Who Has the Right to File a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Claim?
Mesothelioma is a devastating form of cancer. It can take decades to develop symptoms and can then progress within just a few years to completely destroy someone’s house.
Although modern medicine has made incredible advances in the treatment options available for many different kinds of cancer, a true cure for mesothelioma remains elusive. It is generally a terminal cancer, with only 10% of patients surviving even five years after the diagnosis.
If you lost a loved one to mesothelioma, does that mean that you have the right to make a wrongful death claim?
Is There Reason to Blame a Particular Business for the Mesothelioma?
To have an actionable wrongful death claim, you need to be able to show that a person or business caused a death through their wrongful actions or negligence. Given that medical experts recognize the dangers posed by asbestos decades before the United States government started imposing strict exposure limits on the substance, businesses that did not adequately protect their workers from exposure may be liable.
This is particularly true for those that did not provide proper safety equipment and sanitation services after the implementation of asbestos exposure limits. Provided that you can show that your deceased loved one had workplace or environmental exposure to mesothelioma and that the company broke the law or was clearly negligent in their safety practices, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
Typically Only Close Family Members or Executive Orders Have the Right
Wrongful death statutes vary from state to state, which means that the jurisdiction where you file the lawsuit will ultimately determine the party with the right to do so.
In most states, spouses and children have the strongest wrongful death claim rights, although parents and sometimes siblings or grandparents can also file claims. In some states, wrongful death claims can only be brought by a representative of the estate of the deceased. Their executor can then distribute proceeds from a successful claim among their dependent family members.
If you can connect your loved one’s mesothelioma to a business and if your relationship is close enough to give you the statutory right to seek compensation as a dependent, your family may be able to hold that business accountable through a civil lawsuit after a tragic mesothelioma death.
Recognizing your rights in this matter can be the first step towards seeking justice after asbestos exposure irrevocably changed your family.