Mesothelioma compensation is a financial award paid to patients and family members affected by mesothelioma cancer. The average settlement is $1 million to $1.4 million. Asbestos trust funds can pay out more than $150,000.
How Much Compensation Can You Get for Mesothelioma?
The average mesothelioma trial payout is about $2.4 million. The average settlement ranges from $1 million to $2 million. Mesothelioma compensation differs for each case.
If a mesothelioma claim goes to trial, a settlement could be reached, or a jury could determine the amount of compensation if the defendant is found liable for the asbestos exposure. Most cases settle before trial.
If a loved one dies from mesothelioma, compensation may be available. Family members, spouses or dependents can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Mesothelioma compensation helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, travel costs and other losses. It provides financial security for families when a loved one can no longer work.
There may also be other types of financial help available. It’s essential to weigh all your options to decide what is best for you and your family.
How Long Will It Take to Get Compensation?
Receiving compensation after a trial could take years, but defendants may choose to settle in months. The amount of time it takes to receive compensation also depends upon the type of claim you file.
Money from asbestos trusts may be received within a few months.
Deciding whether to file a lawsuit is essential in any situation, especially if you are coping with the stress of a terminal illness. A mesothelioma lawyer can provide the most accurate estimate of how long it might take to receive compensation for your unique case.
Types of Mesothelioma Compensation
Types of mesothelioma compensation include asbestos trust funds, trial verdicts and settlements.
Legal claims directed to asbestos trust funds outnumber lawsuits. This is because many asbestos companies have gone bankrupt. It does not mean those companies have escaped liability.
In bankruptcy cases, many asbestos companies set up trust funds. These trust funds have enough money to compensate future asbestos victims. They contain hundreds of millions to billions of dollars.
A top mesothelioma lawyer may suggest filing a trust fund claim and a lawsuit. This depends on which asbestos products are most relevant to your case.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Some people develop mesothelioma after exposure to an asbestos product made by a company that went bankrupt. In this case, your legal claim may go through the bankrupt company’s trust fund rather than the court system.
Trust fund claims generally process quicker than mesothelioma lawsuits. They don’t have to be handled by the court system. Claimants typically receive compensation within a couple of months.
A mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit is often the best type of claim to file. The compensation can pay for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. A mesothelioma attorney can walk you through the process and handle every legal detail while you focus on treatment and recovery.
Another option is filing a wrongful death claim when a person dies of mesothelioma. Surviving family members often represent the estate when filing this type of claim.
There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuits:
- Personal Injury Claims: People with mesothelioma file these lawsuits for compensation. The reward can cover medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.
- Wrongful Death Claims: The estate of a deceased loved one may file this type of claim.
If the defendants don’t settle and your case goes to trial, a court or jury will decide your case. The trial verdict will include monetary compensation if the defendant is found liable.
If you win, the amount you are awarded depends on your case’s facts and other factors, such as medical costs and lost income. Each mesothelioma case is unique, and there are no set guidelines for compensation.
According to a 2021 leading industry report, more than 3,600 mesothelioma lawsuits seeking compensation were filed in the U.S. in 2020.
A settlement is when a defendant pays a plaintiff to dismiss the lawsuit. Many mesothelioma lawsuits settle before trial. A qualified asbestos law firm will negotiate settlements on your behalf. They’ll tell you whether to take the compensation or pursue a court trial.
Several factors affect whether your mesothelioma lawsuit settles. Some defendants decide that settling a claim is cheaper than incurring more legal fees. It affords certainty of the payment amount rather than risking a loss at trial, along with an undetermined amount of damages.
Other defendants are willing to risk a trial because they can negotiate a settlement at any point, mainly if the evidence in the case seems to favor the defendant.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation from Asbestos Exposure?
Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma after asbestos exposure can file a compensation claim. An experienced asbestos attorney will gauge the likely success of your case.
You also may be eligible to receive compensation if you lost a loved one to mesothelioma. Family members who lost their loved one to mesothelioma may file a wrongful death claim.
Proving the mesothelioma diagnosis and evidence of asbestos exposure is vital. This is true whether filing a claim as a patient or as the survivor of a loved one.
Are Family Members Eligible for Compensation?
Yes, family members who lost a loved one to mesothelioma may be eligible for compensation. Family members represent the deceased’s estate when filing a wrongful death lawsuit. They may also file a trust fund claim.
A top mesothelioma lawyer can review your case and tell you whether you can file a claim. They’ll also suggest the best claim to file, depending on the circumstances of your case. In some instances, surviving family members may be eligible to receive compensation through multiple legal options.
How to File for Compensation for Mesothelioma
You can file for mesothelioma compensation with a top asbestos attorney. The right attorney will help you understand all your options for filing a claim. They’ll prove your history of asbestos exposure and track your expenses.
- Get an Attorney: Find out what you could receive by speaking with a mesothelioma lawyer. They can help determine what’s best for you and your family.
- Discovery Period: Your attorney will discover the facts about your asbestos exposure. This process generally focuses on the places and products that led to exposure.
