Mesothelioma Attorney in Big Pine Key30338 Overseas Highway, Unit 7
Big Pine Key, FL 33043
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Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure Lawyers in Big Pine Key
Mesothelioma is a devastating cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, and it can take many years or even decades for symptoms to appear. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but there are ways to treat and manage the disease. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Morgan & Morgan’s mesothelioma & asbestos exposure lawyers in Big Pine Key can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive justice. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that covers most of the internal organs (known as the mesothelium). The most common type of mesothelioma affects the tissue lining the lungs and chest wall. This is known as pleural mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma can also affect the tissue lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) and, in men, the testicles (testicular mesothelioma). Although mesothelioma is rare, its incidence has been increasing over the past several decades.
What are Causes of Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring silicate minerals composed of thin fiber-like crystals.
For years, asbestos was added to a variety of products to strengthen them, provide heat insulation, and fireproof them. Manufacturers commonly used it in many industrial and commercial products, including pipe insulation, boiler insulation, cement, roofing shingles, floor tiles, and brakes.
Asbestos exposure can occur at home or at work. Workers in certain industries have an increased risk of developing this disease, including those who work in construction or demolition, shipbuilding, railroad, and automotive repair, and insulation manufacturing.
What are Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma can take many years—sometimes even decades—to develop after initial asbestos exposure. Additionally, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until after the cancer has spread throughout the body.
Symptoms vary depending on the location of the cancer. Pleural mesothelioma, which accounts for about 75 percent of all cases, typically leads to fluid buildup around the lungs (known as a pleural effusion) and difficulty breathing. Other common symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, and a persistent cough that gets worse over time. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include weight loss, abdominal pain, and bloating caused by a build-up of fluid in the abdomen.
Less common symptoms associated with testicular mesothelioma include swelling or lumps in the testicles and lower back pain.
How They Diagnose Mesothelioma?
Early diagnosis is critical for patients with mesothelioma because it allows for timely treatment that can significantly improve prognosis. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing any symptoms associated with mesothelioma, it’s important to see a doctor right away so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.
There is no surefire way to diagnose mesothelioma; instead, doctors use a variety of diagnostic tools to arrive at a definitive answer. These tools may include physical examinations; imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, biopsies, and blood tests. Once you have been diagnosed, doctors will stage the cancer according to its severity so that a treatment plan can be developed.
What to Expect For Compensation for Mesothelioma?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be wondering what your options are for seeking compensation. You may have heard of mesothelioma trust funds and personal injury lawsuits and wonder what the difference is between the two.
What Is a Mesothelioma Trust Fund?
Mesothelioma trust funds are established by companies that have been found liable for causing mesothelioma. The trusts are typically created as part of the companies’ bankruptcy proceedings as a way to ensure the company doesn’t escape liability by filing for bankruptcy. The trusts are designed to provide compensation to people who have been injured by the company’s products.
Mesothelioma trust funds may be an option for people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and are unable to file a lawsuit against the responsible company. Trust funds may also be an option for people who were exposed to asbestos but have not yet developed mesothelioma.
There are more than 50 mesothelioma trust funds in the United States with total assets of more than $30 billion. The amount of money available from each trust fund varies, and some are better funded than others.
People who want to file a claim against a mesothelioma trust fund must meet certain eligibility requirements. For example, most trust funds require claimants to provide medical documentation of their diagnosis. Claimants must also provide proof that they were exposed to asbestos from the responsible company. Some trust funds have other eligibility requirements, such as deadlines for filing claims or limits on the amount of money that can be paid out per claim.
What are Personal Injury Lawsuits for Mesothelioma?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may also have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the company responsible for your exposure to asbestos. To win a personal injury lawsuit, you must be able to prove that the defendant knew (or should have known) that their product was dangerous and failed to warn you of the risks associated with exposure. You must also prove that your injuries were caused by exposure to the defendant's product.
If your lawsuit is successful, you may be awarded damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other financial and emotional harms. Unlike mesothelioma trust funds, there is no limit on the amount of damages that can be awarded in a successful personal injury lawsuit.
Here are the steps you will need to take if you want to file a personal injury claim:
1. Gather your medical records. To prove that your mesothelioma was caused by exposure to asbestos, you will need to provide your medical records as evidence. Make sure to get copies of all your test results, doctors' notes, and hospital records.
2. Find an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Not all lawyers are created equal—you will want to find an attorney who has experience handling mesothelioma cases specifically. Be sure to ask about their success rate in previous cases.
3. File a claim. Once you have gathered all the necessary evidence and found a qualified lawyer, you will be ready to file your claim. Your lawyer will help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
How Do I File a Claim Against a Mesothelioma Trust Fund?
The process for filing a claim against a mesothelioma trust fund depends on the specific requirements of the trust fund. In general, claimants must submit documentation proving their diagnosis and exposure to asbestos from the responsible company. Claimants may also be required to submit additional documentation, such as medical records or employment records.
Most mesothelioma trust fund claims are filed electronically, although some trusts still accept paper claims. It can take several months for a claim to be processed and approved. Once a claim is approved, claimants will receive a letter from the trust fund outlining the next steps in the claims process.
Some mesothelioma trust funds make payments directly to claimants, while others make payments through an attorney or another third party. It can then take a while - months - for claimants to receive payment after their claims have been approved.
It is important to note that not all mesothelioma patients will qualify for compensation from a mesothelioma trust fund. Each trust fund has different eligibility requirements, and some patients may not meet those requirements. Patients should speak with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to learn more about their options for seeking compensation.
How Much Money Can I Get From a Mesothelioma Claim?
Mesothelioma claims can result in large payouts to patients and their families. The average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million. However, settlements can range from a few thousand dollars to more than $30 million. Factors that affect the amount of money you can get from a mesothelioma claim include the severity of your illness, how much asbestos you were exposed to, whether you smoked cigarettes, your age, and health at the time of diagnosis, the state in which you live, and whether you have other health conditions.
How Morgan & Morgan Can Help With Your Mesothelioma Claim
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be wondering how a lawyer can help. Our lawyers can help in a number of ways.
First, we can help you file your claim. This includes gathering all the necessary documentation and working with you to ensure that your claim is filed in a timely and accurate manner.
Second, we can help you navigate the legal process. This can be an overwhelming and complicated time, but our experienced team will be there to guide you every step of the way. We will keep you informed and make sure that you understand what is happening at every stage of the process.
Third, we can help you recover compensation for your losses. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Our team will work tirelessly to get you the full amount of compensation that you are owed.
We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family. We are here to help in any way that we can.
If you have any questions about your mesothelioma claim, please do not hesitate to contact Morgan & Morgan’s Mesothelioma & asbestos exposure lawyers in Big Pine Key to schedule a free consultation.