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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

How to File a Lawsuit for Mesothelioma in Texas: A Guide

Dealing with a dreaded disease is never easy. Although obtaining compensation cannot reverse the damage that has already been done, it can help to hold negligent parties liable for their hand in causing harm to another person.

The truth is that mesothelioma cases are often incredibly complex since symptoms only start to appear many years after the initial exposure to asbestos. However, it's important for victims and their families to fight for their rights.

Without the right legal assistance, however, the process can be long and arduous. A reliable personal injury attorney can be the key to a successful case, as they will ensure that no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of justice. They can assist with how to file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse in Texas as well.

At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we understand the seriousness of a mesothelioma diagnosis and are not afraid to go the extra mile to ensure that sufferers receive a favorable outcome.

This article serves as a guide for victims whose symptoms were brought on by the negligence or wrongdoing of another.

What Is Mesothelioma?

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma affects the cells that make up the outer layer of the body's internal organs. It is a relatively uncommon and grave type of cancer that is most commonly observed in the lungs (pleural mesothelioma). Although less prevalent, it can affect the following bodily systems: 

  • Heart - pericardial mesothelioma

  • Abdomen - peritoneal mesothelioma

  • Testicles - testicular mesothelioma 

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Exposure to asbestos, a class of naturally occurring substances that were formerly widely used in a variety of industries for their thermal resistance and insulation features, is the primary reason for the development of mesothelioma.

Fibers from asbestos can be inhaled or consumed, and over time, this can cause scarring and inflammation in the mesothelium.

How Does Asbestos Exposure Occur?

Identifying the source of asbestos is an important step in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. There are a number of ways that a person can come into contact with this toxic yet naturally occurring substance. To experience asbestos poisoning, a victim will need to either ingest or inhale the fibers.

Various industries, such as construction, automotive, and manufacturing, utilize this material for various purposes. Employees can be exposed to asbestos during processing or demolition.

Furthermore, natural deposits may also be the cause of mesothelioma. Disturbing the ground or a structure containing the substance could cause exposure. The fibers may also be transported from a worksite to a home, where family members can encounter them and suffer subsequent asbestos-related diseases.


The reality is that symptoms of this type of cancer may not show up until decades after the initial asbestos exposure. The disease often presents as follows:

  • Chest pain

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weight loss

Imaging procedures such as CT scans or X-rays are commonly used to make a diagnosis, and a biopsy is then performed for confirmation.


The treatment for this condition will depend on the stage of the disease. One or more of the following may be used to reduce symptoms:

However, the sad reality is that this type of cancer is often aggressive, progressing quickly and allowing little time for a full recovery. In many cases, victims are only given a few months or years to live.

Determining Whether a Case Qualifies for Compensation

Claimants must remember that not all cases involve negligence or wrongdoing. If liability cannot be determined, an asbestos-related illness may not qualify for compensation.

A reliable mesothelioma lawyer in Houston TX can help victims understand the laws that apply and provide much-needed guidance on whether the case qualifies for legal action.

It's important to note here that the plaintiff must be able to provide undisputable evidence that they were exposed to asbestos. They will also need to identify the party or parties responsible for this and prove their liability.

Moreover, a causal link between asbestos exposure and lung cancer must be clearly established.

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Mesothelioma Case?

The truth is that multiple parties can be held responsible for asbestos exposure and subsequent illnesses. A legal representative can help claimants determine who is at fault for their case. Here are some examples of the parties that could be held liable:

  • Manufacturers. If these companies do not take adequate precautions to prevent exposure, they may be held responsible for the resultant damages.

  • Property owners. Those who own buildings have a duty of care to patrons and visitors. They must ensure their safety while on the premises. Not repairing a structure that contains asbestos timeously may result in liability.

  • Asbestos companies. These businesses must ensure that employees and visitors are protected while working with this harmful substance. Failure to do so could land them in a lot of legal trouble.

Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Because of the nature of the disease, mesothelioma brought on by the negligence of another can be classified into one of two types:

Personal Injury Lawsuits

When a victim is diagnosed with mesothelioma and can link their asbestos exposure to a wrongful or negligent act, they have grounds for a mesothelioma lawsuit. Personal injury law allows a patient, known as the plaintiff, to hold the at-fault party or defendant responsible for causing their asbestos-related disease.

This could be the owner of a building, a construction company, or a manufacturer that did not act in good faith, resulting in the victim being exposed to asbestos. However, it's important for claimants to remember that taking legal action against these parties is no easy task.

Major companies often have extensive legal teams to deal with any issues that might arise. This is why plaintiffs must ensure that they select a dependable and experienced lawyer when filing a personal injury lawsuit.

These claims allow victims to obtain compensation for the following damages:

  • Medical expenses

  • Lost wages

  • Pain and suffering

  • Mental anguish

  • Loss of quality of life

Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Sadly, in many cases, mesothelioma patients do not make a full recovery and lose their lives to the illness. When this happens, the family members of the deceased may file wrongful death claims to obtain restitution for the loss of their loved one.

