Families of victims may not know whether they can file an asbestos claim after a loved one’s death. They often think of it as a lengthy court procedure that should be avoided. Well, a person who dies of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease is categorized as a wrongful death, and as a family member, you can file a claim.
Even living patients can file a personal injury claim on their own behalf. Since the patient serves as an important witness against the defendants, the process gets complicated once the patient dies.
But that does not mean that a family member of a deceased loved one can’t file a claim.
Who is Eligible to File a Claim?
Family members of the deceased have the option to file a wrongful death claim. Even though the rules and limitations of who can file a wrongful death claim vary by state, the family member must be someone close enough to the deceased. The following people can file for the claim:
- Spouse or life partner
- Children including stepchildren and adopted
- Parents and grandparents
- Someone financially dependent on the deceased
When the family member files for a lawsuit, it can help them offset debt from medical expenses, loss of income, and funeral costs. It may provide much-needed security to families facing financial hardship.
Here are some things to consider before you file a wrongful death claim for mesothelioma.
Find a Reliable Attorney
Choosing the right mesothelioma claim lawyer is the first step to filing a wrongful death claim. Just like how quickly you hire an auto accident attorney after a car accident, the same should be the case for asbestos-related cases. As these cases are complicated, they require expertise to ensure your claim is handled correctly.
Look out for the best mesothelioma firms that offer free consultations and case reviews so that you can get to know them better.
File the Claim
Since the laws vary by state, your lawyer will help decide the best state for you to file a claim. If your deceased worked in multiple states throughout his or her career then the claim may not be restricted to a particular state.
Your attorney will start gathering evidence by conducting research by interviewing people who knew and worked with your loved one. It includes digging through the history of asbestos exposure for the deceased.
Finding witnesses to testify about the potential asbestos exposure is the main deciding factor of the case.
An experienced lawyer is familiar with companies that most commonly used asbestos. They can conduct extensive research into the best strategy for your circumstances. In some states, companies are held liable for secondhand asbestos exposure.
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Resolution of Claim
Wrongful death and personal injury claims usually end up with one of two results. One of these is a settlement and the other is a trial verdict.
Most mesothelioma-related cases end up in settlement. The reason is that damages from mesothelioma settlements are usually received quicker than trial compensation which can last a few months to a few years.
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