Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer which can affect the lining of the lungs, heart, and/or abdomen and is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Companies that knowingly expose employees and consumers to this cancer-causing agent are legally liable for damages.
If you are suffering from mesothelioma or believe asbestos has affected your health, it is paramount that you seek legal guidance from the national asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC. We work hard to earn your trust and to deliver the results you deserve.
We know that there are many challenges that come with being diagnosed with mesothelioma and that much of your energy is spent just taking care of your health. However, it is important that you fight for your rights and the justice you deserve.
The dedicated legal team at Hotze Runkle PLLC have compiled a list of nine myths regarding mesothelioma claims to help guide you through these difficult times. We believe that the more you know, the stronger your claim can be.
Please consider the following information.
9 Myths About Asbestos Claims You Need to Know About
Myth 1: Large compensations will be paid by asbestos bankruptcy trusts to everyone diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Fact: In order to receive any compensation, a person diagnosed with mesothelioma must provide evidence of:
- Exposure to a product or tool containing asbestos produced by the liable company.
- Working at an “approved work site” acknowledged by the specific bankruptcy trust.
How detailed or how much evidence you will be needed depends on the trust’s guidelines. This is why it is essential you seek the legal guidance of a qualified asbestos lawyer who can help recover all the damages your situation warrants.
Myth 2: Every company which sold or manufactured asbestos-containing products are bankrupt and brought to justice.
Fact: Many of companies which manufactured or sold asbestos-containing products are in fact not bankrupt. Thousands of companies produced such products, many are big profitable corporations in the U.S.
Some have not yet even been brought to justice and are detected as people develop mesothelioma and file their claims.
Myth 3: Asbestos and mesothelioma claims must be filed as “class action” lawsuits.
Fact: A class-action lawsuit is a group of people affected by the same situation filing a claim and represented by a “class representative.” It is NOT necessary for you to file your claim in this manner. It can be filed as an individual lawsuit.
On the other hand, in some jurisdictions, several people who have made mesothelioma claims may be brought together by the court for a single trial due to the cases having a common issue.
Myth 4: Every mesothelioma claim is compensated with a similar amount of money.
Fact: The worth of a mesothelioma claim varies per case and is dependent on the strength of the evidence. Plaintiffs with detailed proof of being exposed to asbestos can potentially obtain large amounts of money. On the other hand, with little to no proof, the value of a case drops.
Myth 5: Asbestos and mesothelioma claims cannot be won by smokers.
Fact: These situations are actually the complete opposite. Smokers have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma, lung diseases or lung cancer if exposed to asbestos, which helps them to develop a stronger case.
Myth 6: Even if a person suffers from mesothelioma, they don’t have a case if they aren’t aware of how they were exposed to asbestos.
Fact: Many individuals who develop mesothelioma do not know where or how they were exposed since asbestos-containing products were not labeled as such. This is why it is important to get experienced legal help which can help you investigate and discover the faulty product which caused you to suffer.
Specialized law firms like Hotze Runkle PLLC have a thorough understanding of the nuances of these types of cases and can help you to obtain full compensation.
Myth 7: If a military veteran suffers from mesothelioma, they can only file their claim through the U.S. Veterans Affairs.
Fact: Veterans who have developed mesothelioma due to being exposed to asbestos while serving may receive benefits through the VA services by filing a “VA claim.” However, this doesn’t mean it is impossible to file a claim with bankruptcy trust to receive full compensation. It is completely viable to file a civil lawsuit along with their VA claim.
Myth 8: The money I recover from my asbestos or mesothelioma claim will be taxed.
Fact: Any money you receive because of your claim and due to your mesothelioma will not be taxed.
Myth 9: If a family member passed away from mesothelioma any claims they had were lost with their death.
Fact: Surviving family members may still have the right to be compensated even if the victim has passed. It’s important to be aware, however, that these types of claims are time sensitive and family members must file a claim immediately to have a chance at receiving compensation for their loss. Most states in the country only allow asbestos and mesothelioma claims within a certain amount of time after the diagnosis with the average being two to three years.
If you believe to have been exposed to asbestos or are suffering from mesothelioma, our experienced national asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC are ready to fight for you.
