Mesothelioma compensation may be owed to an individual (or to that individual’s loved ones) following a diagnosis of mesothelioma linked to asbestos exposure.
Thousands of individuals so diagnosed have over the last several decades received payouts with a combined total running into the multiplied billions of dollars.
The typical compensation claim for mesothelioma ranges between $1 million and $3 million. Some claimants have obtained mesothelioma compensation worth more than $10 million.
The largest amount of mesothelioma compensation ever awarded to a mesothelioma patient was $250 million.
Mesothelioma compensation can be used to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
The money is potentially available to individuals who are alive or, if deceased, to their survivors.
Mesothelioma compensation can be obtained from:
- Mesothelioma lawsuit verdicts
- Mesothelioma lawsuit settlements
- Asbestos trust fund distributions
- Veterans Administration claims
- Disability insurance payouts
- Health-insurance payouts
- Charitable grants and gifts
For best results, mesothelioma compensation should be sought only after conferring with an attorney extensively experienced in advocating on behalf of mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. To talk to a mesothelioma lawyer possessing those qualifications, click here.
Mesothelioma compensation lawsuits
The way a great many asbestos-exposed individuals and their loved ones seek mesothelioma compensation is by initiating a mesothelioma lawsuit.
A mesothelioma compensation lawsuit can end in one of two ways—with a verdict or with a settlement.
Mesothelioma compensation verdict. This comes at the end of a trial in a lawsuit brought by a mesothelioma patient or by that individual’s survivors.
The verdict is rendered by a jury or (in the absence of a jury) by a judge. A verdict can go either way—in favor of the mesothelioma patient (the plaintiff) or in favor of the asbestos-peddling company or companies being sued (the defendant or defendants). The stronger the plaintiff’s case and the more experienced the lawyer arguing it on behalf of that litigant, the more likely the verdict will favor the mesothelioma patient.
Almost always included in a verdict favorable to the plaintiff will be a finding of damages. This is the amount of mesothelioma compensation the trier of fact (the judge or jury) decides the defendant must pay to the plaintiff.
Mesothelioma lawsuits can take a long time to resolve—typically one to two years, longer if a losing defendant appeals the verdict. However, once a pro-plaintiff verdict is finalized, the payment check can be issued in a matter of a few weeks or even days.
Notably, no matter how long the entire process takes, most mesothelioma plaintiffs’ lawyers charge nothing for their services unless the plaintiff wins compensation—in which event the maximum fee a mesothelioma lawyer typically charges is one-third (or less) of the total amount awarded to the plaintiff.
Mesothelioma compensation settlement. Many mesothelioma compensation lawsuits end before a verdict is rendered. This happens when both the plaintiff and defendant agree to drop the case. Dropping the case is another way of saying the parties have agreed to settle.
Settlement can occur at any stage of the mesothelioma compensation lawsuit process. Usually, it comes about shortly before the start of trial or at some point during the tribunal. But it has been known to happen as early as right after the filing of the case.
The settlement process begins when one side reaches out to the other with an offer to end the matter. Frequently, such offers contain a proposal for a smaller amount of compensation than that which the plaintiff hoped to be awarded by verdict. However, the amounts proposed via settlement are usually nonetheless quite substantial.
Negotiation is a big part of the settlement process. An initial offer may be rejected by the side receiving it and this could be followed by extensive back-and-forth between the parties before agreement is reached. A skilled mesothelioma lawyer will likely possess the experience necessary to make negotiations proceed smoothly and productively.
Many plaintiffs agree to settle because it eliminates the uncertainty of trial. At trial, anything can happen and, as such, victory is never assured—not even if the case appears to be rock-solid in the plaintiff’s favor.
Also, settlement shortens the time it takes to receive mesothelioma compensation. Payment for the plaintiff can be on its way weeks, months, or years sooner than if the lawsuit were resolved by verdict.
Asbestos Trust Funds
So, what these companies did was file bankruptcy. This meant they could not be sued for the mesothelioma that product end-users and innocent bystanders developed.
However, the companies shielded by bankruptcy were not off the hook. By law, they were required to put large amounts of money into trust funds for the purpose of compensating mesothelioma patients who could be anticipated to someday seek remuneration for the harms done to them.
Roughly $20 billion have been obtained by mesothelioma patients and their loved ones through asbestos trust funds since those entities began forming more than 30 years ago. The 60 or so asbestos trust funds that currently exist contain a combined $30 billion in available mesothelioma compensation.
Requesting mesothelioma compensation from an asbestos trust fund entails little more than filing a claim. However, the supporting paperwork can be quite extensive and intricate. A qualified mesothelioma lawyer or mesothelioma law firm can greatly simplify matters and help eliminate the need for refiling resulting from incomplete or improper original claims submissions.
Mesothelioma compensation from other sources
Mesothelioma patients who served in the U.S. military may have access to additional compensation through the Veterans Administration. The VA offers several programs to help those who developed mesothelioma and were exposed to asbestos during the years they held rank in any branch of the armed forces (including commissioned officers of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration, or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
Health insurance—both private and public—is another source of mesothelioma compensation. Most private carriers as well as Medicare and Medicaid will pay for at least some of the costs of mesothelioma medical care.
Another mesothelioma compensation source can be disability insurance. Many people who develop mesothelioma eventually find themselves unable to continue working. Disability insurance providers often recognize mesothelioma as a potentially job-related injury and compensate it accordingly.
In some instances, mesothelioma patients may be able to turn to local charities for compensation. Cash grants are one type of potentially available help, but community organizations mostly deliver aid in the form of food gifts and volunteer assistance with activities of daily living.
Consult a mesothelioma compensation lawyer
To talk to a mesothelioma lawyer possessing those qualifications, click here.
About the author…
Gregory Sandifer graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and received his law degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California.