A mesothelioma settlement occurs when lawyers who represent asbestos companies agree to compensate a victim of asbestos exposure. Settlements allow both parties to avoid a trial in most cases. On average, mesothelioma settlements award $1 million to $1.4 million. By working with a mesothelioma lawyer, you may be awarded settlement compensation in under a year’s time.
What Are Mesothelioma Settlements?
Through a mesothelioma settlement, manufacturers of asbestos-containing products agree to pay a victim a certain amount of money that is determined through negotiations between the manufacturers’ lawyers and mesothelioma lawyers. Both personal injury and wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuits can reach settlements.
By working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, you may be able to receive a settlement that covers all or most of your medical expenses.
While there are no guarantees that a settlement will be reached, these lawyers have the skills, resources, and experience necessary to build strong mesothelioma cases that may result in favorable settlements.
Benefits of Mesothelioma Settlements
- They’re fast: Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma have only a few years (or months) to live. Settlements may allow patients to receive mesothelioma compensation in under a year’s time, so they can pay their medical bills and keep their families financially secure.
- They’re effective: The costs of treating mesothelioma can exceed $500,000. Average settlements may be able to cover not only these medical costs but other related expenses (such as a loss of income and emotional distress) too.
- They hold manufacturers accountable: Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products knew the material was dangerous but orchestrated an industry-wide cover-up so they could continue making money. Through a settlement, these manufacturers agree to pay for the harm they caused.
- They’re less risky than a trial: Over 95% of mesothelioma lawsuits end through out-of-court settlements or trial verdicts. Through a trial, a judge and/or jury may side with either the victim or the manufacturer being sued. If the victim loses the case, they may receive no money from that manufacturer.
Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts
Mesothelioma settlement amounts vary depending on how, when, and where a person was exposed to asbestos, along with other factors.
When a lawsuit is first filed, the victim and their lawyers will request a certain amount of money based on the victim’s expenses, pain and suffering, and other factors. Lawyers representing the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products will try to limit the amount of money the company must pay.
Though both sides must compromise, ultimately a victim should walk away with enough money to cover their medical expenses by reaching agreements with each manufacturer named in the lawsuit.
Average Mesothelioma Settlement Amount
The average mesothelioma settlement is $1 million to $1.4 million. These amounts represent the total sum of money that all the manufacturers named in the lawsuit had to pay.
Some lawsuits may award more or less than this amount depending on the specifics of each case.
Average Wrongful Death Settlements for Mesothelioma
If someone dies due to mesothelioma, their estate representatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products that may be responsible.
Wrongful death lawsuits that are settled out of court will pay a lump sum to the victim’s loved ones based on what both legal teams determine to be a fair amount.
Each wrongful death lawsuit is different, meaning settlement amounts will vary for every case.
How Are Mesothelioma Settlements Determined?
A mesothelioma victim’s lawyers work with the lawyers representing the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products to determine a fair settlement.
As a mesothelioma lawsuit progresses, the mesothelioma victim’s lawyers will try to show how the manufacturers are responsible for causing the disease. The lawyers will look at several factors to determine how much money they will request from the manufacturers.
Factors that may affect mesothelioma settlements include:
- Claimant age: Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed in people over the age of 65, but it sometimes affects younger adults and even teenagers. In these cases, settlement amounts may be higher since younger victims will typically lose the ability to work (unlike seniors, who are more likely to have retired).
- Manufacturers involved: Many manufacturers are usually named in a mesothelioma lawsuit since most people are exposed to asbestos through numerous products. The more manufacturers named in the lawsuit, the more chances the victim has to receive compensation.
- Degree of injury: Lawyers must show how asbestos exposure caused their client to develop mesothelioma. Mesothelioma takes 20-50 years to develop, so if someone was exposed to asbestos recently and has not yet gotten sick, they usually cannot file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
- Economic loss: If they cannot work, those with mesothelioma may not be able to support their spouses or children or pay for basic living expenses.
- Medical expenses: Since mesothelioma treatments can be extremely hard to afford, it is important that a settlement covers all of a patient’s medical bills.
- Pain and suffering: A mesothelioma diagnosis puts emotional stress on an entire family. For this reason, victims may also be entitled to financial compensation for their pain and suffering.
As a victim’s lawyers consider these factors, lawyers representing the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products will build a case to show why their clients are not responsible. The legal teams then come together, present their cases, and try to work toward a settlement.
Most judges encourage lawyers to reach a settlement that is fair for both parties, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. This saves expensive public court time, speeds up the legal process, and allows the lawsuit to be resolved quickly.
