If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of what steps to take next. One of the most important things you can do is to learn about your legal options and whether you are eligible to file a mesothelioma claim. Tennessee Accident Law wants to provide you with an overview of mesothelioma claims in Tennessee and what you need to know to file a successful claim.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive cancer that develops in the thin lining that covers most of our internal organs, known as the mesothelium. The most common type of mesothelioma affects the lungs and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction and other industries before the 1980s because of its resistance to heat and fire. Unfortunately, when asbestos fibers are inhaled or swallowed, they can become trapped in the body and over time cause inflammation and cell damage, leading to the development of mesothelioma.
Here are Four Important Facts About Mesothelioma
- The only known cause of malignant mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. The more time you spend inhaling fibers, the higher your chance of getting the illness.
- While mesothelioma doesn’t have a cure, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery may help you to live much longer.
- Mesothelioma symptoms generally do not appear until at least 20 to 50 years after exposure. As a result, most patients are diagnosed much later in life.
- Mesotheliomas are classified into four types based on which body part is afflicted (lungs, abdomen, heart, or testes).
Who Is at Risk for Developing Mesothelioma?
Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos fibers is at risk for developing mesothelioma. However, some people are more at risk than others, including those who have worked in certain occupations (e.g., construction, shipbuilding, insulation) or served in the military (e.g., Navy). If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to discuss your work history with your doctor so they can determine how likely it is that your exposure to asbestos fibers played a role in the development of your cancer.
Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Tennessee
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a claim against one or more companies responsible for your exposure to asbestos fibers. In Tennessee, there are two main types of mesothelioma claims: workers’ compensation claims and personal injury claims.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation claims are filed against an employer and are available to anyone who has been diagnosed with an occupational disease, such as mesothelioma, as a result of their job. To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must have been exposed to asbestos fibers at work and your employer must have known (or should have known) about the dangers of asbestos exposure but failed to take precautions to protect their employees.
Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims are filed against any company whose products (e.g., insulation containing asbestos) caused you to develop mesothelioma. You do not need to prove that the company knew about the dangers of asbestos exposure – only that their product contained asbestos fibers and that you were exposed to those fibers at some point in your life.
For either type of claim to be successful, you will need evidence linking your exposure to asbestos fibers with the development of your cancer. This evidence can come in the form of medical records, witness testimony, employment records, and/or product information (e.g., labels on insulation). An experienced attorney at Tennessee Accident Law can help you gather this evidence and build a strong case for Compensation.
How do Mesothelioma Claims Work?
While most mesothelioma claims are settled out of court within a year, some take longer if the case goes to trial. The amount of money you may recover in damages also varies depending on each unique claim. After evaluating all the facts, some cases result in multimillion-dollar settlements.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to understand your legal options as soon as possible. In Tennessee, patients may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits or may file a personal injury claim against one or more companies responsible for their exposure to asbestos fibers.
For either type of claim to be successful, patients will need evidence linking their exposure to asbestos fibers with the development of their cancer – something an experienced attorney can help with. If you have any questions about filing a mesothelioma claim in Tennessee or would like more information about your legal options, please contact Tennessee Accident law today for a free consultation.