If you or your loved one has mesothelioma, you may obtain financial compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering after being diagnosed with this asbestos-related disease. Your exact payment will vary based on your case circumstances.
There are a variety of compensation packages available for mesothelioma patients. Funds might be available from asbestos trust funds, mesothelioma settlements, veteran’s mesothelioma claims benefits, worker’s compensation, or settlements.
An experienced mesothelioma attorney near you can advise you on the types of mesothelioma compensation you may be entitled to in your situation.
While no one can predict how much you will get in compensation, a 2000 RAND Corporation study estimated average mesothelioma settlements were $900,000. (Rand.org).
A recent Mealey’s Litigation Report found average settlements in the $1 million to $1.4 million range. (Bateswhite.com)
What Are the Types of Mesothelioma Compensation?
A mesothelioma patient can receive four major types of compensation for their disease. Not every patient will be eligible for every option. (mesothelioma.com)
Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos was used throughout much of the 20th century before its terrible dangers were fully understood. By the 1970s, most companies began to phase out the use of asbestos in most products and equipment.
Over the years, many asbestos companies that made, sold or distributed products containing asbestos went out of business. Some companies have been restructured after bankruptcy.
If the company that causes your asbestos exposure is gone, you still may qualify for mesothelioma compensation from them. Many companies were ordered to set up asbestos trust funds during the bankruptcy process with millions of dollars to pay out to victims. Each asbestos trust fund has criteria that must be met for you to receive compensation.
For example, one asbestos trust fund is Owens Corning Fiberboard Asbestos Personal Injury Trust that was established in 2006. It was estimated to be funded with $1.56 billion for future asbestos cancer claims. (ocfbasbestostrust.com)
Another is Pittsburgh Corning Corporation Asbestos Personal Injury Trust established in 2013 and funded with $825 million. (pccasbestostrust.com).
If you were injured by asbestos-containing products used or produced by those companies, your mesothelioma attorney might be able to get you compensation from one of these or other asbestos trusts.
A mesothelioma settlement can happen if you or a loved one files a mesothelioma lawsuit against a company or companies that made or used asbestos-containing products that led to their illness.
Usually, companies will offer a cash settlement before the case goes to court, where they could end up paying more. Juries dislike companies giving workers asbestos cancer, and most corporations will choose to settle to mitigate financial risk.
You can talk to your attorney and family to decide whether you should accept the settlement. If you are unhappy with the compensation, you can ask your attorney to renegotiate or go to trial.
There are occasions where a settlement with an asbestos company is impossible. The firm may claim that their products did not cause your cancer, or you were exposed to asbestos by another firm. If no settlement can be reached, the case will go to trial.
The jury will decide if the company’s asbestos products caused your exposure. If so, the jury will find in your favor and decide how much you should receive in mesothelioma lawsuit compensation after death. The amount you get may include the expenses you have incurred and punitive damages.
Going to trial carries risks for the plaintiff and the defendant. That is why many companies settle before trial. It also could be in your interest to settle; the jury may find the company is not responsible for your asbestos exposure, and you leave court empty-handed.
Having a highly-skilled mesothelioma lawyer working for you is an important factor in determining whether you should settle or go to trial.
Retired US military comprise one of the biggest populations of workers that were exposed to asbestos. The most common were people who were in the Navy, Coast Guard, US Army Transport Service, and Merchant Marine.
Most of their asbestos exposure was because of the high use of asbestos on naval vessels from the early to the mid-20th century. That is why the US Department of Veterans Affairs has said that mesothelioma is one of the diseases that qualify for VA disability benefits.
Below are four ways you can obtain mesothelioma compensation through the VA:
- Disability: If you have mesothelioma, you will get a 100% disability rating. Disability compensation for a single veteran starts at $3,057 per month.
- Dependency and Indemnity: The VA understands that your family also is affected by your diagnosis. Payouts to a surviving spouse begin at $1,319 per month.
- Pensions: A veteran with wartime experience may obtain a VA pension.
- Aid and Attendance and Household Benefits: This is another type of compensation that can be added to your pension if you meet eligibility requirements.
