For those who developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, several different paths toward compensation are available. The best option will vary from situation to situation. In many cases, filing a claim against an asbestos-related company (or companies) is how the compensation process begins. Compensation is ultimately awarded to people and families affected by mesothelioma that are able to prove asbestos exposure.
Why Mesothelioma Victims Deserve Compensation
The truth of the matter is this: There is nothing you could have done to prevent mesothelioma. This responsibility lies on the companies that opted to use asbestos despite knowing the severe health risks.
As a result, the recently published Global Asbestos Disaster findings estimates that around 40,000 Americans die each and every year from having been exposed to asbestos.
This number may seem shocking and overwhelming to some. However, the reality is that asbestos was used prominently throughout the 21st century. This is due to its natural strengths.
Asbestos is very durable and resistant to heat, flame, and electricity. In addition, it could be cheaply mined by companies since it was found all over the world in natural rock deposits.
Safer alternatives to asbestos were available, but companies chose to put profits over people.
The development of mesothelioma is slow. It can take anywhere from 20-50 years for the disease to present symptoms. That is why so many people are only now being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
The companies that used asbestos had a choice. They could protect their workers and the public or to dismiss human health altogether to line their pockets. They made the wrong decision. As a result, thousands of Americans deserve compensation for the pain, suffering, and medical expenses they now face.
How Compensation Can Help
Compensation from a mesothelioma lawsuit can help cover:
- Medical expenses: In many cases, treatments for mesothelioma are as costly as they are extensive. Compensation can help pay for life-extending surgery and other therapies.
- Lost wages: For a large majority of mesothelioma patients, the disease makes work impossible. Compensation from a settlement or trust fund can offset the impact of lost income.
- Living expenses: Even though you or a loved one are focused on health and recovery, bills still need to be paid. Money from an asbestos trust fund can cover everyday living expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, etc.
- Financial security: Compensation from asbestos trust funds, settlements, and/or verdicts can help with securing your family’s future. Some patients rest easier knowing that their family will be financially secure.
Who Can Receive Compensation for Mesothelioma?
Many mesothelioma patients are eligible for compensation. In all cases of mesothelioma, the disease is the direct result of exposure to asbestos.
It only takes a single, microscopic asbestos fiber for mesothelioma to develop. While anyone who has been exposed to asbestos can develop the disease, some are at a much higher risk than others. Typically, a person’s risk goes up based on the amount of asbestos exposure they have endured in their lifetime.
For example, someone who was exposed to asbestos frequently over a series of years is at much higher risk than someone who was exposed once or twice.
Due to the amount of asbestos that was used in the U.S. military, especially in shipyards and on U.S. Navy vessels, U.S. veterans account for nearly 33% of all mesothelioma cases.
Some jobs put workers in regular contact with asbestos-based goods. Workers on these sites have an especially high risk of illness later in life.
Some of these high-risk occupations include:
- Assembly line workers
- Automotive workers/repairmen
- Construction workers
- Demolition workers
- HVAC technicians
- Plant workers and technicians
How Much Compensation Can a Mesothelioma Patient Get?
For many who are affected by mesothelioma and considering legal action, one of the first questions asked is: “How much compensation can I (or we) expect to get by taking legal action for my mesothelioma diagnosis?”
We completely understand the desire to know the answer to this question. Based on information from a 2018 study, the average mesothelioma settlement ranges from $1.5 Million to $2 Million. However, compensation differs with each mesothelioma case.
An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help estimate the value of your case. An attorney can determine a person’s eligibility and whether or not a case might be worth thousands – or millions.
Attorneys will estimate the value of a case based on several factors. These factors include how the disease developed and the cost of treating it. Any estimate of your case value will only serve as a ballpark figure and is not a guarantee.
An experienced mesothelioma attorney will work with a client to gather the information they need. This information will be used to build the strongest possible case.
Claim Factors and Types of Mesothelioma Compensation
A case’s value depends on many different factors.
Important factors for determining case value:
- A victim’s
- Employment/work history
- Military service
- Where the victim was exposed to asbestos
- Number of months/years they were exposed to asbestos
- Specific asbestos product(s) involved
- Lost wages from the inability to work
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
Using these factors, the attorney will then file a claim that will be best for their client. Attorneys can pursue several different forms of compensation.
Three major sources of mesothelioma compensation include:
Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds
Bankruptcy trust funds exist to hold asbestos companies responsible for their actions. Many of these companies declared bankruptcy to avoid paying victims when mesothelioma and other asbestos lawsuits started to mount against them.
In order to compensate victims, these companies were court-ordered to set up trust funds. Today, these funds are now worth an estimated $30 Billion. These funds may help pay medical bills and provide financial security.
For lawsuits against existing asbestos companies, a settlement is often reached before the case goes to court. This is called “settling” the case.
Companies often settle cases because they do not want to risk losing a trial. A settlement will award the victim and their family a lump sum of money to help cover their expenses. 95% of mesothelioma cases settle before ever going to court.
Although it is exceptionally rare, sometimes an asbestos company is willing to go to court to determine the outcome of a claim. If a company is found guilty, a victim is awarded an amount agreed upon by a jury.
On the other hand, if a company is found not guilty, you may not be awarded any compensation.
In addition to these 3 types of compensation, U.S. veterans with asbestos-related illnesses may choose to pursue a VA claim through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Many vehicles, bases, and goods used by the U.S. military contained asbestos in the mid-20th century. As a result, many were exposed to asbestos on a regular basis while on active duty.
Veterans have the right to file a claim through the VA claims system for injuries or diseases that stem from their military service. This includes asbestos-caused illnesses, even though their exposure happened decades prior.
Getting the Compensation You May Deserve
Over the past 40 years, Sokolove Law has helped secure over $4.4 Billion in compensation for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
In order obtain compensation for mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you need to speak with an experienced attorney. The best attorneys will have experience in handling mesothelioma cases and a long track record of success.
The mesothelioma legal team at Sokolove Law is made up of a network of such attorneys. We are one of the first truly nationwide firms, with an attorney in nearly every state. This allows us to help men and women from across the United States pursue legal claims.
Our firm prides itself on helping victims who were wrongly injured by reckless corporate behavior.