma lawyer can explain your own state’s deadlines and rules for bringing a mesothelioma lawsuit.
If you failed to meet the statute of limitations deadline in the state where you live, you may qualify to bring a claim in a different state, depending on the particulars and details in your case. A California personal injury lawyer can suggest the best path for you to move forward legally.
What Will It Cost to Take Legal Action?
If you are undergoing treatment for mesothelioma, you may be dealing already with devastating medical expenses. Don’t let any financial worries prevent you from taking legal action and seeking justice. Your personal injury attorney will handle your case on a contingent fee basis.
That means you’ll pay no lawyer’s fee in advance and no lawyer’s fee unless and until you recover compensation. If, for any reason, you do not recover compensation after the conclusion of the personal injury process, you will pay no fee to your personal injury lawyer.
An initial evaluation of your case is offered with no obligation or cost to the victims of mesothelioma and their loved ones. Take advantage of this opportunity to receive personalized legal advice and to find out how the personal injury laws in your state apply to your own case.
When Should You Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney?
In some cases, a mesothelioma victim may recover substantial compensation that covers years of medical treatment, lost wages, and related losses and expenses.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, ask a California personal injury lawyer for a no-cost case evaluation. Don’t wait. Make the call today from anywhere in the United States, and put the law to work for you.