Mesothelioma Case Value
Before filing a mesothelioma claim, most people wish to know their case value. They ask, “How much is my case worth?” Determining your mesothelioma case value is a complex process, and we have an overview of all the factors.
Written by Retired LCDR Carl Jewett
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
Mesothelioma cases often start 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 become cancerous, which is how mesothelioma develops.
While mesothelioma victims often have similar stories, no two mesothelioma cases are worth the same amount.
Estimating a mesothelioma victim’s individual case value is challenging, but Mealey’s Litigation Report provides information on compensation for asbestos claims. According to the source, the average compensation amount for mesothelioma patients is between $1 million and $1.4 million.
This amount does not apply to every case, but it’s a start when assessing your own case’s worth. Understanding what factors can affect your mesothelioma case value will give you and your loved ones a better idea of what to hope for.
Main Factors Affecting Mesothelioma Case Value
All Factors Affecting Mesothelioma Case Value
Each mesothelioma diagnosis is unique, as is each legal case. Many variables determine how much compensation the plaintiff deserves. Factors commonly evaluated in each case include:
- Occupation and potential for asbestos exposure
- How many companies were involved in the plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos
- Whether the victim used cosmetics or other products that contain asbestos
- Medical expenses
- Marital status and number of children or other dependents
- Loss of earnings and pension
- Plaintiff’s age at diagnosis and age during case
- Funeral expenses
- Pain and suffering
The overall impact on the patient and their family is the main point of concern when determining a case’s value. This impact is paid in compensatory damages.
However, courts also consider the defendant’s negligence. This aspect to a case’s value is paid in punitive damages.
Settlements and Verdicts
Mesothelioma attorneys are experts in these types of cases and can easily determine how to file the case. Attorneys can also assess the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure history and decide in which states to go for compensation.
There are two ways a plaintiff can recover compensation in a lawsuit: settlement or verdict. Mesothelioma case values vary depending on whether the case is settled or reaches a verdict:
- Settlements are more consistent in case value and result in faster compensation for the plaintiff.
- Verdicts are high-risk, high-reward results that happen far less frequently than settlements. It usually takes special circumstances to lead to a verdict in court.
The majority of mesothelioma claims are settled out of court, because attorneys want to ensure their client receives compensation and defendants want to avoid expensive trials. Since settlements are resolved in a private setting, the amounts aren’t disclosed.
Asbestos Trust Funds and the Case Valuation Matrix
If the asbestos company responsible for someone’s mesothelioma has filed for bankruptcy, the plaintiff’s attorney must pursue compensation from a special trust fund. Many asbestos companies have declared bankruptcy.
As part of their agreement to reorganize their companies, they were forced to set up asbestos trust funds for any potential mesothelioma cases filed against them. This ensures victims who file 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 mesothelioma case value for claims and then adjusts each one for certain factors. The factors usually increase the trust fund payment to the victim.
For instance, Western Asbestos Company has a base case value of around $276,000 for California mesothelioma patients. However, the average payment is $524,025.
Your 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 to ensure the victim receives their deserved compensation.
Trust funds also follow a payment percentage to ensure the trust never runs out of money. You can learn more about payment percentages and the types of reviews on our asbestos trust funds page.
Learn Your Case’s Value
Experienced mesothelioma lawyers can give an estimate of how much your case is worth. Additionally, all high-quality asbestos attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means patients and families get an estimated mesothelioma case value for free.
Some reasons mesothelioma patients and families decide to pursue a case include:
- Compensation for medical expenses
- Recovering costs from loss of work
- Pursuing justice for a loved one
If you are a mesothelioma patient or the family member of someone who has passed away due to mesothelioma, let us help you. The patient advocates at Mesothelioma Guide can put you in touch with an attorney through free legal support program.