Call the Texas asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (512) 476-7771 for a consultation.
The news agency, Reuters, recently released an incriminating report that Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of lawsuits alleging that their baby powder had cancer-causing asbestos agents in it. After examining internal documents, Reuters found that J&J had kept information regarding the asbestos contamination from regulators and the public.
While Johnson & Johnson has always marketed their products as family friendly and gentle to use, this special report has shed light on the contaminants that have put many individuals at risk. Despite these findings information, J&J continues to deny the possibility of contamination of the talc with the carcinogenic substances.
Lab Findings Reveal Asbestos in J&J Talc Powder
Internal documents revealed that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, small amounts of asbestos were being found in the company’s raw talc and finished powders including “fiberform” and “rod” formations.
Although findings throughout the past four decades found contamination, Johnson & Johnson continuously refused to acknowledge the presence of asbestos in their talc. Instead, the company aimed to protect their image by demanding the government block all negative findings about their products while also influencing U.S. regulator to limit scientific research on the health effects of talc.
In 1976, when the FDA began detecting asbestos in cosmetics products, J&J reported no findings of carcinogen in their products despite three lab tests from between 1972-1975 having revealed asbestos in certain samples, with one reporting that contamination was “rather high.”
Johnson and Johnson has rejected Reuters findings and classifies them as false and misleading. However, this report has affected the company’s value and image.
J&J Faces the Backlash of Thousands of Lawsuits
In the summer of 2018, 22 women with ovarian cancer won lawsuits in which they argued that Johnson and Johnson was fully aware of the dangers of their Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talc, yet failed to disclose that any of their products had asbestos contamination.
A St. Louis judge awarded the women $4.69 billion in damages.
Now, almost 10,000 lawsuits have risen in face of this revelation that the company’s talc powder was contaminated with carcinogenic substances. The product, which is marketed as “gentle enough for a baby’s bottom,” was also used as a feminine hygiene product.
While only small percentages of asbestos have been detected in the talc products, the World Health Organization is unable to provide a “safe level” of asbestos contamination.
What should I do if I am a victim of asbestos-contaminated talc?
If you have or a loved one have suffered from asbestos-related cancer from using the Johnson and Johnson talc, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.
The Hotze Runkle PLLC national asbestos lawyers know just how companies like J&J fail to disclose the truth of their products in order to protect their sales. Hotze Runkle PLLC lawyers have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you recover damages, even from huge corporations.
Call the Texas Hotze Runkle PLLC asbestos lawyers at (512) 476-7771 for your free consultation today.
In the early 20th century, the U.S. Armed Forces used asbestos as a source of heating and insulation in various structures. The product was used frequently because of its cheap cost, durability, heat resistance qualities, and fireproof capacity.
Although most spray-applied asbestos products were banned in 1973 under the EPA’s Clean Air Act and a full ban placed on the manufacturing, importation, processing, and sale of asbestos-containing products in 1989, structures that had been built with asbestos remained. Veterans that were exposed to the product during their military careers have developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.
It can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years to see an onset of mesothelioma symptoms, therefore veterans may begin dealing with their sickness decades after they have served.
The Texas asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC want to help these American heroes in their claims against those who exposed them to these dangerous fibers. This negligence has jeopardized the health of many and even cost some veterans their lives.
Who is at fault when a veteran suffers from asbestos exposure?
The claim will not be made against the government or the military, but rather against the negligent companies that produced the asbestos products you were exposed to.
Which branches of the military were exposed to asbestos?
Before asbestos became heavily restricted in the 1970s and 80s, members of all different military branches faced the dangers of exposure.
Asbestos Exposure in the U.S. Navy
Members of the Navy were affected by asbestos as it was used in shipyards and the production of vessels. Those serving aboard ships, especially in close proximity to engine rooms, were at highest risk of exposure.
Navy veterans are among the most affected of all individuals because of the extent of their exposure in areas such as:
- Boiler rooms
- Engine rooms
- Storage rooms
- Navigation rooms
- Sleeping quarters
- Mess halls
Asbestos Exposure in the U.S. Army
32 army installations were discovered to have excessive amounts of asbestos. By the 1970s, barracks were no longer made with asbestos materials, however, the old installations still posed a threat to soldiers.
