Befitting its size, Los Angeles is a Global City, with a well-earned reputation as being an important center for entertainment, culture, fashion, international trade, education, technology, and a number of other fields. It also has the third-largest Gross Metropolitan Product in the world, after Tokyo and New York.
The City of Angels also leads the way in asbestos verdicts. In 2012, and LA jury awarded a man and his wife $48 million when it held Union Carbide responsible for asbestos exposure that the man suffered while working on construction sites for the company, decades before being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma in the Workplace
According to the Environmental
Working Group Action Fund at least ten thousand Americans die every year from
serious ailments related to asbestos. The deadliest form of disease is
malignant mesothelioma. Asbestos related illness is very common because
asbestos is a useful material and it is found in thermal insulation, acoustic
insulation, fireproofing, flooring, roofing, and other construction materials.
Asbestos is durable, flexible, and
fire-resistant and because of these qualities it is found in a range of
industries including building construction, power stations, shipbuilding and
repair, railways, and steelworks. As a result asbestos factory employees,
automobile mechanics, aerospace workers, boilermakers, carpenters, bricklayers,
dockworkers, construction workers, and boilermen are susceptible to
mesothelioma. These workers inhale microscopic asbestos and the chemical enters
through the air passageways. The microscopic fibers enter the lungs and create havoc over the
Personal Injury and Workers
A simple injury can translate to unwanted
and lengthy stay in the hospital. Imagine the impact of mesothelioma, which is
a cancer of the lining of the chest or abdomen. This form of cancer is
considered inevitably fatal. Within a year or two after diagnosis the patient
is not expected to survive. If the patient is the breadwinner for the family,
then, who will pay for the medical bills and who will provide for the needs of
the wife and children? If you live in the Los Angeles area it is high time to look for a competent
Mesothelioma attorney within the City of Angels. You can use the Internet to search the terms: Los Angeles Mesothelioma Attorney.
Asbestos litigation is a
complicated process and you definitely need a good lawyer at your side. In a complex
legal battle you will need a personal injury lawyer that is knowledgeable about
mesothelioma. If you can afford someone who belongs to a reputable law firm,
then, hire one. But make sure that the said law firm devotes significant
resources to fully understand asbestos litigation and more importantly, has a
track record for winning cases or securing a favorable settlement.
Winning Your Personal Injury Case
If you have cancer because of
asbestos exposure in your line of work, and you ask your attorney what are the
chance of winning the case, a good legal advocate will tell you immediately
that asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. An experienced lawyer
will know in advance that defense attorneys will try to muddle the issue by
saying that there could be other reasons why you have this form of cancer. Your
lawyer should be able to respond that there is a significant occupational
exposure to asbestos in your workplace.
A good attorney will also inform
you that due to the deadly nature of the disease, the courts are compelled to
review the case and resolve it in the shortest time possible. In other words, a
good personal-injury lawyer who is an expert in asbestos litigation is your best strategy for winning the case.
Mesothelioma is a deadly asbestos cancer, which is caused due to exposure to asbestos. It affects your body’s protective lining mesothelium, which encloses most of the internal organs of your body. Exposure to asbestos particles is the only known cause of mesothelioma. It may take 20 to 50 years to appear the symptoms. Exposure to asbestos fibers can also cause asbestosis, silicosis, etc. Depending on the level and duration of exposure, the chances of getting asbestos related diseases will also increase. It is estimated that there are more than 600,000 mesothelioma victims in the US alone. However, asbestos litigation is considered as one of the most expensive and intricate type of lawsuits.
How to File Mesothelioma Lawsuits?
If you or your loved ones is diagnosed with an asbestos related disease, you can file a lawsuit against the company. However, you must follow certain procedures before filing a litigation. It is very crucial to hire a highly experienced and efficient attorney to handle your case. Asbestos lawsuits and laws are very complicated. So, an average attorney will not be able to handle these types of cases. If you hire an experienced asbestos attorney, he/she will be able to understand the procedure and you will get significant help from him/her.
In order to start the procedures of mesothelioma lawsuit, your attorney will collect all information, which is essential for proving your case. So, information such as your past employment history, beginning of illness, medical expenses, medical history and reports, documentation of physical disabilities, documentation of asbestos in workplace, etc are needed. You will get proper guidance from your asbestos attorney regarding the specific information needed for presenting your case in the court.
