Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. Asbestos was a very popular building material in the 1900s, primarily used in roofs. Apart from roofing, asbestos was also used in the fabrication of other building components like walls. A few years ago, the material was proven to be extremely dangerous, causing this hostile form of cancer. This led to thousands of people discovering asbestos exposure had made them ill and began filing Washington D.C. Mesothelioma Lawsuits.
Cancer has proven to be a global catastrophe, killing more than 9 million people every year. While many forms of cancer are caused by unclear causes, this is not the case for mesothelioma. It is one of the most devastating and aggressive types of cancer. Mesothelioma has a 100% mortality rate, which means that all its carriers die from the disease, and the luckiest of its patients only survives for a maximum of 5 years.
Luckily for us, the realization was made early enough, and the majority of commercial and public buildings stripped off of any asbestos-containing building material from walls to roofs. The fear was that it could potentially hurt citizens, and more so, children. The sad situation is that till today, there are still cases of mesothelioma. To make you understand how grave the situation is, this disease kills about 50% of its victims less than a year after diagnosis. Of the left portion, only 40% make it past 4 years, and the luckiest 10% live for a maximum of 5 years.
Given that the mortality rate is 100%, being diagnosed with mesothelioma feels equivalent to being sentenced to death. Though patients do opt for treatment, their chances of living more than two years are close to none. This makes most victims choose to live peacefully until the disease takes them. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or a loved one has been diagnosed with it, the time to take action is now. Contact a mass tort lawyer in Washington, D.C. with immediate effect to get justice before its too late.
Table of Contents
How Are Mesothelioma Cases Handled in Washington, D.C.?
When this form of cancer was first discovered, cases were filed as class actions. This means that the lawsuit was filed or defended by an individual on behalf of a group of people. Today, they are handled individually, a sad state of affairs, since most of the victims already passed on. Many plaintiffs wanted justice for their suffering since the use of asbestos had made many suffer from mesothelioma. With the influx of mesothelioma victims in Washington D.C., courts could not handle dealing with each person individually, hence the categorization into class action cases.
Dozens of plaintiffs could now be handled by a couple of lawyers conveniently. After settlements, the compensation amount would then be shared amongst the plaintiffs.
Defendants, on the other hand, stood huge financial losses. They, therefore, devised ways that could save them from the loss. One such way was the catch-22 situation. Since they already knew the medical prognosis of plaintiffs, they took their time, hoping that the plaintiffs would pass before the trial, and others die before knowing where their cancer had come from.
This also meant that most plaintiffs would be willing to settle quickly since they had quite an uncertain future. After all, better one bird in the and than two in the bush. This saved the defendants huge amounts of money.
In extreme cases, waiting for a long time turned these product liability cases into wrongful death cases, which cost more. This left the defendants with few options, either take a chance at trial or settle for lower amounts quickly.
After the discovery that asbestos triggered this aggressive form of cancer, this became illegal. The use of asbestos was canceled and any industries that used asbestos were required to follow certain guidelines. Currently, there are few mesothelioma plaintiffs, since asbestos was eliminated from the construction industry. Most of those who suffer from the disease were exposed to asbestos a long time ago, which makes these cases be handled individually other than class actions.
How Much Are Mesothelioma Cases Worth?
Because mesothelioma is extremely fatal, plaintiffs normally receive high jury awards. Without fair trials, however, plaintiffs settle for low settlements that come earlier than those pursued in a court trial. Given the uncertainty of the future, most plaintiffs will prefer to settle. Several factors determine the exact settlement amount:
- The number of named defendants in the suit
- Medical diagnosis history
- Strength of the evidence
- Damages caused
- Where the suit was filed
Mesothelioma hurts. It’s a whole series of pain, suffering, and grief from the expected loss of a loved one. Further than this, it may mean the loss of a breadwinner, which would compromise the quality of life for the family after death. For this, victims should seek compensation. Moreover, a family member can file for a wrongful death case even after the seat of a patient after which the damages will even be higher.
Get Help From a Lawyer With Your Washington D.C. Mesothelioma Lawsuit
After diagnosis, contacting a proficient lawyer will involve reviewing evidence to establish whether the case has a legal claim. Beware that there is a statute of limitations set at 3 years from diagnosis, which means the sooner you act, the better.
To avoid being duped into settling for less, seek professional advice. Juries are known to be very sympathetic to victims, and since defendants know this, they often try to trick victims into settling fast, for less.
Our mass tort lawyers will walk with you through every step of the journey. While the experience may be stressful and tedious, your lawyer will ensure that all you need to do is carefully done. In the case of a settlement, we will make sure the case is filed quickly and as such, ensure that a sufficient settlement amount as per damages is made. We do understand how tough this could be on a family, and as such sympathize with our clients fully. Schedule your free consultation by contacting our Washington D.C. mass tort firm today!