Dedicated Maryland Mesothelioma Lawyers
Mesothelioma, also known as malignant mesothelioma, is a cancer that affects the chest wall and the lungs. This disease is almost always caused by asbestos exposure and it is deadly. In fact, mesothelioma is almost always fatal and the average victim lives less than 12 months after the first onset of symptoms.
All told, mesothelioma kills about 2,000 Americans every year. Because it is a fatal disease and because it progresses quickly, it is important that justice, in the form of full compensation, be swift. If not, a personal injury claim must be converted into a wrongful death claim in favor of the survivors. It is vital you get in touch with our experienced Maryland mesothelioma lawyers if you have been exposed to asbestos or have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The Crime of the Century
The deadly nature of asbestos was known by the asbestos industry as early as the 1930s. Yet the use of asbestos proliferated for decades after that, and you can use this willful blindness on the part of asbestos manufacturers to hold the manufacturer liable for your illness. In fact, Maryland products liability law doesn’t necessarily even require a showing of negligence to establish liability.
Long after the dangers of asbestos had become known, it was being used in a stunningly wide variety of household products from insulation to countertops. The use of asbestos products has been gradually phased out beginning in the 1970s.
How Do I Overcome the Legal Obstacles to Compensation?
The most insidious aspect of asbestos poisoning is that it often takes decades to make you sick. Meanwhile, the company that manufactured the asbestos that poisoned you might have gone out of business, and the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit might have expired. Both of these problems have been dealt with, although not to the complete satisfaction of victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer. Having skillful Maryland mesothelioma lawyers on your side is critical.
What are Maryland’s Statutes of Limitations?
Statutes of limitations, for example, typically include a “discovery rule” that allows you to delay the applicability of the statute of limitations period (three years for personal injury in Maryland, for example) until you actually discover that you are ill and that asbestos exposure was the cause. The company closure problem has been partially solved by requiring asbestos producers to establish a trust fund for compensating mesothelioma victims as a condition for bankruptcy.
We Can Help You Fight Back
Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P., has been helping injured victims demand fair compensation for more than 35 years now. Yes, our personal injury attorneys regularly receive awards recognizing them as some of the nation’s best lawyers. And yes, our firm is widely considered one of the best personal injury law firm in Maryland. But the bottom line is this: we have won a staggering $1 billion in compensation for our clients over the years. Enough said.
What Our Clients Say
“We owe so much to Mr. Schloss and you for taking care of us and leading the way when times were tough. Money can’t buy that kind of dedication.” – A Maryland Client
“You have taught me so much about patience and the law. My wife and I both believe you have done an excellent job watching out for our best interests. It’s because of your hard work that we have had about the best year since the start of this whole mess.” – Another Maryland Client
Related Areas of Practice
We also practice in the following areas of personal injury law, among many others:
Medical Malpractice: Most doctors are competent and reliable, and most medical malpractice arises from the same few doctors who offend time and time again. Even good doctors, however, can commit malpractice. And even the American Medical Association counts medical malpractice as the nation’s third-leading cause of death. This state of affairs demands a response.
Worker’s Compensation: A workers’ compensation claim arises when you are injured at work or suffer a work-related injury. It is easier to win a workers’ compensation claim than it is to win a personal injury lawsuit against a third party; however, damages are more limited. We know how to guide you through the system for maximum results.
Products Liability: Most mesothelioma lawsuits are filed under products liability law. Products liability law can apply to many different types of injuries as well, from defective car airbags to unreasonably dangerous prescription drugs. These cases tend to be technically complex, which means that the assistance of experienced legal counsel is a necessity.
Federal Tort Claims Act: An ancient legal principle stated that “The king can do no wrong,” meaning that you couldn’t sue the king. Under the the modern version, you can’t sue the government without its consent because compensation would come out of public tax money. The Federal Tort Claims Act allows you to sue the federal government for most personal injury claims.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the most common sources of asbestos exposure?
Many different kinds of consumer products used to contain asbestos, including:
- Fireproofing spray;
- Certain cements, plasters and joint compounds;
- Fire brick;
- Roof, floor, and ceiling tiles;
- Automobile brakes; and
- Automobile clutches.
Why can’t I handle my claim on my own?
You will need a lawyer to help you discover the cause of your exposure and track down the manufacturer you need to file your claim against. You will also need a lawyer to handle the technical aspects of negotiating a settlement, filing a lawsuit and, perhaps, bringing your case to trial. Without the credible threat of a trial verdict, you may have little negotiating leverage. As knowledgeable Maryland mesothelioma attorneys we can take care of all theses matters.
Can I sue the U.S. government if I was exposed to asbestos while serving in the military?
Most mesothelioma victims who were exposed in the military sue the manufacturer, not the military.
Am I eligible for workers compensation benefits?
You might be. Maryland Workers’ Compensation law allows you to file a claim against your employer and win without proving that your employer was even at fault. You are ineligible, however, for certain kinds of damages such as pain and suffering.
Can I file a lawsuit as soon as I discover that I have been exposed to asbestos?
No. Millions of people have been exposed to asbestos, and only a few of them develop symptoms. The best time to file a claim is immediately after you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.
Can I file a lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one?
It depends on your relationship to the deceased. Under the Maryland wrongful death statute, spouses, parents, and children can file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages for loss of companionship, loss of financial support, etc. Meanwhile, the personal representative of the victim’s probate estate can also file a survival action to recover damages for the victim’s pain and suffering, medical expenses, burial expenses, etc.
What are the chances my case will be settled out of court?
A lot better than 50/50 (at least statistically) since most of our mesothelioma clients settle out of court. In some cases, however, it may be necessary to go to court to get a fair deal. In any case, your permission is required before we can accept any kind of settlement on your behalf.
What are some other diseases that can be caused by exposure to asbestos?
Some other diseases that may be caused by asbestos exposure include:
- lung disease; and
- lung cancer.
Mesothelioma claims are typically stronger claims, however, because asbestos exposure is just about the only cause of mesothelioma, reducing the need to prove that asbestos exposure was the cause of your disease.
Can smoking cause or aggravate mesothelioma?
No. Smoking neither causes nor aggravates mesothelioma – although it can increase pain and reduce the effectiveness of treatment. Don’t let the other side trick you into thinking that your condition was partly your fault (which would save them a lot of money at your expense). Both smoking and asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer, however.
Think You Can’t Afford to Hire a Lawyer?
Think again, because you can and you don’t need a dime to do it. That’s because, here at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson. DePaolis & Lightfoot. L.L.P., we don’t charge our clients unless we win. We charge no upfront fees, and your bill will not come due until and unless we win your case and the money actually arrives. Even then, our fees are prorated to the amount you win. We can afford to offer this fee structure because we win almost all of our personal injury cases.
Don’t Let the Glue of Circumstance Harden around Your Feet – Act Today
The most important decision you are likely to make in your entire case is likely to be who you choose to represent you. When it comes to compensation for a catastrophic loss such as mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, hiring an experienced lawyer is the key. If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, call our proven Maryland mesothelioma lawyers or simply contact us online for a free initial consultation.