Mesothelioma Settlements: Recovering Compensation for Mesothelioma Claims
Have you, or a loved one, developed mesothelioma caused by another's negligence and are seeking legal action to hold them financially accountable? Did you lose a loved one through wrongful death who died from complications after they were exposed to asbestos?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys represent injured victims and surviving family members by negotiating asbestos settlements and winning wrongful death lawsuits. Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
Mesothelioma Settlements vs. Jury Verdicts
According to statistics, approximately 95% of all civil lawsuits, including mesothelioma claims, are resolved out of court. The average mesothelioma settlement amount is between $1 million and $1.4 million, although settlement amounts vary between cases.
Mesothelioma settlements occur when the defense attorneys (typically the manufacturer of asbestos-containing products) agree to negotiate with the plaintiff's mesothelioma attorney during a settlement meeting. The decision to agree to and the civil lawsuit stops the legal action.
Generally, mesothelioma settlements and verdicts are guaranteed to pay the victim or next of kin that filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Thus, the victim can receive the proceeds from a compensation settlement in under 90 days, based on an average mesothelioma settlement time frame.
In arriving at mesothelioma settlements, the companies that own asbestos-containing items and the victim's mesothelioma lawyers could negotiate and arrive at a specific amount to pay to injured victims exposed to asbestos. For example, the agreement could pay for medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization costs, surgeries, pain, and suffering.
The Mesothelioma Settlement Process
Once all differences have been resolved among plaintiffs and defendants and agreements have been made to resolve cases through mesothelioma settlements, the legal process is nearly complete. However, the length of time for the mesothelioma victim to receive their settlement payout could take significantly longer.
On average, the mesothelioma victim receives their settlement payout within one year, depending on how fast the defendant (typically asbestos companies) can agree with the plaintiff's attorney.
In many cases, the victim files a mesothelioma lawsuit against more than one party, including multiple asbestos manufacturers. In these cases, the mesothelioma lawsuit settlements and verdicts may resolve at different times. As a result, the settlement compensation from each party may vary, and it may take longer to get paid.
The length of time it takes to receive compensation does not affect mesothelioma settlements, nor the amount. Still, just the length of time it takes to complete the mesothelioma settlement process.
Using a mesothelioma lawyer's vast experience and resources will enable the victim to stand a higher chance of securing a decent settlement that can take care of all medical bills. Upon receiving the mesothelioma settlement, the victim can use the funds for any pressing needs, such as medical, financial upkeep, or other urgent needs.
The receipt of mesothelioma funds does not deny a veteran from pursuing other benefits they are entitled to from the government. In other words, they can access both, like receiving VA benefits and a $1 million settlement amount.
Average Mesothelioma Settlements
On average, the mesothelioma settlement awards range from between $1 million and 1.5 million. However, the mesothelioma lawsuit settlement amounts paid to victims varies considerably based on the unique circumstances of the case and the extent of the victim's medical expenses.
Typically, attorneys working on behalf of mesothelioma victims will negotiate the best mesothelioma settlement offer in one or more negotiation meetings until an agreement can be reached. As a result, the average settlement amount to resolve an asbestos lawsuit instead of going to court is often substantially lower than taking the case to trial.
Typically, plaintiffs and the defendants want to stop asbestos litigation and resolve their cases through mesothelioma settlements to avoid presenting evidence before an unpredictable jury. Therefore, it is likely beneficial for injured victims to accept average mesothelioma settlement amounts to avoid a jury verdict that could side with the defendant.
Winning at Trial
The defendant likely knows the trial verdicts do not favor their side, where jurors could award financial compensation to the victim that far exceeds their ability to pay. Instead, those at fault may choose to end deliberations and agree to mesothelioma compensation based on the average settlement amount.
The average mesothelioma trial verdict is approximately $2.4 million in malignant mesothelioma lawsuits.
In many asbestos cases, trial verdicts will resolve an asbestos claim and award victims or surviving family members between $5 million and $11.4 million. Generally, payments issued to veterans are heftier than the average mesothelioma settlement amounts and disbursed quickly.
How Much Compensation Can You Receive for a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The amount depends on the facts of a particular case. An average negotiated mesothelioma settlement is between $1 to 1.4 million. If a mesothelioma settlement claim goes to court, an agreement could be reached before the jury decides the case.
If the defendant chooses not to make a good faith offer while the asbestos litigation is ongoing, the jury that heard the evidence sets the payment claim if the case is found in the plaintiff's favor.
Are Mesothelioma Settlements Taxable?
Section 104 of the IRS tax code states that mesothelioma settlements income from personal injuries or ailments is non-taxable. Therefore, the compensation amount is often based on the mesothelioma patients' emotional and physical anguish due to their mesothelioma illness.
Under Federal Laws, mesothelioma settlements are non-taxable. However, taxation can become tricky if a single payment passes through various means, for instance, through the mesothelioma settlement and a trial verdict.
Although this tricky situation is not prevalent, it can occur. Generally, most mesothelioma claims are agreed upon before the issue reaches the jury. However, if the dispute comes to the jury, the defendant settles the claim before the jury issues its verdict.
