Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones can seek financial compensation for diagnostic and treatment costs, travel, pain and suffering, lost income and other expenses associated with a diagnosis from asbestos exposure. Compensation options and amounts can vary greatly based on aspects of your individual case.
There are many different forms of compensation that may be available. Money may be available from asbestos trust funds, mesothelioma lawsuits, settlements and/or veterans’ benefits. A mesothelioma lawyer can best advise what recovery options you are eligible for and which options will provide you with the most compensation.
Types of Asbestos Compensation
There are four main types of compensation that mesothelioma patients may receive. Not all patients are eligible for all compensation options. A mesothelioma lawyer can discuss what is best for you.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos was used frequently from the 1940s through the 1960s, before its dangers became known and laws and regulations were put into place in the early 1970s. Over time, a number of asbestos companies that manufactured, distributed, sold or used asbestos products and materials have either gone out of business, merged with other corporations or have been restructured due to bankruptcy. Oftentimes, the end of their business was due to a series of compensation claims filed against them for asbestos-related injuries.
Even if the company responsible for your exposure and diagnosis is no longer in business, it’s still possible to receive compensation from them. In many cases, they were required to establish asbestos bankruptcy trust funds with money to pay out future claims. These claims do have certain criteria that the mesothelioma victim must meet to be eligible. An asbestos attorney can help determine your eligibility.
A settlement can occur if a patient or loved one files a mesothelioma claim against one or more asbestos companies for personal injury or wrongful death. In most cases, companies will offer a settlement before the claim reaches trial, to avoid the possibility of paying out even more financial compensation if the jury or judge finds them guilty.
The patient or family member filing can decide whether or not to accept compensation in the form of a settlement, and an experienced mesothelioma attorney can offer insight to the advantages and disadvantages.
From time to time, a mesothelioma claim may make it all the way to a jury trial. If no settlement is reached, and if the defendant is found liable for the asbestos exposure that led to the development of mesothelioma, a jury will determine the amount of compensation to be paid to the injured party. The amount awarded often includes actual expenses incurred as well as punitive damages.
Waiting for a verdict can sometimes be risky, which is why many companies want to settle. However, it may also be in the best interest of the plaintiff to settle as well, since juries could also return a verdict that either finds the company not to be liable or which awards a smaller amount of compensation than they might have received in a settlement. Having a skilled attorney who can advise you about the strength of your case and the likelihood of a favorable verdict and award is critical to ensuring that you receive the greatest amount of monetary compensation possible.
Retired military personnel make up one of the largest populations of people that were exposed to asbestos, especially those who served in the Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and U.S. Army Transport Service. Much of veterans’ exposure was due to the use of asbestos on warships and other naval vessels. As a result, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) has designated mesothelioma as one of the several diseases that qualify for disability benefits.
- To qualify for a VA claim, veterans must meet the following criteria:
- Discharged under circumstances other than dishonorable conditions.
- Ability to show that asbestos exposure occurred during the time of service.
- Veterans may also be eligible to get financial assistance through no-cost health benefits given to veterans with service-related disabilities, including malignant mesothelioma.
How can I get mesothelioma compensation?
To obtain compensation for pleural mesothelioma, you must gather medical records of the illness, determine who is liable for causing it, and then file the appropriate claims.
What is the average payout for asbestos?
The average mesothelioma settlement amount is between $1 million and $1.4 million, according to recent reports. The average mesothelioma trial verdict award is around $2.4 million.
How long do mesothelioma claims take?
Each state has its own time limit, but in general, it is around one to three years following your original diagnosis. The law relies on “the time from initial diagnosis” because it may take 15-50 years for symptoms of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure to become present.
Can you sue for mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma lawsuits are generally filed against the companies that produced the asbestos materials that caused your illness. You typically do not sue the military. Whether or not you file a lawsuit, you may also be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
What is the average settlement for a mesothelioma case?
According to recent reports, the average mesothelioma settlement amounts fall between $1 million and $1.4 million, with trial verdicts falling around $2.4 million. Although this is an average, actual compensation amounts of mesothelioma cases can vary greatly, as seen through the highlighted cases below.
How do you prove mesothelioma?
The only conclusive way to diagnose mesothelioma is through a biopsy. If you have symptoms of mesothelioma and a history of asbestos exposure, your doctor or oncologist may look for malignant cells using CT scans, chest X-rays or blood tests.
What are the warning signs of mesothelioma?
- The most common mesothelioma symptoms include:
- Dry cough or wheezing.
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Respiratory complications.
- Pain in the chest or abdomen.
- Fever or night sweats.
- Pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs)
- Muscle weakness.
Has anyone survived mesothelioma?
The one-year pleural mesothelioma survival rate is about 73%. Unfortunately, less than 12% survive longer than five years. Peritoneal mesothelioma survival rates are much better, with 92% of patients living one year, 52% of patients living five years and about 39% of patients living 10 years or more.
Can Mesothelioma be seen on xray?
You are likely to need a number of tests before a diagnosis can be confirmed. Initial tests usually include a blood test, x-ray and CT scan. The main test to diagnose mesothelioma is a biopsy to collect tissue samples. ... The main test to see if mesothelioma has spread is a CT scan.
What does mesothelioma look like in the lungs?
Mesothelioma and lung cancer are types of cancers that affect the lungs and the chest. Symptoms are similar and include chest pain, difficulty breathing and shortness of breath. Mesothelioma affects the cells of the mesothelium while lung cancer generally involves cancerous tumors or masses within the lung itself.
Can a CT scan detect mesothelioma?
CT Scans and MRIs for Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Like X-rays, CT scans and MRIs cannot diagnose mesothelioma. However, they can help the doctor understand the extent and stage of disease.
Can Mesothelioma be misdiagnosed?
Because mesothelioma is rare, difficult to diagnose, and has symptoms that mimic those of other conditions, it is often misdiagnosed. ... Although it is very rare, pericardial mesothelioma may also be misdiagnosed as heart disease or heart failure.
How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
Diagnosis. If you have signs and symptoms that might indicate mesothelioma, your doctor will conduct a physical exam to check for any lumps or other unusual signs. Your doctor may order imaging scans, such as a chest X-ray and a computerized tomography (CT) scan of your chest or abdomen, to look for abnormalities.
Is mesothelioma a type of sarcoma?
Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is a less common cell type that accounts for about 10 – 15% of all pleural mesothelioma cases and 4% of peritoneal mesothelioma cases. Like other forms of the disease, sarcomatoid mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure.
What is peritoneal mesothelioma?
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum). It is caused by the ingestion of asbestos fibers.