Those who developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may qualify for legal compensation. The best path to take often depends on your own situation. In many cases, filing a claim against an asbestos-related company (or companies) is how the process begins. You may receive compensation if you can prove you were exposed to asbestos due to these negligent companies.
Why Mesothelioma Victims Deserve Compensation
The truth of the matter is this: For many, there is nothing that could have been done to prevent the development of mesothelioma because they were unaware of the dangers of asbestos exposure. Often, the blame lies on the shoulders of companies that used asbestos despite being aware of its dangers.
Recent estimates show that around 40,000 Americans die each and every year from asbestos-related diseases.
This number may seem shocking, but the reality is that asbestos was used prominently throughout the 21st century because of its natural qualities. It is soft, strong, durable, and resistant to heat, fire, and electricity. The mineral also was cheap to extract from rock deposits around the world.
Safer alternatives to asbestos were available, but companies chose to prioritize profits over people.
The development of mesothelioma is slow. It can take anywhere from 20-50 years for the disease to present symptoms. That is why so many people are only now being diagnosed with the disease even though they were exposed long ago.
The companies that used asbestos had a choice. They could protect their workers and the public or dismiss human health to keep their companies safe. They made the wrong decision. As a result, thousands of Americans deserve compensation for their illnesses.
How Compensation Can Help
For mesothelioma patients and their families, the compensation that may result from a lawsuit can help cover:
- Medical expenses: In many cases, treatments for mesothelioma are as costly as they are extensive. Compensation may help pay for life-extending surgery and other therapies.
- Lost wages: For a large majority of mesothelioma patients, the disease makes work impossible. Compensation from a settlement or trust fund can offset the impact of lost income.
- Living Expenses: Even though you or a loved one are focused on health and recovery, bills still need to be paid. Money from an asbestos trust fund can cover everyday living expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, etc.
- Financial Security: Compensation from asbestos trust funds, settlements, and/or verdicts may help secure your family’s future. Some patients rest easier knowing that their family will be financially secure.
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Who Can Receive Compensation for Mesothelioma?
Many mesothelioma patients are eligible for compensation, as the disease is the direct result of exposure to asbestos.
While anyone who has been exposed to asbestos can develop the disease, certain people are at a much higher risk than others. Typically, a person’s risk goes up based on their rate of exposure.
For example, someone who was exposed to asbestos regularly over a series of years is at much higher risk than someone who was exposed just once.
Some jobs put workers in regular contact with asbestos-based goods. Workers on these sites have an especially high risk of illness later in life.
Some of these high-risk occupations include:
- Assembly line workers
- Automotive workers/repairmen
- Construction workers
- Demolition workers
- HVAC technicians
- Plant workers and technicians
How Much Compensation Can a Mesothelioma Patient Get?
Those considering legal action often wonder: “How much compensation can I expect if I take legal action for my mesothelioma diagnosis”
We completely understand the desire to know the answer to this question. However, compensation will differ for each mesothelioma case.
That said, a mesothelioma attorney can help estimate the value of your case. They will determine this value based on several factors. These factors include how the disease developed and the cost of treating it. Any estimate of your case value will only serve as a ballpark figure and is not a guarantee.
An experienced mesothelioma attorney will work with a client to gather the information they need. This information will be used to build the strongest possible case.
Claim Factors and Types of Mesothelioma Compensation
A case’s value depends on many different factors.
These factors include:
- Age of victim
- Employment/work history, including military service
- Health of victim
- Location of disease
- Lost wages from the inability to work
- Medical expenses
- Number of months or years of exposure
- Pain and suffering
- Specific asbestos product(s) involved
- Where the victim was exposed
Using these factors, the attorney will then file a claim that will be best for their client. Attorneys can pursue several different forms of compensation.
3 major sources of mesothelioma compensation include:
Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds
Bankruptcy trust funds exist largely because many asbestos companies declared bankruptcy when mesothelioma and other asbestos lawsuits started to mount against them. In order to compensate victims, courts ordered these companies to set up trust funds to help the victims.
For lawsuits against existing asbestos companies, a settlement is often reached before the case goes to court. This is called “settling” the case. Companies often settle cases because they do not want to risk losing a trial. A settlement will award the victim and their family a lump sum of money to help cover their expenses. 95% of mesothelioma cases settle before ever going to court.
Most cases settle before ever going to court. However, an asbestos company may want to go to court before a jury to determine the outcome of a claim. When a company is found guilty in a trial, a victim is awarded an amount agreed upon by a jury.
In addition to these 3 types of compensation, U.S. veterans with mesothelioma may choose to pursue a VA claim through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For a U.S. veteran, it is their right to file a claim through the VA. Many vehicles, bases, and goods used by the U.S. military contained asbestos in the mid-20th century. As a result, many were exposed to asbestos on a regular basis while on active duty.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
To get compensation for mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you should file a legal claim with a mesothelioma law firm. Mesothelioma law firms have the knowledge and experience needed to handle these types of cases. Preferably, they should also have a long track record of success.
Sokolove Law is made up of a network of mesothelioma attorneys. We are a nationwide mesothelioma law firm with an attorney in nearly every state.
Our firm prides itself on helping victims who have been wrongly injured at the expense of reckless corporate behavior.