Do You Need a Mesothelioma Attorney?
Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos? You may be entitled to compensation and a mesothelioma lawyer at Riddle & Brantley can help. Since 1985, our experienced mesothelioma attorneys have been helping victims of this terrible and life-threatening disease pursue the compensation and justice they deserve. For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced trial attorney handling mesothelioma and asbestos exposure cases, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and convenient form below.
There are no upfront costs and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we win your mesothelioma lawsuit or claim and you receive compensation.
Fighting for Justice for Victims of Asbestos Exposure
Cases of mesothelioma are especially heartbreaking because, in many cases, the disease might have been avoided had employers taken proper safety precautions to protect workers. While largely banned in the United States today, asbestos was used in many industries for decades. Despite known risks, many employers nevertheless failed to provide workers with appropriate protective equipment, unnecessarily putting employees’ lives at risk.
At Riddle & Brantley, we’ve been fighting for victims of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure for nearly four decades. We are committed to holding negligent employers and insurance companies accountable. These are heartbreaking cases and our experienced and compassionate mesothelioma lawyers are ready to help. Please call 1-800-525-7111 and let’s review your claim.
We serve clients across the United States and can consult with you for free from anywhere by phone, email, text, or video conference.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a life-threatening cancer that develops when the cells of the mesothelium (a thin membrane that surrounds most internal organs including the lungs) divide abnormally. According to the Mayo Clinic, mesothelioma is a deadly cancer and there is no known cure. While treatments can prolong life, in most cases, malignant mesothelioma results in death, often within 4-18 months. The 5-year survival rate for the disease is just 10 percent.
How common is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is relatively rare. According to the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, more than 2,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the United States. The disease is most common in those who have been exposed to asbestos, including miners, insulation manufacturers and installers, factory workers, railroad and shipyard workers, gas mask manufacturers, construction workers, and plumbers. While it is no longer commonly used in the United States due to its well-documented health risks, for decades, asbestos was commonly used in products due to its fire and heat-resistant qualities. The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 largely restricted the use of asbestos in the US, though there is no nationwide ban on the substance.
Millions of Americans have likely been exposed to asbestos and may be at risk of developing mesothelioma.
Types of Mesothelioma
There are two types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, which occurs in the lungs; and peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in the abdomen. Both types of mesothelioma are serious and life-threatening.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma often vary by patient. Specific mesothelioma symptoms also differ based on the location of the cancer.
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (cancer occurring in the “pleura” lining of the lungs) may include:
- Pain in the lower back or side of chest
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
- Arms and face swelling
- Lumps in the chest area
- Night sweats
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma (cancer occurring in the abdomen) may include:
- Pain in the abdomen (belly)
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Swelling or fluid in the abdomen
- Unintended weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Night sweats
Causes of Mesothelioma
The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral. According to the American Lung Association, 8 out of 10 people with mesothelioma report asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a fibrous substance, and when broken apart may be inhaled as dust and enter the lungs or stomach. It can take decades for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure and inhalation, sometimes 60 years or more.
However, many people exposed to asbestos never develop mesothelioma, suggesting that there may be other risk factors for the disease, potentially including genetic predisposition. The amount and duration of exposure may also impact the likelihood of diagnosis. The American Cancer Society reports that “other factors, such as a person’s genes or having radiation treatments in the past, may make them more likely to develop mesothelioma when exposed to asbestos.”
Who is at Risk of Developing Mesothelioma?
Because the primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, those who have worked with asbestos-containing products are at the highest risk of developing the disease. Workers with occupational asbestos exposure include:
- Insulation manufacturers and installers
- Railroad and shipyard workers
- Factory workers
- Construction workers
- Gas mask manufacturers
Prior to the 1970s, asbestos was commonly used in home insulation. While exposure risk is typically low in older buildings with asbestos, the dangerous particles can be stirred up during remodel and removal of building materials, putting homeowners and contractors at risk.
Tragically, the people most at risk for mesothelioma are often less able to afford the expensive medical treatments required to fight the disease. This is yet another reason for victims to consult with a mesothelioma lawyer at Riddle & Brantley to see if we can help secure the compensation they need and deserve. Call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced attorney handling mesothelioma cases nationwide.
Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
Mesothelioma is an extremely dangerous and deadly disease. The life expectancy for a patient suffering with mesothelioma is typically short, often within 4-18 months. While there is no known cure, treatment can prolong life among those suffering from mesothelioma, and longer-term survival is possible. Some patients diagnosed with mesothelioma live longer than 10 years, and the survival rate for mesothelioma has steadily increased with advances in treatment.