Before filing mesothelioma lawsuits, the attorneys will go through a pre-litigation stage. During this stage, the attorneys try to negotiate and settle the case out of the court. The defendants select an out of court settlement very rarely. Mostly, they are not ready for a negotiation. If the defendants refuse to negotiate during pre-litigation stage, your attorney will file a written complaint. This is a document, which contains basic information regarding your lawsuit, names of other parties involved in the case, references that substantiate your claim, information regarding your desired outcome, etc. Usually, defendants get 30 days period to respond to the lawsuit.
Once your lawyer receives a response, she/he will prepare arguments and evidence in the lawsuit, which include information regarding key witnesses and medical experts, collection of proof of asbestos use in your previous workplace, collection of other important information, etc. This is the discovery phase of mesothelioma lawsuits.
History of Mesothelioma Litigation
The use of asbestos was in peak level during the period of industrial revolution and in 1900s. The latency period of mesothelioma is very long. It will take even 50 years to appear the symptoms of this type of cancer. Due to this reason, the mesothelioma lawsuits have increased dramatically after 30 to 50 years. Before 1980, the asbestos litigation was categorized as non-malignant cases, which include scarring of internal lung tissue and scarring of lining of chest cavity. Early cases of asbestos disease were affected by people who worked in pipe insulation, shipyard, construction sites, etc.
Due to the drastic increase of non-malignant asbestos cases, the companies that produced asbestos products became bankrupt. So, the bankruptcy laws prevailed during that time allowed these companies to eradicate or limit the obligations for unliquidated personal injury claims, which include asbestos or mesothelioma lawsuits. As a result, mass settlements for asbestos litigation also began. These mass settlements are grouped under mesothelioma lawsuits.
Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Mesothelioma is a highly aggressive cancer. It can stay in your body for decades without showing any symptoms. Therefore, the prognosis of mesothelioma is not so favorable. But, your life expectancy can be affected by a number of factors. It is estimated that the average survival time of a mesothelioma patient is between 4-18 months. However, some patients live much longer. Around 10% mesothelioma patient can survive 5 years or longer even after the diagnosis of their cancer.
Stage 1 is the earliest stage. During this stage, the cancer is localized only in the diaphragm, lining of lung, or lining of sac that covers your heart. You are lucky if you can diagnose this disease during this stage. Full recovery is possible during this stage.
Stage II is considered as the advanced stage. During this stage, cancer spreads outside the point of origin. Second stage mesothelioma can be found in the lining of chest wall. Still, surgery is an option at this point. However, the life expectancy will be decreased.
Stage III mesothelioma is diagnosed after the appearance of symptoms. During this stage, cancer spreads to the heart, mediastinum, chest wall, lining or peritoneum and beyond diaphragm. Palliative surgeries are recommended during this stage.
Stage IV is the final stage. It occurs when the cancer spreads distant locations in your body. This will be the most painful stage. Typically palliative treatments are used for improving the comfort of patients. Life expectancy will decrease drastically during this stage.
The symptoms of mesothelioma cancer will take decades to appear. Therefore, it is very difficult to detect this cancer during the early stage. Due to later diagnosis, palliate care is the option for mesothelioma cancer patients. Instead of treating cancer, this treatment is used for alleviating pain. If it is diagnosed during the last stage, your body will not respond to the treatments.
Compensation for Mesothelioma Claims
Compensation for mesothelioma victims can range from small amounts to millions of dollars. It is different from one claim to another. It is very difficult to predict the compensation you will receive. However, you will get maximum amount if you hire a highly experienced and specialized asbestos attorney. The type of compensation you receive is determined by certain factors, such as lost wages, physical and mental distress, medical expenses, travel costs for treatments, funeral expenses, etc.
Bankruptcy Trust funds, veterans settlements, trial verdicts, etc are the common types of settlements. If you or your loved ones have been diagnosed with asbestos related diseases, you are eligible for financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, emotional trauma, lost wages and much more. However, you must hire the best asbestos attorney for getting complete legal rights. The fees of mesothelioma attorneys vary from each law firm. However, if you hire an experienced attorney, he/she will have the finances resources to handle your case. So, you need to pay if you win the lawsuit through trial or settlement. However, you must be very careful while selecting an attorney. You must also conduct proper research before filing your mesothelioma lawsuits.
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