In several posts on this blog, we have discussed the tragic toll that asbestos exposure can take on people’s health. Unfortunately, many of the cases we explore and talk about here involve a person who has died as a result of an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma. These illnesses can be devastating because they are often severe and can progress very quickly, leaving victims with few options for effective treatment. Sadly, many people pass away within a matter of months after being diagnosed.
This is why it is often left up to the victim’s family to take legal action on behalf of their loved one. Many family members choose to pursue a wrongful death claim as this can be an effective way for families to seek compensation, accountability and closure.
In order to pursue damages through a wrongful death claim involving asbestos, several factors need to be established.
- A person must have died as a result of asbestos exposure and subsequent illness
- The death must be caused by a party that failed to comply with asbestos regulations and/or warn people about the presence of asbestos in a particular area or product
- The victim’s family members have suffered financial damages as a result of their loss
- A person has been selected to represent the decedent’s estate
If all of these elements are in place, a wrongful death claim can proceed. However, even with all these pieces in place, complications can arise. Parties named in asbestos lawsuits will often go to great lengths to deny that they had anything to do with a person’s illness; they may often try to blame other parties or even the victim so that they don’t have to face the financial consequences. Calculating damages can also be more complicated than people expect.
It is also crucial to note that there is a clock ticking. There are statutes of limitations in place that define how long people have to file a wrongful death claim. Once the clock runs out, it can be impossible to pursue legal remedies.
Family members who have lost someone due to asbestos exposure should understand that reaching out for legal help sooner, rather than later, can be crucial in building a wrongful death case. With adequate time and resources, it can be possible to families to pursue the compensation and closure they deserve.