Still, the details of a settlement will vary from case to case. They depend on a variety of factors, including:
- How many companies you make claims against
- The location in which you file the claim
- Your financial situation
- Your medical records
In fact, your diagnosis can play a significant role in the outcome of your claim. The seriousness of your illness can also impact the level of liability placed on the defendants.
Determining the Value of Your Settlement
It’s not possible for attorneys to determine how much compensation you’ll receive in your settlement. This lack of certainty stems from several different factors. First of all, mesothelioma settlements will vary depending on where the claim is filed. Each claim is unique, with plaintiffs experiencing different financial burdens when it comes to treatment costs and the loss of income.
The difficulty in estimating average amounts for mesothelioma settlements means that you should be wary of lawyers who promise or guarantee a certain value. While it’s understandable for a good attorney to be confident in the outcome of a claim, nothing can be guaranteed. An attorney who claims they can secure a certain reward is either misinformed or not as trustworthy as a reliable mesothelioma lawyer should be.
Mesothelioma Settlement Trends
Although it’s impossible to know exactly how much you’ll receive in your settlement ahead of time, it can be helpful to look at historical settlements. In 2000, RAND Corporation, a California-based think tank estimated that the average mesothelioma claim settlement was approximately $900,000. However, in a more recent 2007 report by Mealey’s Litigation Report titled Show Me the Money, findings indicated that the average recovery by mesothelioma claimants in the U.S. is between $1 million and $1.4 million. Still, the numbers may have increased in recent years. And while your attorney won’t be able to provide you with an exact number, they can inform you about the strengths and weaknesses in your case and demonstrate how they intend to secure the best outcome for you.
Getting the Best Settlement Possible
We know that money is far from being the most important concern in a mesothelioma patient’s life. After all, no amount of money can truly compensate for the way this illness has affected you. However, getting the best settlement possible can significantly alleviate some of the other burdens that come with a mesothelioma diagnosis. It can help you cover financial obligations such as treatment and transportation costs and make up for lost income. This financial advantage can lessen the number of stressors you have to deal with and allow you to focus more on your health and loved ones.
To ensure you get the best settlement possible, you should contact a mesothelioma law firm with a proven track record yielding successful mesothelioma settlements for their clients. Reputable law firms are committed to representing victims like you—innocent workers who were caused pain and suffering by careless or dishonest companies.
By working with specialized mesothelioma law firms, you can work toward holding these companies responsible for their negligent and unethical actions and hopefully receive compensation to ease the burdens on you and your family. However, it’s important to remember that the amount of compensation awarded, if any, relies on the specifics of each case.
Process of Reaching a Mesothelioma Claim Settlement
As previously mentioned, in mesothelioma cases, settlements are usually reached once a lawsuit is filed and before a case goes to trial. In other cases, settlements might be reached in the midst of a trial.
Before a settlement can be reached, legal work must be conducted by your attorney, sometimes with your help. You may need to provide some information, but your lawyer will be able to fill in any gaps you can’t provide through their meticulous research. Either way, steps must be taken in advance to build you a strong case:
- Research: In the initial stage of filing the lawsuit, your attorney will require information from your medical records and work history. This includes an official mesothelioma diagnosis from your doctor and a list of treatments you have had, places you were employed, information on what kind of work you did, and unions you may have been a member of. All this information will help your attorney construct a solid case that shows how the defendants have caused you injury and the extent to which they impacted your life. If you don’t have all the necessary information available, don’t panic. Your attorney can help you compile it with the aid of in-depth research.
- Selecting the Location: The lawsuit can be filed in any state where you lived or worked or served in the military. A connection between the location and your exposure to asbestos needs to be evident. Your attorney will decide which location offers the best chance of giving you the highest settlement.
- File the Complaint: With all the information needed to form your complaint, your lawyer will file the lawsuit on your behalf. The defendants against which the lawsuit is filed will include all the companies clearly liable for your exposure to asbestos.
- Discovery: Information is shared between your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer in support of or against the facts of your case.
- Settlements Offered: As soon as the lawsuit is formally filed, it is possible for the defendant’s attorney to make an offer for a settlement. When this happens, your lawyer will present the offer to you and can provide input on the benefits of taking the offer or not taking it. They can also help you put together a counter offer, which they can present and negotiate with the defendant’s attorney. If you decide not to settle, the case will then proceed.
- Case Proceeds to Trial: If a settlement can’t be reached in advance, then, with your permission, the case will go to trial. However, it is still possible for a settlement to be reached during the course of the trial and the defendant can make an offer at any time. On average, trial awards in mesothelioma cases tend to be higher than settlements. But every case is unique, and your attorney can give you advice on whether settling is the better decision in your specific case. Do keep in mind that a settlement isn’t an option once the judge or jury in a trial reaches a verdict.
Different Cases, Different Perspectives
Almost all mesothelioma settlements are reached from patients filing lawsuits. The fact that almost all also settle without a trial shows that for most complainants, getting compensation doesn’t need to be a demanding, burdensome processes. But what’s best for one mesothelioma patient filing a lawsuit isn’t necessarily what’s best for you. The key to doing what’s best for you and your family is finding an attorney who is willing to be upfront and completely trustworthy in advising you. A mesothelioma lawyer should provide personalized service and tailored advice that is exclusively aimed at benefiting you and your family as much as possible.