The first thing you need to do after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis is talk with your doctor about your treatment options. There’s no known cure, but there are a variety of ways you and your doctor may try to eliminate the disease or improve your quality of life.
These treatments all depend on the specifics of your case, but they share one thing in common. They’re all going to cost a lot of money. Even when you have good insurance, you’re likely going to face some steep out-of-pocket expenses. And your lifestyle adjustments at home are also likely going to increase the cost of the disease. So, how much should you hope to claim for compensation?
More than one way to seek compensation
Because mesothelioma is almost always tied to asbestos exposure, most mesothelioma victims are eligible for compensation. However, they don’t always need to sue or win cases in court to receive payment, although those are certainly options.
There are two standard ways that victims can seek compensation:
- Filing lawsuits against the company or companies that exposed them to asbestos
- Applying for payment from the asbestos trust funds these businesses created to help their victims
These methods may not be mutually exclusive. In fact, many people apply for compensation from bankruptcy trusts and file lawsuits. An experienced attorney can help you explore your options, and you’ll want to make sure you understand your costs, priorities and time concerns.
Mesothelioma litigation can take a long time. While some cases move more quickly, there are certainly some that have outlasted the victims. Their families had to continue the fight after the victims passed. Nonetheless, Forbes recently reported that mesothelioma verdicts averaged over $5 million. Settlements were sizeable, too, and averaged over $1 million.
7 factors that affect the value of your case
Why do mesothelioma settlements and verdicts average in the millions? As noted on StateRecords.org, the answer is that courts value each case based on a number of actual expenses and non-economic costs.
Actual expenses include things that come with easily measurable dollar values:
- Treatment costs
- Prescription costs
- Therapy costs
- Lost wages
Non-economic costs are harder to tie to exact dollar amounts:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
To value a case, the courts will consider these factors alongside other factors such as the victim’s age, number of dependents, the severity of the disease and the responsible company’s actions. They may also look at the trends in similar cases.
Your case is unique
To work toward fair compensation, it is important to understand the larger trends around mesothelioma litigation. However, it is just as important to understand that your case is unique. You want to base your decisions on your circumstances. You want to make sure you can clearly show how you suffered your asbestos exposure, and you want to show how much that exposure has caused you to suffer since then.
Accordingly, victims will want to make sure their attorneys are well-versed in similar cases. You want to make sure your attorney can identify the factors working for or against you. You want to understand the big picture and then choose the strategy that works best for you and your family.