Legal Compensation for Mesothelioma Explained
Companies that knowingly exposed people to asbestos put their workers and product users at direct risk of developing mesothelioma. In many cases, these companies were fully aware of the potential loss of life and did not protect people, even after scientists had proven the deadly health impacts of asbestos exposure.
Compensation for mesothelioma can alleviate some of the burden on spouses, children, and family members, helping protect their estate and ensuring they can continue to make ends meet after the death of a loved one.
Lawyers specializing in mesothelioma law know the ins and outs of this complex legal field. They help people develop a case and file a claim against the companies that knowingly exposed them to dangerous asbestos. They have dedicated their lives to seeking justice against negligent parties who traded lives for profits.
How Compensation Helps Mesothelioma Victims
Compensation helps alleviate the financial burden of fighting a disease like mesothelioma, which can benefit the victims of asbestos exposure while seeking justice.
Some of the common costs associated with mesothelioma include:
- Loss of income
- Treatment and surgery
- Travel to and from the hospital
- Accommodations near the hospital
- Physical suffering
- Emotional suffering
- End of life care
- Litigation costs
“An Australian survey, that included a compensation scheme as a source of recruitment, found that 97% of participants sought compensation and most participants had learned compensation might be an option from a doctor (62%).” … “The main reasons described for seeking compensation were to ‘leave their family financially secure’ (67%), for ‘justice’ (59%) and because they ‘needed money to help with treatment costs’ (30%).”
Types of Compensation For Mesothelioma Victims
Victims have several options in pursuing legal action to receive compensation from negligent companies. Depending on your circumstances, such as your diagnosis and work history, you may be able to pursue multiple compensation options.
A mesothelioma lawyer can help you decide which of the following options will give you the greatest chance at successfully being awarded compensation.
There are two primary types of lawsuits that mesothelioma victims can file against an asbestos manufacturer or negligent company:
- Personal Injury Lawsuits: Pursued on behalf of the individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. These lawsuits aim to cover the expenses associated with mesothelioma, as well as the emotional and physical suffering endured. Some judges will also order punitive damages.
- Wrongful Death Lawsuits: Filed by family members who lost a loved one due to asbestos exposure. These lawsuits may also include compensation for medical expenses, any lingering debts that have occurred, pain and suffering, and punitive damage.
The payouts for mesothelioma lawsuits can be massive, with numerous cases paying out millions of dollars to victims. The biggest award to date was $322 million, paid to an oil field worker in his lawsuit against Chevron Phillips Chemical and Union Carbide Corporation.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Many manufacturers and companies that are guilty of knowingly exposing people to asbestos were inevitably headed for bankruptcy. To protect shareholders, many of these companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
As part of the Chapter 11 process, these companies were required to set aside significant sums of money for asbestos trust funds to help compensate mesothelioma victims. A mesothelioma lawyer can help ensure that mesothelioma victims receive the compensation they deserve through these bankruptcy trust funds.
In addition to legal compensation, mesothelioma victims are entitled to other forms of compensation as well through the workers’ compensation. Note that individuals who are receiving these benefits are still entitled to additional legal compensation.
Workers’ compensation can provide some payment to people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. However, workers’ compensation rarely covers all of the costs associated with mesothelioma.
Veterans are unable to sue the military and, instead, are compensated through their VA Benefits. These benefits treat mesothelioma as a disability and provide guaranteed monthly payments to veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Veterans will need to file a formal claim to begin receiving these benefits. Veterans can still pursue legal action and continue to be paid their benefits.
Who Can Apply For?
Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may be able to apply for legal compensation. This includes mesothelioma victims who were exposed to asbestos directly, as well as indirectly.
For example, people who were exposed to asbestos fibers carried home on the clothes of a family member may be entitled to legal compensation.
Employment or disability status, where the asbestos exposure occurred and whether it was job-related may impact the claim but doesn’t determine eligibility. It’s possible to be eligible for legal compensation if you were, for example, exposed at work, during home renovations or while working for a now out-of-business employer.
Anyone who developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure may have a valid legal claim. Family members can also apply for legal compensation when a loved one passes away due to mesothelioma or asbestos-related diseases.
Seeking Support for Compensation
“For people with mesothelioma, there is a difficult trade-off between financial security and long winded, complex compensation claims. The impact of this on patients and carers should be acknowledged, and the unique circumstances regarding compensation in asbestos related disease should be considered an important element of palliative care for this group.”
The first step to receiving compensation is to get in touch with a lawyer who is experienced with mesothelioma cases. A lawyer will help you determine your eligibility for a case and tell you exactly what you’ll need to do to receive compensation.