Mesothelioma Case Values
Mesothelioma case values describe how much money a victim may receive from different types of legal action. Asbestos trust funds, lawsuits and other legal options typically award different amounts of compensation to victims based on their specific situation and exposure history. Individual factors — including how, when and where the victim was exposed to asbestos impact the value awarded to a victim.
How Much Is the Average Mesothelioma Case Worth?
The average mesothelioma case is $1 Million for legal settlements and $2.4 Million for trial verdicts, according to recent Mealey’s® Litigation Reports. These values vary widely because there are multiple ways to receive financial compensation for mesothelioma.
Evidence presented with an asbestos claim shows why the victim deserves compensation after developing mesothelioma.
Victims can receive compensation from:
- Trial verdicts
- Asbestos trust fund payouts established by asbestos companies
- Benefit programs established by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- Other sources (such as insurance company claims)
A mesothelioma case value can also change depending on the lawyer used to handle the legal claim. Mesothelioma affects only 3,000 people each year and lawyers who do not handle mesothelioma cases specifically may not be able to secure the highest value for a legal claim.
In light of this, victims should work with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who has successfully handled cases before. These lawyers may be able to help their clients secure higher compensation.
Types of Mesothelioma Compensation
Several factors are involved when determining how much compensation a mesothelioma victim should receive including:
- Severity of your asbestos-related illness
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages from an inability to work
- Number of asbestos-containing products you were exposed to
- Number of companies that manufactured those products
Learn more about the types of compensation available for mesothelioma victims.
Asbestos Trust Funds
The median payout from asbestos trust funds is $300,000-$400,000. These court-ordered trust funds were established by asbestos companies that filed for bankruptcy to avoid future lawsuits. By declaring bankruptcy and creating trust funds, the companies could pay current and future mesothelioma victims without ceasing operations.
That being said, payouts can vary greatly as each bankruptcy trust fund contains a different amount of money. A larger asbestos company may have over $1 Billion in its trust fund while a smaller one may only have a few million dollars.
For those companies that are still in business, a victim may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. Mesothelioma lawsuits award victims with compensation either through a settlement or a trial verdict.
Settlements occur when lawyers from an asbestos company agree to pay the victim a lump sum of money in order to end the lawsuit.
Did You Know? Mesothelioma case values from settlements range around $1 Million to $1.4 Million, according to a recent Mealey’s Litigation Report.
Victims may receive more or less than this amount depending on the specifics of each case. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial.
Trial verdicts are decided by a judge and jury, who hear arguments from both legal teams.
The average mesothelioma trial verdict is worth $5-$11.4 Million.While mesothelioma case values from trials may be higher than those from a settlement, there are drawbacks.
For example, there is a possibility that a victim will lose the trial. If this happens, the victim will receive no money at all. If the victim wins, the asbestos company’s legal team may try to appeal the jury verdict, potentially turning the win into a loss.
Further, trials involve a much longer process than settling out of court, meaning it may take years before a victim actually receives any money.
Since the average mesothelioma life expectancy is 12-21 months, lawyers will likely want to avoid a lengthy lawsuit so a victim can receive compensation as soon as possible.
The military relied on asbestos from the 1930s to the early 1980s, so military veterans may qualify for compensation through the VA if they were exposed while they served.
Approximately 33% of all people diagnosed with mesothelioma are veterans.
The VA has several different programs available to veterans and some of these programs award financial compensation. Mesothelioma case values for VA benefits depend on what programs a victim qualifies for.
Types of VA benefits include:
- Disability Compensation: The VA provides a monthly, tax-free payout to veterans who developed illnesses or injuries due to their military service. Veterans may receive up to $3,621.95 per month if they are unmarried or up to $3,823.89 if they are married since mesothelioma is considered a complete disability by the VA.
- Pensions: Veterans may qualify for a VA pension if their net worth and if their income is below an established amount. Once on a pension plan, veterans may be able to access other benefits, such as Aid & Attendance or housebound benefits.
- VA Health Care: The VA employs a handful of mesothelioma specialists to treat veterans affected by this rare cancer. Through VA health care, veterans may receive treatment from these doctors at reduced rates.
- Burial Benefits: If a veteran dies from mesothelioma, the VA may cover some of their burial expenses.
A VA-accredited mesothelioma lawyer can help veterans determine which benefits they qualify for and apply for them.
