If you have a loved one that was made sick after asbestos exposure, they may be entitled to file for compensation depending on how they were exposed. If your loved one loses their battle with mesothelioma or another asbestos illness, things change somewhat from the legal perspective.
There are two instances where you can be the plaintiff in a suit to collect asbestos exposure compensation for a spouse who has passed away.
First is if your spouse had already filed a lawsuit prior to their passing. In this case, the lawsuit could simply be altered so that you are the plaintiff rather than your spouse. The second is if your spouse passes away and you decide to file a wrongful death suit to compensate you for the loss of your loved one.
Asbestos Risks in Washington State
According to health and mortality data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Washington state has the sixth highest death rate in the country for malignant mesothelioma. Almost 10,000 people lose their lives each year due to asbestos-induced illness – this is close to 30 lives taken every day by asbestos used by corporations who knew the risks to workers they exposed! And statistics indicate that the rate of lives lost to asbestos will continue to increase each year.
Statute of Limitations
For the person that was harmed by asbestos to file a compensation claim, it must be filed within three years of diagnosis. But in some cases, depending on the prognosis and if there is a rapid decline in health, you may choose to focus on the health of your spouse rather than spend time on legal matters. If this is your case, as a spouse, you have up until three years after the death of your spouse to file a wrongful death suit against those responsible for exposing your loved one to the asbestos that made them ill.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death, by definition, occurs when someone loses their life as a result of the willful actions or negligence of a third party. This third party can be an individual or a business. In the case of asbestos, wrongful death compensation suits are typically filed against companies that provided the asbestos laden components that exposed your loved one and caused their death. For instance, if your spouse was a tile layer and the tiles contained asbestos, the tile manufacturer may be liable for the exposure.
Have Questions? Need Help? Contact Bergman Draper Oslund Now
If your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we can help. If your loved one has lost their struggle with asbestos disease, we can help. Bergman Draper Oslund has won more than $700 million in settlements for our clients who have themselves been diagnosed with mesothelioma or who have had family members affected. Call us for an immediate free consultation about making a mesothelioma claim on behalf of your spouse that has passed away.