Your mesothelioma case value is determined by multiple factors, with the most important being the extent of your asbestos exposure and the illnesses you developed as a result. Mesothelioma lawyers will look at your work history, family life, age, and the expenses resulting from your illness to build your case.
Understanding Mesothelioma Case Values
The compensation amount a mesothelioma patient and their family may receive from a settlement or trial verdict depends on several different factors.
Some factors include:
- When, where, and for how long you were exposed to asbestos
- What asbestos-containing products you were potentially exposed to
- Expenses created by your illness
One of the best ways to maximize the potential value of your case is by working with an experienced mesothelioma law firm with a nationwide reach.
Sokolove Law has over 40 years of experience in handling personal injury claims — with a network of attorneys in nearly every state to help maximize your mesothelioma case value.
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What Determines Mesothelioma Case Values?
Patients commonly want to know how much money they could receive from pursuing a claim. Lawyers will assess several factors when determining your mesothelioma case value.
Mesothelioma case values may depend on:
Type of Asbestos-Related Disease
There are multiple diseases that can develop from inhaling asbestos fibers.
Asbestos-related diseases include:
- Mesothelioma: If asbestos fibers settle in the lining of the lungs or other major organs, cancer can eventually form there. Mesothelioma is hard to treat and nearly always fatal.
- Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a non-cancerous disease in which asbestos fibers cause the lungs to become stiff and scarred. Although asbestosis progressively worsens and can be fatal, it is not as aggressive as asbestos-related cancers.
- Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer: Lung cancer can develop when asbestos fibers settle directly in the lungs. Lung cancer is an extremely serious and deadly form of cancer, although it is somewhat easier to treat in its earlier stages.
Degree of Asbestos Exposure
The degree of asbestos exposure is a major factor in determining your mesothelioma case value.
For example, someone who handled asbestos-containing materials for years in a factory likely inhaled or ingested more asbestos fibers than someone who was exposed in passing.
However, this does not mean the latter case has no value. Even a single instance of exposure could lead to illness and, in turn, eligibility for compensation.
Proof of Exposure and Company Negligence
Along with your degree of exposure, your legal team must prove that the company (or companies) in question knew the risks of asbestos and ignored them to benefit themselves.
When building your case, your lawyers will gather certain information from you to better prove the company was negligent. Your work history will be most useful in determining which company or companies may have caused your exposure and more specifically which products or equipment you handled that may have contained asbestos.
Based on the information you provide, Sokolove Law will build your case in part through a deep database of asbestos companies, products, trust funds, and previous legal cases. This allows your legal team to identify products and companies that exposed you to asbestos decades after the fact.
What Companies Will Be Sued?
Lawyers will determine which companies to pursue legal action against based on your work history.
Most often, a claim will be filed against manufacturers who sold asbestos-based goods as they are often directly at fault. A former or current employer could also be considered at fault in some cases.
Here are some important points to consider:
- lf you worked for multiple companies that used asbestos-containing products, some or all of them could be liable. This could increase your chances of a larger settlement.
- If you served in the military, asbestos companies who sold goods to the military could be added to the suit.
- Many asbestos manufacturers have merged into larger corporations. Those new companies could also be part of the suit. Your legal team should be able to identify if an old company still exists under a new name.
- Mesothelioma claims are placed against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products, not the U.S. military or U.S. government.
Medical Expenses and Economic Losses
Your mesothelioma case value is also determined by how mesothelioma impacts your finances. Diagnosing and treating mesothelioma is expensive, particularly because the disease is often hard to identify properly before it has spread.
Once the cancer has been diagnosed, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are the standard treatments. The financial fallout from these medical expenses can often add up to over $500,000.
Medical care can be even harder to afford if someone stops working as a result of the diagnosis. This can include the person affected or a loved one who must provide full-time care.
As your legal team builds your case, they will factor in the cost of care and your economic losses into the damages.
Age of Person Affected
Most mesothelioma patients are diagnosed in their 60s or 70s because it typically takes 20-50 years for asbestos-related diseases to develop. In some cases, these people have suffered years of poor health due to the worsening damage from asbestos fibers.
The average life expectancy in the U.S. is approximately 79 years. People diagnosed with mesothelioma often lose the last 10-20 years of their life. Those still working when they become ill are robbed of a much-deserved retirement.
In very rare cases, mesothelioma can develop in younger adults, teenagers, and even children. This can emotionally and financially destroy the affected family.
Family Members and Dependents
A mesothelioma diagnosis does not just impact one person — it impacts entire families.
The number of affected dependents (such as your spouse or children) greatly impacts your mesothelioma case value.
For those still working when diagnosed, their spouses and children lose a source of household income. This can make it hard for families to pay for the cost of living.
There are many additional factors that determine your mesothelioma case value.
