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How to file a mesothelioma claim

April 21, 2017 |

Montana employees in the construction and mining industries may find that this line of work has caused health complications over the years. People exposed to asbestos at work may have developed mesothelioma or other forms of cancer. While nothing can turn back time, you do have the right to file a claim against the employer who exposed you to harmful materials.

Here is what you should know about filing a claim:

You have a limited time to file

Any injury case has a statute of limitations, which is the time frame in which you can file after you have been hurt. Because mesothelioma develops slowly, sometimes over a span of thirty years, the rules are different.

Normally, the time limit would begin as soon as you are injured. Since damage from asbestos is gradual, the time limit does not start until you discover the mesothelioma. Once you have been diagnosed, you have three years to file a claim.

Keep records

As with any case, the more evidence you have, the better. Get an official written diagnosis from your doctor about your condition. Also, keep all other relevant medical records during your treatment. You should log the days you visit the doctor, appointment times and which doctor you saw.

If you have records of your employment during the time you were exposed to asbestos, save those as well.

If you know the brands and types of products you handled that contained asbestos, write them down.

Three types of compensation

When seeking compensation in a mesothelioma case, you can expect three possible paths for the case to take:

Some liable companies do not exist anymore. Maybe they shut down or were bought by another company. Even if that’s true, many of them would have been required to create a trust fund for any asbestos cases that could arise in the future. You may be able to receive payment from this fund if your employer is no longer around.

A lot of companies will want to avoid a courtroom battle. Mesothelioma cases can certainly be settled through negotiation. All parties will discuss a fair settlement amount to cover the costs you have faced from medical treatment and time lost at work.

It is possible your case will have to be settled in court. If the company is found liable for your condition, court will award a settlement based on your circumstances.

Do not file on your own

Mesothelioma cases can be complex and hard to prove. You will want skilled legal counsel at your side so you do not miss important steps and deadlines in the process. You will also want a strong advocate if your case ends in a trial. An attorney can help you receive the full compensation you deserve.