Public knowledge about mesothelioma—the fatal cancer caused by asbestos exposure—has dramatically increased in the United States in recent years. Mesothelioma settlement amounts awarded to victims and their families mirror that increase. Individuals exposed to asbestos should be aware of the risks, as well as the recourse available due to exposure to the deadly mineral.
If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer or have lost someone you love due to an asbestos-related disease, you might have some questions about asbestos settlements or wrongful death lawsuits and what average mesothelioma settlement amounts are. Here is a quick roadmap for navigating what might seem like an overwhelming undertaking.
What You Need to Know About Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts
You might be hearing or seeing the word settlement a lot when it comes to mesothelioma cases and monetary damages. A settlement is a legal agreement reached between both sides of a legal case, the plaintiff and the defendant, instead of going to trial in court before a judge and jury.
The word settlement is troublesome to some people. As a plaintiff, it is your decision to agree or disagree to a settlement with the defendants in your case. Trials can be very time- and energy-consuming. Courts and lawyers recognize this, as well as other factors, like the serious illness of plaintiffs. Settlements can speed up the process of getting the compensation you need. Every case is different, and your lawyer should advise you on the benefits and drawbacks of an asbestos settlement in your situation.
Who Can File a Claim for Damages Related to Asbestos Exposure
The understanding of the ways an individual may be exposed to asbestos has grown, both in the medical community and the general public. Those directly exposed to asbestos in the work environment are not the only ones at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases.
Any individual who is exposed to asbestos can carry the fibers on their clothing and then transfer the fibers to family members in their households. This second-hand exposure is just as dangerous as being exposed to the mineral directly.
In fact, exposure within a household can go undetected and continue over many years. If asbestos on clothing is not safely removed before entering the home, airborne toxins can be transferred and pose a risk to anyone who lives there, including women and children. It may also be inhaled and cause disease to those who launder the clothing. Therefore, mesothelioma settlement amounts are available to family members who become ill as a result of exposure as well.
In addition to the potential for second-hand asbestos exposure, many people are surprised to learn that there are non-work-related asbestos hazards that could be hiding in homes. In addition to old building materials, bath products used regularly have also been linked to mesothelioma.
In 2018, Johnson & Johnson was handed a $117 million verdict in favor of an individual who claimed that baby powder caused his asbestos-related cancer. That lawsuit opened the door to further investigation into the Johnson & Johnson product and whether the powder is or ever was contaminated with asbestos.
As a result, more questions should be asked about other potentially hazardous household products. Cases like this could be just the beginning of a rise in awards to those who are ill, as well as average wrongful death settlements for mesothelioma.
Asbestos settlement claims can be filed by individuals who have asbestos-related diseases, or by family members of those individuals, whether exposure to asbestos occurred at work, at home, or elsewhere.
Types of Claims and Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts Vary
Compensation for illnesses caused by asbestos exposure can take many forms, and some people are entitled to payments from multiple sources. For example, some companies that have been found by courts to be responsible for mass exposures have created a mesothelioma trust fund for the purpose of compensating those who become ill. And benefits are available to those who were exposed to asbestos during military service and later developed an illness as a result of that exposure.
If you have lost a spouse, companion, parent, or other loved one to an asbestos-related disease, you might also have a right to compensation. Average wrongful death settlements for mesothelioma and other diseases are based on the specifics of each family’s situation and an experienced attorney can help you understand what benefits are available to you.
Claims can be made against any party responsible for the asbestos exposure, including manufacturers, employers, and property owners. While mesothelioma settlements are probably the most well-known, awards for those suffering from other asbestos-related cancers and asbestosis lawsuit settlements also occur.
What is the Possible Mesothelioma Settlement Amount in my Case?
As with wrongful death cases, the amount of compensation an ailing person is entitled to can vary widely. There are many factors to consider, including:
- The parties responsible for the exposure that caused the illness, and if they have the funds to compensate you as you deserve
- The circumstances of the illness in your case and how your quality of life is affected, including and pain and suffering
- The effects on the victim’s family, including pain and suffering
- The amount of lost wages and other financial burdens
- The extent of your medical costs
In some cases, even the point in time when your case is settled can affect your potential settlement amount. If you settle early in the process, the settlement offer might be significantly less than the potential amount you might be awarded if, for example, you go to trial and win. However, your lawyer might charge a higher percentage contingency fee for trial work, thereby reducing the amount you keep.
You’ve probably heard that average mesothelioma settlement amounts are in the millions. Some are. Oftentimes, after contingency fees, outstanding medical bills, and any other miscellaneous costs are deducted, plaintiffs are still left with considerable sums to cover their losses.
It’s Worth Making the Call
A discussion with a lawyer skilled in asbestos settlement law can be extremely helpful. The experienced, caring attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Firm will go over the specific circumstances of your situation, discuss possible next steps, and help you identify the best ways to get the benefits you deserve.
Get in touch to discuss your case and potential mesothelioma settlement amounts today. Visit our website for a live chat or call 214-774-2258.