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Mesothelioma Legal Help FAQs

When a family is confronted with a diagnosis of mesothelioma their lives are immediately turned upside down. At the same time, they are struggling with the medical issues at hand, it is necessary to commence legal proceedings to protect their rights and preserve all the information necessary for the legal proceedings. Below, we have responded to some of the most common questions from our clients and their families. Mesothelioma can be a difficult disease to understand, and if you or a loved one have been diagnosed, you are certain to have numerous questions. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact us – we can help you find answers.

Legal Help FAQs

Legal Help

What Legal Options Are Available To Individuals Injured By Asbestos?

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the companies responsible for your asbestos exposure. This can include the companies that made, sold and installed the asbestos. A lawsuit can provide financial compensation to help you and your family pay for medical bills, lost wages and other losses caused by asbestos disease.

It’s OK if you don’t remember the names of the products that exposed you to asbestos or even if you don’t recall how you were exposed. After discussing your employment history with you, our experienced personal injury attorneys will perform an exhaustive investigation of all the ways you may have been exposed to asbestos. We have extensive knowledge and blueprints of New York work sites and asbestos products that help us to pinpoint where and how a client was exposed. We will get to the bottom of your asbestos exposure and make sure that all liable parties pay their fair share to you and your family.

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you have limited time to file a claim and should contact an attorney about your case. The spouse and family of an injured victim may also be eligible to bring legal claims. To contact Belluck & Fox, click here.

If I Don’t Remember How I was Exposed To Asbestos, What Can I Do?

It’s quite common for people with an asbestos-related disease not to recall the exact time, place, or nature of their asbestos exposure. This is largely due to the fact that these diseases can take decades to appear following exposure. Also, asbestos was used in so many everyday products, from talcum powder to cement to automotive brakes, that some people were exposed without realizing it. And many people knowingly handled asbestos but didn’t know that it was dangerous until much later because companies hid this information from the public.

At Belluck & Fox, we devote a substantial amount of time to reviewing your work and life history to identify possible exposures to asbestos. In many instances, a person may not be aware that certain products, such as floor tiles, brake linings, cements and even hair dryers contained asbestos. In addition, we are familiar with the use and presence of asbestos at many work sites and factories, including powerhouses, shipyards, schools and large buildings. We can find the witnesses and documents that will help establish your exposure to asbestos.

Belluck & Fox spends hours researching and investigating each asbestos case. We also use our substantial experience to help us investigate how you were exposed to asbestos and the companies responsible for your exposure. Our inventory of cases is limited to clients with serious injuries and we devote significant time and resources to each case.

What Are The Stages Of The Lawsuit And What Is My Involvement?

Many of our clients have never been involved in a lawsuit. Although each case is different, there are some common elements to every case:

#1 FIRST CONTACT

Our first contact with you is a personal telephone call from Mr. Belluck or Mr. Fox. During that telephone call, if we determine that you should pursue a legal claim, we will schedule an appointment to meet with you as soon as possible, often within 24 hours. During that initial meeting, which can be at your home or in our office, we:

– explain the process of filing and prosecuting a lawsuit;
– explore your work, life and medical history; and,
– obtain signed authorizations to get copies of medical and employment records

During the meeting, if we conclude that there is a reasonable chance of a successful outcome, we will present you with a retainer agreement. A retainer is a legal fee agreement between Belluck & Fox and our clients that explains the legal fees and other terms related to our representation. The attorney who meets with you will explain the details of this agreement.

Below is the list of next steps:

#2 FILING THE COMPLAINT

#3 PROSECUTING THE CASE

#4 SETTLEMENTS

#5 TRIAL

For a detailed description of each step, please visit 5 Steps on a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Will You File My Case As A Class Action Or As An Individual Lawsuit?

Each claim that we file is an individual lawsuit. We do not file class actions for asbestos cases. An individual lawsuit maximizes your opportunity to receive compensation. It also provides us an opportunity to present the unique and compelling aspects of each case. We take great pride in our relationships with our clients, and will represent you as an individual.

What If My Loved One Had Died Or Is Too Sick To Speak To An Attorney?

By the time a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, they are often too ill to participate in their own case. In some cases, your loved one may have passed away before a lawsuit was brought and before they were able to testify on their own behalf.

If an individual is unable to testify, we work closely with family, friends and co-workers to establish the facts we need to successfully prosecute the case. We also have access to a vast array of resources to secure information about the products to which your loved one was exposed.

If the individual has died, we can file a claim through the administrator or the executor of the estate, and also on behalf of the victim’s relatives.

