Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones can seek financial compensation for diagnostic and treatment costs, travel, pain and suffering, lost income and other expenses associated with a diagnosis from asbestos exposure. Compensation options and amounts can vary greatly based on aspects of your individual case.
There are many different forms of compensation that may be available. Money may be available from asbestos trust funds, mesothelioma lawsuits, settlements and/or veterans’ benefits. A mesothelioma lawyer can best advise what recovery options you are eligible for and which options will provide you with the most compensation.
Types of Asbestos Compensation
There are four main types of compensation that mesothelioma patients may receive. Not all patients are eligible for all compensation options. A mesothelioma lawyer can discuss what is best for you.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos was used frequently from the 1940s through the 1960s, before its dangers became known and laws and regulations were put into place in the early 1970s. Over time, a number of asbestos companies that manufactured, distributed, sold or used asbestos products and materials have either gone out of business, merged with other corporations or have been restructured due to bankruptcy. Oftentimes, the end of their business was due to a series of compensation claims filed against them for asbestos-related injuries.
Even if the company responsible for your exposure and diagnosis is no longer in business, it’s still possible to receive compensation from them. In many cases, they were required to establish asbestos bankruptcy trust funds with money to pay out future claims. These claims do have certain criteria that the mesothelioma victim must meet to be eligible. An asbestos attorney can help determine your eligibility.
A settlement can occur if a patient or loved one files a mesothelioma claim against one or more asbestos companies for personal injury or wrongful death. In most cases, companies will offer a settlement before the claim reaches trial, to avoid the possibility of paying out even more financial compensation if the jury or judge finds them guilty.
The patient or family member filing can decide whether or not to accept compensation in the form of a settlement, and an experienced mesothelioma attorney can offer insight to the advantages and disadvantages.
From time to time, a mesothelioma claim may make it all the way to a jury trial. If no settlement is reached, and if the defendant is found liable for the asbestos exposure that led to the development of mesothelioma, a jury will determine the amount of compensation to be paid to the injured party. The amount awarded often includes actual expenses incurred as well as punitive damages.
Waiting for a verdict can sometimes be risky, which is why many companies want to settle. However, it may also be in the best interest of the plaintiff to settle as well, since juries could also return a verdict that either finds the company not to be liable or which awards a smaller amount of compensation than they might have received in a settlement. Having a skilled attorney who can advise you about the strength of your case and the likelihood of a favorable verdict and award is critical to ensuring that you receive the greatest amount of monetary compensation possible.