Accessing a state or federal worker’s compensation system is an option if you have a mesothelioma diagnosis from asbestos exposure on the job. Worker’s compensation systems are tricky, and many claims do not result in as much compensation as you may like.
Worker’s compensation claims need to be filed within a certain time frame after the injury occurs. Every state has its own guidelines on timelines.
While most mesothelioma cases are due to occupational asbestos exposure, not everyone with the disease can file worker’s comp. Many workers do not get cancer for decades after exposure and probably no longer work at the company.
It is more common for patients with asbestosis to file for worker’s comp because the latency period is shorter, usually 10 or 20 years.
The level of compensation in worker’s compensation is often modest compared to a lawsuit. And states usually put a limit on how much worker’s compensation you can get for a certain injury.
Further, if you get a jury verdict in a lawsuit, it can include compensation for punitive damages and pain and suffering. This type of compensation is not available in worker’s compensation. (asbestos.com)
Talk to your mesothelioma attorney to determine which type of claim is best for your situation.
Are You Eligible for Mesothelioma Compensation?
To qualify for a VA claim, you must have been discharged under anything but dishonorable conditions. You and your attorney also must show that the exposure to asbestos occurred during your military service.
How Much Compensation Will You Get?
There is no way to estimate how much mesothelioma compensation you will receive. The amount varies based on the financial help you pursue and other facts of the case: (pleuralmesothelioma.com)
- Location and location of your mesothelioma lawsuit. Some states’ courts are more receptive to mesothelioma lawsuits than others. Your attorney will advise you on the best venue for litigation.
- Whether or not you were in the military. You could be eligible for different types of compensation.
- Age, gender, and work history.
- How much pain and suffering you are enduring. End-stage mesothelioma can be terribly painful, while stage I or II may have few symptoms.
- Type of asbestos involved
- Amount and location of asbestos exposure
Myths About Mesothelioma Claims
Filing a claim for asbestos exposure sounds like a long, difficult process. But that is why your mesothelioma attorney will handle most of the claim on their own.
You will only need to provide some information to your attorney, and they will take it from there. Seeking mesothelioma compensation should never be tough on the patient: You need to focus on your health. (mesotheliomaguide.com)
If you are hesitating on starting the lawsuit process, we want to dispel some myths:
- Hiring a mesothelioma lawyer is expensive. These attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you will incur no costs unless the case results in a settlement or verdict. Legal fees and expenses are deducted from your award.
- A mesothelioma lawsuit will take up a lot of time and resources. Your mesothelioma attorney will do most of the work. If you are in advanced stages of cancer, your lawyer may be able to expedite the claim in some states and get your money faster.
- You can’t file a claim if you don’t know the company that exposed you to asbestos. Good mesothelioma attorneys possess large databases of companies that made or used asbestos-containing products. Provide your attorney with a detailed account of where you worked and when, and they probably can find the companies that exposed you to asbestos.
- If you file in another state, you must travel. Most mesothelioma attorneys will travel to you as needed. You may not even need to leave your home once.
- Asbestos claims are filed against the US government or military. In most cases, the lawsuit will be filed against the negligent company or companies that made the asbestos-containing products.
Common Expenses Eligible for Mesothelioma Compensation
The first thing you need compensation for is your medical expenses so you can get the care you need. (mesotheliomalawyercenter.org). These include:
- Pain medications
- Physical therapy
- Alternative therapy, such as acupuncture or immunotherapy
Other expenses you may be eligible to recoup are lost earnings past, present, and future, and costs of traveling to treatment centers – gas mileage, hotel costs, and food.
Of course, you will be eligible for compensation for your mental and physical pain and suffering, as well.
Get Mesothelioma Compensation Legal Help
With over $30 billion available for victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll-free (800) 352-0871.
- Asbestos Litigation Costs and Compensation. Accessed at https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/documented_briefings/2005/DB397.pdf
- Mealey’s Litigation Report – Asbestos. Accessed at https://www.bateswhite.com/media/pnc/5/media.285.pdf
- Owens Corning Fibreboard Asbestos Personal Injury Trust. Accessed at http://www.ocfbasbestostrust.com/resources/documents/
- Pittsburgh Corning Corporation Asbestos Personal Injury Settlement Trust. Accessed at https://www.pccasbestostrust.com/