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Legal Options Available for Mesothelioma Victims During COVID-19

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Mesothelioma & Asbestos Dec 23, 2020

doctor reviewing x-ray of lungsTime is of the essence for those diagnosed with mesothelioma. Often, this condition is not diagnosed until the later stages, and victims may not have much more than a year or year and a half. Any delays can be a big deal for victims and families, and the coronavirus pandemic may lead to delays in the legal process.

If you or a loved one are considering legal action over a mesothelioma diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic, give our firm a call today for help. The initial consultation is free and gives you a chance to get your questions answered. Our firm has helped many mesothelioma victims recover compensation for their damages.

COVID-19 and Mesothelioma Damages

One of the most significant ways the COVID-19 pandemic may affect a mesothelioma claim is when it comes to determining the claim’s value. It may be more difficult to determine the cost of treatment if treatment is delayed because of pandemic restrictions on hospital treatment. Many medical facilities are devoting fewer resources to treat those not infected with COVID-19.

Delays in treatment could be devastating for the victim’s health. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer and a delay in treatment could allow it to spread even faster. Victims may also suffer declining quality of life, as some mesothelioma treatments are simply designed to relieve pain and other symptoms.

If someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma contracts COVID-19, the prognosis could be very bad. Even if the victim survives and overcomes the coronavirus, doctors may not be able to continue mesothelioma treatment while the victim is infected with the coronavirus.

Another problem that could result from a COVID-19 diagnosis is a dispute about the source of the victim’s pain and suffering. The defendant may argue your pain and suffering has been caused by your coronavirus infection and not your mesothelioma. It may be difficult to prove otherwise. This could affect the value of your claim, as it concerns mesothelioma and not COVID-19.

What About Delays with the Legal Process?

It is important to note many cases are settled outside of the courtroom. Many mesothelioma claims are settled via claims with bankruptcy trust funds. These funds were set up to manage mesothelioma claims by companies that were bankrupted by mesothelioma lawsuits.

Even if your Maryland mesothelioma lawyer files a lawsuit, the other side may reach out and offer a settlement. At that point, negotiations can begin, and it may be possible to agree on a fair settlement for your damages.

However, some cases do make it to trial, and the COVID-19 pandemic may delay a trial date. The lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic resulted in a significant backlog of court cases, as courthouses were managing fewer cases.

Maryland has not returned to pre-pandemic status when it comes to opening businesses and public services. On November 30, Maryland courts went back into Phase II of the phased reopening plan due to a spike in COVID-19 infections in the state. The Maryland Courts website is updated with the latest information on court closings or delays by county.

While there are likely to be delays, the courts are still functioning. That means victims should not delay in contacting an attorney to find out if they may have a case. If you are concerned about contracting the coronavirus, our firm has taken steps to continue operations and keep our clients safe. You can learn more by giving us a call or completing a Free Case Review form.   

Symptoms to Watch for

One of the biggest challenges that doctors have when it comes to diagnosing illnesses is that some illnesses may cause similar symptoms. Doctors must do tests to confirm a diagnosis or rule out others.

This is an important point when it comes to COVID-19. If you are suffering symptoms that could be related to a COVID-19 infection, you should get tested immediately. However, if the test is negative, you should not necessarily assume you simply have the flu or a cold.

Mesothelioma may cause symptoms like COVID-19 or a cold, which may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Sweating at night

If you worked in a high-risk job, you may have been exposed to asbestos. You should contact a doctor who regularly works with mesothelioma patients to determine if you should undergo testing.

Need Legal Help? Our Firm is Here for You

Our experienced attorneys understand that mesothelioma victims and their families have many questions. They are unsure what to do next, how to pay for treatment, and how to take legal action against the former employer or product manufacturer who likely caused their diagnosis.

We have assisted many asbestos victims and have recovered millions in compensation on their behalf. For more than 35 years we have been helping injury victims obtain compensation and we have secured money from some of the largest corporations in the nation, including Owens Corning, General Electric, Westinghouse Electric and Fibreboard Corporation.

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.

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