That is probably the most frequently-asked question among all of the many questions that our mesothelioma clients ask us. There is no way to answer exactly, as every case is different and there are so many factors that are involved in valuing a case.
That being said, there are certain factors that are weighed as each case is prepared, and wanting to know what you can expect before deciding to proceed with a mesothelioma lawsuit is entirely reasonable.
The attorneys have been representing mesothelioma clients for decades, and pay very close attention to the outcomes of mesothelioma lawsuits all over the country,
so we are able to provide you with some basic information on what to expect and what mesothelioma victims who are in similar circumstances have experienced.
First and foremost it will be your medical history that will be weighed most heavily when determining what your damages are. How far along your cancer is, what your prognosis is, how much treatment you will need and whether you will need home care or rehabilitation,
all of these questions, as well as information on what treatments you have already received for your condition, will be taken into consideration.
The sicker you are, the more pain and suffering you are experiencing, whether you will be able to return to work and whether other people depend upon you for either their care or their sustenance are all weighed very carefully.
Most mesothelioma cases stem from workplace exposure in traditional blue collar jobs such as roofers, textile workers, shipyard workers and electricians.
It is far less common to have office workers diagnosed with mesothelioma, and when they are it makes it much more difficult to determine how the exposure took place.
By the same token, if a person who is an attorney or other high-wage earner that is in a job where exposure to asbestos would be completely unexpected, it will likely add to the value of the case, both for the lost wages and the unexpected nature of the diagnosis.
In some cases, a mesothelioma victim’s only occupational history is having been a homemaker; it has been well documented that those who were washing the clothes of
or living with family members who worked with asbestos are entirely susceptible to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, and often the injustice of the situation increases the value of the case.
Settlement, Lawsuit, or Trust
Often the outcome of a mesothelioma case will be determined by whether the suit is being filed against individual companies or whether the case will be addressing the asbestos trusts.
Following the multitude of lawsuits that were fired once it was realized that asbestos manufacturers and employers could be held liable for the damage they had done, many companies faced such enormous payouts and unending lawsuits that they sought protection via bankruptcy court.
This resulted in asbestos trusts also known as a mesothelioma trust fund being set up, which set aside money specifically for the compensation of victims of asbestos exposure. The trusts are operated by foundations that have specific guidelines established for the valuation of each aspect of the case,
including where the exposure took place and over how much time, and then these base numbers are then factored by variables such as whether the victim smoked or what type of cancer they were diagnosed with. Other contributing factors include how many dependents the mesothelioma victim has.
In the case of actually filing a mesothelioma lawsuit rather than filing a claim with an asbestos trust, the numbers are less established and can be highly variable. This is one of the important reasons for making certain that you are working with an attorney that has extensive background and experience in filing mesothelioma lawsuits.
An experienced mesothelioma attorney will know exactly who to sue, exactly where to file the lawsuit, and will have expert witnesses available that can testify as to the dollar value of both your actual medical expenses and your unrealized expenses such as pain and suffering.
In a lawsuit that goes before a jury, a mesothelioma attorney may also be able to win punitive damages on your behalf, in which the jury chooses to assess a fine as punishment, above and beyond expenses.