Troy E. Walton
Personal Injury Attorney
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Everything You Need to Know About Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Important Facts About Mesothelioma Case Value
- Each asbestos case value is different due to personal factors, like age and number of dependents.
- The victim’s amount of asbestos exposure and medical debt can affect case value.
- Settlements have less risk, but verdicts have a higher case value. Payouts from mesothelioma settlements usually get to victims quicker.
- Asbestos trust funds have a case valuation matrix and payment percentage for payouts.
How Much Is Your Mesothelioma Case Worth?
Asbestos litigation often starts the same: The victim ingested or inhaled asbestos fibers either while working or interacting with certain products. When asbestos enters the body, it can attach to and irritate cells along the pleura or peritoneum. These cells, when irritated, can mutate and lead to mesothelioma cancer or another asbestos-related disease.
While asbestos victims often have similar stories, no two cases are the same. Therefore, estimating your mesothelioma case value is difficult without knowing specifics.
Estimating how much a case is worth is challenging, but Mealey’s Litigation Report provides information on compensation for asbestos claims (without deducting attorney fees).
According to the source, the average mesothelioma compensation amount for mesothelioma victims is between $1 million and $1.4 million. This average includes mesothelioma verdicts, cases that led to mesothelioma settlements, mesothelioma wrongful death cases, and cases that involved multiple asbestos trust fund filings.
The average mesothelioma compensation listed above does not involve mesothelioma VA benefits, such as Disability Compensation and Pension. Those types of compensation are not legal claims, and it’s a different process and valuation.
This average amount will not be awarded in every case, and no one should assume they will receive at least $1 million in compensation. However, knowing the average payout gives the victim an idea of their own case value. Understanding what factors affect your case value will give you and your loved ones a better idea of what to expect.
Main Factors Affecting How Much Your Mesothelioma Case Is Worth
Since companies often used commercial and industrial products containing asbestos, many workers in specific trades had asbestos enter their bodies. This correlation is why occupational exposure to asbestos is the most common link to mesothelioma. Workers regularly exposed and exposed to numerous different asbestos-containing products often have a higher case value. Although there are several types of asbestos exposure known to cause asbestos disease, exposure at work occurred most often.
Patients and families affected by mesothelioma often face economic loss. The debilitating nature of this cancer leaves many people unable to work, which often results in debt. The victim’s economic loss and financial hardships are factored into the potential compensation amount.
Mesothelioma is expensive to treat, and medical bills can quickly stack up. These expenses can also increase the victim’s mesothelioma case value because victims shouldn’t be required to pay the bills for a cancer asbestos companies are responsible for. Victims deserve mesothelioma compensation to address incurred expenses.
Factors Affecting the Value of Your Mesothelioma Case
Each mesothelioma diagnosis is unique, as is each legal case. Case values can vary greatly, and many variables contribute to how much compensation the plaintiff deserves.
Individual factors of each case include:
- Occupation and potential to be exposed to asbestos
- How many companies were involved in the plaintiff’s exposure
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Marital status and number of dependents
- Loss of earnings and pension
- Plaintiff’s age at diagnosis
- Funeral expenses
- Whether the victim used talc cosmetics or other products containing asbestos
The overall impact on the patient and their family is the main concern when determining a case’s value, which is paid in compensatory damages. Courts might also consider the defendant’s negligence, which is determined by the punitive damages awarded to the victim.
Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Mesothelioma attorneys can easily determine how to file the case. Attorneys will also assess the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure history and decide in which states to file for compensation.
There are two compensation options in a mesothelioma lawsuit: settlement or verdict. Case values vary for each:
- Settlements are more consistent in case value and result in faster compensation for the plaintiff. Settlements average less than verdicts, but the process isn’t as risky as a trial and compensation is paid sooner.
- Verdicts are high-risk since they can end in a finding for the asbestos companies, leaving nothing for the asbestos victims. However, verdicts can result in very high dollar rewards.
The majority of asbestos lawsuits are settled out of court. Attorneys want to ensure their client receives compensation, and defendants want to avoid expensive trials, but the decision to settle or go to trial is ultimately the decision of the mesothelioma victim and their family. Since asbestos settlements are resolved privately and under confidentiality, the amounts are not disclosed.
Asbestos Trust Funds and the Case Valuation Matrix
Many asbestos companies responsible for asbestos exposure have filed for bankruptcy. The plaintiff’s attorney must pursue compensation from a special trust fund called an asbestos trust fund. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you file for asbestos trust fund compensation to receive financial assistance quickly.
As part of their agreement to reorganize their companies, asbestos companies were forced to set up asbestos trust funds. This ensures victims who file claims after the company went bankrupt can receive compensation.
Your case’s value depends on which — and how many — trust funds you file against. Most claims involve multiple companies, which increases the value.
These trust funds typically use what is known as a “case valuation matrix.” The matrix assigns a minimum case value for all mesothelioma claims and then adjusts each value depending on certain factors, which usually increases the trust fund payout.
For example, Western Asbestos Company has a base mesothelioma case value of around $276,000 for California claims. However, the average payment is $524,025.
Your experienced asbestos lawyer can request an expedited review or an individual review. An expedited review usually follows each trust’s basic rules and has a fixed value. An individual review considers additional factors unique to the specific claimant’s facts and circumstances.
Trust funds also follow a payment percentage to ensure the trust doesn’t run out of money too quickly. You can learn more about payment percentages and the types of reviews on our asbestos trust funds page.
Receive a Free Case Evaluation
Experienced mesothelioma lawyers can review your legal case for free to provide an estimate of your case’s worth. This estimated mesothelioma case value helps some victims and families choose to pursue compensation and build a relationship with the asbestos attorney.
Some reasons mesothelioma patients and families decide to pursue a case include:
- Financial compensation for medical expenses, such as the high cost of mesothelioma treatment
- Recovering lost wages due to not being able to work
- Pursuing justice for a loved one who passed away from mesothelioma due to asbestos companies and their corporate greed during the 20th century
If you are a mesothelioma patient or a family member of one, connect with our patient advocates at Mesothelioma Guide. We can put you in touch with an experienced asbestos attorney through our free legal support program. This resource will give you a free case evaluation to get the process started.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma Case Value
What is the average payout for a mesothelioma case?
The average payout (before attorney fees) for a mesothelioma case is between $1 million and $1.4 million. This average includes mesothelioma verdicts, cases that led to mesothelioma settlements, mesothelioma wrongful death cases, and cases that involved multiple asbestos trust fund filings.
How do I know how much my mesothelioma case is worth?
While it may be challenging for an individual without experience in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation to determine the value of their case, asbestos attorneys from national mesothelioma law firms can provide an estimated mesothelioma case value after reviewing numerous factors of the case. Contact our team to get a free case evaluation.
How long does it take to get compensation for mesothelioma?
The length of time it takes to receive mesothelioma compensation depends on the type of claim the victim files and where it’s filed. Lawsuits that result in a trial can take years to be finalized, while asbestos settlements or trust fund claims can start to payout within a few months.
Sources & Author
- Case Valuation Matrix. Western Asbestos Settlement Trust. Retrieved from: http://www.wastrust.com/sites/default/files/documents/case_valuation_matrix.pdf. Accessed: 08/07/19.
- Show Me The Money, Mealey’s Litigation Report. Bates White. Retrieved from: https://www.bateswhite.com/media/pnc/5/media.285.pdf. Accessed: 07/20/2020.