These mesothelioma lawsuits are often awarded to estate representatives or the next of kin and cover damages, such as:

  • Funeral and burial costs

  • Lost income

  • Medical expenses before death

  • Loss of companionship

Again, asbestos litigation is no walk in the park, which is why families must partner with a dependable attorney when filing a wrongful death claim.

Texas Law

Before filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, plaintiffs must familiarize themselves with state law. Here is an overview of some of the laws that will apply in personal injury and wrongful death cases:

Comparative Negligence

Texas recognizes comparative negligence. This means that victims can file a claim, even if they are partly to blame for their asbestos exposure. However, if the claimant is found to be more than 51 percent at fault for the incident, they may not be able to pursue litigation.

In the event that their blame falls within the acceptable range, their compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault.

For example, if Johnny won a lawsuit for mesothelioma and was awarded a settlement of $200,000 but was assigned 20 percent of the blame, he would only receive $160,000.

Statute of Limitations

Plaintiffs are given a certain time limit in which to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. In general, this is two years from the date of discovery or diagnosis or from the death of a loved one in the case of wrongful death.

Failing to take legal action within this period will disqualify the plaintiff from pursuing legal charges against the at-fault party.

Moreover, it is advisable that claimants seek legal advice as soon as possible, as it takes time to build a strong case, obtain evidence, hire expert witnesses, and complete paperwork. When they leave things to the last minute, it can hurt their chances of securing a favorable outcome.

How to File a Lawsuit for Mesothelioma in Texas

Understandably, filing a lawsuit against another person or company might seem overwhelming. However, the process is not as challenging as victims might think. By following these simple steps, sufferers can get much-needed financial compensation to ensure that they make a full recovery:

1. Gather Evidence

The first step that claimants must take is to gather as much evidence of their exposure to asbestos as they possibly can. Old employment records, photographs, medical bills, healthcare and patient records, and witness accounts can all help to prove liability.

2. Contact a Reliable Personal Injury Attorney

Once plaintiffs have collected as much proof as possible, they will need to take it to a reputable legal representative who has experience with asbestos trust funds. Most law firms offer free consultations to help determine whether the person does, in fact, have a case.

The truth is that selecting a personal injury lawyer is one of the most important decisions that a claimant will make, as it has a direct effect on the outcome of their case. This is why it's important that they entrust their claim to a competent team with the skills and expertise necessary to secure a favorable verdict.

3. File the Claim

After reviewing the evidence, conducting an investigation, and hiring expert witnesses, a lawyer will file a claim with the court. They may also pursue asbestos trust fund claims, which are set up to provide compensation to victims who experience illnesses because of the negligence of asbestos companies.

4. The Discovery Phase

Personal injury claims are often long processes, and all parties will need sufficient time to investigate and present evidence. During this part of the process, information will be passed from the plaintiff to the defendant and vice versa as they prepare for negotiations.

5. Negotiations

In most cases, both parties will try to find common ground and arrive at a settlement amicably. However, if one side disputes the claim, the case may go to court, where a judge or jury verdict will determine the outcome of the case.

6. Resolution

Finally, the claim will be resolved, either by agreeing on a settlement or through judicial means. In the event that the claim ends up in court, the plaintiff's lawyer will defend them, presenting evidence to demonstrate liability and indicate the extent of the damages that the victim suffered as a result of the plaintiff's negligence.

A Mesothelioma Attorney Can Make the Process Easier

Although the task of filing a lawsuit might seem intimidating, victims and family members can rest assured that a reliable team of Texas mesothelioma lawyers will be there to handle every part of the process.

At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we understand that claimants are dealing with loss or the effects of the disease, which is why we take a proactive role, ensuring that the case runs smoothly while they come to terms with the gravity of the situation.

From initial consultation to final payout, plaintiffs will have the assurance that they have a legal representative on their side who is fighting for their rights and working in their best interest.

The Cost of Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The Cost of Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Understandably, one of the primary concerns many asbestos victims or family members have is what it will cost them to hire a personal injury lawyer. The first thing they need to know is that most law firms work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they will only be paid once they secure a settlement.

The amount that the claimant pays to their attorney will depend on the terms of their agreement, so it is important that they discuss this during the initial discussions. This model is beneficial for victims, as it ensures that legal representatives are motivated to obtain the highest possible amount.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Is Here to Help!

Mesothelioma lawsuits are often challenging, especially without the right attorney. However, when claimants partner with Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, they will have the assurance that no stone will be left unturned in the fight to obtain restitution.

Our personal injury lawyers have many years of experience and are not afraid to go to war with major companies to ensure that victims obtain justice.

To learn more or schedule a FREE case review, mesothelioma claimants are encouraged to contact us.


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