How Much Compensation Can You Get for Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma compensation varies for each type of claim. According to the 2016 Meli’s Litigation Report, the average mesothelioma trial payout is about $2.4 million. Average settlements range from $1 million to $1.4 million.
If a mesothelioma lawsuit goes to trial, a settlement may be reached or a jury may determine the amount of compensation, if the defendant is found guilty of asbestos exposure. Most cases settle before trial.
Trials, Settlements and Trust Fund Points in Average Mesothelioma. Accidental personal injury and wrongful death claims.
If a loved one dies of mesothelioma, family members, spouses, or dependents may receive compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the loved one’s estate.
Mesothelioma compensation helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, travel expenses and other damages. It also provides financial security for families when a loved one cannot work.
Other types of financial aid may also be available. It is important to weigh all of your available options for compensation to decide what is best for you and your family.
Types of Mesothelioma Compensation
Sources of mesothelioma compensation include asbestos trust funds, as well as judgments or settlements obtained through litigation.
Legal claims directed to asbestos trust funds outnumber mesothelioma lawsuits because many asbestos companies have gone bankrupt. This does not mean that those companies have escaped responsibility.
In bankruptcy proceedings, many asbestos manufacturers have been ordered to set up a trust fund with enough money to compensate future asbestos victims. Most trust funds have hundreds of millions of dollars and some have billions.
A mesothelioma lawyer may recommend that you file both a trust fund claim and a lawsuit depending on which asbestos products are relevant to your case.
How long will it take to receive compensation?
It can take years to reach a verdict from a jury trial and then seek compensation, but defendants may be able to offer to settle quickly in a matter of months. How long it takes to receive compensation also depends on the type of claim you file.
Money from asbestos trusts can be received within a few months.
Deciding whether to file a lawsuit is an important decision in any situation, especially if you are dealing with the stress of a terminal illness. A mesothelioma lawyer can provide the most accurate estimate of how long it may take to receive compensation for your unique case.
Calculating Your Compensation
Mesothelioma compensation depends on many factors, such as proof of asbestos exposure, medical expenses and lost wages. To calculate the potential amount of your mesothelioma claim, you can add the financial impact caused by your diagnosis.
Example 1: A mesothelioma patient who undergoes surgery can expect a $60,000 medical bill. If they cannot return to work, lost wages can reach $50,000 or more. In addition to travel expenses and personal suffering, a judge could award this patient more than $1 million after punitive damages.
Example 2: Chemotherapy for mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer averages between $10,000 and $20,000 per month. A year of multimodal radiation or immunotherapy treatment can cost more than $500,000. An asbestos company could settle with this patient for over $2 million.
Asbestos Trust Fund
If you develop mesothelioma as a result of exposure to an asbestos product made by a bankrupt company, your legal claim for damages may be processed through the bankrupt company’s trust fund rather than the court system.
Trust fund claims are generally processed more quickly than mesothelioma lawsuits because they do not need to be handled through the court system. Claimants usually receive compensation within two months.
A mesothelioma personal injury claim is often the best type of claim to file if your family is seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. A mesothelioma attorney can walk you through the process and handle every legal detail while you focus on treatment and recovery.
Another option is to file a wrongful death claim when someone dies from mesothelioma. Surviving family members often represent the estate when filing this type of suit.
There are two types of mesothelioma claims:
Personal injury lawsuits: These lawsuits are filed by people diagnosed with mesothelioma to seek compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses.
Wrongful Death Claims: These lawsuits are usually filed by the estate of a deceased loved one who died of mesothelioma.
If the defendants do not settle and your case goes to trial, a court or jury will decide your case. If the defendant is found liable, the judgment at trial will include monetary compensation.
If you win, the amount owed to you depends on the facts of your case and other factors such as medical expenses and lost income. Each mesothelioma case is unique, and there are no set guidelines for compensation.
According to a leading industry report of 2021, more than 3,600 mesothelioma lawsuits were filed seeking compensation in the US in 2020.
A settlement occurs when the defendant offers to pay compensation to the mesothelioma plaintiff in exchange for closing the lawsuit.
Many mesothelioma lawsuits are settled before trial. A qualified asbestos law firm will negotiate a settlement on your behalf and advise you on whether to seek compensation or go to trial.
Several factors affect whether your mesothelioma lawsuit settles. Some defendants decide that settling a claim is cheaper than incurring high legal fees and provides certainty of a payout rather than risking a trial with an uncertain amount of damages.
Other defendants are willing to risk a trial because they may choose to negotiate a settlement at any time, especially if the evidence in the case appears to favor the defendant.
Who is eligible for asbestos exposure compensation?
Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos can claim compensation. An experienced asbestos attorney can help gauge your eligibility as well as the value of your case.
You may also be eligible for compensation if you have lost a loved one to mesothelioma. Close family members such as spouses and children who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma may be eligible for compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Proving evidence of a mesothelioma diagnosis and asbestos exposure is important, whether filing a claim as a patient or as a survivor of a loved one.
Are family members eligible for compensation?
Yes, surviving family members who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma may be eligible for mesothelioma compensation. Family members can represent the estate of a deceased loved one by filing a wrongful death claim or a trust fund claim.
A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can review your case and advise you on whether you qualify to file a lawsuit, as well as the best lawsuit to file based on the circumstances of your case. In certain cases, surviving family members may be eligible for compensation through multiple legal options.
How to file for compensation for mesothelioma
It is beneficial to file for mesothelioma compensation with an attorney experienced in handling asbestos litigation. Financial awards can help cover costs caused by asbestos-related diseases that are not covered by insurance, such as transportation, home health aides and complementary therapies.
