Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements and Claims. An agreement between a person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and the person who was responsible for releasing asbestos in the workplace, such as an employer or insurance company, is known as a mesothelioma litigation settlement.
The amount of compensation a person receives is determined by a number of criteria, including the severity of the condition and the duration between exposure to asbestos and diagnosis of the sickness. Learn more about how settlements work and why you should consult a lawyer about your mesothelioma lawsuit claims in this article.
The 4 Myths About Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Here’s a rundown of some of the most common myths about Mesothelioma lawsuits: The Law is Stacked Against Me: This couldn’t be further from the truth. The law is actually stacked in your favor. By law, it’s far easier to get compensation after you have been exposed to asbestos, than before you were exposed. What if I Worked on or near Asbestos or With a Family Member who has been Exposed? This can influence your ability to claim damages, but there are exceptions in place for workers and family members. What do I need to Prove?.
A Myth You Will Have to go to Court: This is one of two myths that are actually true. Claimants will have to go through a trial, but not a lengthy, drawn-out court case. The average case lasts a little over 6 months from start to finish, with 3 days of actual trial proceedings. This is far less time than many other trials (like personal injury cases). Do I Need a Mesothelioma Doctor?: No you don’t. The amount of money you get isn’t dependent on what type of doctor or facility was used during your diagnosis – or even if you were diagnosed at all!
If I Have Insurance, Will I Still Get Money?
Your first question is probably, If I have insurance, will I still get money from a Mesothelioma lawsuit settlement? It’s hard to know for sure. Everyone’s claim is different, but most likely it depends on whether your policy covers you for past exposure or current exposure. If you got Mesothelioma from past exposure (meaning asbestos), then your insurance company might be on the hook because they didn’t cover you in time. If it was caused by current exposure (meaning asbestos), however, it’s more likely that your insurer would cover some of your medical bills (as long as they don’t dispute coverage) and also pay up if there’s a settlement or jury award.
Do I Need an Attorney?
It’s always advisable to consult an attorney before you sign a settlement. Attorneys are knowledgeable in all aspects of mesothelioma law and have knowledge that can help you through each phase of your lawsuit, from filing to completion. In fact, many clients prefer working with attorneys because they know they’re getting proven legal expertise every step of the way. An attorney will understand what kind of compensation your claim is worth, as well as how best to represent you during court proceedings. Bestinformativeblog even publishes a free guide with detailed information on everything you need to know about mesothelioma lawsuit settlements.
Who Gets The Money?
The money from a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement is divided into three parts. The largest portion of that money goes toward paying out actual damages (medical bills, loss of income, etc.). The rest goes to pay attorneys’ fees and court costs. Whatever is left over at that point gets distributed to beneficiaries depending on how you assign it in your will. If you want to make sure your family members are taken care of, don’t be stingy when you’re writing up your will or designating beneficiaries. You may have a little more flexibility than you think; if a beneficiary rejects their share of your estate (money from any source), it gets redistributed among other heirs automatically so nobody’s harmed financially by their decision.
What Type of Compensation Can I Get?
Once a mesothelioma claim is settled, there are two types of compensation: economic (lost wages, medical bills) and non-economic (pain & suffering). The two are often lumped together in what’s called pain and suffering damages. Compensation depends on various factors including how advanced your cancer is at diagnosis, its location in your body, if you can work or not, etc. In some cases, insurance companies have even been known to offer settlement amounts far below what an asbestos victim’s doctors believe they deserve to compensate for their pain.
Case Example 1
In 2011, a jury awarded $5.5 million to a former shipyard worker who died of mesothelioma in 2009. While his family was awarded $1.1 million for compensatory damages to cover medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages and other expenses, lawyers also sought punitive damages for unsafe working conditions that led to his disease. At first, it seemed like a landmark case; more than 300 shipyard workers had been diagnosed with mesothelioma from asbestos exposure over a 50-year period.
However, a court later overturned $4.5 million of that amount because it found that there was no way to prove that asbestos was responsible for his illness—and thus there should be no punitive damages awarded. Even though asbestos is widely known to cause cancer, proving its specific role in an individual case can be difficult. In fact, in another mesothelioma case involving a mechanic who handled brakes containing asbestos between 1967 and 1989, a jury could not agree on whether to award punitive damages. Since most cases involve workers who handled products containing asbestos decades ago—either at work or in their homes or schools—the responsibility may fall on defendants to prove that they took all necessary safety precautions.