Troy E. Walton
Personal Injury Attorney
JUMP TO A TOPIC
Everything You Need to Know About Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Important Facts About Mesothelioma Settlements
- Mesothelioma settlements are confidential, so victims can maintain their privacy.
- Settlements help victims avoid the stress of going through a lengthy trial.
- The average mesothelioma case settles for approximately $1 to $1.4 million.
- The victim’s history of asbestos exposure is one factor that affects the settlement payout. Other factors are the type of asbestos disease, the stage of the cancer, and how many asbestos companies are involved in the case.
What Are Mesothelioma Settlements?
Mesothelioma settlements are monetary amounts agreed to by both parties involved in a mesothelioma lawsuit, which results in the conclusion of any related litigation or lawsuit. Settlements are often a favorable approach for asbestos companies to avoid expensive legal fees in a lengthy lawsuit or trial. Victims also favor reaching a settlement as it ends the case and guarantees mesothelioma compensation in a quicker process.
Mesothelioma is a direct result of the negligent actions of asbestos manufacturing companies. Asbestos is a harmful substance that, when inhaled or ingested, can irritate cells in specific areas of the body.
Despite knowing of the health risks of asbestos, the negligent manufacturing corporations continued to produce and sell the substance to the public. They distributed asbestos-containing products and materials to nearly every American industry for most of the 20th century. Asbestos manufacturing and distribution companies are responsible for exposing countless people to asbestos.
This has led to more than 3,000 asbestos legal claims each year, of which approximately 1,800 are mesothelioma claims, and many of them end in mesothelioma lawsuit settlements.
Benefits of Settling
The primary benefit of a mesothelioma settlement is the guarantee of financial compensation. Going to trial has more uncertainty because the outcome of your case is determined by a judge or jury, who may not rule in your favor.
Trials can be unpredictable and move slowly, and time is of the essence for most mesothelioma patients due to the high cost of treatment and the discouraging survival rates. Settling your mesothelioma lawsuit can expedite the payout process, and the money may help you get access to better treatment.
While compensation amounts from verdicts are public information, mesothelioma settlement amounts are kept private. People who were exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease can maintain their privacy with a settlement.
What Is the Average Mesothelioma Settlement Amount?
Mesothelioma lawsuit settlement amounts vary from case to case and are typically confidential. However, estimates of the amount of compensation received from mesothelioma claims are available through policy research.
According to Mealey’s Litigation Report, the average payout for all mesothelioma claims is between $1 million and $1.4 million. This includes settlements, verdicts, and asbestos trust fund claims. The average settlement for mesothelioma claims is not known exactly but is certainly a substantial amount.
A report by the Rand Corporation in 2005 found that the overall compensation for mesothelioma lawsuits rose significantly in the 1990s along with the number of mesothelioma claims filed in the court system. Some people have analyzed past settlement amounts, but each case is different. Therefore, the amounts for the average mesothelioma settlement published on various websites can be misleading. You should speak with a lawyer to get a clear idea of your case’s value.
How Are Settlements Determined?
Mesothelioma settlements vary depending on numerous factors. Each asbestos claim is different, and some factors may be more important than others when negotiating a settlement amount. However, there are certain topics consistently covered in every case that determine the case’s value.
Factors to consider for mesothelioma settlement amounts include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Asbestos exposure history
- Type of cancer diagnosis
- Stage of the disease and chances of survival
- Accumulation of debt from lost wages
- Surviving loved ones and dependents
- How much the asbestos company knew asbestos was dangerous
How to Get a Mesothelioma Settlement
The process for receiving mesothelioma compensation through a settlement begins with finding a mesothelioma law firm to help file a lawsuit. Since most mesothelioma cases settle, the process for reaching a settlement is largely the same.
The essential steps mesothelioma victims should follow when seeking compensation through a mesothelioma settlement include:
- Finding an experienced mesothelioma attorney – They have the knowledge and expertise required to execute the legal process efficiently while improving your chances of reaching a favorable settlement.
- Gathering evidence of your asbestos exposure — This involves in-depth research of your work and residential histories, but an experienced mesothelioma lawyer will do most of the work for you.
- Proving the defendant companies are responsible – This will likely push the asbestos companies toward negotiating settlements with the victim. If the evidence is piling up against them, then they will likely want to avoid a trial and the risk of a hefty verdict.
The steps for reaching a settlement are:
- Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis from a doctor
- Determining the victim’s history of asbestos exposure
- Identifying which companies are responsible
- Filing a claim
- Filing motions and evidence that proves the companies are responsible
- Recording a deposition (if needed)
- Negotiating a settlement
During each step of the process, experienced asbestos attorneys attempt to pressure the asbestos companies into offering an acceptable settlement amount for the victim. This involves many formalities and negotiations, but both parties usually intend to settle.
The key to receiving an asbestos settlement is working with a top mesothelioma attorney with experience in asbestos litigation.
Should I Take My Mesothelioma Lawsuit to Trial?
Mesothelioma lawsuits go to trial when the plaintiff (victim) and the defendant (asbestos company) cannot agree on a settlement, which is rare due to the significant amount of evidence that typically exists in favor of the victim. The evidence usually encourages asbestos companies to offer a settlement.
Mesothelioma settlements and verdicts are both forms of compensation, but they are widely different. The primary disadvantages of going to trial for a favorable verdict are:
- Uncertainty of compensation
- Possible expense
- Length of the process
Mesothelioma settlements are more common than a mesothelioma case going to trial. However, each case is different and seeking a verdict by going to trial could benefit you. Find out your best course of action by getting a free case evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma Settlements
What is the difference between mesothelioma settlements and verdicts?
Mesothelioma settlements are the result of an agreement between both parties in a mesothelioma lawsuit. The at-fault companies and the victim’s mesothelioma lawyer will negotiate an agreeable settlement amount for the victim. Mesothelioma verdicts are a decision made by the judge or jury in a mesothelioma lawsuit that went to trial. Verdict amounts are often more lucrative than settlement amounts. However, trials can be unpredictable and may result in no compensation for the victim due to the court siding with the asbestos companies in the case.
How do I know if I qualify for mesothelioma compensation?
Anyone who was exposed to asbestos and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is eligible for mesothelioma compensation. Contact our team to get connected with a mesothelioma lawyer to learn more about your options and if you qualify for compensation.
Who can be the beneficiary in a mesothelioma settlement?
Most cases involve the direct victim of mesothelioma — meaning the patient. If the patient passes away, then their family members may receive a settlement in a wrongful death claim.
Can You Be Taxed for a Mesothelioma Settlement?
Mesothelioma settlements are not taxable. According to the IRS, personal injury compensation and wrongful death compensation, which are the two common types of mesothelioma claims, are generally not considered taxable income. Mesothelioma settlements for medical expenses, pain and suffering or emotional distress are not taxable.
Do I need to file a mesothelioma lawsuit to receive a mesothelioma settlement?
In short, yes, victims of asbestos exposure need to file a lawsuit to receive a mesothelioma settlement. However, after the lawsuit is filed, experienced mesothelioma lawyers will gather evidence proving the victim’s asbestos exposure was caused by the at-fault companies, which often results in the companies offering settlement amounts to avoid going to trial. The best attorneys for mesothelioma lawsuits will handle the majority of the case process to relieve victims of stress and work.
Sources & Author
- Asbestos Litigation. RAND Institute for Civil Justice. Retrieved from: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG162.sum.pdf. Accessed: 10/30/18.