Mesothelioma is aggressive cancer; it kills. And its cause is mostly linked to exposure to asbestos. People suffering from mesothelioma are usually those who worked with or around the asbestos, had family members who worked with or around the substance, or had the substance in their homes. Manufacturers of the substance mostly went bankrupt due to the lawsuits, and through reorganization of those lawsuits, trusts for victims were set up. But these trusts do not provide the kind of compensation victims and their families deserve. In fact, on average, persons who file claims with the trusts only receive up to 25 percent of what they are rightfully owed. In part, this is due to the trusts’ need to ensure there will be funds for future anticipated claims.
As such, many victims and their families file lawsuits. This is especially true in cases where the victim has already died and so family members or beneficiaries of the decedent’s estate file wrongful death lawsuits. In order to win these cases, the right evidence is needed. Here, we provide an overview for those of you thinking about filing your own wrongful death lawsuit to give you an idea of what this evidence may entail.
What evidence is needed to prove mesothelioma wrongful death claims?
Each case is unique and as such, the evidence will vary. But there are common pieces of evidence that are required in almost every case. Below is a description of what these common pieces of evidence are.
- Cause of death. In wrongful death cases, you need proof of the cause of death. In mesothelioma cases, you need proof your loved one died of mesothelioma. This proof is usually found in medical records diagnosing the disease and death records identifying the actual cause of death. Expert testimony of medical providers may also prove important.
- Medical records. As mentioned, medical records are necessary to identify the injury and the cause of death.
- Employment records. If the victim worked in an industry that he or she was exposed to asbestos on a regular basis, then you need proof of this exposure. Employment records will be needed to establish this relationship. Co-workers may also be able to testify to the work conditions, job functions, and the presence of asbestos or asbestos-containing products. If the decedent has no known regular exposure to asbestos, then the case will be hard to prove.
- Documentation of funeral or burial expenses. You have the right to be recompensed for funeral expenses — within reason. Keep all receipts, contracts, and other documentation associated with the decedent’s funeral, burial, or cremation.
- Home-based asbestos exposure. If exposure to asbestos was home-related, then proof of the same is required. Home-based exposure to asbestos can occur when a home is built using the substance, when it is remodeled, when asbestos is improperly removed, or when a family member brings the substance home after exposed on the job. Records of building materials and of the building company (or removal company) may be beneficial and relevant.
To prove your case, a qualified, experienced attorney can help you identify all the key and supporting evidence you need. You only have one opportunity for fair and just compensation, so you want to get it right. Contact The Ledger Law Firm to discuss your case today. We have the resources, the knowledge, and the commitment to make sure the evidence you need for your case is the evidence we document and provide.