Factors impacting mesothelioma prognosis include:
- Type of mesothelioma (epithelial, sarcomatoid, or biphasic) — epithelial mesothelioma is the most common (occurring in roughly 50% of diagnosed patients) and also has a better survival rate than sarcomatoid or biphasic (sometimes called “mixed) mesothelioma
- Location (pleural, located in the lungs, or peritoneal, located in the abdomen)
- Disease stage — the earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the better the prognosis in most cases
- Metastasis — mesothelioma often metastasizes, or spreads, throughout the body, significantly impacting prognosis and lowering survival rate
- General health — younger, otherwise healthier patients diagnosed with mesothelioma typically live longer than older patients and those with pre-existing conditions. Non-smoking patients often have a better prognosis and survival rate than smokers.
What Compensation is Available in Mesothelioma Claims?
Depending on the unique facts and circumstances of your case, there may be multiple legal options for seeking compensation in a mesothelioma claim, including:
- Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit
- Submitting a claim against an asbestos bankruptcy trust
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer at Riddle & Brantley can consult with you for free and advise you on your best available options. For a FREE, no-obligation consultation, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the convenient form below. There are no attorney fees unless we secure compensation for you.
How Much Money is Available in a Mesothelioma Claim or Lawsuit?
There are no guarantees that a mesothelioma claim or lawsuit will result in a favorable settlement or verdict for the plaintiff. The specific amount of a potential mesothelioma settlement or judgment will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of the claim. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can review your situation, help calculate damages, and give you a better sense of what kind of compensation might be available in a potential claim or lawsuit. Just remember, there are never any guarantees. Previous asbestos-related mesothelioma claims have resulted in a wide range of settlements and verdicts, ranging from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
What is the Average Payout in a Mesothelioma Case?
There is no “average” payout in a mesothelioma claim or lawsuit, however, in general, these are high-value cases when supported by the proper evidence and documented damages. Compensation awarded in mesothelioma and asbestos-related settlements and verdicts can range from thousands of dollars to millions of dollars. As with any case, there are no guarantees and potential compensation depends on the unique facts and circumstances of the case.
Nevertheless, one legal observer at the Mesothelioma Center has claimed that:
- The average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million
- The average mesothelioma trial verdict is between $5 million and $11.4 million
What is the Biggest Payout in a Mesothelioma Case?
The largest payout in the history of mesothelioma litigation is a $250 million verdict awarded to a steelworker in a 2003 lawsuit. The steelworker, Roby Whittington, was exposed to asbestos while working at the U.S. steel plant in Gary, Indiana.
How Long Does a Mesothelioma Case Take?
The amount of time it takes to resolve a mesothelioma claim depends on many factors. The most important factor impacting how long a mesothelioma case may take is whether the claim is settled out of court or goes to trial. In the case of a settlement, it may take several months to over a year for your mesothelioma attorney and defense counsel to agree upon a fair settlement. This sometimes happens through mediation and/or arbitration proceedings, sometimes ordered by the court. Once a settlement is agreed upon, it can take several months to more than a year for you to begin receiving compensation. Compensation in mesothelioma cases is often provided in monthly installments, rather than a single lump sum.
If your mesothelioma case goes to trial, however, the entire process can take over a year — sometimes more than two years. Sometimes, however, the early stages of a trial can motivate defense counsel to settle your mesothelioma claim. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can advise you on whether to take your claim to trial based on the unique facts and circumstances of the case.
Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma and Asbestos Claims
The statute of limitations for a mesothelioma claim may vary based on the state and specific facts and circumstances in the case. The statute of limitations is essentially the deadline by which you must file your claim for compensation. If you miss the statute of limitations, you may be barred from recovering compensation.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Mesothelioma Claim?
In personal injury and wrongful death claims related to asbestos-caused mesothelioma, the statute of limitations often ranges from 1 to 2 years — either from the date of diagnosis or the date of death. In some cases, the statute of limitations may be as long as six years. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can review your claim and help ensure that you don’t miss any important deadlines.
Do I Really Need a Mesothelioma Lawyer?
You don’t need to hire an attorney to pursue compensation in a mesothelioma claim or lawsuit. However, by hiring an attorney, you can maximize the chances that your claim is successful and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Research shows that those who hire an attorney in a personal injury case receive roughly 3 times more compensation on average than those who represent themselves.
