Troy E. Walton
Personal Injury Attorney
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Everything You Need to Know About Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Important Facts About Mesothelioma Settlements
People with mesothelioma avoid claims due to fears of how long the case will take. Settlements end cases quickly, which is just one fact to know:
- Settlements avoid the stress of going to trial.
- Patients can maintain their privacy.
- The average settlement amount is around $1 million.
- The amount of asbestos exposure affects the settlement payout.
How Much Are Mesothelioma Settlements Worth?
Settlements vary from case to case and are rarely made public. However, several estimates of mesothelioma settlement amounts are available through policy research.
A report by the Rand Corporation in 2005 found that the overall compensation for mesothelioma lawsuits rose sharply in the 1990s. This is also when the number of mesothelioma claims significantly increased. Some people analyze past settlement amounts, but each case is different. Therefore, the average mesothelioma settlement payment can be misleading.
How Are Mesothelioma Settlements Determined?
Mesothelioma settlements vary on numerous factors. Each settlement is different and some factors may be more important than others in negotiating an amount. However, there are certain topics consistently covered in every case.
Factors for mesothelioma settlement amounts include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Asbestos exposure history
- Accumulation of debt from lost wages
- Minor children and other dependents
What Are Mesothelioma Settlements?
Settlements are monetary amounts agreed to by both parties in a legal dispute. Since there is a high degree of uncertainty in trials, settlements are a surefire way to receive compensation.
Mesothelioma settlements are awarded to victims of asbestos exposure who developed the rare cancer. This disease is due to negligent actions of the 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 these dangers, the asbestos manufacturing corporations produced and sold the substance. They dispersed asbestos to construction and insulation companies for nearly all of the 20th century. They and other companies are responsible for exposing many people to asbestos.
Benefits of Settling
How to Get a Mesothelioma Settlement
Since most mesothelioma cases settle, the process for how to reach a settlement is largely the same. There are three integral steps you and all mesothelioma victims should follow:
Work with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. They will improve your chances of reaching a settlement and getting a payment quicker.
Compile evidence of your asbestos exposures. This step involves a lot of research into your work and residential histories, but a lawyer can do most of it for you.
Clearly show why the defendant companies are responsible. This proof will likely nudge the asbestos manufacturing companies towards settling. If the evidence is piling up against them, then they won’t want a trial.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits progress as if they are going to trial, and the process involves multiple steps, such as discovery of evidence, depositions and pretrial motions.
During each part of the case process, attorneys attempt to force the hand of the asbestos companies into offering an acceptable settlement. This involves many formalities and negotiations, but both parties usually intend to settle unless there are unusual circumstances.
Should I Take My Case to Trial?
Mesothelioma cases go to trial when the plaintiff and the asbestos company cannot settle. This is rare because a significant amount of evidence exists in favor of the patient. This evidence encourages asbestos companies to settle.
The primary disadvantages of going to trial are the:
- Uncertainty of a verdict
- Length of the process
Therefore, mesothelioma settlements are sought the majority of the time. However, each case is different and seeking a verdict could benefit you more. Find out your best course of action by meeting with one of the top mesothelioma law firms.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma Settlements
What is the average mesothelioma settlement amount?
Mesothelioma settlements are often one part of a patient’s total recovery. According to Mealey’s Litigation Report, the average recovery for mesothelioma claims is between $1 million and $1.4 million.
What are some examples of mesothelioma settlements?
Mesothelioma settlements have contributed to many cases with total recovery amounts of more than $2 million. Some recent recovery amounts even top $7 million, largely due to considerable settlement amounts.
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?
Generally, punitive damages and lost wages are the two taxable elements in mesothelioma compensation, and they aren’t applicable to mesothelioma settlements or trust fund claims. They’re relevant solely for mesothelioma lawsuits and verdicts. A mesothelioma attorney can explain whether your settlement payout is taxed.
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.