The following areas in barracks contained asbestos:
In military vehicles:
- Heating systems
- Brake pads
In aircraft (WWII era):
- Fighter planes
Asbestos Exposure in the Marines
Members of the Marine Corps could have faced exposure in transportation vehicles such as airplanes, ships, armored vehicles, and ships. The Marines often shared facilities with the Navy, so they also faced exposure at these sites, as well as:
- Military vehicles and transportation
- Sleeping quarters
- Smaller naval vessels
Asbestos Exposure in the U.S. Air Force
Asbestos building materials were used in Air Force stations, planes, and radar stations. The toxic material was used to build Air Force planes and their cockpit heating systems, brakes, torque valves, heat shields for engines, gaskets, insulation, and electrical wiring.
U.S. Air Force members could have faced exposure from any of the following airplane structures:
- Cockpit heating systems
- Heat shields for engines
- Torque valves
- Electrical wiring
- Insulation for cargo bays
Veterans Diagnosed With Asbestos Illness or Mesothelioma
It can be anywhere from 10 to 50 years before the initial onset of asbestos-related illness and mesothelioma symptoms surface. Veterans that suspect past exposure should seek medical attention.
If a veteran should be diagnosed with mesothelioma, they should seek immediate legal consultation to recover damages from the negligent asbestos companies that harmed them.
If you feel that you may have faced exposure to the toxic material during your time serving the country, our national asbestos legal team at Hotze Runkle PLLC is prepared to help you recover damages.
Call the experienced Texas asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (512) 476-7771 for your FREE consultation today.
Asbestos-related illness can cause victims and their families a great deal of suffering while also creating financial issues because of the high costs associated with medical treatment. Early diagnosis and filing a legal claim as soon as possible can help victims and their families to deal with the issues caused by exposure to asbestos.
If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos, the Texas asbestos lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC have the experience you need to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
The Four Primary Types of Mesothelioma
Recognizing the symptoms associated with the various types of mesothelioma can help you or your loved one to seek out the medical attention you need. It is important to be aware of how these primary types of mesothelioma can affect you.
The various types of mesothelioma are determined by where they occur on the body and the types of cancer cells. These primary types of mesothelioma include:
- Pleural Mesothelioma
- The most common type, this accounts for 75-90 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
- Occurs in the lining (pleura) of the lung cavity.
- Symptoms can include constant chest pain, weight loss, and fever.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma
- This is the second most common type of mesothelioma and accounts for 10-30 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
- Occurs in the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), thickening of lining or small tumor often revealed.
- Symptoms can include severe abdominal pain, fever, and nausea.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma
- A very rare type of mesothelioma and only accounts for 1 percent of all cases.
- Occurs in the lining of the heart (pericardium).
- Symptoms include constant chest pain, shortness of breath, and nausea. Victims may feel pain similar to that of a heart attack.
- Testicular Mesothelioma
- Only 100 cases have been reported for this type of mesothelioma.
- Occurs in the lining of the testicles (tunica vaginalis).
- So rare, that the effectiveness of available treatment cannot be determined.
- Symptoms include pain in the testes, swelling of the scrotum, or lump/ mass found in the area.
Benign vs Malignant Tumors
The types of tumors associated with mesothelioma can be classified as benign or malignant. Malignant tumors are cancerous and extremely dangerous because the cancer cells can grow and divide uncontrollably, resulting in the spread of cancer to other areas of the body.
Benign tumors grow slowly and do not pose the threat of spreading to other areas. They usually appear in a single mass and can be removed through surgery with limited chances of reappearing.
Dealing with Mesothelioma
Although there is no immediate cure for malignant mesothelioma, there are available treatments and emerging options that can help to improve prognosis and alleviate symptoms for a victim. Most physicians generally recommend traveling to a cancer institute for specialized mesothelioma treatment.
Multimodal treatment is a combination of several treatments, and even emerging treatments, which are used to resolve issues associated with the cancer. The types of mesothelioma treatments that are available include but are not limited to:
- Surgery – The goal of surgery is to eliminate the tumor at an early stage or to administer palliative care if the diagnosis is made later in the development of the disease. In these cases, surgeons will attempt to remove the liquid in the pleural, abdominal, and chest areas, in order to ease any pain the patient may be suffering from.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is used as either a neoadjuvant or adjuvant to minimize tumors or to kill cancerous cells that linger. This treatment may be used multimodally or palliatively.
