Mesothelioma Compensation and Financial Assistance
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin outer layer of tissue (mesothelium) covering most internal organs. This form of cancer is known for its aggressive pathology and deadly outcome. While treatments are available, there is no cure, making mesothelioma one of the most deadly forms of cancer.
According to findings from the World Health Organization (WHO), the global economic costs of asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma reached over $2 billion in 2008 alone. While some of these costs are attributed to reduced productivity and economic contribution from work, a majority of the costs associated with this figure stem from both direct and indirect medical costs.
Mesothelioma patients quickly find themselves in mounting debt, with medical bills quickly reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, often shouldered by patients. While health insurance can help, co-pays, deductibles and other out of pocket expenses often become overwhelming, putting many patients and their families into crippling debt.
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Mesothelioma • Asbestosis
Mesothelioma Compensation Offers Hope
Mesothelioma compensation can take on many forms depending on the patient’s particular circumstance and situation.
Options may include:
- Trust funds
- Jury verdicts
- VA claim
- And more
Filing a mesothelioma claim with the help of an experienced law firm may offer financial hope for those families and loved ones impacted by this tragic diagnosis.
Compensation for Mesothelioma Cases May Include that For:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost future earning potential
- Past, current and future medical expenses
- And more
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with this terminal disease, or another illness related to asbestos exposure, it is critical that you find out your options and rights as soon as possible. An experienced law firm will be able to look at your case and help you find the right path forward. They know what it takes to win cases and get you the compensation you deserve.
How Much Compensation Can You Get for Mesothelioma?
The amount of compensation that one can claim and be awarded in the event of a positive outcome (either pre-court negotiations or through a trial) varies greatly.
Factors that May Impact Possible Compensation Awarded Include but are Not Limited to:
- Conditions and circumstances under or during which the patient was exposed to asbestos;
- The state (some states may have caps on compensation);
That said, according to data from Mealey’s Litigation Report (2016), the average award for a mesothelioma trial was $2.4 million, with the average settlement agreed to for those cases that did not go to trial coming in at between $1MM-1.4 million.
While predicting specific levels of compensation is difficult, an experienced mesothelioma law firm or trial attorney may be able to help gauge your eligibility and case value based on prior case law and previous successful outcomes for their clients.
Further, there may be other forms of financial assistance and compensation available to you outside of those obtained through a trial. Your attorney will be able to help you explore these options and find the best combination of avenues to pursue based on your goals and what is best for you and your family.
What Types of Compensation Are There for Mesothelioma Victims?
The goal with most cases is not to have to go to trial in the first place. Trials can be lengthy and stressful, but they can, in some cases be the best option given that trial verdicts are often much larger than settlements outside of court. If the defendant in your case is found liable, you may be awarded substantial compensation.
Bankruptcy Trust Funds
You may find that the company who manufactured or mined the asbestos that caused your cancer to have gone out of business. Some of those companies may have been purchased by other organizations, while others perhaps declared bankruptcy due to a large number of asbestos-related lawsuits having been filed against them.
In such cases, as a result of bankruptcy protection, many of these businesses were ordered by the courts to set up a pool of funds to be used to compensate asbestos victims that come forward. Such funds are known as trust funds “mesothelioma compensation funds”.
With the risk and costs associated with a lengthy trial looming, many defendants seek to come to an amicable settlement agreement instead of risking a trial. Attorneys representing mesothelioma patients are most often only paid if and when they win a case or the claim is successful. Defendants, however, have to pay their legal teams no matter what, often stacking up substantial financial liabilities along the way.
Your attorney will discuss with you all available options and whether or not a settlement is something to consider pursuing or putting on the table for negotiation.
Steps Needed to Obtain Mesothelioma Compensation
Find an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney – The US legal system is complex, nuanced and stressful. You need an experienced attorney or law firm that has a demonstrated track record of successful outcomes for their clients and in-depth knowledge of the specifics involving asbestos-related claims cases.
Legal Consultation – Your initial consultation with an attorney should be free. During this consultation, you’ll be able to have some of your questions answered, learn more about their experience, and determine if they might be a good fit for your case. Likewise, the attorney or law firm will let you know your options and whether or not they would like to take on your case. Remember, most mesothelioma attorneys work at no upfront cost to you until such time as they are able to win your case or get you a settlement.
Work with Your Attorney – Once hired your attorney will take on the majority of the workload with regards to your case. However, you will need to coordinate with them and provide information when necessary so that they can keep things moving along and to enable them to best represent your case.
The results of the above steps will culminate in either a court case and trial, or a settlement. While no attorney can guarantee compensation or a “win”, an experienced attorney will be able to provide you with insight as to how well your case may hold up in court and what to expect moving forward.
When Will I Receive Compensation?
Compensation from a lawsuit involving claims surrounding asbestos exposure and subsequent medical diagnosis happens once you either win a verdict at trial or after a negotiated settlement has been reached.
- Jury trial verdicts can take years, although there are usually opportunities to settle along the way
- Money set aside in trusts is often available to those who qualify within a few months
Determining Value of Claims
Experienced attorneys will use their knowledge of case law and pasts experience as well as similar verdicts and cases they have tried in order to estimate how much a lawsuit may be worth should it go to trial and you win a favorable verdict.
However, as it relates to trust fund claims there is a more formalized process in place.
Determining the Value of Trust Fund Claims: Case valuation matrix
Those in charge of managing asbestos trust funds base their case valuations on what is known as a “case valuation matrix”. This “matrix” is a legally binding document that assigns base compensation figures for various types of cancer. These base figures can then be adjusted based on additional information provided by those afflicted.
Once a baseline has been determined the following factors may impact the value of your claim:
- Work history
- Mental and/or physical distress (i.e. pain and suffering)
- Types of asbestos products involved
- Where the exposure to asbestos occurred
Types of Expenses that May Impact Your Claim
- Past, current and projected future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Inability to support dependents
- Travel costs associated with medical treatments
- Funeral expenses
Consulting with your attorney is an important step in understanding your rights, potential level of compensation and whether or not you should pursue a claim.
Remembering and Documenting Your Exposure
Remembering the details of your life, medical and work history, much of which likely took place years or even decades ago can be a challenge. This is why working with an experienced attorney is so important. They have resources that can substantially help your case and help you uncover the evidence necessary to support your case and claim.
Tracking Your Expenses
No matter what avenue of compensation you and your attorney decide to pursue, compensation will not happen immediately, and could possibly take months or even years. During this time it is important that you accurately and methodically track any expenses related to your condition.
Expenses you should track include:
- Travel expenses to and from medical providers
- Payment for home health aides or home nurses
- Health insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles
- Alternative therapies
Other Types of Financial Assistance Possibly Available Includes:
- VA claims
- Private health insurance
- Medicare and/or Medicaid
- Social security disability payments
- Community / charity / private organization assistance
Talk with a #State# Mesothelioma Lawyer Today
Protect the rights of yourself or your family today. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and/or suspect or know that you have been exposed to asbestos in #State#, you may be entitled to compensation. Bills from mesothelioma treatment can quickly become overwhelming. Even with insurance, many families struggle to keep up. Reach out for help today and let an experienced mesothelioma attorney in #State# fight for the compensation you deserve to help cover medical bills, lost wages, and more.