If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-caused illnesses or diseases, you are the victim of senseless negligence or corporate misconduct. Concerns over the health risks associated with asbestos began in the early 20th century. Even before studies during the 1920s and 1930s confirmed these dangers, company executives knew the risks and exploited their workers anyway.
Victims of asbestos exposure may receive mesothelioma compensation from billion dollar asbestos trust funds or directly from the company responsible for your exposure.
What are your options related to mesothelioma compensation and other asbestos-related diseases?
This web page contains a lot of what you need to know about settlement amounts, where and how trust funds work, and how you can receive compensation. It also explores possible verdict outcomes and how mesothelioma compensation from a trial or verdict is determined.
Types of Asbestos Compensation Options
Those who are seeking compensation can pursue a few different channels. Each one carries its own set of specifics that your asbestos attorney should explain to you. The primary options include the following:
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Settlements
In most instances negotiations between the attorneys on both sides will inevitably yield a mutually agreeable settlement amount to be paid to you. From your legal team’s perspective, the goal of a settlement is to ensure you quickly receive a fair amount while we make the process less complicated and painful for you.
Of course, the attorneys working for the corporation(s) that caused your mesothelioma and for their insurance companies are doing whatever they can to make the settlement as small as possible.
A settlement is a compromise between you and the guilty party that knowingly exposed you to a harmful substance. The amount of the settlement will vary based on a number of factors.
Settlements typically don’t come with an admission of guilt by the responsible parties. This does not shield other potential victims from pursuing legal recourse for their mesothelioma or asbestos-related diagnosis.
Mesothelioma Compensation and Asbestos Trust Funds
As of 2014, the US asbestos bankruptcy trusts have paid out roughly $21 billion to date. The asbestos bankruptcy industry – as we call it – is a way for companies to stay financially protected from victims who may be seeking mesothelioma compensation.
These trust funds, and there are 50 of them, are typically created to cover the financial obligations of asbestos-related litigation throughout the course of a company’s existence – particularly when the danger of asbestos exposure is an element of company operations. It is estimated that altogether the bankruptcy trust funds have $32 billion in remaining assets.
Trust funds keep money available to you even if a company is struggling financially. The amount paid for a single case is based on the number of present cases, how many cases are expected in the future, divided into the amount of money or assets of each trust. Using this methodology, and their total value, your average shipyard worker or construction worker with mesothelioma could expect compensation totaling about $260,000 or more.
Bankruptcy protection does not prevent you from seeking compensation for asbestos diseases and illnesses. These trust funds will help you collect what you’re entitled to even if the responsible company went through bankruptcy proceedings.
Our Founding, Senior and Managing Principal Steven Kazan was asked to make a presentation on changes in the U.S. asbestos bankruptcy trust fund system at the 2014 International Mesothelioma Interest Group (iMig) conference. This video of his presentation provides a basic introduction to asbestos bankruptcy trust funds, and who is eligible to file a claim.
In some cases, a mesothelioma or asbestos-related legal claim will lead to a trial. This is typically the last option for those who were unable to come to a successful settlement.
Trials take longer than settlements. Because of the nature of court proceedings, this option comes with additional risks. Depending on the case itself, you have a chance of losing when the verdict is returned – and thus won’t get the money you deserve. Your legal team will help you understand those risks prior to moving forward with a trial.
“How much can I expect from a mesothelioma settlement?”
This is one of the most common questions clients first ask when considering their legal options. Settlement and compensation amounts can vary – sometimes quite drastically.
What are the factors affecting this amount?
- Your diagnosis (mesothelioma patients tend to receive more money)
- The cost of your medical services and care
- Amount of lost wages or lifetime earning capacity
- Bills that you could not pay because of your illness
- Your physical pain and mental anguish
- The full extent of willful negligence or malice by a company
- Whether you are married; have children
A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can discuss your particular case and better explain how much you may be entitled to. It’s important to act as quickly as possible because there are statute of limitations which outline the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. These statute of limitations vary by state.
Making Sure You Receive Mesothelioma Compensation
Choosing your asbestos attorney is a more significant financial decision than even buying a home. While property could yield a couple of hundred thousand dollars in return on investment as housing prices increase, an asbestos case properly handled by a top quality asbestos attorney could lead to millions in compensation. Nothing can replace a family member, but compensation can prevent added economic hardships from lost wages, medical bills and more.
No matter what you may have been told, if you or your loved ones have suffered because of exposure to asbestos, you are the victim and are entitled to receive compensation. Many companies recognize their guilt which is why they’ve set up trust funds. It’s also why they have large legal teams who may want to undersell what you should receive for compensation.
By working with a legal team like Kazan Law that focuses so intensely in mesothelioma compensation cases and settlements, you know that your lawsuit is in good hands. Schedule a free consultation with Kazan Law and let us help you explore all your legal and compensation options.