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance put in place by companies to help employees who are injured in the workplace. If a worker developed mesothelioma from their job, they may qualify for workers’ compensation.
Mesothelioma case values for workers’ compensation can vary and there are limitations to consider before filing.
Workers’ compensation limits include:
- Who can file: a worker may only be able to file a claim if they were a full-time employee with the company. They may still be able to file a claim even if they no longer work for the company since mesothelioma takes 20-50 years to develop.
- Who is responsible: A worker will only receive compensation from their employer, even though multiple companies may have made and distributed the asbestos products that caused their illness.
- Future legal action: If a worker decides to file for workers’ compensation, they will not be able to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against their employer. The worker may be able to take legal action against other companies that manufactured or sold asbestos products, however.
Since workers’ compensation may not be enough to cover all mesothelioma-related expenses, workers should explore other options with an experienced lawyer.
What Factors Affect Mesothelioma Case Values
Different factors may greatly impact mesothelioma case values. Learn about the most important factors below.
While anyone exposed to asbestos can develop malignant mesothelioma, some people may receive more money if they came into contact with it regularly.
A mesothelioma lawyer can help determine how, when and where someone was exposed to asbestos.
Case values vary by diagnosis because asbestos exposure can cause various types of health problems. Mesothelioma is the most dangerous asbestos-related disease. For example, 90% of pleural mesothelioma patients will die within 5 years after being diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society.
Because of this, mesothelioma claims typically pay more than other asbestos-related disease claims.
Victims can still file a claim if they developed another asbestos-related disease.
Other types of asbestos-related diseases include:
- Lung cancer: While mesothelioma develops in the linings of organs, lung cancer affects the lung(s) directly. The average 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is about 19%, according to the American Lung Association.
- Asbestosis: This non-cancerous disease damages the lungs over time, making breathing difficult. Other cancers: In some cases, asbestos exposure can lead to kidney cancer or ovarian cancer. Other non-cancerous diseases: Asbestos exposure can lead to pleural effusions (buildup of fluid between the lungs and chest wall), pleural plaques (buildup of collagen between the lungs and chest wall), or other conditions. These conditions are typically not life-threatening.
Since mesothelioma treatments are typically very expensive, medical costs greatly impact case values.
Mesothelioma medical bills can cost $500,000 or more on average since the cancer is so hard to diagnose and treat.
Medical procedures associated with mesothelioma include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scans
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans
- Lung removal surgery and hospitalization
Without legal help, crushing medical expenses may drive a family into debt or even bankruptcy. In fact, cancer patients are 2.5 times more likely to declare bankruptcy than healthy people, according to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Before a claim is filed, lawyers will estimate the total cost of your medical expenses,including future costs of care..
Not only are mesothelioma treatments expensive, but they also require lengthy recovery periods. If someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma while they are still working, they will probably need to quit their job to focus on medical treatment. Their spouse or children may also have to stop working so they can help care for the victim.
Mesothelioma lawyers can account for economic losses if victims and their families can no longer work. Mesothelioma case values can be adjusted to fit their basic living expenses, including grocery bills, mortgages and car payments.
Other Factors That Affect Mesothelioma Case Values
Many smaller factors may also have a big impact on mesothelioma case values.
These factors include:
- Age: Those diagnosed with mesothelioma under the age of 65 may receive a larger payout since they will likely have more long-term expenses and family members to support.
- Companies: More than one company may be responsible for a victim’s illness. With help from a mesothelioma lawyer, victims can identify all of the companies that played a role in exposing them to asbestos and take legal action. If more companies are found responsible, the victim may be entitled to more compensation.
- Family members: If a victim has dependents (non-working spouses or young/disabled children), they may receive more money from their case to support them.
- Funeral expenses: In 2021, the median cost of a funeral with a burial and viewing was over $7,800 according to the National Funeral Directors Association. If a family member files a lawsuit on behalf of a deceased loved one, these expenses may be factored in.
- Pain and suffering: A mesothelioma diagnosis brings a great amount of emotional distress along with it. Mesothelioma lawsuits may award extra money to compensate a victim and their family for their suffering.
By including these other factors, victims and their lawyers can get a better idea of how much money will be needed to cover expenses moving forward.
How to Determine Mesothelioma Case Values
Mesothelioma case values can vary greatly depending on the type of legal action you take and specific factors in your situation.
Because of this, it is important to work with a mesothelioma attorney who can guide you through the process and help ensure you file within the statute of limitations. With help from an experienced law firm, you may be able to get the greatest value out of your claim.
