What is The Average Compensation for Mesothelioma Claims?
A mesothelioma claim or lawsuit is a legal action that allows patients and their loved ones to sue organizations responsible for their diagnosis and receive financial compensation. The compensation can vary depending on the type of claim and can be helpful for patients undergoing expensive cancer treatment.
What are the different kinds of mesothelioma claims?
Until the 1970s, asbestos was used in all building materials, automobile parts, and insulation. However, it was soon discovered to be incredibly dangerous, causing irreparable damage to anyone exposed to it for long periods.
If you have developed mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, you can legally file a claim for financial compensation.
There are several avenues you can explore; US veterans can take advantage of disability benefits from the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), while civilians can look into a few different options discussed below.
Before asbestos was discovered to be a massive health hazard, it was commonly used in the US military, especially Navy ships, shipyards, aircraft, buildings, and other construction projects. As such, many veterans have had long-term exposure to high amounts of asbestos, leading to health issues in later years.
The amount of compensation that a veteran receives will depend on the severity of their disability. Veterans with mesothelioma are typically awarded 100% disability compensation. This means they will receive the maximum compensation available from the VA.
Since the military was unaware of the harmful nature of asbestos in the past, VA benefits specifically for Navy veteran mesothelioma were established to rectify their mistake and improve the quality of life of affected veterans.
Personal Injury Claim
A company that makes products using asbestos and withholds this information from the public is liable for a personal injury claim. The same is true if you are an employee who is regularly exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
Filling a personal injury claim is also acceptable if you’re a victim of secondary exposure. This means that you were exposed to asbestos through the actions of another person, such as a spouse or parent who worked in an environment with high concentrations of asbestos.
Wrongful Death Claims
The claim considers the financial and emotional damage done to the family after losing a loved one. If you’re able to prove that the third party had a duty of care and breached that duty, intentionally or unintentionally, you can receive enough compensation to cover medical expenses, funeral costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering damages.
While the usual claimants in a wrongful death case are the deceased’s closest relatives, laws regarding who can file and receive damages can vary depending on different states.
How much compensation can you get?
The exact amount of compensation varies depending on the case, type of claim, state laws, and more. Furthermore, around 95% of claimants choose to settle, which is when the company you are suing offers to pay a sum to prevent the claim from going to trial. The resulting settlement is often kept private, so there is little available data that may pinpoint the exact compensation you can expect.
VA benefits: Veterans who develop illnesses from asbestos exposure while on active duty can receive around $4000 a month. The exact payout will depend on their level of disability, marital status, and number of dependent family members.
Personal Injury Payout: As of 2023, settlements can award anywhere from $1 to $1.4 million, depending on the exact nature of your unique case.
Wrongful Death Payout: Compensation can be higher in the case of wrongful death if the victim is the main financial backbone of their family. Details such as age of death, financial hardship, and family size can impact the final payout.
Trust Fund Payout: Over $30 billion is currently available in asbestos trust funds, and you can file for a percentage based on your claim. The average payout of a single claim is $41,000; however, you can receive greater compensation if you qualify for multiple funds.
How to file a mesothelioma claim
An asbestos lawyer can help patients and family members file a claim. The initial process involves understanding the eligibility criteria for compensation and gathering the necessary documents and proof to support your claim.
Step 1: Understand the statute of limitations
Whether you’re the victim of exposure or a family member of a deceased patient, both personal injury and wrongful death claims have a time limit within which you must file your claim. Since mesothelioma can take several years to develop after initial exposure, the statute is based on considering the date of the diagnosis or death and the initial exposure period.
Step 2: Collect documents and proof of exposure
You’ll need official documents showing your employment status in the company during exposure and a medical diagnosis connecting your illness to that exposure. If you weren’t an employee, you’d need significant proof that continued use of the company’s asbestos products led to your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Beyond this, secondary information will be needed to figure out exactly how much compensation you can get. You’ll have to provide medical bills, other fixed expenses, your current financial situation and loss of income, proof of emotional distress, and funeral costs in case of a wrongful death claim.
Step 3: File your claim
Once the claim has been filed, the company will investigate the evidence you provide. If your claim holds, they will most likely try to negotiate a settlement amount to end the lawsuit.
So, your best bet is to coordinate with your lawyer to figure out a reasonable amount that compensates for all your troubles. A good asbestos lawyer will make sure you get rightfully compensated.
In many cases, the compensation received from a mesothelioma claim can financially help victims and their families. Often, the payout goes directly into medical bills for treatments that could greatly improve your quality of life. So, start the process of filing the claim once you’ve gotten a diagnosis. And make sure you have an experienced lawyer on board.