If your family member (parent, spouse) has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer, or died from these illnesses, contact Belluck & Fox for an evaluation of your case.

Do I Have To Pay For The Costs Of My Lawsuit?

If you decide to retain our services, we will work for you and your family on a contingency basis. This means that we do not receive a fee unless we our successful in obtaining settlements or recovering compensation for you and your family. Otherwise, you will not be billed for our services.

While the case is pending, we advance the costs of working on your case. Once the case is completed, the expenses and legal fees in your case are deducted from the money we recover on your behalf, and you and your family receive the remaining money from your settlements.

If you are considering hiring Belluck & Fox to prosecute your claim, one of our attorneys will sit down with you and answer any questions you may have about the contingency agreement. It is important to us that you are fully aware of the details of the contract before we begin to work on your claim. We will give you a copy of the retainer contract so that you may review it and discuss it with us at any time.

Are There Time Limits For Filing A Legal Claim?

You do not have an unlimited amount of time to file a personal injury claim. Each state has laws that limit the amount of time an individual has to file a lawsuit. Failure to comply with these laws may result in you being barred from taking legal action against asbestos companies. Once you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis, the clock begins to tick. For that reason, you are advised to consult with an attorney immediately after your asbestos disease diagnosis. Protect your legal rights. Contact Belluck & Fox.

If I Smoked Cigarettes, Can I Still File A Claim Against The Asbestos Companies?

Smoking does not cause mesothelioma or asbestosis. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestosis, it was caused by your asbestos exposure, and has no relationship to your smoking.

Asbestos alone can also cause lung cancer. If you smoked in the past or are presently smoking, and have been diagnosed with lung cancer, asbestos may also be a cause of your cancer. For smokers, asbestos and tobacco act together, greatly increasing the risk of lung cancer. The combination of smoking and asbestos can increase the risk factor of lung cancer.

 

Which Companies Are Sued In Asbestos Cases?

The typical entities that are sued in asbestos cases are:

* manufacturers of asbestos-containing products;

* contractors that installed and repaired asbestos-containing products and equipment;

* suppliers who provided the materials to the work site; and,

* owners of property who allowed asbestos materials to be used on their property.

We typically do not sue your employer due to workers’ compensation laws. Instead, we work with you and your family to identify the manufacturers, sellers, distributors, suppliers and contractors that were responsible for your exposure to asbestos.

I Have Read About Many Asbestos Companies Filing For Bankruptcy, How Do These Bankruptcies Affect My Case?

Over the past two years, some of the corporations responsible for asbestos products have sought protection from lawsuits by filing for bankruptcy. Instead of filing a lawsuit against these companies, a fund is established by the bankruptcy courts to compensate asbestos victims.

The impact of these bankruptcies is significant. It is the duty of any attorney handling an asbestos case to identify all responsible parties that caused your exposure to asbestos.

Belluck & Fox is familiar with and has experience with recovering compensation from the bankruptcy funds. As part of our representation of you and your family, we will file claims with all of the appropriate bankruptcy funds to secure all available compensation for you and your family.

For a list of bankrupt defendants, click here.

Which Asbestos Companies Are Bankrupt Or Out Of Business?

Among the corporations that have filed for bankruptcy or are defunct are:

– GAF Corporation
– Johns-Manville Corporation
– Raybestos
– Eagle-Picher
– Celotex
– UNARCO
– HK Porter
– Keene Corporation/ Baldwin-Ehret Hill
– Nicolet/ Keasbey & Mattison
– Asbestospray
– US Minerals Corporation
– US Gypsum Corporation
– W.R. Grace
– AP Green
– Harbison-Walker
– North American Refractories Corporation (NARCO)
– National Gypsum
– Babcock & Wilcox
– Owens Corning Fiberglas
– Armstrong World Industries
– Phillip Carey Corporation
– Pittsburgh Corning Corporation
– Fibreboard Corporation
– 48 Insulations
– Kaiser Aluminum
– Federal Mogul
– EJ Bartells
– Morrison Knudsen
– Rutland
– AC&S

How Can I Find Out If I Should File An Asbestos Lawsuit?

We carefully select our cases in order to devote personal attention to each and every client. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis, contact Belluck & Fox, and we will respond within 24 hours to promptly evaluate your case. There is no charge for this evaluation. We will only represent you and your family if we believe there is a reasonable likelihood of a successful outcome in your case.

Is There Going To Be A Trial In My Lawsuit?

