Clients who want to pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit will often want to know how much their suit is worth. While the average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $2 million, and the average mesothelioma trial verdict is between $5 million and $11.4 million, how much a victim can receive will usually depend on numerous factors.
To help you better understand these factors, we have prepared this blog. In it, we will go over each factor in detail, describe how they can affect the value of your mesothelioma case, and explain how an experienced mesothelioma attorney can go after the maximum financial relief you deserve.
What Is the Value of a Mesothelioma Case?
Although the average compensation for a mesothelioma patient tends to be between $1 million and $1.4 million, this amount will depend on various factors, including whether the case goes to trial, as verdicts can reach over $11 million. For these reasons, estimating the value of a person’s mesothelioma case is difficult. While the stories of what happened may be similar, no two mesothelioma cases will be the same, and countless variables can impact the value of a claim. Consider the following:
The Asbestos Exposure
Many industries have used Asbestos over the years. As a result, workers in specific fields, such as construction, mining, and automotive, have been exposed to a significant amount of asbestos. Consequently, occupational asbestos exposure is the most common link to mesothelioma, and why workers exposed to asbestos regularly will tend to have higher case values.
Asbestos exposure can lead to:
- Mesothelioma: A cancer of the mesothelial tissue that is associated with asbestos exposure. The average lifespan of those diagnosed ranges anywhere from 18 to 31 months.
- Lung cancer: Inhalation of asbestos fibers has also been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, which is another deadly cancer with a low five-year survival rate. That is why when it comes to asbestos cases, lung cancer is the second-most valuable type, according to the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.
- Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a lung disease that results from inhaling asbestos particles, causing breathing issues. The condition tends to be ranked below asbestos-caused cancers regarding case value.
- Other Cancers: Asbestos exposure has also led to ovarian and laryngeal cancer. In terms of value, if a person develops this cancer, they may receive more money than those with a non-cancerous asbestos disease but less than those with mesothelioma or lung cancer.
- Non-cancerous diseases: Individuals who develop non-cancerous diseases, such as pleural effusion due to their asbestos exposure, may be awarded little to no compensation, as these conditions are typically not life-threatening.
However, in terms of ranking, mesothelioma claims will usually pay the most compared to other asbestos-related disease claims.
The Extent of the Economic Losses
Those suffering from mesothelioma will usually face significant economic losses due to this illness, such as an inability to work, astronomical medical bills, and other financial issues that need to be factored in when determining total compensation.
Total Medical Bills
Mesothelioma is challenging to treat and often results in a significant economic burden on the family. Hospitalization costs alone tend to average around $24,000. Add in all the other bills related to treating this disease, and the resulting costs could be in the tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. Consequently, these medical costs can greatly impact the value of a mesothelioma case.
Number Of Companies In The Lawsuit
Depending on the situation, mesothelioma victims may file claims against multiple companies that manufacture asbestos products. However, if multiple defendants are named, it can impact the value of a mesothelioma claim.
Other Factors Affecting The Value Of A Mesothelioma Case
Some of the other variables that can affect how much an individual can collect from a mesothelioma case include:
- The age of the individual at diagnosis
- The number of dependents the victim has
- Marital status
- Whether the individual used talc cosmetics
- Whether the individual used other products containing asbestos
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering
To figure out which of these factors can impact your mesothelioma case, consider discussing your situation with an experienced mesothelioma attorney. These lawyers can thoroughly review your case, determine which variables may affect your claim, and help you fight for the maximum damages you deserve.
Where Can Mesothelioma Victims Obtain Compensation From?
Mesothelioma victims can obtain compensation from:
- Trust funds
- VA benefit programs
More importantly, the total amount of money individuals can receive for their mesothelioma case will typically depend on the type of case they pursue.
When asbestos manufacturers filed for bankruptcy protection, they created asbestos trust funds, also referred to as mesothelioma trust funds. These funds were responsible for providing future compensation to mesothelioma victims and other injured by their exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma case values from a mesothelioma trust fund average around $180,000. However, these payments can range between $7,000 and $1.2 million.
The amount of each payout will generally depend on the trust fund, as each contains a different amount of money. For example, trust funds that belong to larger asbestos companies may have over one billion dollars in the fund, while the smaller companies may have a few million dollars.
Additionally, victims can obtain different amounts depending on how their mesothelioma case is evaluated.
