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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Can You Claim for Mesothelioma After Death of a Loved One?

When a loved one dies because of asbestos exposure, it can be a heart-wrenching experience. Grievers naturally wonder if there's a way to seek justice after their passing.

The answer lies in filing a wrongful death lawsuit. This pathway is available to those seeking financial compensation and accountability for their loss.

What Is an Asbestos Claim After Death?

What Is an Asbestos Claim After Death?

Wrongful death claims are legal actions that family members can pursue after the death of a loved one. In the case of mesothelioma, an asbestos claim seeks to prove responsibility for the victim's illness and eventual demise.

It's not easy to file a personal injury claim regarding asbestos exposure. The victim's estate representative must meet certain conditions in the lawsuit. These include the following:

1. Establishing a link between the deceased's mesothelioma and asbestos exposure.

2. Identifying the parties responsible for the asbestos exposure. This may involve former employers or manufacturers.

3. Ensuring the wrongful death claim is filed within the legal timeline. This can vary by state.

Wrongful death claims aim to provide financial compensation to the surviving family members. The reimbursement can address emotional and monetary hardships resulting from the loss.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Asbestos claims are legal avenues plaintiffs can use to seek justice for the negligence of another party. However, not everyone can file a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit.

Spouses and Domestic Partners

The court grants current spouses and domestic partners the primary right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in many jurisdictions.

These asbestos claims are straightforward when the deceased was in a legally recognized partnership. The surviving spouse can pursue the wrongful death claim individually or as a representative of the family.


On the other hand, children of the deceased mesothelioma victim also have the right to file an asbestos claim after death. The court allows the kids the legal right, mainly if the victim does not have a surviving spouse or domestic partner.

Adult children (18+) can also file wrongful death lawsuits. However, the state may sometimes limit the right to minors only.


Surviving parents of a deceased child can also file a wrongful death claim. This is more common when the victim has no spouse, domestic partner, or kids.

Other Dependents

In some situations, people financially dependent on the victim may be able to file a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit. This can include stepchildren, adopted kids, or anyone who relied on the deceased for monetary support.


On the other hand, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins may also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit for mesothelioma.

However, they meet the requirements only if no closer relatives are available. The relatives must also demonstrate their financial dependency and reasons for filing the asbestos claim.

Estate Representatives

If no immediate family members are available to file an asbestos claim after death, the estate's personal representative has the right to continue the lawsuit.

The damages the court awards in such cases are distributed to the deceased's heirs or beneficiaries according to their will or state laws.

It's important to note that wrongful death laws vary by jurisdiction. Eligibility criteria can differ from one place to another. The circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one also influence the lawsuit.

Surviving members should seek legal counsel. A personal injury attorney can provide guidance on whether they qualify for a wrongful death claim.

Statute of Limitations for a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful death claims are complicated. The estate representative or family members must know the statutes of limitations. This legal timeframe can impact their ability to seek compensation.

Variability by State

The statutes of limitations for asbestos claims after death vary from one state to another. A qualified lawyer can help plaintiffs determine the applicable lawsuit timeline. In Indiana, the period is two years from when the loved one dies after being exposed to asbestos.

This timeline usually begins on the date of the deceased's passing, but many states measure it from the date of diagnosis. The precise start of the period can influence the plaintiff's wrongful death claim.


Some jurisdictions allow extensions to the period. This is the "discovery rule." It considers the moment the medical expert reasonably discovered the mesothelioma disease.

The extension is critical for cases where asbestos exposure is diagnosed years or even decades after the demise of a loved one.

Effects of the Statute of Limitations

Failing to file asbestos claims after death within the specific timeline can result in losing the right to seek compensation. Plaintiffs must act quickly when pursuing wrongful death lawsuits.

Average Mesothelioma Settlement in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure, can have devastating consequences. Losing a loved one to such a disease is never easy. Still, securing a settlement can hold the at-fault parties accountable. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has more information to questions like What is the average mesothelioma settlement?

