Individuals, including workers and US veterans, who are suffering from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure may be eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit to recover compensation from the negligent companies.
However, pursuing legal action and receiving a settlement without an experienced personal injury attorney can be challenging.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys understand the impact of asbestos exposure on the injured victim's health and life. They're ready to protect the affected party's rights and fight for the settlement they deserve.
Those who have developed mesothelioma or other asbestos-related medical conditions due to a company's negligence should contact the experienced asbestos lawyer at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to discuss their case and learn more about their legal options. They can also help with explain what are compensatory damages.
What Is the Difference Between Mesothelioma Settlements, Verdicts, and Lawsuits?
When it comes to a mesothelioma settlement, the asbestos manufacturer and the victim come to a mutual agreement to resolve the claim. An experienced attorney can play a major role in negotiating fair compensation on behalf of the affected party. They can help answer questions such as What are the different types of mesothelioma lawsuits?
A settlement is a quicker way to resolve a claim than proceeding to court. It is a form of guaranteed payment that is legally binding. The affected party can pursue legal action if the asbestos manufacturer fails to make the payments.
On the other hand, a mesothelioma verdict refers to the decision of the jury and the judge at the end of a trial.
When the asbestos manufacturer fails to reach a mutual agreement over the settlement amount, the affected party can pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit in court to seek justice and compensatory damages.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits settle, as it can take much longer to resolve, and there is no guarantee of a favorable verdict.
However, the mesothelioma settlement payouts are much higher if the affected party successfully fights the personal injury case.
What Is the Largest Mesothelioma Settlement?
The average asbestos settlement amount ranges between $1 million and $1.4 million. However, it could be more, depending on the circumstances surrounding the personal injury case.
On the other hand, mesothelioma verdicts from lawsuits average between $5 million and $11.4 million.
In 2003, a court ordered US Steel to pay $250 million in damages to the wife of a former steelworker who died from mesothelioma.
However, the company reached an undisclosed settlement with the plaintiff, which is believed to be much less than the trial verdict.
What Are the Factors That Affect Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts?
The mesothelioma settlement varies depending on different factors, some of which include the following:
Medical Expenses and Lost Wages
Asbestos victims often face serious health conditions like mesothelioma, which can result in financial difficulties in the form of medical expenses. They may be unable to continue working, which can further cause a dent in their finances. Even the family members may have to leave their jobs to care for the affected party.
When filing a mesothelioma claim against the negligent company, the affected party can recover medical expenses and lost wages.
Depending on the severity of the injuries, the mesothelioma lawsuit settlement amounts may vary from one victim to the other.
Pain and Suffering
One of the major components of a personal injury case is pain and suffering damages. Asbestos victims suffering from mesothelioma often face hardships and struggle to live a normal life.
Whether it's pain, emotional trauma, or reduced quality of life, the affected parties and their family members go through a huge deal of stress.
Fortunately, the injured victims can pursue non-economic damages to compensate for the losses incurred.
Number of Asbestos Manufacturers
Despite the health hazards, many manufacturers still use asbestos in a wide range of products, including textured coatings, floor tiles, roofing felt, fake snow, cigarette filters, and many more.
It is not uncommon for a mesothelioma lawsuit to name a dozen of defendants and several manufacturers.
If there are multiple asbestos companies responsible for the victim's mesothelioma, the affected party can pursue legal action against each of them, increasing their chances of recovering a higher settlement.
The Severity of the Injuries
When pursuing an asbestos claim or lawsuit, the affected party must show how using the company's product contributed to their illness and continues to impact their life.
Typically, asbestos victims can negotiate a higher mesothelioma settlement if their injuries are severe and have a significant impact on their daily routine.
Since mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure, it can reduce the victim's life expectancy and may require extensive medical treatments. This can lead to larger settlement amounts.
The Age of the Victim
Most asbestos victims suffering from mesothelioma are over the age of 65, as there has been a considerable reduction in the use of asbestos in the past few decades.
However, young adults or teenagers exposed to asbestos products have developed or are at risk of developing mesothelioma.
