Mesothelioma is cancer that older people usually experience, and they experience it often because of a chemical they used at work or at home. Mesothelioma is expensive to treat. It’s hard both on your finances, your body, and your mind, not to mention how hard it is on your family and friends. No one wants to experience this. But unfortunately, some of you are, and you are experiencing it through no fault of your own, and yet you still have to deal with the consequences. It makes you wonder though, if you didn’t cause this, did somebody else. And if somebody else caused it, are you entitled to compensation.
The answer is a likely: yes. You are entitled to recover for your damages. But to be compensated, you must first prove the other party was at fault. Here’s what you should know.
You are reading this blog because you have questions, and you have suffered and have already expended a lot of time, energy, and finances. You may be the victim of Mesothelioma or you may be a family member caring for the victim of this type of cancer. If the cancer was caused by a product you used at work or at home, then you may have a claim for compensation. If so, you have the right to be compensated economic and non-economic damages. If you are not familiar with what this means, then here’s a short summary.
These are expenses that already have a price tag associated with them or a value can be defined relatively easy. The typical examples include:
- medical expenses, including tests, therapy, treatment, and rehabilitation
- lost wages
- loss earned income
- out-of-pocket expenses
- funeral expenses.
Non-economic damages are intangible costs where a monetary value is more difficult to attain, and indeed, may never be fully recovered. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- pain and suffering
- loss of enjoyment
- loss of consortium
- mental anguish.
Proving Fault to Recover Damages
To recover compensatory damages in a Mesothelioma case, you have to prove the product caused your injury, and if so, the maker of the product is liable for your injury (the cancer). Mesothelioma cases are usually product liability cases, and these cases can be approached using two different theories:
- negligence; and
- strict liability.
The compensation you receive may vary according to which theory you is used to prove your case.
Under the negligence theory, you must be able to show the presence of four basic elements:
- a person or entity owed you a duty of care, and in this case, it would possibly be the maker of the chemical product you used and breathed over the years owing you a duty to provide a safe product and/or to inform you of any dangers, among other things;
- the duty of care was breached, meaning the maker was negligent and failed to warn you of the dangerous chemicals in the product;
- the duty caused an injury, meaning breathing the chemicals directly caused your Mesothelioma; and
- the injury resulted in monetary damages, meaning you had to seek and pay for treatment, at a minimum.
If these elements are present, then the liable party must compensate you.
Under a strict liability claim, there is no need to prove fault. All that is required is that the maker, seller, or other person or entity along the supply chain provided a product that caused your injury.
Getting Help with Your Case
Remember, the above summary is just that: a summary. There is a lot that goes into these cases. Expert testimony may be required. An analysis of your medical records, among many other factors, will also be required. Speaking to an attorney can help you understand your options. Being informed is the best way for you to decide which path to take: to file a claim, to file a lawsuit, or something altogether different. Getting a free consultation is in your best interests, but you should do so today because we never know about tomorrow. Contact us for an initial free consultation and to learn more about your Mesothelioma case in California.