- Radiation – Radiation therapy causes fewer side effects and is thus often recommended for those in poor health conditions. This form of treatment aims to eliminate mesothelioma cancer cells and prevent their reproduction.
How to Receive Compensation for Your Asbestos Exposure
After the initial discovery of asbestos as a toxic building material, many companies failed to inform workers of the dangers and risks associated with exposure, including the development of mesothelioma. For this reason, there are many available routes one can seek with the help of the experienced Texas asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC.
The three main types of mesothelioma claims that you can make are:
- Legal Claim – This would be a claim using a formal legal process such as a lawsuit or filing for compensation from an asbestos trust. Negligent companies that exposed their employees to asbestos but then filed for bankruptcy were legally required to form trust funds in order to compensate victims for their negligent behavior.
- Benefits Claim – Entitlement programs such as workers’ compensation or veterans’ benefits are an additional route of compensation available to those who meet the requirements.
- Insurance Claim – Medical insurance is the third available source of compensation that can be sought after if a claim is submitted for injuries incurred while covered by said insurance.
When Filing a Claim, Act In A Timely Manner
If you are a victim of exposure to asbestos and have developed mesothelioma, it is important to know that each state has a time restriction for filing a mesothelioma claim. This is known as the Statute of Limitations and usually refers to a 2 to 3 year time period to make claim after the initial diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease, mesothelioma, or an asbestos-caused death (in that case, one would file a wrongful death claim).
It is vital to seek legal action as soon as you have received a proper and official diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness.
The experienced asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC recommend that you:
- Keep a record of employment where the asbestos exposure may have occurred including the various locations and sites – even if across multiple states.
- Document the effect and impact of the asbestos-related illness and symptoms on your life.
- Acquire official testing and diagnosis from your physician.
- Seek out a qualified legal representative who has experience in dealing with mesothelioma claims to help get the proper legal procedures going.
Time is of the essence when filing a claim. The dedicated team of asbestos attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC are prepared to defend your claim and help you recover from the expenses and damages incurred from asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
For more information on how to seek compensation for your asbestos-related illness, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at 1-877-919-0830.
In order to better serve our clients, your dedicated Texas asbestos lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC are constantly researching and investigating asbestos-related news. One of the more alarming announcements recently made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) is their desire to make it more difficult for asbestos trusts to operate.
This could, ultimately, affect the ability of asbestos victims and their families to seek and obtain compensation from the parties responsible for their pain and suffering.
About Asbestos Trust Funds
In an effort to protect future mesothelioma victims, bankruptcy courts forced companies responsible for asbestos exposure to create trust funds. These trusts began to emerge in the 1980s and were meant to ensure that companies which had gone bankrupt were able to provide financial compensation to victims of their negligent use of asbestos.
As per a Government Accountability Office report from 2011, 60 asbestos trusts were created from 1998 to 2017, with a combined payout of $17 billion to 3.3 million individuals. These funds are the means by which a victim of asbestos exposure and their family can deal with costs of medical care and other damages.
As per the Center for Disease Control, between 1999 and 2013, approximately 12,000 to 15,000 Americans died each year from asbestos-related disease. The median payout for mesothelioma claim is $46,000 but compensation can vary widely from case to case.
Individuals struggling from asbestos exposure face medical expenses and loss of wages while families must deal with funeral costs and other damages.
Current Administration Could Cause Payout Delays
The current administration claims that there are flaws in the current trust fund system and that there are many false claims being made through asbestos trusts. They believe that there is a lack of safeguards protecting against these entities and that many fraudulent claims are being made without adequate evidence.
Over the past two months, the Department of Justice has issued statements that all companies creating trusts must first provide documents with the names of victims and reward amounts as part of a civil investigation. The DOJ is interested in finding any families who have received any sort of asbestos-related payout so that they can repay Medicare for any care the victim received.
