The value of your mesothelioma case is determined by multiple factors. The most important are 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.
What Is the Value of My Mesothelioma Case?
Patients commonly want to know how much money they could receive from a mesothelioma settlement or lawsuit. The average settlement is around $1 Million to $2 Million but your case could result in more or less money.
Lawyers will look at a number of factors to determine your case value, including:
- When, where, and for how long you were exposed to asbestos
- What products potentially exposed you to asbestos (if any)
- Expenses created by your illness
- If the liable asbestos companies are still in business
There is a way to increase the potential value of your case, though: by working with an experienced mesothelioma law firm with a nationwide reach. Sokolove Law is one such firm.
Our firm has over 40 years of experience in handling personal injury claims. We also have a network of attorneys in nearly every state to help you file your claim.
What Determines the Value of Your Mesothelioma Case?
There are a lot of factors your lawyer will consider when determining the value of your case.
Type of Asbestos-Related Disease
There are multiple diseases caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. However, not everyone will get the same disease — even if they were exposed in the same way.
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 is almost always fatal.
- Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a non-cancerous disease in which asbestos fibers cause lungs to become stiff and scarred. Asbestosis progressively worsens and can be fatal. However, it is not as aggressive as asbestos-related cancers.
- 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. If it is caught early on, it is somewhat easier to treat.
Degree of Asbestos Exposure
The degree of asbestos exposure is directly linked to the value of your case.
For example, someone who handled asbestos-containing materials for years in a factory is much more likely to develop asbestos-related diseases later in life 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.
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. Your lawyers should gather certain information from you to better prove the company was negligent.
- What company or companies you worked for that may have used asbestos
- What products/equipment you handled that may have contained asbestos
- How long it took for your disease to develop after your initial exposure
Because the burden of proof will be on your legal team, they should be equipped with the knowledge and resources needed to strengthen your case.
Sokolove Law has access to a database of asbestos companies, products, trust funds, and previous legal cases. This allows our teams 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. These companies are often directly at fault. A former or current employer could also be considered at fault in some cases.
Here are some important points on this topic:
- 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 are a veteran, 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 case’s value is also determined by how mesothelioma impacts your finances. Diagnosing and treating mesothelioma is expensive, because the disease is often not diagnosed until it has spread.
Once the cancer has been diagnosed, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are standard treatments. The financial fallout from these treatments can range from $80,000 all the way up to a devastating $900,000.
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 since it 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 to 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 more dependents affected in a mesothelioma case (such as your spouse or children) greatly impacts your 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.
Even worse, a mesothelioma diagnosis in one family member could mean that everyone else is at risk. Secondhand exposure to asbestos fibers is a real and serious danger that could affect family members in the future. If your family is at risk of mesothelioma, you may need a bigger settlement to protect their future.
There are many additional factors that determine the value of your case.
- Jurisdiction: The national reach of Sokolove Law allows your case to be processed in the state that is best for your case. This could increase its potential value. You may not be able to do this if you work with a local law firm.
- Pre-existing Condition: A pre-existing condition could complicate your case. 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 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.
Jobs with a high risk of asbestos exposure include:
- Assembly line workers
- Aircraft mechanics
- Automotive workers/repairmen
- Construction and demolition workers
- Cabinet makers
- Factory workers
- Ship builders
Mesothelioma lawyers determine how on-the-job asbestos exposure could impact your case value.
What Are Mesothelioma Trust Funds?
Mesothelioma trust funds were established by asbestos companies in the wake of mass lawsuits. Companies tried to avoid responsibility by declaring bankruptcy, but court-ordered trust funds were established to set aside billions for the victims of asbestos exposure.
Currently, there is over $30 Billion available for victims in mesothelioma trust funds. Mesothelioma attorneys will often file claims with these trust funds, as it is faster than going to trial.
If you and your attorney file a claim with a mesothelioma trust fund, your payout will depend on the established value of your case. The most important factor is the extent of your asbestos exposure.
If you were regularly exposed to large amounts of asbestos for several years, your health risk increases significantly. As a result, it is far more likely you will need significant compensation for your illness.
Learn the Value of Your Mesothelioma Case
Only an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can determine the value of your case. Contact us today to get a free case review. Our case managers will answer your questions and provide clear advice on the next steps to take.
Keep in mind each state has a set period of time in which you can file a claim, called the statute of limitations. If you wait too long that window of opportunity can expire. It is critical to contact an experienced lawyer who can evaluate your case and begin the claims process quickly.
Sokolove Law has the experience, knowledge, and resources for you. We have successfully handled thousands of personal injury claims over the last 40 years.
Pursuing a mesothelioma legal claim could be very helpful to your family. To learn how much your case could be worth, call today at (800) 647-3434 or fill out our contact form. Our mesothelioma case managers can discuss the details of your potential case.