- Expedited reviews typically offer a fixed amount if a claim meets specific criteria.
- Individual reviews will examine each case individually to determine its worth. The process not only takes more time than an expedited review, but the money received can be more or less than that of a case that has undergone an expedited review.
If you are pursuing legal action against an asbestos company that does not have a trust fund, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against it. During the course of this lawsuit, if the asbestos company and you can agree on an appropriate sum of money to end the case, you may obtain compensation through a settlement.
While the amount of these settlements will usually depend on numerous factors specific to the case, in general, the average amount that individuals can obtain from these settlements can range from $1 million to $1.4 million. However, cases can settle for substantially less or more.
If the parties cannot reach a settlement, the mesothelioma case may go to trial, and the court will decide the verdict. However, while the average mesothelioma trial verdicts range from $5 million to $11.4 million, which is exponentially higher than most settlements, there can also be various drawbacks to pursuing a trial.
For instance, if victims lose their case, they will not get any money from the process. In addition, litigating a case can take years, which means it can be a long time before a victim can receive any money. More importantly, because the average mesothelioma life expectancy is slightly more than a year, many attorneys may not want to pursue these lengthy lawsuits.
Mesothelioma patients may also be able to pursue workers’ compensation if they were exposed to asbestos while working and developed mesothelioma as a result. Workers’ compensation benefits can help these patients obtain compensation for their medical bills and loss of income. However, these amounts may not always be enough to cover all of the patient’s mesothelioma-related expenses.
For these reasons, before deciding on how to proceed with a case, consider discussing your claim with a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer who can go over all the legal options you can pursue.
For a period of time, the military heavily relied on asbestos. As a result, many military veterans may be eligible to receive compensation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs if they had contact with asbestos during their service.
However, because several programs can help veterans receive financial compensation for their mesothelioma diagnoses, the values of these claims will generally depend on the specific program.
Some of the more common benefits veterans can apply for include:
- Health care coverage
- Disability benefits
- Mesothelioma treatments at VA hospitals
Unfortunately, these benefits may not always cover all of a veteran’s losses and damages. That is why to figure out if pursuing a VA claim may be your best option, consider discussing your case with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who can help you determine which benefits you qualify for and assist you in applying for these benefits.
Do Not Run out of Time to Get the Money You Need
The statute of limitations refers to the time individuals have to file lawsuits. These time limitations will depend on the claim type and which state the claim will be filed. As a result, when it comes to mesothelioma lawsuits, the time to file these suits will first depend on the type of lawsuit pursued.
- A personal injury lawsuit: Typically, for a personal injury lawsuit, the time to file will begin from the day of diagnosis of the individual.
- A wrongful death lawsuit: For family members who lost a loved one due to mesothelioma, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death claim will start on the day of their loved one’s death.
These time limitations also apply to trust fund claims, and each fund will have its own deadlines. However, regardless of how you pursue compensation, if you do not file your claim by the appropriate deadline, you can be barred from obtaining the compensation you deserve.
For these reasons, if you want to make sure you file your mesothelioma claim before time runs out, reach out to an experienced mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible after a diagnosis or the passing of your loved one. These legal professionals can determine how much time you have to file your case and ensure the appropriate documents and legal files are submitted before time expires.
Determine How Much Your Mesothelioma Lawsuit May Be Worth. Contact An Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyer Today
Due to the complexities of a mesothelioma case, go over your case with an experienced mesothelioma attorney.
Your lawyers can review your case in detail, evaluate your claim, determine which legal avenue you should pursue, and file the appropriate paperwork within the statute of limitations.
Your attorneys can also:
- Answer your legal questions, help ensure you understand your rights, and help you decide your next legal steps.
- Fight for financial damages that are fair to you and cover your past and future damages.
- File a legal complaint against the liable parties for your asbestos exposure.
- Review your work history to look for connections to identify asbestos exposure.
- Prove the severity of your condition and the extent of your losses by gathering and reviewing relevant evidence such as test results, medical bills, medical records, and earning records.
- Hire experts that can provide testimony to validate your legal claim.
- Fight for a fair settlement offer, and ensure that the other side does not try taking advantage of you and your situation.
- Head to trial if the other party or parties are not willing to settle for a fair amount and go after the maximum recovery you need.
To go over your case for free and determine the value of your mesothelioma case, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney today, and learn how a legal professional can fight for the justice you deserve.