As with any lawsuit, we make every effort to resolve your case without a trial. In many instances, we are able to fully resolve your case without a trial. However, in some cases, a responsible party will refuse to pay fair compensation for your injuries, and a trial is necessary to assure that justice is achieved for you and your family. As experienced trial lawyers, Belluck & Fox is fully prepared to prosecute your case from start to finish, including a trial.

From the time we first meet with you, we consider and act upon your wishes and priorities. There are clients who want to have trial to have their case heard by a jury of their peers. There are also clients who, for a variety of reasons, do not prefer a trial, and we work closely with these clients to advise them about their options for resolving their claims without a trial proceeding. At all stages of the case, including the decision regarding whether to proceed to trial, our first priority is you and your family.

How Long Will It Take For My Lawsuit To Be Completed?

As experienced attorneys specializing in asbestos litigation, we make every effort to advance your case as quickly as possible. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, we will petition the courts to resolve your case within one year.  Most of our cases are resolved within one year.

How Do I Know That Belluck & Fox Will Treat My Family With Dignity And Give Individual Attention To My Case?

A cornerstone of Belluck & Fox is personalized legal representation. Clients and their family work directly with one of our personal injury lawyers throughout the legal process, from the initial investigation until resolution. We let you know at every step where the case stands and what your legal rights and options are. If you have any questions at any time you can reach out to us, even at home and on weekends. At the same time, we respect your family’s desire for privacy and will not ask you to be more involved than is necessary in the case. The key is finding the right balance, as every case and every family is different. This is what we mean by personalized representation. We will respect your needs while protecting your rights.

Can I Contact a Lawyer On Behalf Of My Father, Husband Or Relative?

Yes. If your father, mother, husband, wife, or other relative has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact Belluck & Fox. We will work with you to help your family protect your legal rights and receive full and fair compensation for these injuries. We have significant experience working with the families of asbestos victims.

To contact Belluck & Fox, click here.

How do I choose a law firm to handle my New York Mesothelioma case?

Experience matters when it comes to choosing a law firm to handle your New York mesothelioma case. Proven results matter too. Joseph Belluck and Jordan Fox are recognized as two of the top mesothelioma lawyers in the country. With decades of experience representing asbestos victims across the United States, the law firm of Belluck & Fox has secured more than $600 million for the hundreds of mesothelioma clients and families they have represented. They recently won verdicts in the amounts of $32 million and $19.5 million for their clients and were listed as one of America’s best law firms by US News and World Report and Best Lawyers magazine. Why settle for a firm with less experience?

The attorneys at Belluck & Fox have a comprehensive database of the asbestos products and companies that may have caused your disease. The firm has built an extensive document library and retained a team of experts to assist victims and their families with their claims. They also have a thorough understanding of the medical issues mesothelioma victims face.

Mesothelioma cases are complex. The attorneys at Belluck & Fox realize that the circumstances surrounding each case are unique. We also know that dealing with mesothelioma creates a great amount of stress for patients and their families. With Belluck & Fox, you’ll never feel like you are in this battle alone. We treat every client with respect and compassion and provide personalized, thoughtful representation. We maintain frequent contact with our clients and make ourselves available to clients at all times. Let Belluck & Fox will deal with the legal issues so you can focus on your health.

Simply put, Belluck & Fox has the experience, resources, compassion and know-how to get you and your family the compensation you deserve.

How Do You Prove Which Asbestos Companies Are Responsible For My Injury?

As part of our representation, we fully investigate and prosecute each individual case. We will fully interview you and other witnesses, such as your coworkers. We also have a vast library of documents and testimony about the companies that made asbestos products and the products used at your job sites — documents and testimony that we have gathered in other asbestos cases. This information can be used in your case. We will also gather additional evidence in your case, including new documents from the asbestos companies and additional testimony about the products that were used at your worksites.

Belluck & Fox prides itself on our commitment to investigating each case. We handle each case individually. From the initial meeting, we will start our research and investigation of your claims, and we will continue to represent you throughout every phase of your case.

We will respond to all inquiries within 24 hours.

Our Attorneys

  • Bryan Belasky Attorney
  • Jordan Fox Attorney
  • Joe Belluck Attorney
  • Seth Dymond Attorney
  • James Long Attorney
  • Brian Fitzpatrick Attorney
  • Richard White Attorney
  • William McDonald Attorney
  • Bonnie Steinwolf Attorney
  • Brittany Russell Attorney
  • David Satisky Attorney
  • Jessica Russel Attorneys
  • John Ryan Attorneys
  • Mike Macrides Attorney
  • Rachel Lanier
  • William Papain Attorney