A mesothelioma lawyer at Riddle & Brantley can handle all aspects of your claim or lawsuit, allowing you to focus on what’s most important — your treatment and your family. If you decide to hire us for your mesothelioma claim, we can:
- Investigate your claim and obtain all relevant medical and employment records
- Identify and interview potential witnesses
- Calculate damages you may be owed, including financial losses and “non-economic” losses such as pain and suffering
- Hire outside experts to produce comprehensive life care plans
- File a lawsuit if necessary
- Draft and file legal briefs and other court documents
- Conduct depositions
- Negotiate with defense counsel
- Represent you in mediation and/or arbitration proceedings
- Argue your case at trial
There are no upfront costs and we don’t get paid unless you do — if we don’t recover compensation for you in your mesothelioma claim or lawsuit, you won’t pay any attorney fees. It’s as simple as that.
How Much Does a Mesothelioma Lawyer Cost?
Many people believe that hiring a mesothelioma attorney is expensive. Fortunately, this is not actually the case. At Riddle & Brantley, our mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do. There are no upfront or out-of-pocket costs, and we don’t get paid unless you do. If we secure compensation for you in your mesothelioma case, any attorney fees will be taken out of the final settlement or judgment.
We offer a free consultation to get started, as well. Please call 1-800-525-7111 to speak with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer today and let’s see how we can help.
Why Riddle & Brantley?
Mesothelioma claims and lawsuits are complicated. Employers, defense counsel, and insurance companies often fight hard to deny or minimize claims for compensation. At Riddle & Brantley, we have the expertise and experience necessary to hold defendants accountable for actions that placed our clients at risk for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. Since 2000 alone, we’ve recovered more than $665 million in compensation for our valued clients (see disclaimer below), and we’re proud of the words they use to describe their experience working with our mesothelioma lawyers and staff:
“You’ll walk in the front door but leave as family. They’re the absolute best.”
–Susan S., Riddle & Brantley client
Our attorneys know what it takes to negotiate with insurance companies in complex mesothelioma cases, and we won’t hesitate to go to trial if necessary to get our clients the compensation they deserve. With more than 225 years of combined legal experience, our mesothelioma attorneys have been recognized by many prestigious organizations and awards (see disclaimer below), including:
- The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
- Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Super Lawyers
- The National Association of Distinguished Counsel
- Super Lawyers “Rising Stars”
- AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
In 2014, attorney Gene Riddle was honored with the Litigator Award, which recognizes the nation’s top trial lawyers (see disclaimer below). He is also the recipient of the Old North State Award, the second-highest civilian honor in North Carolina, awarded by the Governor.
“This settlement changed me and my family’s lives.”
–Linda B., Riddle & Brantley client
Since 2000 alone, Riddle & Brantley has recovered over $665 million for victims of injury, including many who have suffered from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure (see disclaimer below). In one recent case, attorneys Gene Riddle and Chris Brantley secured $850,000 for a railroad welder who tragically died of mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos while on the job. Attorneys Riddle and Brantley filed a lawsuit against the railroad company and its insurer, strengthening the case with eyewitness testimony from our client’s co-worker. The case was settled prior to trial in two negotiated settlements.
“They turned a heartbreaking situation completely around.”
–Tonya T., Riddle & Brantley client
Talk with a Mesothelioma Attorney for Free Today
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos, you may have a claim for compensation and you deserve justice. At Riddle & Brantley, our firm has been fighting on behalf of mesothelioma victims and their loved ones since 1985, and we’re ready to help however we can. For a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and easy form below.
We can consult with you for free from anywhere by phone, email, text, or video conference. For the convenience of our Spanish-speaking clients, we have bilingual interpreters on staff. Don’t wait — the longer you wait, the harder it may be to prove liability and get the compensation you need and deserve.
At Riddle & Brantley, we believe Justice Counts for victims of mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. We’re ready to help however we can. Call us today at 1-800-525-7111 and let’s talk.
*** Disclaimer: The results mentioned are intended to illustrate the type of cases handled by the firm. These results do not guarantee a similar outcome, and they should not be construed to constitute a promise or guarantee of a particular result in any particular case. Every case is different, and the outcome of any case depends upon a variety of factors unique to that case.
*** Disclaimer: An attorney must meet certain requirements to join these organizations or receive these awards. For more information on Membership Criteria for Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers “Rising Star” designation, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, The National Association of Distinguished Counsel, AV Preeminent designation by Martindale-Hubbell, the Litigator Award, and other memberships, awards, and accolades, please visit our Membership Criteria page. These awards and memberships should not be construed as a promise or guarantee of a similar result. Each case is different and must be evaluated separately.