Do I have a New Orleans Mesothelioma Claim?
Mesothelioma is a rare, but aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. While it has a long latency period, once developed, it spreads quickly and has no known cure. Victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses may be able to file a claim for compensation. Mesothelioma lawsuits are complicated, and an experienced New Orleans mesothelioma lawyer is essential to your case.
The Centers for Disease Control reported malignant mesothelioma as the underlying or contributing cause of death on 45,221 death certificates in the U.S. between 1999 and 2015. The time between exposure to development of the disease can range from 20 to 40 years, or even longer. This makes it challenging to pinpoint exactly where and/or when exposure occurred.
Where & How Can You Be Exposed
According to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, Louisiana has a significantly above average mesothelioma death rate, with 769 deaths between 1999 and 2015. Several major companies operating in the state have verified asbestos exposure cases. If you worked in the oil industry, shipyards, cement plants, power plants or even agriculture in Louisiana, you likely came into contact with asbestos while performing your job duties.
Workers in many trades throughout the nation, including automotive repair, construction, manufacturing, mining and milling, may have directly handled asbestos materials. Other occupations, such as firefighting or maintenance, remediation or demolition of older buildings, may have exposed workers to asbestos dust. Family members of workers are also potentially at risk, simply by breathing in asbestos dust brought home on shoes and clothing. Use of asbestos commonly took place extensively in buildings, roads, and construction materials. Therefore, exposure may have occurred in numerous places.
If you served in any branch of the armed forces, you may have an elevated risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. Asbestos was widely in use by the military between 1940 and 1980. Veterans account for about 30% of all mesothelioma cases, states the Mesothelioma Veterans Center.
Do You Have a Claim?
While complicated, mesothelioma cases can also be very straightforward. Because your illness is usually directly the result of asbestos exposure, a company can often be directly liable. This means you have an excellent chance of receiving substantial monetary damages. Your potential avenues of compensation include:
- Legal Settlements from the company, or companies, that produced, made and/or distributed asbestos products.
- Asbestos Trust Funds established by defunct asbestos companies to pay compensation for asbestos-related medical expenses to workers and their families.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Claims for individuals exposed to asbestos while serving in the military.
A qualified New Orleans mesothelioma lawyer can evaluate whether you have a claim and guide you through the process. You have less time to file a mesothelioma claim in Louisiana than many other states. The statute of limitation is only one year from diagnosis of your illness or one year from your death for survivor claims.
Questions to Expect
To create a thorough record covering the events that caused you to develop mesothelioma and the overall effect it has had on you and your family, your New Orleans mesothelioma lawyer will ask you numerous questions. These questions are similar to those the defendant’s attorney will ask through written questioning called interrogatories and an oral deposition administered under oath. These questions will cover:
- Comprehensive details about your overall medical condition and mesothelioma illness
- Your complete employment history and military service record
- Places you have lived
- How your illness has affected your life and your family
- Total amount of lost wages and cost of medical expenses
- Your degree of pain and suffering
- Potential witnesses (colleagues who worked at the same company at the same time)
- Any potential evidence, such as photographs, you may have documenting your exposure
Your attorney will also ask whether you want to settle quickly or present your case to a trial jury. While going to trial often results in a much higher payout, it also takes substantially more time, which you may not have. Your attorney will also ask whether you want to apply for expedited disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.
Hire a Top New Orleans Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma, contact an experienced New Orleans mesothelioma lawyer at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys. We offer free consultations and never collect a fee, until we win your case. Our office is open from 8 AM to 5 PM. However, we are available to take your call 24/7 at (504) 345-1111, or use our convenient LiveChat online.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.