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Mesothelioma Claims Lawyers
Florida ranks second in the nation for total deaths related to asbestos exposure. While asbestos does not occur naturally in Florida, victims could have been exposed to the mineral in many ways, such as in buildings, work environments, schools, and even their own homes. Asbestos was once considered a wonder element due to its fire-resistant properties, cost-effectiveness, and durability. However, we now know how dangerous this carcinogenic element is when inhaled or ingested.
Because mesothelioma takes such a long time to develop, victims could have been exposed decades ago and aren't sure how to go about tracking the root of the exposure and thus liability. That's where Morgan and Morgan can help with mesothelioma claims in Deland. Our attorneys will work with you to research and build a timeline for your asbestos exposure. Then we can hold the right party accountable and help you get the medical care you need and financial compensation for you and your family.
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How Do I Sue For Mesothelioma?
There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuits: personal injury and wrongful death claims. Morgan and Morgan mesothelioma lawyers can help pursue either, depending on what's best for your family. The process is different for each type.
Personal injury lawsuit - In a personal injury lawsuit, we file against the company responsible for your exposure. To do so, we have to prove liability which is usually derived from showing they failed to warn you about the dangers of asbestos exposure. When we're successful, you'll get compensated for your injury.
Wrongful death lawsuit - Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer. When a loved one dies, the family or estate can sue for wrongful death, which can recover damages for medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost income, and loss of companionship or loss of parental guidance.
What Is the Average Mesothelioma Settlement?
Generally, the average settlement for a mesothelioma claim is $1 million. The average verdict is $2.4 million if the case goes to trial. Whether you settle or go to trial will depend on many factors, such as if there is an established trust fund by asbestos companies or VA benefit programs. A trial is often not the best course of action for mesothelioma victims because of the time frame. Trials typically take a long time, and, sadly, people with a mesothelioma diagnosis usually don't have a lot of time. Another drawback of going to trial is that you could potentially lose the trial. While we feel confident in our ability to win for you, often companies will seek an appeal after losing a high dollar verdict drawing out the timeline even more.
The amount you could receive also depends on the size of the trust fund. Smaller companies will have less available in their trust, which results in a smaller settlement. Conversely, large companies may have billions available, and thus you could possibly get a larger settlement. Our mesothelioma claims lawyers will provide you with guidance on what is the best option to pursue.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Mesothelioma Claim?
Typically, a mesothelioma claim is settled in a year or less. Most claims are settled out of court because of the time and money a trial requires. However, should an asbestos business refuse to agree to a fair settlement, we may counsel you to take the case to trial. Nonetheless, our clients always have the last say. Should we go to trial for a personal injury case, and in the meantime, the victim passes away, the family or estate can convert the case to a wrongful death lawsuit. Still, many times when an asbestos business learns of our intention to go to trial and thus understands the potential for a significant loss, they'll come around and offer a reasonable settlement.
What Is the Highest Mesothelioma Settlement?
There have been many notable settlements and verdicts for mesothelioma claims, and will likely be many more in the future until asbestos companies cease to put unsuspecting individuals at risk. Although settlement figures are often kept out of the news due to confidentiality agreements, here are a few high-profile claims we can share:
Auto mechanic - The family of a deceased auto mechanic brought a wrongful death lawsuit and received a settlement of $630,000 as the man died from asbestos-linked lung cancer from working with asbestos-containing brakes, gaskets, and clutches.
Navy Veteran - A U.S. Navy machinist was awarded $70.8 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit after developing cancer from working with John Crane Inc. gaskets during his 26-year career in the Navy.
Auto mechanic - A New York man was awarded $75 million by a jury when he proved his mesothelioma was caused by working with car engines containing asbestos gaskets. He unknowingly exposed his wife to asbestos dust, and she also developed mesothelioma.
Factory worker - In 2014, a Texas jury awarded $18.6 million to the surviving family members of a Goodyear tire factory worker who died from mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos-containing parts and insulation at the factory
Brake mechanic - A New York jury awarded $25 million to a retired brake specialist who had developed mesothelioma as a result of working for DaimlerChrysler.
Metal worker - A 2003 verdict awarded $250 million to a former employee of the U.S. Steel who developed mesothelioma after working for the company from 1950 to 1981.
Drywall worker - $13.4 million was awarded to a Washington state drywall worker who developed mesothelioma from working with asbestos-containing products.
Dockworker - A former Norfolk Naval Shipyard worker was awarded $6.5 million for his mesothelioma diagnosis in 2016. The man developed cancer from working with asbestos-containing gasket materials.
How Are Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts Decided?