The average mesothelioma settlement in Indiana ranges between $1M to $1.5M. This amount may cover medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages, and the pain and suffering of the surviving family members.

A mesothelioma lawyer will distribute the amount in a lump sum or in installments. There are a few factors that influence the average mesothelioma settlement amount in Indiana:

The Severity of the Illness

The stage at which mesothelioma is diagnosed and its impact on the victim's health are significant factors. More severe cases may result in larger payouts.

Exposure History

On the other hand, the duration of the exposure plays a pivotal role. Patients with long histories in high-risk industries typically recover larger compensation amounts.

Defendant Companies

The number and financial stability of the defendants can influence the settlement amount in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

No compensation can alleviate the pain of losing a loved one to wrongful death. However, reimbursement can put the blame on the people or corporations that deserve it. Also, it can help surviving family members pay off towering medical bills and funeral expenses.

Wrongful death lawsuits have a lot of grey areas. Plaintiffs should consult with a mesothelioma lawyer to navigate the process effectively. A reputable attorney can also help representatives understand who is eligible to file wrongful death lawsuits in Indiana.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

This form of cancer usually affects the lung linings. However, it can also appear in other regions, such as the abdomen or heart. Early detection is crucial for effective treatment. The symptoms of the disease vary depending on the stage of the disease:

  • Shortness of breath

  • Persistent dry cough

  • Chest pain

  • Fluid build-up

  • Muscle weakness

  • Anemia

  • Night sweats

  • Fever

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

Mesothelioma symptoms can be pretty general and hard to pinpoint. They may also resemble common flu conditions. The latency period is also long, meaning the symptoms may manifest slowly.

As a result, anyone working in high-risk industries should routinely get medical checkups. The symptoms may appear years or decades later, but they leave the body fragile. Victims should seek medical attention as soon as possible to minimize damages. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like Does everyone with mesothelioma get a settlement?

Understanding the symptoms of mesothelioma is a vital step in identifying and addressing this aggressive disease. It can ultimately make a significant difference in the prognosis and quality of life for those affected.

Documenting Asbestos Exposure Before a Loved One Dies

Documenting Asbestos Exposure Before a Loved One Dies

There's no way to predict the death of a person. However, representatives or family members of the mesothelioma patient should start collecting documents regarding the disease and its diagnosis before tragedy strikes.

Proper evidence can strengthen the wrongful death claim (if it leads to death) and establish a clear link between the exposure and the resulting illness.

1. Medical Records

The plaintiff(s) should collect medical records documenting the victim's diagnosis, treatment, and information regarding the exposure. These documents should include reports from healthcare providers, radiology experts, and pathologists.

2. Detailed Work History

It's essential for the plaintiff to find a causation between the workplace and asbestos exposure. The work history should include the names of employers, job titles, and date of employment.

3. Witness Statements

Testimonies from coworkers, supervisors, or anyone confirming the exposure can help strengthen the case.

4. Visual Proof

Photographs and videos showing asbestos-containing materials in the workplace are vital. Identifying which products contain the material can also help in the lawsuit.

Many manufacturers have trust funds to compensate victims of exposure. Surviving family members can also try to file claims with such foundations.

Final Words

The process of claiming asbestos compensation after the death of a loved one is physically and emotionally draining. Seeking justice becomes necessary when this disease takes the life of a family member.

Filing an asbestos claim for mesothelioma compensation offers hope for a sense of closure and financial support to carry on.

Helpful mesothelioma attorneys can provide legal assistance to the survivors. The average settlement varies from state to state. However, an experienced mesothelioma attorney can help victims understand the intricacies of the case. They are well-versed in asbestos-related lawsuits.

The experts at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys know how to navigate the loopholes in such complex cases. With a slogan that states, "We Go to War for You," the mesothelioma lawyers from this firm can help victims secure maximum compensation.


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