mesothelioma lawsuit Compensation & Financial Assistance
Workers’ compensation and VA benefits can provide modest resources for victims of asbestos exposure. For many people stricken with mesothelioma, however, filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is the best way to obtain enough compensation to cover the high costs of cancer treatment.
A mesothelioma lawsuit holds companies accountable for exposing people to asbestos. It can also compensate people financially and help them cope with medical bills and loss of income.
Compensation differs for each mesothelioma claim. It can range from small amounts to sums in the millions of dollars. It can be hard to predict how much compensation can come with each case, or even how a case will be resolved. An experienced asbestos attorney can help gauge your eligibility and case value.
In most cases, a mesothelioma diagnosis can be traced to a specific company or companies that exposed you to asbestos. In these situations, the company often knowingly risked your health and safety in order to make a profit. You deserve compensation for your suffering.
There are various types of mesothelioma claims that may apply to your situation. An attorney can explain your options and help you file the appropriate claim for your circumstances. If you or your loved one is not filing a claim, there may be other types of general financial help available.
What Types of Compensation Can You Receive?
Bankruptcy Trust Funds
Many companies that mined asbestos or manufactured products with asbestos no longer exist. Some were bought by other companies, while others went out of business. Some declared bankruptcy because of the large number of asbestos lawsuits filed against them.
This does not mean these companies don’t have money. In bankruptcy protection, many companies were ordered to set up funds to compensate asbestos victims. These funds are known as mesothelioma compensation funds or trust funds. They can play a key role in the settlement process because the funds can quickly dispatch a case.
Some defendants in asbestos-related lawsuits decide settling a claim is cheaper than racking up more legal fees and risking a loss at trial. Most mesothelioma attorneys are paid only if their clients’ claims are successful. Defendants’ attorneys, on the other hand, are usually paid an hourly rate throughout the case process, and that cost is not tied to the case outcome.
Other defendants are willing to risk a trial. Even if a case goes to trial, a defendant can opt to negotiate a settlement, particularly if the case seems to be favoring you.
If your case goes to trial and the defendant does not settle, there are two likely outcomes: Liability or no liability. If the defendant is found liable, money is usually awarded to you. Each mesothelioma case is unique, and there are no set guidelines for claim compensation from asbestos exposure.
If you win, the amount owed to you depends on the facts of your case and other factors, such as medical costs and lost income.
Many people who served in a branch of the U.S. armed forces were exposed to asbestos — especially those who worked in shipyards.
Veterans have a right to file a claim with the VA seeking compensation for any illnesses that developed as a result of their military service. The paperwork can be confusing and complicated. A VA-accredited claims agent can help.
How to Get Mesothelioma Compensation
There are many potential sources of mesothelioma compensation, and each comes with its own complicated requirements. You will want to find an expert who can examine all the details of your case and explain your options to you. An experienced mesothelioma attorney will know how to get your case to the finish line without placing too much strain on you or your family.
Determining the Value of Your Case
Estimating how much your case is worth can be a complex process. Two things your attorney will need to know immediately are the stage of your cancer and your prognosis. Work history is another integral part of the case value.
To pursue a legal claim, your attorney must determine where the asbestos exposure occurred and whose asbestos-containing products were involved.
Case Valuation Matrix
Many lawsuits are settled before trial and paid out of a trust fund set aside to handle the financial load of future cases. To do that, the managers of these funds rely on something called a case valuation matrix. The matrix is a legal document that assigns base dollar figures to cancer types and then recalculates that base amount with additional information.
For example, the matrix will assign one baseline dollar amount for mesothelioma, one for lung cancer and so on. Those dollar amounts can vary by state or region because exposure levels are set by location. The baseline dollar figure can be as low as several hundred dollars or as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Once the baseline is established, some specifics of your case will kick in and increase or decrease your level of compensation.
Other factors that affect the value of your case may include:
- Your location, age, gender and work history
- A history of military service
- Physical and mental distress (also known as “pain and suffering”)
- Where the asbestos exposure occurred
- Which asbestos products were involved
Expenses related to your illness may also come into play such as:
- Medical expenses, including those not covered by health insurance
- Travel costs for medical treatments
- Lost wages
- The cost of continued medical care
- Your ability to support dependents
- Funeral expenses
These variables make it difficult to predict a case’s value before you file a claim. An attorney can review information about your case and provide a range of expected values. This estimate can assist you in deciding whether to pursue a claim.