Defense lawyers claim that the system is too lenient with evidence when filing a claim and that too many claims are being made against multiple parties. However, because asbestos exposure can occur across multiple sites and at more than one workplace throughout an individual’s occupational history, multiple companies/parties may be responsible.
Asbestos Making a Dangerous Comeback
Although the health hazards caused by asbestos have been proven and the material has been banned in many areas of the world, there have been recent discussions about allowing companies to once again use the substance in the United States. Despite causing health issues, including asbestos-related diseases and mesothelioma, the Environmental Protection Agency has proposed that there be no limitation on the use of asbestos.
The new rule goes that the manufacturers must alert the EPA and seek approval if they are trying to use asbestos in products.
Despite all the pain and suffering many victims and families have suffered as a direct result of asbestos-related diseases and mesothelioma, it appears that the substance is going to making a dangerous comeback.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
Companies that have filed for bankruptcy are protected from lawsuits, so it is important to have the added protection and legal experience of the Texas asbestos lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC to help you navigate your claim.
If you suspect that you may have been exposed to asbestos or are beginning to deal with symptoms of asbestos-related illnesses, seek medical care immediately. Make sure to keep a log of all your medical visits and expenses, as well as a detailed account of your occupational history and the state’s in which you may have faced exposure.
If you or a loved one has suffered asbestos exposure, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at 1-877-919-0830.
Mesothelioma can cause long-lasting emotional and financial distress for not only the unfortunate individual suffering from the illness but also close family members as well.
Unfortunately, malignant mesothelioma, caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, is an incurable cancer that can affect the lungs, abdomen, or heart. For many individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma, the disease has already advanced to being terminal, with the average survival time being less than a year.
The passing of a loved one can leave their family members struggling to pay medical bills, funeral costs, and other financial burdens.
If your loved one passed as a result of asbestos exposure or mesothelioma, the national asbestos lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC have the experience you need to help you fight for the compensation your family deserves.
Who Can Receive Compensation for an Asbestos-Related Death?
When diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, an individual can claim installments from asbestos funds. When the victim passes away, family members that have been appointed to the estate before the individual’s death will inherit the installments, giving them some financial security.
If no person has been designated to inherit the estate, then the decision will be left in the hands of the estate representative, a family member appointed by an attorney.
In the case that the individual affected by the disease never filed a claim, but their death is directly related to asbestos, a family member can still work with an asbestos attorney to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
How Are Estate Representatives Appointed?
There are two ways an estate representative can be appointed:
- The decedent appoints the representative prior to passing away.
- The court designates a representative of the estate.
In the end, the appointed estate representative will be able to decide how to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are certain criteria to be met in order to file a wrongful death claim. The claim may be used to pay for medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of income experienced. The Texas asbestos attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC can help you fully understand your rights and what can be done to seek out compensation.
By law, only certain eligible family members can file a wrongful death claim. The individual must have “standing” or be close enough to the decedent as well as be directly affected by the loss of life. These relations can include:
- A spouse
- Immediate family member
- Dependent of the decedent
- In some states, a claim may be filed by a parent or more distant family member
Additional Information About a Wrongful Death Claim
An asbestos-cancer or mesothelioma claim is much like a personal injury claim. The asbestos attorney must conduct thorough research about the history of the deceased including investigating the workplace or site where the exposure took place, as well as interview co-workers that can testify.
Although the asbestos attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC are very familiar with companies known for asbestos exposure, it can be difficult to trace specifics once the death has occurred. This is why it is vital that either the decedent or a family member documents work history, sites of exposure, and a list of reliable individuals who can help the investigation.
It’s also important to recognize that asbestos-related wrongful death claims are constricted by a statute of limitations, which is typically 12 to 48 months from the date of diagnosis, depending on the applicable statute of limitations in your state.
The main goal in an asbestos wrongful death claim is to hold the negligent employer or company liable for exposure to the harmful material.
Let Hotze Runkle PLLC help you file a wrongful death claim caused by mesothelioma or asbestos exposure.
It is absolutely important to hire an experienced attorney familiar with experience handling wrongful death cases and asbestos-related claims.
It’s no secret that asbestos exposure was not taken as seriously in past decades as noted by the fact that it was heavily used all the way into the 1980s.