Get a free legal case review today to learn more about mesothelioma case values.
- American Cancer Society. (2020, January 8). Survival Rates for Mesothelioma. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/detection-diagnosis-staging/survival-statistics.html
- American Lung Association. (2019, September 25). Lung Cancer Fact Sheet. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/resource-library/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html
- Bates, C. E., & Mullin, C. H. (2007, December 3). Asbestos: Show Me The Money. Retrieved January 14, 2020, from https://www.bateswhite.com/media/publication/59_media.285.pdf.
- Mealey’s Litigation Report. (2016, May 31). Asbestos Verdicts & Settlements: January 2015 – December 2015. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.lexislegalnews.com/articles/8734/asbestos-verdicts-settlements-january-2015-december-2015
- RAND Institute for Civil Justice. (2010). Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts: An Overview of Trust Structure and Activity with Detailed Reports on the Largest Trusts. Retrieved January 14, 2020, from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2010/RAND_TR872.pdf.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2020, January 10). How to apply for a Veterans burial allowance. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.va.gov/burials-memorials/veterans-burial-allowance/
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019, December 19). VA pension rates for Veterans. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.va.gov/pension/veterans-pension-rates/
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2019, September 28). 2019 Veterans disability compensation rates. Retrieved January 16, 2020, from https://www.va.gov/disability/compensation-rates/veteran-rates/
Easier Than It May Seem
Your individual situation may merit an actual lawsuit. However, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Trusts have been set up to benefit victims of mesothelioma in such a way that lawsuits and court appearances aren’t needed. Contact us today and you’ll see how easy it can be to get the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can file a mesothelioma claim?
A person who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma – as well as their spouse, child, or family member – may be able to file a claim to recover compensation from manufacturers of asbestos products. If the mesothelioma patient passes away, a family member or estate representative may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
How much money is in the asbestos trust fund?
An estimated $30 billion has been set aside in asbestos trust funds to compensate mesothelioma patients. Many companies that made asbestos products later filed for bankruptcy, so they created these trust funds to pay out future mesothelioma claims. If the company responsible for your asbestos exposure no longer exists, you may be entitled to money from their trust fund.
How do I file a mesothelioma claim?
To file a mesothelioma claim, contact an attorney who is experienced with these types of lawsuits. They will know where and when to file your claim, how to build the strongest case possible, and the best way to maximize compensation on your behalf.
What is the statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims?
The statute of limitations (deadline to file) for mesothelioma claims will vary depending on the state in which you file. In many states, it’s 2-3 years from the date of the mesothelioma diagnosis – though it may be longer if the mesothelioma patient has passed away. A mesothelioma lawyer can make sure your claim is filed within the required time frame.
How long do mesothelioma claims take?
Every mesothelioma claim is different, with circumstances and factors that are unique to that mesothelioma patient’s story. Though there’s no way to predict exactly how long a claim will take, an experienced mesothelioma attorney will ensure the process is handled as efficiently as possible.
Many claimants start to receive compensation in as few as 90 days after settling their mesothelioma claims.
What is the average payout for mesothelioma?
There is no guarantee of compensation when you file a mesothelioma claim, and countless factors affect how much money you might be able to recover (assuming your case settles). That said, 95% of these lawsuits are settled out of court, and the average settlement amount is $1-1.4 million.
How much is my mesothelioma claim worth?
Your mesothelioma case value depends on the specifics of your situation, such as the duration of your asbestos exposure, and the total cost of your mesothelioma treatment (as well as travel expenses and other related losses). The best way to figure out how much your claim is worth is to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer.
What type of mesothelioma claim do I have?
Most mesothelioma claims fall under one of four categories:
- Personal injury: You were exposed to asbestos (often through your job, or your loved one’s), so you file a lawsuit against the company that made the asbestos products.
- Asbestos trust fund: Similar to a personal injury claim, only the company in question went bankrupt, so you can’t sue them – but you may be able to access a trust fund they set aside for mesothelioma victims.
- Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits: U.S. military veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their service may qualify for related health care benefits through the VA.
- Wrongful death: When a mesothelioma patient passes away, their family member or estate representative may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf, seeking money to pay for past medical expenses, pain and suffering, funeral expenses, etc.
A mesothelioma attorney can determine which type of claim makes the most sense for you and your family. (Some clients qualify for more than one.)