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Compensation & Settlements
Patients of mesothelioma and their loved ones are entitled to 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.
We want to make sure you and your family members are receiving the full compensation you deserve. Speak to a mesothelioma lawyer for advice on the best recovery option for your situation.
Eligibility for Compensation
Oftentimes patients question their eligibility if they are unsure with how or when they were exposed to asbestos. However, experienced mesothelioma law firms should be able to conduct extensive research into your personal and occupational history to determine the likely cause of exposure. Eligibility differs based on the type of compensation that you are pursuing.
Types of Asbestos Compensation
There are four main types of compensation that mesothelioma patients may receive: trust funds, settlements, lawsuits, and VA benefits. Not all patients are eligible for all compensation options.
Schedule a case evaluation with a mesothelioma lawyer to discuss the best option for you.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Before its dangers became known, asbestos was used frequently from the 1940s through the 1960s. Laws and regulation for the toxic material were not put into place until the early 1970s.Over time, many asbestos companies that manufactured, distributed, sold or used asbestos either 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.
If the company responsible for your exposure and diagnosis is no longer in business, you can still be eligible for compensation from them. Many companies were required to establish asbestos bankruptcy trust funds with money to pay out future claims for patients who meet the eligibility requirements.
Waiting for a verdict can sometimes be risky for both parties. Therefore, many companies will offer a settlement to the patient or their loved ones before the mesothelioma claim reaches trial. Some companies will settle to avoid the possibility of paying out more financial compensation if they are found guilty by the jury or judge. It may be in the best interest of the plaintiff to settle as well, since juries could also return a verdict that is not in their favor. The company could be found not liable or injured parties could be awarded a smaller compensation amount than they might have received in a settlement.
In some cases, a claim can make it all the way to a jury trial if a settlement cannot be reached. At this point, if the defendant is found liable for the asbestos exposure that led to the development of mesothelioma, the 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.
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 the veteran’s 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.
File an asbestos-related VA claim for more information about compensation.
Determining Compensation Amounts
It’s impossible to predict how much you or your family will receive from asbestos or mesothelioma compensation. Compensation varies greatly from case to case based on the type of financial assistance you pursue and a variety of other characteristics.
Some factors affecting the value of your case include:
- Venue/location of your mesothelioma claim
- Whether or not you served in the military
- Age, gender and occupational history
- Level of pain and suffering
- Type of asbestos that you were exposed to
- Location and amount of asbestos exposure
- Mesothelioma Settlements from previous occupation
A mesothelioma lawyer can help you determine all the critical factors, from exposure to diagnosis, to increasing your compensation award. Additionally, there are many different expenses that can potentially increase your compensation award.
Expenses that are considered when determining this amount include:
- Diagnostic costs, including treatment costs and other medical expenses not covered by your health insurance
- Ongoing medical bills throughout the course of treatment
- Travel costs associated with finding a cancer center/mesothelioma specialist
- Loss of income when you or a family member is no longer able to work as a result of their mesothelioma diagnosis
- Inability to support dependents in your household
- Funeral expenses and loss of potential income in the case of wrongful death claims
Although mesothelioma law firms cannot offer you a definitive estimate for your compensation amount, they can help you understand what option will likely provide you with the most financial assistance and peace of mind.
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