Sadly, not all U.S. companies have determined to avoid using the carcinogen. Asbestos is still widely used in paper and textile mills, chemical plants, as well as refineries.
These businesses are putting the health of American workers and citizens at risk. According to Asbestos.com, from 1999 to 2010, there were approximately 32,000 people that died due to either mesothelioma or asbestosis.
Although asbestos exposure is a problem all throughout the nation, there are regions/states which are known to have higher rates of exposure. Your mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC want to highlight the top 5 states with the highest risk of asbestos exposure.
With one of the highest rates of asbestos-related deaths in the nation, California has naturally occurring asbestos in 45 of their counties. However, the state does have some of the strictest asbestos laws in the country.
In California the most common at-risk occupations include:
- Renovation/demolition workers
- Construction workers
- Concrete placers
- Insulators (in ships, planes, and buildings)
- Shipyard/dock workers
The demand for asbestos in California started in the 1970s when companies began heavily using raw asbestos fibers in industrial, commercial, and residential appliances.
One of the biggest users of the carcinogenic material in California is the United States military.
Pennsylvania has reported the most deaths per million people in the country, even more than California. From 1999 to 2013 there were 14,216 asbestos-related deaths in the state.
There are plenty of sites in Pennsylvania with naturally occurring asbestos such as mines and asbestos deposits. One of the biggest sources of asbestos was from a processing plant in Amber, Pennsylvania. The city has, unfortunately, been labeled “Asbestos Capital of the World.”
Other industries in the state with high rates of asbestos exposure include:
- Steel mills
- Locomotive building
The third highest asbestos exposure rate in the nation goes to Florida with 14,248 deaths from 1999 to 2013. One of the biggest contributions to this states asbestos mortality rate is offshore drilling and shipbuilding.
However, other industries and worksites like agriculture, power plants, and construction still offer high risks of asbestos exposure. There is currently no known natural occurrences of asbestos in Florida.
Risky worksites in Florida include:
- Asbestos processing plants
- Military bases
- Old building
- Renovated buildings
- Food processing factories
- Boiler workers
- Chemical plant specialists
- Military veterans
- First responders
Florida is also one the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. Many types of resorts, hotels, or entertainment venues that were built before the 1980s could quite possibly contain asbestos.
While tourists are at very little risk, the construction workers who helped to build these structures may have been heavily exposed.
Starting as early as the 1850’s, businesses in New York began to use asbestos. In New York, on average, 780 people die every year from mesothelioma. That statistic is expected to rise in the years to come.
As the epicenter of industry in the United States, laborers are constantly exposed because of their work in asbestos infested buildings. In fact, New York has held the top spot for victims over the last 40 years.
Some of the riskiest jobs for asbestos exposure include:
- Chemical/power plant workers
- Demolition/renovation experts
- Shipyard workers
One of the highest ranking sites for asbestos exposure was the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Also, almost every single building in the New York skyline used asbestos, putting many workers at risk for asbestos-related illnesses.
From 1999 to 2015, there have been 3,000 deaths from mesothelioma in Texas alone.
Asbestos can be found in older buildings including schools, abandoned buildings, power plants, utility buildings, storage sites, and military sites.
Military shipyards have some of the highest rates of asbestos exposure. This is why many lawsuits involve veterans that may have developed mesothelioma later in life.
If you or a loved one have been affected by exposure to asbestos and are suffering from mesothelioma, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (512) 476-7771 or toll-free (877) 919-0830 for a free consultation.
The unfortunate truth is that years of research has found that the hardworking people of this great nation – our construction workers, shipbuilders, military personnel, laborers, and the like – are those most susceptible to the cancer known as mesothelioma.
The culprit – asbestos.
While most people believe that the use of asbestos is a thing of the past, the American Cancer Society states that around 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma occur each year, suggesting that asbestos is still a clear and present danger. Unfortunately, it does not appear that this will change any time soon, either.
If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos, the national mesothelioma lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC have the experience you need to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
The Risks Involved in Asbestos Exposure
While it is well-known that asbestos exposure is the only cause for mesothelioma, only primary or secondary exposure will cause the disease to develop. Keep in mind, however, any exposure to asbestos is not considered safe.
