What Are Mesothelioma Settlements?
Mesothelioma settlements are a common resolution to a mesothelioma lawsuit. Both personal injury and wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuits can reach settlements.
In a mesothelioma settlement, manufacturers of asbestos-containing products agree to pay a sum of money to individuals affected by asbestos exposure. This amount is determined through negotiations between both parties’ lawyers.
About 95% of mesothelioma cases end with a settlement to the victim.
Mesothelioma lawyers have the expertise, resources, and experience necessary to build a strong claim that may result in a favorable settlement. Working with an experienced attorney may help you receive a settlement that covers all or most of your mesothelioma medical expenses.
Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts
Mesothelioma lawsuit settlement amounts vary depending on the details of a patient’s asbestos exposure, cost of medical expenses, type of mesothelioma diagnosis, and other contributing factors.
The victim and their legal team will request a certain amount of money based on their case value when the lawsuit is first filed. In most situations, asbestos companies will pay out an amount of compensation sufficient to cover all of the victim’s expenses and secure a future for their loved ones.
Average Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts
The average mesothelioma settlement is around $1 million.
This amount represents the total sum of money that all the manufacturers named in the lawsuit had to pay. Some lawsuits may award more or less than the average amount depending on the specifics of your case.
Notable Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts
Our partnered law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy, has decades of experience in asbestos litigation. The firm has a proven track record of successfully securing compensation for mesothelioma patients around the country.
Past mesothelioma settlements Simmons Hanly Conroy has secured include:
- $10.2 million settlement for a Navy veteran in Washington
- $9.5 million settlement for a construction worker in California
- $6.5 million settlement for an Army veteran and oil field worker in Louisiana
- $1.2 million settlement for a Missouri woman who developed mesothelioma from secondhand exposure
Benefits of Mesothelioma Settlements
There are many benefits to a mesothelioma settlement. Most lawyers prefer to pursue compensation for their clients through a settlement versus a lengthy trial.
Some benefits of mesothelioma settlements include:
- They’re fast: Settlements allow patients to receive mesothelioma compensation in under a year’s time so they can pay their medical bills and keep their families financially secure.
- They’re effective: The costs of treating mesothelioma can exceed $400,000 within the first year. The average asbestos settlement amount may cover medical costs and other related expenses such as a loss of income and emotional distress.
- They hold manufacturers accountable: Asbestos manufacturers knew their products were dangerous but orchestrated an industry-wide cover-up so they could continue making money. Through a settlement, these manufacturers agree to pay for the harm they caused.
- They’re less risky than a trial: During a trial, a judge and/or jury may find the manufacturer not responsible for the asbestos exposure. In turn, if the victim loses the case, they may receive no money from that manufacturer.
How Are Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts Determined?
Your attorney will work to prove to the court how the manufacturers were responsible for causing your disease. Your legal team will then look at several factors to determine how much money to request in the settlement.
Factors that may affect mesothelioma settlements include:
Age of Claimant
Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed in people over the age of 65 but sometimes affects younger adults and even teenagers. Settlement amounts may be higher for younger victims who will typically lose the ability to work, unlike seniors who are likely to have retired.
Degree of Injury
Lawyers must show how asbestos exposure caused their client to develop mesothelioma. Since mesothelioma takes anywhere from 20 to 50 years to develop, an individual who was exposed to asbestos recently and is not sick cannot file a lawsuit.
Victims unable to work may not be able to pay for basic living expenses and support their spouses and/or children.
Many manufacturers are usually named in a mesothelioma lawsuit since most people are exposed to asbestos through numerous products. The more manufacturers named in the lawsuit, the better chance a victim has to receive compensation.
Mesothelioma treatments can be very costly to pay out-of-pocket, so it’s important that the settlement amount covers all of the patient’s medical expenses.
Pain and Suffering
A mesothelioma diagnosis puts emotional stress on an entire family. Mesothelioma victims may also be entitled to financial compensation for their pain and suffering.
Mesothelioma Settlement Time Frame
Most asbestos lawsuit settlements are paid out to mesothelioma victims within one year.
The payout typically depends on how quickly the defendants (the asbestos manufacturers) reach an agreement with your asbestos attorney. If you are suing more than one manufacturer, you may receive money from one defendant sooner than another.
Mesothelioma Settlement Process
- Gather Evidence: Asbestos lawyers work for mesothelioma victims to build their legal case. Lawyers must gather evidence and details of the victim’s asbestos exposure. This evidence can include work history, medical records, types of asbestos products handled, and more.