While it's impossible to know what amount you might receive from a mesothelioma settlement, Morgan and Morgan's mesothelioma lawyers can come up with an amount to ask for depending on the factors of your claim, such as:
Your age - Since mesothelioma takes so long to develop after asbestos exposure, many individuals are retired. However, some haven't reached the age of retirement and may have a longer life expectancy. In that case, we would sue for lost wages and loss of future income.
The stage of the disease - Generally, if a victim has been diagnosed at the early stages of cancer, compensation will be less than someone who has a late-stage diagnosis, and thus a more aggressive form of cancer.
Economic damages - Economic damages include things like doctor's visits, hospitalization, hospice care, medications, chemotherapy, and surgeries to treat mesothelioma. The cost to treat mesothelioma can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, we will work with you and your doctor to assess how much your past and future medical expenses will be. Economic damages can also include loss of income for you or a family member if they had to quit working to provide care.
Non-economic damages - The impact of mesothelioma on victims and their families is not easily measured in dollar amounts; however, assigning non-economic damages is just that. The loss of a loved one or the pain and suffering a victim has to go through should be compensated. We will work with you to come up with a dollar amount to account for these terrible losses.
Proof of negligence - It's legal precedent that asbestos companies knew of the dangers asbestos imposed on an unsuspecting public yet did nothing to warn individuals about it. We will work tirelessly to uncover the evidence required to prove their negligence and thus liability.
What Kind of Business Is Most Likely to Expose Workers to Asbestos?
All of the above cases have one thing in common, exposure to asbestos. While individuals can be exposed to asbestos no matter what kind of work they do, some businesses put workers at higher risk. Here are the businesses that are most common:
- Tile installation
- Maritime businesses
- Construction businesses
- Oil refineries
- Power plants
- Steel manufacturers
- Mining businesses
- Offshore rust removal businesses
- Shipyards, ship lines, and shipbuilders
- Automotive repair businesses
- Asbestos product manufacturers
First responders to the World Trade Center disaster were exposed to asbestos particles released when the towers fell and additionally exposed during their rescue, recovery, and clean-up work. Those at most risk are:
- Construction workers
- Nearby residents
What Is Florida's Statute of Limitations for a Mesothelioma Claim?
For mesothelioma claims in Deland, FL, you have two years from the date of diagnosis to file your claim. It's crucial to get in contact with one of our mesothelioma lawyers as soon as possible to ensure you don't miss critical deadlines.
What Is the Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act of 2005?
The Florida Legislature passed this law to unclog the courts, limit the ability to bring class actions, and relieve defendants of having to defend against lawsuits or claims from uninjured plaintiffs. It raised the bar on the level of proof and injury required to pursue legal actions. Furthermore, it limits the damages a plaintiff can be awarded and doesn't allow for punitive damages.
The Act also eliminates strict liability for sellers (not manufacturers) who sold asbestos or silica or asbestos or silica-containing products. There are exceptions, though. (1) If a seller failed to exercise reasonable care, and this failure caused harm; (2) the product failed to live up to the seller's express warranty, and this failure caused harm; or (3) the seller engaged in intentional wrongdoing.
Before this Act was imposed, individuals exposed to asbestos or silica could seek compensation before being diagnosed with a disease, and asbestos or silica product sellers were subject to lawsuits based on strict liability.
What Is the Legal Process for Filing Mesothelioma Claims in Deland?
A mesothelioma claim typically follows the same process as all civil claims. Your attorney will work with you to develop a solid legal argument for compensation. Settlement negotiations can begin at any time during the process, including once a trial is underway.
Filing claims - The first step of the legal process is to file a claim against the business or businesses responsible for your asbestos exposure. Once a formal claim has been made, the defendant(s) generally have 30 days to respond. You may get an offer right away, but the defendant will likely deny the claim, and we'll have to take it to trial.
Discovery and preparing for court - At this phase in the legal process, we'll begin discovery, which is when both sides share information to build their case. It's not unheard of for the defendant to decide to settle rather than going through a lengthy and expensive trial.
Trial - Both sides will present their arguments and evidence at this phase. If the defendant starts to get worried their case is not going as well as they'd hoped, they may offer a settlement. If a settlement is accepted, the defendant cannot appeal.
Morgan and Morgan Mesothelioma Lawyers
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma is life-altering, and you and your family deserve to be compensated for the negligence of asbestos businesses. Florida laws and regulations concerning asbestos exposure are complicated, and we can provide you with the best chance of recovering compensation from liable parties. We're here to help you during this difficult time and take some of the burdens off your shoulders. We have a strong track record for success and vow to fight just as hard for you as we would one of our own family members. We don't collect payment unless we win, so there's very little risk in pursuing justice. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.