The right mesothelioma attorney will help you understand all your options for filing a lawsuit, prove your history of asbestos exposure, and track your costs. A top mesothelioma lawyer will maximize your compensation but won’t promise a specific amount.
- Get an attorney: Find out what compensation you may be eligible for by speaking with an experienced mesothelioma attorney who can help determine what’s best for you and your family.
- Discovery Period: Work with your attorney to help you discover the facts regarding your asbestos exposure history. This process usually focuses on the places you worked and the products you were exposed to.
- Weigh Your Options: Consider all options for compensation presented by your attorney, including trust funds and litigation.
- Accept or Reject Settlement Offers: If you decide to file a lawsuit, you will need to consider settlement offers from defendants. Your attorney will advise you whether to settle your claim or proceed to trial.
If you decide to accept a settlement offer from the defendant, your attorney will manage the settlement process. Both your lawyer and the defense attorney will report the settlement agreement to the court, which will issue a settlement order. The defense will prepare a document called a release. Once agreed, your lawyer will send it to you to sign and notarize.
Any personal liens, whether medical (usually health care providers) or governmental (for example, Medicare, Medicaid, or child support agencies), will need to be paid from the settlement amount before your attorney can distribute the rest of the settlement to you.
Before accepting a settlement amount, consider and track all costs related to your mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment. Account for affording cancer treatment, travel for treatment, hiring help and complementary therapies.
Transportation can be expensive, as can cooking, cleaning, yardwork, general maintenance, and hiring a home health aide to help with your care. Complementary therapies such as massage therapy may not be covered by your health insurance, so it’s important to note these costs as well.
Documenting your exposure
No one is expected to remember everything about their work, health, life and asbestos exposure history. It’s just too much information, and the time between exposure and diagnosis is too long.
This is one reason people file lawsuits instead of workers’ compensation claims. In addition, the time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim has often expired in many cases.
Your attorney will help document your asbestos exposure by asking questions about your work history to determine your exposure to asbestos-containing products. They conducted extensive investigations into thousands of job sites to find out what asbestos products were used and when they were used. They may also re-inspect workplaces to determine if asbestos was used. This may include reviewing purchase order history and other historical records.
As the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource, thousands of mesothelioma patients seeking legal and financial information turn to the Mesothelioma Center each year for help.
Exclusive Resources for Mesothelioma Lawyers
One of the most important actions you can take when considering an asbestos claim is to speak with a qualified mesothelioma attorney. They have resources to trace your exposure history that other attorneys don’t have, and those resources can significantly help your case.
- Product Identification: Books featuring pictures of asbestos-containing products and their packaging help former asbestos workers identify the products they use. Knowledge of exposure to specific products or brands can significantly increase the value of your case.
- Employment records: These are accessible by the federal government with your approval. These documents prove that you worked where asbestos products were used.
- Eyewitnesses: The attorney will also try to identify and locate co-workers, friends, or other witnesses who can help confirm your exposure history.
- Expertise: An experienced attorney can compare your case to others they’ve tried and see how it stacks up. The case history of other claims can be a good indicator of what to expect in your case.
The nation’s top mesothelioma law firms offer free consultations and case reviews. This gives you an opportunity to ask important questions and learn more about the firm and its history of success.
Other types of financial assistance
In addition to compensation from a mesothelioma claim, you can take advantage of other types of financial assistance, such as: military veteran claims, private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, long-term disability insurance, Social Security disability payments, and community assistance.
These programs are designed to help anyone with a serious illness. Some of these programs may provide financial assistance for only a few weeks or months, and some programs provide ongoing monthly compensation.
Military Veteran Claims
The US Many people who served in the armed forces—especially those who worked in shipyards—were exposed to asbestos.
Veterans have the right to file a VA claim to receive compensation for any illnesses they developed as a result of their military service. Paperwork can be confusing and complicated. A VA-accredited claims agent can help.
VA-accredited claims agents often recommend that veterans file a VA claim at the same time they file a legal claim. Waiting to file these claims separately will only delay things. Compensation from one claim usually does not affect another, which means that you will receive compensation faster if you file these claims at the same time.
Private health insurance
Health insurance can help offset your costs. If you already have insurance, review your out-of-pocket deductibles and copays, as well as any limits on coverage.
If you receive benefits through your employer’s group health insurance plan and you are unable to return to work, your employer will usually stop paying for your health insurance. You can continue your coverage for a limited time, but your premium will usually increase.
Be sure to review your insurance documents, get more information from your insurer, and talk to your human resources manager.
Medicare and Medicaid
You may be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid benefits. These government programs provide health care benefits to eligible senior citizens, people with disabilities, and people with limited income.
These health insurance options provide coverage for all types of mesothelioma treatment. Copays in these programs are more affordable than certain forms of private insurance. This financial assistance helps families provide cancer care but usually does not cover 100% of treatment costs.
Long Term Disability Insurance
If you have long-term disability insurance, you may receive a percentage of your salary.
Generally, this is only available if you are away from work for more than several months. You must submit paperwork so your insurer can determine if you are eligible for benefits. This includes documentation from your doctor verifying your disability.
It usually takes one to four months to receive the benefits. Your policy may also limit how long you can receive benefits. If you did not have long-term disability coverage when you were diagnosed, you may not be eligible for a new policy.
Social Security Disability Payments
If you can’t work because of your illness and you’re still eligible, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits.
You can qualify for a disability determination within days, but it usually takes several months to apply for and receive benefits.
The Social Security Compassionate Allowance program allows patients with certain critical illnesses to apply for benefits under a fast-track process. Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients are eligible for this program.
Help may be available in your local community. Some organizations offer grants to help families with transportation, lodging, meals, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred during treatment.
There may also be volunteers in your community who can help you with chores, transportation, and other caregiving duties. Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society or another cancer support group for more information.