These additional factors include:
- Jurisdiction: The national reach of Sokolove Law allows your case to be processed in any state, increasing its potential value. You may not be able to do this if you work with a local law firm.
- Pre-existing conditions: A pre-existing condition could complicate your case, such as if you have lung complications from smoking. However, an experienced mesothelioma lawyer should be able to make the distinction between prior conditions and your asbestos-related illness.
- Statute of limitations: This is the length of time you have to file a case. You will not be able to file a mesothelioma case after the statute of limitations expires in your state. This is why it is important to file your case sooner rather than later.
Who Qualifies for Compensation?
Compensation for your disease is the end goal of a mesothelioma case.
This is especially true if you were routinely exposed to asbestos at your job. Many companies knew that asbestos-based products were dangerous but ignored the risks at the expense of their employees’ health. Below is a partial list of jobs that may have put you at risk of asbestos exposure. For a complete list of occupations, contact Sokolove Law.
Jobs with a high risk of asbestos exposure include:
- Assembly Line Workers
- Automotive Workers/Repairmen
- Construction Workers
- Demolition Workers
- HVAC Technicians
- Plant Workers and Technicians
- Ship Builders
Case managers and lawyers determine how on-the-job asbestos exposure could impact your mesothelioma case value.
Contact Sokolove Law
Do you have additional questions? Reach out to a trusted mesothelioma case manager at Sokolove Law.
Should I Settle Out of Court or Go to Trial?
Whether or not you and your legal team decide to settle out of court or go to trial depends on your situation. Your legal team will help you make an informed decision, but ultimately the final decision is yours.
Factors in this decision can be:
- How much time a mesothelioma patient has left to live
- How long a patient or a family can wait for potential compensation
- Whether or not a settlement amount — if offered — seems too low
- The odds of a jury siding with a victim’s case
- The overall strength of the case, including the number of companies involved and the strength of depositions and evidence collected
Trials can last a long time — often years — and present a potentially higher risk than do settlements. The long length of time it could take to reach a trial verdict is often why many mesothelioma victims and their family members aim to settle a case.
Contrary to verdicts, some mesothelioma settlements can be reached within 90 days of filing a claim.
Defendants may choose to settle with you because of strong evidence that would likely end up favoring you. The risk factor of a drawn-out trial might also sway a defendant into settling when they consider the cost of mounting legal fees.
Average Mesothelioma Case Settlements
While Mealey’s Litigation Report has noted the average mesothelioma settlement amount is between $1 Million and $1.4 Million, all cases are different.
Mesothelioma case values can increase or decrease based on a host of factors. Previous results do not guarantee future outcomes.
Average Mesothelioma Case Verdicts
According to Mealey’s Litigation Report, the average jury verdict for a mesothelioma case is around $2.4 Million.
This figure is only a ball-park, and mesothelioma cases that go to trial before a jury can be worth more or less, depending on the case’s strength.
In some cases, settlements are reached after a jury verdict is rendered, when liable asbestos companies decide not to appeal a verdict and instead opt to settle with an asbestos victim for less money.
Other Forms of Mesothelioma Compensation
Besides settlements and verdicts, other types of mesothelioma compensation might be available depending on a person’s case.
Asbestos Trust Funds
In the 1970s, when the deceit of asbestos companies was discovered and a wave of asbestos lawsuits followed, many of these companies were forced out of business.
Upon filing for bankruptcy, these companies were court-ordered to set aside money for current and future asbestos claims. The estimated value of asbestos trust funds is around $30 Billion.
Asbestos companies sold asbestos-containing products to the U.S. military for decades, and, as a result, it’s estimated that over 20 million American veterans have been exposed to asbestos during their service.
For veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their service and developed mesothelioma as a result, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers health care services and monthly payments.
The sad truth about asbestos-related diseases is that most victims were exposed to asbestos while on the job.
These hard-working men and women who often took tough, grueling jobs and developed mesothelioma may be eligible to receive worker’s compensation, but often a mesothelioma lawsuit is a better pathway toward compensation.
Choosing a Compensation Route
Each mesothelioma compensation option has different eligibility requirements. Before pursuing workers’ compensation or VA benefits, it is often a good idea to discuss your legal options with a mesothelioma law firm.
The best law firms will not only go over all of the available options — they will also help a victim identify the best route toward maximizing their mesothelioma case value.
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To date, Sokolove Law has recovered over $4.5 Billion for more than 6,000 victims. We are ready to help you, too.
What Is My Mesothelioma Case Value?
Sokolove Law was founded over 40 years ago to stand up to companies that knowingly harmed innocent workers to maximize their earnings.
Our firm has helped over 6,000 American families recover over $4.5 Billion in compensation for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
To help right the wrongs these companies have caused, contact us today for a completely free, no-obligation legal case review. One of our dedicated team members will listen with care to your story and help you determine whether or not you have a case.