Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer that covers many internal organs. Typically, the lining of the lungs and chest wall are affected. Signs of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, a swollen abdomen, coughing, exhaustion, weight loss, and chest pain. Mesothelioma develops slowly over time. The majority of mesothelioma cases are related to exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral found in rock and soil.
Typically, a person suffering from mesothelioma will file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. If a person has died, their survivors will file a wrongful death lawsuit. For a personal injury lawsuit in Alabama, the survivor has two years from the date of the exposure to file a claim. For a wrongful death lawsuit, the deceased’s survivors have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a claim.
In a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff, or the party who was injured, is looking to show that the defendant, like an employer, caused the victim to be exposed to asbestos or another substance that caused mesothelioma. The plaintiff wants to prove there is a causal tie between the victim and the defendant. The defendant pushed the victim into a situation in which the victim was exposed to asbestos without knowing there was any danger. The plaintiff also wants to prove the victim could not have developed mesothelioma from any personal activities, such as making home improvements.
A personal injury attorney is a critical asset in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. A personal injury attorney familiar with the judges and filing requirements in Alabama can represent a plaintiff who is new to civil lawsuits. They can also advise a plaintiff who has filed one before. A personal injury attorney can share strategies for negotiations and hearings. They can also share thoughts about when it would be appropriate to join a class action lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, consider speaking to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Determine the last potential date of exposure and all parties who may be responsible for the harmful activity. For example, if a person developed mesothelioma because they were working as a subcontractor on a residence, responsible parties could include the subcontractor, the general contractor, and the property owner. Each of these parties may have had knowledge of or been responsible for the person’s working conditions.
The victim should continue to seek and receive medical care. If they do not follow the recommendations of their doctor, this could be a concern. Such action would show that the victim was not trying to mitigate damages. The victim should also cease any activities that would involve exposure to asbestos.
The plaintiff should provide their attorney with relevant medical records, such as the victim’s diagnosis and treatment for mesothelioma. One of the most important pieces of information will be the initial interview, in which the attorney determines when the victim was exposed to asbestos, the length of time they were exposed, what activity they engaged in that led to the exposure, and whether other people were also exposed to asbestos for a similar reason. The attorney will also ask about the victim’s overall health. This determines how well the victim will respond to medical treatment.
A plaintiff should always refrain from sharing health or medical information about the victim through social media, like Facebook and Twitter. The information that they share could be used against the victim in a lawsuit. A plaintiff should also refrain from talking to reporters about the victim’s condition if they have not consulted an attorney first.
If you or a loved one are suffering from mesothelioma, consider reaching out to a local family law firm to help with the claim.