Mesothelioma Settlement Time Frame
Most mesothelioma lawsuits that settlements typically begin to pay victims within a year’s time. The payout typically depends on the schedules of each manufacturer named in the lawsuit, and when they reach a settlement with the victim’s lawyers.
For example, a victim could receive settlement money in a matter of weeks from one defendant, while they may have to wait longer to receive compensation from the others.
To get a better understanding of settlement compensation payout timelines, it is important to understand the legal process as a whole.
Mesothelioma Settlement Process
- Gathering evidence: Asbestos lawyers work with mesothelioma victims to build a legal case. The lawyers gather evidence that shows when, where, and how the victim was exposed to asbestos (work history), how this caused their illness (medical records), what manufacturers may be responsible, and how much money the victim should receive.
- Filing the case: The lawyers then file the lawsuit and all the manufacturers named in the lawsuit must respond.
- Discovery: Lawyers from both sides then collect and present evidence to support their claims. Lawyers representing the manufacturer will try to disprove the victim’s claims. Additional evidence, including witness testimonies, is collected during this stage.
- Settlement: The lawyers representing both sides meet and try to resolve the case through a settlement. If the lawyers cannot agree on a settlement offer, the case proceeds to a trial.
Some asbestos cases may move faster if evidence is readily available.
For example, if a mesothelioma victim worked directly with asbestos-containing products at their job for several decades, it may be easier to gather evidence for that case than for someone who did not regularly come into contact with asbestos.
An asbestos lawyer can give a better idea of how long it may take to settle a lawsuit.
Mesothelioma Settlement FAQ
Are mesothelioma settlements taxable?
Mesothelioma settlements may or may not be taxable, depending on how the award is paid out.
With some exceptions, the settlement money from personal injury lawsuits is not taxable, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, you may have to pay taxes on punitive damages, which is compensation that is awarded to punish the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products that harmed you.
To make sure you receive the highest amount of compensation possible, work with an experienced mesothelioma attorney.
Who receives compensation in a wrongful death settlement?
In the case of a wrongful death settlement, the victim’s surviving family members and/or estate will receive compensation. Which family members receive compensation will vary depending on the circumstances of each case.
Should I agree to a settlement or take my case to trial?
In most cases, mesothelioma lawyers will recommend that you settle a case rather than take it to trial.
There is no guarantee that you will win a trial, and even if you win you could walk away with less money. While you could also receive more money depending on the verdict, it’s often not worth the risk.
During settlement negotiations, talk to your lawyer about your options. They can recommend whether to settle a lawsuit or take it to trial.
Legal Support for Mesothelioma Settlements
Mesothelioma brings more than its fair share of physical and emotional stress to you and your family, and the last thing you need to be worrying about is how you will pay for medical care.
A settlement can allow you to receive crucial compensation to pay for medical treatments at a time when you need it most. With help from a trusted mesothelioma law firm, settlements may cover the majority of your expenses.
You can also rest a little easier knowing that the manufacturers of asbestos products had to pay for the harm and suffering they caused you. Since mesothelioma is such an aggressive form of cancer, your lawyers will work to get the most amount of compensation in the shortest amount of time.
Get a free legal case review today to learn if you’re eligible for compensation through an asbestos claim.
- 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
- Chaney, R. (2018, March 6). Judge rules insurer liable for all of state’s asbestos settlement costs for Libby victims. Retrieved January 17, 2020, from https://missoulian.com/news/local/judge-rules-insurer-liable-for-all-of-state-s-asbestos/article_a8fb03a1-d429-5b36-9933-a0ddd0cb6fcf.html
- Conlin, M., Levine, D., & Girion, L. (2019, December 19). Why big business can count on courts to keep its deadly secrets. Retrieved January 14, 2020, from https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-courts-secrecy-lobbyist/
- Feeley, J. (2020, January 7). J&J; Said to Pay More Than $2 Million in Rare Talc Settlement. Retrieved January 17, 2020, from https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2020/01/07/294865.htm
- Feeley, J, Fisk, M. C., & Korosec, T. (2019, March 27). J&J;’s Sudden Talc-Cancer Settlements Aren’t Its Usual Style. Retrieved January 17, 2020, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-27/johnson-johnson-settles-oklahoma-talc-cancer-case
- Hendricks, M. (2016, October 26). $80 million settlement reached in Jackson County Courthouse asbestos case. Retrieved January 17, 2020, from https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article110543787.html
- Internal Revenue Service. (n.d.). Settlements — Taxability. Retrieved January 17, 2020, from https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p4345.pdf
U.S. Department of Labor. (n.d.). Workers’ Compensation. Retrieved January 17, 2020, from https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/disability/workerscompensation
- 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/
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.)