- Weigh Your Options: Consider all options for compensation. Your attorney will review your eligibility for trust funds and lawsuits.
- Accept or Reject Settlement Offers: If you file a lawsuit, you may have to consider offers to settle. Your attorney will counsel you on resolving your claim or proceeding to trial.
Your lawyer will manage the process if you accept a defendant’s settlement offer. Both sides will report the settlement agreement to the court. Then, the court will issue an order of settlement. The defense will prepare a document called the Release. Once agreed upon, your lawyer will send it to you to sign and have notarized.
The settlement will first go to any personal liens before your lawyer disburses the rest to you. Liens can be medical or governmental. They may include reimbursement to health care providers or governmental agencies.
An expert lawyer will maximize your compensation, but won’t promise a certain amount. The financial award can cover costs incurred by asbestos-related diseases. Many expenses are not covered by insurance. These can include transportation, home health aides and complementary therapies.
Consider all your expenses before accepting a settlement amount. Transportation can become costly. Hiring a home health aide is also expensive. Your health insurance may not cover complementary therapies. Options such as massage therapy may be out-of-pocket, so it’s important to note these costs.
Documenting Your Exposure
No one can remember everything about their work, health and asbestos exposure history. It’s too much information, and the time between exposure and diagnosis is too long.
This is why many people file lawsuits instead of workers’ compensation claims. Often, the time has expired to file a worker’s compensation claim.
Your attorney will document your asbestos exposure by asking about your work history. They’ll determine your exposure to asbestos products. Their resources include data on thousands of job sites and asbestos products. They can also run new investigations into workplaces. This can involve reviewing purchase order histories and other historical records.
Resources Exclusive to Mesothelioma Lawyers
Top mesothelioma attorneys have the resources that other attorneys do not have. These resources increase the chances that your case will result in a significant reward.
- Product Identification: Databases of asbestos products and packaging help former workers with identification. Specific products or brands can increase your case’s value.
- Employment Records: These are available through the federal government. Some documents may prove you worked around asbestos products.
- Eyewitnesses: Attorneys will attempt to locate witnesses who can confirm your exposure history. One example may be a former co-worker.
- Expertise: Experienced attorneys compare your case to others. Case histories from other claims can be a good indicator of what to expect in your case.
The nation’s top law firms offer free consultations and case reviews. You’ll be able to ask important questions and learn more about the firm and its history of success.
Other Types of Financial Assistance
In addition to compensation from a mesothelioma claim, you can take advantage of other financial assistance. These include military veterans claims, private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, long-term disability insurance, Social Security disability payments and community assistance.
These programs are designed to help those with a severe illness. Some of these programs can provide financial assistance in just a few weeks or months, and specific programs provide ongoing monthly compensation.
Military Veteran Claims
Many people who served in the U.S. armed forces – especially those who worked in shipyards – were exposed to asbestos.
Veterans have a right to file a VA claim seeking compensation for any illnesses resulting from their military service. The paperwork can be confusing and complicated. A VA-accredited claims agent can help.
VA-accredited claims agents often recommend that veterans file a VA claim at the same time they file a legal claim. Waiting to file these claims separately will only delay things. The compensation received from one generally won’t impact the other, which means you’ll receive payment quicker if you also file this type of claim.
Private Health Insurance
Health insurance can help offset your expenses. If you already have insurance, review your out-of-pocket deductible and copay amounts and any coverage limits.
If you receive benefits through your employer’s group health insurance plan and cannot return to work, your employer will usually stop paying for your health insurance. You can continue your coverage for a limited time, but your premium will generally increase.
Be sure to review your insurance documents, get more information from your insurer and talk with your human resources manager.
Medicare and Medicaid
You may be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid benefits. These government programs offer health care benefits for eligible senior citizens, people with disabilities and those with limited income.
These health insurance options provide coverage for all forms of mesothelioma treatment. Copays in these programs tend to be more affordable than certain forms of private insurance. This financial assistance helps families afford cancer care but generally does not cover 100% of treatment costs.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
If you have long-term disability insurance, you may be able to receive a percentage of your salary.
Usually, this is only available if you are away from work for several months. You must submit paperwork so your insurer can determine if you are eligible for benefits. This includes documentation from your doctor verifying your disability.
It typically takes one to four months to start receiving benefits. Your policy may also limit how long you can receive help. If you do not already have long-term disability coverage when you are diagnosed, you may not be eligible for a new policy.
Social Security Disability Payments
If you cannot work because of your illness and are still eligible, you can apply for Social Security Disability Benefits.
You may qualify for a disability determination within days, but it usually takes several months to apply for and receive benefits.
The Social Security Compassionate Allowances program allows patients with certain serious diseases to apply for benefits under a fast-track process. Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients are eligible for this program.
Assistance may be available in your local community. Some organizations provide grants to help families with transportation, lodging, food and other out-of-pocket costs that arise during treatment.
There may also be volunteers in your community who can help you with errands, transportation and other caregiving duties. Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society or another cancer support group for more information.