What truly determines the risk of developing mesothelioma is predicated on several factors:
- Concentration – This is equal to the amount of asbestos you are exposed to at one time.
- Frequency – This is the number of encounters with asbestos someone has had over their lifetime.
- Duration – This covers the length of time someone had been breathing in asbestos at any given time.
- Asbestos-type – There are currently two types of asbestos:
- Serpentine – Long and curly fibers.
- Amphibole – Short and straight, much like a needle.
Individuals working in any occupations which requires frequent exposure to asbestos for long periods of time are at more of a risk of developing mesothelioma compared to those with minimal exposure to it.
What Exactly Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It forms in the protective tissues that surround the lungs, heart, and the abdomen.
People that are over the age of 60 are 10 times more likely to develop the disease when compared to people below the age of 40. This often fatal form of cancer is also 4.6 times more likely to develop in men older than 65 that have a blue-collar or military background and who worked in any of the following industries:
- Chemical Refining
- Power Generation
- Military Service
Those exposed to asbestos while working in the previously mentioned industries often inhale or swallow airborne asbestos fibers. Those fibers can then become lodged in the delicate tissues surrounding the heart, lungs, or abdomen. Once they are embedded into the tissues, the fibers damage the mesothelial cells, causing inflammation.
Over time, tumors will begin to develop on these tissues, also known as the mesothelium. Symptoms signaling the possible onset of mesothelioma—especially for those that have been exposed to asbestos working in any of the fields above—include chest pains, coughing, and shortness of breath.
What Can I Do If I’ve Been Diagnosed With Mesothelioma?
Outside of seeking medical aid, if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will need to act quickly.
The statute of limitations for this particular claim is two years from the day you or someone you love was diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease. In the case a loved one perished because of mesothelioma, you, or certain surviving family members, have a two-year period to file a wrongful death claim.
This is when you should contact the asbestos exposure attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC, experienced purveyors of justice for those that have gone on unheard.
How Can I Be Compensated?
Our asbestos exposure attorneys can help you fight for compensation to cover:
- Medical expenses and/or future medical care costs
- Physical impairment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium, spousal support, and companionship
- Loss of the ability to support dependents
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity damages
- Travel costs for medical treatment
- Cost of daily living assistance
- Health insurance premiums
- Alternative therapies
- End of life cost damages
- Funeral expenses
In the unfortunate incident where you or a loved one is lost to mesothelioma, surviving family members can fight for compensation that includes:
- Loss of parental care
- Punitive damages (i.e. gross negligence)
- Wrongful death claims
It bears repeating that if you or someone you love have been affected by this disease, you need proper representation to help take up your claim and fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Contact us today at (877) 919-0830 to set up your free legal consultation.
Trust the mesothelioma attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC to earn your trust and the compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
The mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze & Runkle are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims who have been affected by asbestos-related illnesses as a result of another negligent party. Our experienced lawyers will develop the perfect strategy for your mesothelioma case to ensure that you get properly compensated for the pain and suffering caused by your exposure to asbestos.
One of the first steps we will take is to inform you of the type of compensation you are eligible to receive, which should be decided before officially filing your claim.
The 4 Main Types of Compensation You Can Receive for Your Mesothelioma Case
There are multiple way by which you may receive compensation for your mesothelioma case:
- Bankruptcy Trust Fund – Sometimes the company that is responsible for your asbestos exposure is no longer the same company because of a merger or because they have simply gone out of business.
- Settlements – Instead of spending money on legal fees, some companies may decide that it’s simply cheaper to settle out of court. Still, a defendant may let the case go to trial, but if it seems that the case is going to end in your favor, they may decide to settle outside of court.
- Trial Verdicts – This type of compensation is awarded if you win the trial and the defendant does not settle. It is important to know that every case is unique and the compensation provided will vary depending on what the jury decides.
- VA Claims – Veterans that have served in the United States military, especially those that were part of the Navy, Coast Guard, or Marines, were more than likely exposed to asbestos at one point in time. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has named mesothelioma as one of the diseases which qualifies veterans to receive disability benefits. There are certain criteria that a veteran must meet in order to claim disability. Your mesothelioma lawyer will be well versed in the specifics, and will gladly help you with any questions you may have.