The victim's age can significantly impact the settlement amount, as younger victims have a greater likelihood of suffering more pain and emotional distress.
A 53-year-old mechanic from California, for example, received $13.1 million in settlement amount for suffering mesothelioma, while a 71-year-old boilermaker from Texas with a mesothelioma diagnosis received a $4.3 million payout.
Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the victim but to punish the company or manufacturer for their grossly negligent actions. It is also a tool the civil justice system uses to prevent others from carrying out similar acts.
When a company continues to harm consumers with its products despite the previous lawsuits, it is more likely that the court may award punitive damages.
What Are the Benefits of a Mesothelioma Settlement?
Although the compensatory damages received through a mesothelioma settlement may be smaller than what the victim could get if they were to pursue a lawsuit in court, it's essential to understand that the settlement amount is guaranteed financial compensation for the victim.
When a personal injury case goes to trial, the decision of the lawsuit lies in the hands of the jury and the judge. The suit could go in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant, and this uncertainty can be a huge risk for the asbestos victims.
The following are a few reasons why the defendant may consider settling a personal injury case:
The plaintiff's attorney discovers information that is in favor of the asbestos victim;
Due to the lack of time, the defendant fails to gather sufficient evidence to combat the plaintiff's case;
The defendant decides to avoid the lawsuit and save on legal fees; or
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the defendant's key witness or expert becomes unavailable.
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer understand the nature of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases and can guide the affected parties on whether or not they should settle their cases.
As more evidence becomes available in a personal injury claim, the greater the chances of obtaining a favorable mesothelioma settlement amount.
Asbestos Settlement Process & Common Scenarios the Victims Should Expect
The process of receiving an asbestos settlement starts with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer investigating the case and gathering evidence to build a strong lawsuit.
There are a few steps involved in the asbestos litigation process, and these include the following:
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
When mesothelioma lawyers receive a case, they start by identifying the asbestos companies liable for the damages caused to the victims. They'll prepare a strong case and file the victim's claim in the form of a complaint.
Once the negligent company receives an asbestos claim, they have 30 days to respond to the plaintiff and their attorney. In some cases, the defendant may offer a small mesothelioma settlement in a bid to resolve the complaint.
However, most asbestos companies reject the claim, hoping that the victim and their attorney do not pursue legal action.
Discovery and Trial Preparation
When a negligent company rejects an asbestos claim, the victim's attorney may pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Once they file the suit, the discovery phase starts, and the lawyers on both sides begin to cooperate with each other to gather as much evidence as possible to build their cases.
At this stage, if the plaintiff and their attorney get hold of critical evidence, the negligent company may be more inclined to settle the case rather than proceed to trial.
Trial and Appeal
During the trial, both sides can present their case, and the jury/judge gets to decide the verdict. The defendant can initiate negotiations to avoid a damaging verdict at this stage.
Although a mesothelioma lawsuit can result in a larger compensation, the plaintiffs must discuss with their asbestos attorneys whether they should pursue the case until they receive a verdict.
Even if the judge/jury decides in favor of the plaintiff, the negligent company could appeal the decision, which could prolong the legal process.
Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Are Ready to Represent the Asbestos Victims in Indiana
Asbestos victims in Indianapolis, Indiana, should call to schedule a free consultation with Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, as they may be eligible for compensation. They understand the victim's daily struggles and are ready to fight for justice!
Common Questions about Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Are Mesothelioma Settlements Taxable Income?
Typically, mesothelioma or asbestos settlements for medical expenses are not taxable. However, there may be tax implications for the lost wages and non-economic damages the victims receive.
It's crucial for the affected party to reach out to an experienced mesothelioma attorney to discuss their case and learn more about how the taxes could affect their settlement.
How Long Does It Take to Receive Mesothelioma Compensation?
The time it takes to settle the case can vary from one personal injury lawsuit to another.
When both parties (the victim and the asbestos company) reach a mutual settlement agreement, it could take anywhere between a couple of months to more than a year to receive the check.
What Is the Average Mesothelioma Settlement for a Wrongful Death?
The average mesothelioma settlement for a wrongful death is between $1 million and $2 million.