- File the Case: The lawyers will file the lawsuit and request a certain amount of money to be paid to the victim. All manufacturers named in the lawsuit must respond within 30 days.
- Discovery: If the manufacturers refuse to pay the victim, lawyers from both sides then collect and present evidence, such as witness testimonies, to each other to support their arguments.
- Settlement: The lawyers representing both sides will try to resolve the case through a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement. If the lawyers cannot agree on a settlement offer, the case proceeds to a trial.
An experienced asbestos lawyer can give you an accurate timeline on how long it may take for your specific case to settle out of court.
Some asbestos cases may move faster if evidence is readily available. For example, if a mesothelioma victim worked directly with asbestos-containing products at their job for several decades, it may be easier to gather evidence.
Mesothelioma lawyers have the experience and resources to gather evidence of your asbestos exposure. This can be especially helpful if your exposure happened decades ago.
Other Ways to Receive Mesothelioma Compensation
Mesothelioma lawsuit settlements are not the only legal option that can award victims with financial compensation.
Other forms of legal action may allow victims of asbestos exposure to receive more compensation than they would through a settlement — or provide them with additional money.
Additional ways to receive mesothelioma compensation include:
A case will go to trial if both legal teams cannot agree upon a settlement amount. A judge and/or jury will listen to both sides of the case and determine a winner.
Simmons Hanly Conroy won $250 million for a client with mesothelioma in 2003 — the largest asbestos verdict against a single defendant in history.
While a successful mesothelioma verdict may award victims with more compensation than a settlement, most lawyers try to avoid them. Trials can add a significant amount of time to the legal process, especially if a favorable verdict is appealed by the defendant. Trials can also be more expensive than settling out of court.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos trust funds were established by manufacturers of asbestos-containing products to avoid the large volume of lawsuits that amassed after the dangers of asbestos were uncovered. These manufacturers were ordered by the court to file for bankruptcy and set aside large sums of money into trust funds.
According to the United States Government Accountability Office, asbestos trust funds currently contain an estimated $30 billion.
All asbestos trust funds have established rules that allow mesothelioma victims to access compensation. Victims that meet the criteria are eligible to receive a payout from the trust fund.
All U.S. military branches used asbestos until the 1980s. Today, more than 30% of all mesothelioma victims are veterans. For this reason, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established a number of programs to compensate veterans with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma VA benefits include:
- Disability Compensation: Veterans with mesothelioma usually qualify for tax-free disability payments.
- VA Health Care: Veterans may be able to receive free or low-cost treatment from mesothelioma specialists through the VA.
- VA Pension: Veterans may qualify for a pension if they meet a certain income limit.
- Other benefits: Some veterans may qualify for Aid & Attendance (A&A), burial compensation, and other care services.
Veterans can apply for these benefits with the help of a VA-accredited mesothelioma lawyer or claims agent.
Get Help Pursuing a Mesothelioma Settlement Today
The last thing you need to be worrying about is how you will pay for your mesothelioma treatment.
Mesothelioma settlements allow you to receive compensation to pay for medical treatments at a time when you need it most. With help from a trusted mesothelioma law firm, settlements may cover the majority of your expenses.
Since mesothelioma is such an aggressive form of cancer, your lawyers will work to get the most amount of compensation in the shortest amount of time. Get a free consultation from the lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy to learn more about your legal options and filing a mesothelioma claim.
Mesothelioma Settlement FAQ
What is the average settlement for a mesothelioma case?
The average settlement amount for a mesothelioma case is between $1 million and $1.4 million. These compensation amounts can depend on several factors, such as the patient’s age, stage of cancer, type of cancer, medical expenses, loss of income, number of dependents, and more.
Who can receive a mesothelioma settlement?
Individuals who have developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure may be eligible for a mesothelioma settlement. Your lawyer will have to prove your illness was directly caused by exposure to the manufacturer’s asbestos-containing materials.
How long does a mesothelioma claim take?
Most settlements from mesothelioma lawsuits are paid out within one year. This timeline can depend on several factors such as how quickly the defendant decides to agree to the settlement, the number of manufacturers being sued, and which state you are filing in.
Contacting an experienced mesothelioma attorney is the best way to get an accurate timeline of how long your mesothelioma claim may take. We can connect you to a trusted legal partner today. Get in touch with our compassionate and knowledgeable team today.
Are mesothelioma settlements taxable income?
Some of the compensation won in a mesothelioma settlement may be considered taxable income.
Mesothelioma settlements typically include compensation for personal injury and punitive damages. According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), personal injury compensation is not taxable.
On the other hand, the American Bar Association (ABA) says that punitive damages are always taxable, with no exceptions.