Even if the company in your lawsuit is categorized as such, you still have an opportunity to secure compensation for your pain. Some companies that have declared bankruptcy have done so as a result of multiple lawsuits filed against them. Oftentimes, these companies – who are responsible for exposing you to asbestos – have established trust funds specifically to compensate victims.
This is designed to ensure companies that have created health issues for individuals are held responsible for their negligent actions.
Keep in mind, however, that not ALL mesothelioma victims may receive this compensation. There are certain criteria that must be met to get compensation from a bankruptcy trust fund.
It is important to understand that a defendant’s decision to settle is not always a quick resolution.
The compensation you will receive will depend on how the mesothelioma affected your life, the amount of wages lost due to the illness, the cost of medical expenses, as well as the pain and suffering you have experienced.
If you or a loved one are suffering from malignant mesothelioma after being repeatedly exposed to asbestos, contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today at (877) 919-0830 for a free consultation.
The mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC are dedicated to providing the legal protection and guidance needed to successfully litigate your mesothelioma lawsuit.
The process of winning a mesothelioma lawsuit can be long and complicated without the assistance of a qualified lawyer. Trust in our experienced mesothelioma attorneys to provide you with the information you need to obtain the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
How Do I Choose the Right Mesothelioma Lawyer?
When choosing a lawyer there are a few things you could do to make your decision easier:
- Ask for references – A lawyer, with the permission of clients, can provide you with the contact information from previously satisfied clients who can give you insight into the lawyer’s ability, personality, and overall capability.
- Lawyer Interviews – Once you have the lawyers that you may want to hire, your next step is scheduling a personal interview. This gives you the chance to have a one on one conversation with the lawyer to see if you feel comfortable with them and it also allows the lawyer to evaluate your case.
- Finding Out About Costs – Lawyer fees could be the deciding factor for some clients. Although a quality lawyer will not be cheap, it will be well worth it.
I Have A Lawyer, What’s Next?
Even though the specifics of every case are different, there are a number of basic steps that occur when filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. Don’t worry if your not well versed in the process, our mesothelioma lawyers at Hotze Runkle PLLC will be there to help you every step of the way.
The process of filing a case and successfully winning includes:
- Preparation – This is the stage during which you and your attorney will gather evidence and information. The evidence and information gathered will help indicate when and where your exposure to asbestos happened and who is responsible for your sickness.
- Filing Your Complaint – This is one of the most important steps; the filing stage is when your lawyer prepares the complaint document to present to the court. This step is especially vital because your lawyer must create the document while abiding by the rules of the court, which your lawyer should be well versed in. These rules will include how the document is written as well as include details about your specific case. If there is anything wrong in your complaint document, it may fail to move forward.
- Responses to Your Claims – After filing your claim, the defendant’s lawyers will receive a copy of your complaint. This is the part in the process where you may find out that the company you once worked for is no longer under the same name or is no longer in business due to bankruptcy or some other reason. Your attorney will then make sure that your claim ends up in the correct hands. This is also when your mesothelioma lawyer will respond to the defendants that deny responsibility for your sickness.
- Discovery – During this portion of the process your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will gather information about your accusations. The defendant and their lawyer will try to find evidence that they were not responsible for your sickness and they will use a few different methods to do this. The opposing side will ask you to answer written questions, ask you to participate in a videotaped deposition, and ask you for documents such as your medical history report. It’s common that the opposing lawyer ask for information from people that are close to you, they may even ask about your personal habits. Your lawyer will also take these steps and ask the defendant questions to gather proof that they, in fact, caused your sickness. This step may seem intimidating but your trusted mesothelioma attorney will be there to help prepare you for your deposition.
- Settlement – If the defendant decides they don’t want to take this case to trial, now is when they would offer a settlement offer to you.
- Trial – Where you live will decide how the trial process goes; there are instances where you may not need to show up in court. If you win the case, however, that may not be the end of your process – the defendant always has the chance to file an appeal.
- Appeal – Some of the reasons an appeal may be filed is if the defendant believes the rules of the court were not correctly applied to the case or if there was a mistake that affected the trial outcome. One of our lawyers here at Hotze & Runkle will be able to further explain the appeal process to you.