The average mesothelioma claim that goes to trial and is decided by a jury wins around $6 million. The claims that are settled out of court generally end up receiving between $1 million and $2 million.
One of the most important questions that need an answer before pursuing legal action is, “How much is my claim worth?” Determining the value of a mesothelioma or asbestos claim is a complex calculation because it depends on so many variables. These sums are determined by the following factors:
The medical costs that accompany a diagnosis as dire as mesothelioma, asbestosis or any other asbestos-related disease are extremely high. Though they can differ depending on what kind of treatment you choose and what medical center provides your care, the average costs remain the same: roughly $30,000 in total for chemotherapy alone, and if you need lung surgery it is fair to expect that the total bill will exceed $40,000.
The cost of medical care includes everything from doctors’ appointments and the cost of prescriptions to the money you spend out of pocket traveling to and from appointments. If you are a mesothelioma patient or are a family member helping them manage their care, be sure to keep receipts for every expense: a mesothelioma attorney would prefer to throw away receipts that are not applicable then to miss including an expense that can be compensated.
Though most mesothelioma patients are older at the time of diagnosis, there are many who have not yet reached retirement age and who would be able to continue working if not for the ravages of the disease.
Any income that is lost as a result of not being able to work, as well as earnings that could have reasonably been anticipated in the future, can be included in a mesothelioma claim.
Similarly, if a loved one is forced to leave their work or lose wages in order to provide care or to take the mesothelioma patient to and from medical appointments, those economic losses should also be included in your claim.
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases all have a tremendous toll on the quality of the patient’s life. They cause great suffering and pain. As a result, those lawsuits that are filed by victims who are in later stages of their disease are likely to be awarded larger damage amounts.
One of the most important questions that will be answered during the course of gathering documentation for your mesothelioma lawsuit is about the asbestos exposure that you experienced.
Though it is generally accepted that any amount of asbestos can trigger mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, when there is evidence of large or extended asbestos exposure the victim’s claim is likely to merit a higher value.
Though it is difficult to quantify pain and suffering, an experienced mesothelioma attorney will be able to tell a compelling story of the impact that your illness has had on you and those in your immediate circle. The more clearly they are able to convey the strain of your illness, the higher your compensation is likely to be.
If you have people in your family who rely upon you for economic or emotional support, the impact of your loss will be included in the consideration of your claim’s value. Dependents can include a spouse, a child (adult or juvenile), or anybody else that lives with you or relies upon you for financial support.
An experienced mesothelioma attorney will take great care in putting together all of the pertinent elements of your personal story to ensure that you get the maximum compensation that you deserve.
Other elements that may be weighed when establishing the value of your claim can include your age, the degree of negligence or malice that was shown by the asbestos company, and the specific laws of the state where your claim is filed.
Accepting a Settlement Impacts Your Claim
In most claims, when a person diagnosed with mesothelioma decides to pursue compensation from the asbestos companies, the claim is resolved in an out-of-court settlement instead of going to trial.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both jury trials and settlements, and it is important that you understand the different likely outcomes of each.
In both claims, we will prepare all of the documentation necessary to prove your claim and win you the maximum compensation for your claim. The stronger your claim is, the more likely it is that you will be offered a settlement, as the asbestos company attorneys will be interested in avoiding the expense and publicity of a trial.
Though a settlement agreement provides you with a guaranteed outcome and a much shorter timeline for resolving your claim, it generally does so at a reduced damages amount.
The other disadvantage of opting for a settlement is that it precludes you from the satisfaction of being able to ‘have your day in court’ and speaking directly to those responsible for the way that they have harmed you.
We can discuss the merits of opting for a lower amount of cash in hand quickly versus pursuing the more time consuming and expensive court proceedings for an uncertain but potentially higher jury award.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Another option that is available is one that avoids the time and uncertainty of either a mesothelioma lawsuit or a settlement. It is filing a claim with the asbestos trust funds. These are funds were set aside by the asbestos companies specifically for the benefit of those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.
Filing a claim with these trusts provides a predetermined compensation amount based upon the value of the fund itself and specifics of your claim. For more information on how these trusts work, visit our page on Mesothelioma Trust Funds.
Help Determining your Claim Value
Calculating the approximate value of your claim requires years of experience and we are here to help. Call us at 1-800-706-5606 to set up a free consultation to discuss the compensation that may be available to you.