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What is a Mesothelioma Settlement?
Since the only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, lawsuits are commonly filed by the victim or their family after a diagnosis. A mesothelioma settlement is the likely outcome of these cases.
Even though the deadly nature of asbestos exposure is now widely known, about 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually. That’s because it can take up to 50 years after asbestos exposure to be diagnosed with this rare cancer.
This means that people exposed decades ago are now suffering as a result. Thankfully, mesothelioma patients may be able to file asbestos claims against the manufacturers of products made with this toxic material.
Mesothelioma claims can be filed against:
- Companies that installed or manufactured asbestos products
- Insurance companies of asbestos defendants
- Trust funds established by liable bankrupt defendants
A mesothelioma lawsuit is usually considered a personal injury case. In these cases, a mesothelioma settlement occurs when the injured party agrees to accept compensation to release the other party from any future responsibility for the harm they caused.
A mesothelioma settlement usually means the victims can begin getting money sooner than if their case must be argued in court.
What Is a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Settlement?
Sadly, mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer without a cure. In fact, because it is often diagnosed at a late stage, the average 5-year survival rate is only 10%.
This means a victim may pass away while their mesothelioma lawsuit is still underway. In these tragic cases, family members or an estate representative may continue their loved one’s case or file a wrongful death lawsuit on their loved one’s behalf.
However, this depends on several factors and is often highly time sensitive due to a set of laws called the statute of limitations, which limits the amount of time you have to take legal action.
If you lost your loved one to mesothelioma, you might be entitled to compensation. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you determine your rights, but it is urgent to act without delay. If too much time passes, you could be forever barred from getting a mesothelioma wrongful death settlement.
How Do I Qualify for a Mesothelioma Settlement?
To qualify for a mesothelioma settlement, you must have a confirmed mesothelioma diagnosis and a proven history of asbestos exposure.
Those who qualify for a mesothelioma settlement may include:
- Mesothelioma patients
- Spouses or children of deceased victims
- Representatives of the victim’s estate
While this may seem straightforward, it is often not as easy as it sounds. Since decades have passed between asbestos exposure and the mesothelioma diagnosis, it can be challenging to figure out where the exposure occurred. Countless asbestos-containing products were probably used.
Additionally, asbestos exposure is often linked with military service, especially in the U.S. Navy, and many veterans go on to work in jobs that also expose them to asbestos. Determining where and when a person was exposed takes time and energy, but it’s much easier for attorneys with vast troves of evidence to draw from.
What Is the Average Mesothelioma Settlement?
Every mesothelioma lawsuit is different, and there are never any guarantees in the settlement process. Even the most experienced mesothelioma lawyers can not say what the compensation amount will be. That said, the average settlement for a mesothelioma claim is between $1 million and 1.4 million.
Notable mesothelioma settlements and verdicts secured through lawsuits include:
- $10.2 million for a U.S. Navy veteran in Washington
- $9.5 million for a construction worker in California
- $6.5 million for a U.S. Army veteran and oil field worker in Louisiana
- $1.2 million for a Missouri woman who suffered secondhand asbestos exposure
How Mesothelioma Settlements Are Calculated
The various factors that may affect mesothelioma settlement amounts include:
- Age of the victim
- Cost of medical treatment, including travel expenses
- Employment history
- Extent of illness
- Funeral expenses (in wrongful death cases)
- Length and nature of asbestos exposure
- Lost wages if the victim was still working
- Military service
- Number of asbestos defendants being sued
- Punitive damages that may be available
- State where the mesothelioma claim is filed
- Strength of the evidence against asbestos defendants
- Type of asbestos that caused mesothelioma
- Victim’s pain and suffering
Additionally, depending on who the asbestos defendant is, the company may either negotiate a settlement offer or choose to fight aggressively to avoid a payout.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
The lawyer you choose to represent you is an often-overlooked factor in determining the amount of a mesothelioma settlement. Many personal injury law firms claim to handle asbestos cases, but remember that only a select few have been fighting asbestos companies aggressively and tirelessly since the beginning.
Experienced mesothelioma attorneys have decades of experience in asbestos litigation and have represented thousands of individuals across the country. They also have powerful legal teams trained in handling mesothelioma lawsuit settlement cases.
When you work with a reputable mesothelioma law firm, you are more likely to get a better mesothelioma settlement.
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
Mesothelioma victims are often entitled to significant compensation due to their innocence in developing this deadly disease. Because it is widely acknowledged that asbestos companies knowingly put people at serious risk, mesothelioma lawsuits usually result in favorable settlements for the mesothelioma patient and their families.
Mesothelioma settlement compensation may help cover:
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Travel costs
- Funeral expenses (in wrongful death cases)
A mesothelioma lawsuit settlement is not the only type of compensation available, though.
Mesothelioma patients may also be able to recover money through one or more of the following methods:
- Asbestos trust funds: These funds were set aside to pay out future asbestos claims by asbestos companies that have since gone out of business. They contain an estimated $30 billion for mesothelioma patients.
- Mesothelioma lawsuit verdicts: In the unlikely event that a mesothelioma lawsuit is not settled out of court, it will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine how much compensation (if any) the defendant should pay the plaintiff. Though mesothelioma trials are riskier and more time-consuming than settlements, they can also result in sizable jury awards that total millions of dollars.
- VA benefits: If a U.S. military veteran was exposed to asbestos during their service and was later diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, they may be able to access health care, monthly compensation, and other disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
No matter how it’s secured, this money can help victims pay for the highest quality of treatment available, including at-home care and travel to the top mesothelioma doctors in the country. It can also ensure that loved ones are cared for after a mesothelioma victim dies.
What Is a Typical Mesothelioma Settlement Time Frame?
Due to the various factors involved in a mesothelioma settlement, it is impossible to predict precisely how long it will take.
Once your lawyer has gathered all the evidence to link your diagnosis with asbestos exposure, you could get your mesothelioma settlement in less than a year. Some clients start to receive compensation in as few as 90 days.
This all depends on unique factors in each case, like whether a payment source has been identified, such as an insurance company or asbestos trust fund.
How Many Mesothelioma Lawsuits Are Settled Out of Court?
The vast majority of mesothelioma claims are settled before reaching the trial stage. Mesothelioma lawsuits tend to be filed as personal injury claims. With this type of legal claim, fewer than 5% of cases go to trial.
An experienced lawyer with extensive mesothelioma case history will examine the facts of your claim and pursue a mesothelioma settlement.
The manufacturers of asbestos-containing products and other asbestos defendants know that they negligently exposed countless people. In most cases, they try to settle quickly without going to trial. This is often to avoid expensive legal fees and bad publicity.
How Do I Receive a Mesothelioma Settlement?
The best way to recover a mesothelioma settlement is by working with a reputable asbestos attorney. Even though it may be tempting to look for a mesothelioma lawyer near you, it is in your best interest to find an attorney with experience in asbestos litigation.
These skilled asbestos attorneys may be located in a different state than yours, but this should never pose a problem. The best mesothelioma lawyers will travel the country to meet victims of asbestos exposure. They visit their clients at home or online if preferred.
The country’s most reputable mesothelioma lawyers are passionate about improving the lives of those harmed by asbestos products.
Contact us today so we can connect you with an attorney with the resources and experience you need to recover a mesothelioma settlement. It costs you nothing out of pocket to file a lawsuit.