Then a settlement and a jury's verdicts will occur. A scenario like this may result in punitive damage, in which case the plaintiff will pay tax. Still, the settlement relating to mesothelioma will be unaffected. Also, the plaintiff might pay tax if interest has arisen or they decide to withdraw the total amount instead of partially.
Tax Obligation by Mesothelioma Claim Type
Section 104(a) (2) of the tax code stipulates that mesothelioma settlement emanating from a fund or a lawsuit is subject to tax the same way. Therefore, it doesn't matter if the compensation stems from a trust fund, a settlement, a verdict, or a lawsuit.
The tax application will be the same. For any claim, the plaintiff is at liberty to decide if to withdraw partially or as a lump sum. Whichever choice the plaintiff makes, the tax is applicable.
Mesothelioma Settlement Timeline
Generally, asbestos exposure cases are compensated within 12 months. However, the payment varies on account of how many asbestos defendants are facing a lawsuit.
For example, if more than one asbestos manufacturer is listed as a defendant, the plaintiff will likely receive compensation from one defendant at a time.
Who is Eligible to Receive a Mesothelioma Settlement?
Anyone who has suffered from asbestos exposure is eligible to receive compensation.
First, however, the lawyer must prove that the client's suffering is attributable to the asbestos manufacturer in question.
What Affects Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts
Statutes of limitations
Statutes refer to laws prevailing in various states. If the litigant buys too much time, they are time-barred, forfeiting the legal rights to pursue the asbestos exposure case.
Number of Litigants
Mesothelioma settlements generally come from several defendants facing asbestos exposure mesothelioma lawsuits. However, in this case, the compensation payout will be higher.
The nature of illness the client is suffering from will impact the amount of compensation. For example, a mesothelioma diagnosis and rare types of cancers will result in a higher payout than a mere asbestos exposure effect.
Where the plaintiff is incapacitated, their lawyer will lobby for funds to ensure their wellbeing as the disease progresses, including loss of wages, emotions, and physical agony.
Duration of Exposure
Lengthy exposure can amount to more liability for the defendant and more compensation for the plaintiff.
Suppose the defendant company failed in its duty of care to the plaintiff. In that case, its liability will go up if the compensation settlement ends at the trial stage. A culpable company will want to swiftly agree on compensation and avoid paying a substantial potential verdict at trial.
Mesothelioma cancer can take many years before it manifests itself and affects all age groups. However, compensation might be higher if the victim is a child to cover a lost opportunity to earn a living in the future.
Why a Plaintiff Might Prefer a Mesothelioma Settlement to a Jury's Verdict
- The compensation process takes a shorter time
- Less emotional stress
- Settlements are cheaper
- A specific compensation is awarded
Seeking Compensation Amounts and Proving Asbestos Exposure
The plaintiff has to prove that over time they have suffered due to exposure to asbestos resulting in mesothelioma for them to embark on a legal option.
However, the plaintiff can engage the services of an excellent attorney to ensure a successful outcome.
How to Arrive on a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement
Personal injury attorneys representing injured patients follow proven tactics and strategies to resolve mesothelioma lawsuit settlements successfully. The legal process includes:
Collect the Evidence and Process the Claim
The client's attorney will avail:
- The company's documents from the defendant.
- Military service records and civilian work history
- Documents from a hospital showing the existence of mesothelioma
Fill in the Claim Form
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer usually will do the paperwork on behalf of their client relating to asbestos exposure and send it to the relevant court's office. Upon receipt, the defendant's company will review the paperwork and decide whether to agree with it or not. Usually, the defendant puts up a defense at first.
At this point, if the defendant's company disregards the claim, the plaintiff can provide new evidence. In this process, each party may requisition details from each other to strengthen its case.
Usually, the lawyers will advise their clients accordingly. First, however, the litigant's lawyer has to produce evidence that the defendant's negligence occasioned their client's illness.
At some point, the plaintiffs and defendants will meet to discuss ending the case through a negotiated settlement. Data shows that 95% of all personal injury cases are resolved away from court when both sides agree on the negotiated amount needed for the plaintiff to drop the claim.
Other Ways to Get Mesothelioma Compensation
Besides a mesothelioma settlement, there exist other legal channels of compensating the asbestos exposure victims. Alternatives legal avenues enable the victims to receive more than they would under the settlement.
- Trial Decisions: If the defendants and the plaintiff cannot reach a consensus, a judge will give a fair hearing to both sides and make a ruling on compensation. Although a victim can rake in more money, most attorneys shun this approach because it is tedious, time-wasting, and more expensive than an out-of-court settlement. There is also a tendency by the defendant to contest rulings favoring the plaintiff.
- Asbestos Trust Funds: Following revelations about the damage that asbestos had caused, asbestos companies formed a trust fund to facilitate payments to asbestos victims. They reached this decision in bankruptcy court due to the many mesothelioma lawsuits they were facing. According to the United States Accountability office, the trust fund allows any qualifying participant compensation from the $30 billion funds.
- Compensation from the Military: The US military used considerable asbestos in its installations until the 1980s. The asbestos exposure left some veterans affected after developing asbestos-related diseases. Veterans constitute 30% of the mesothelioma victims. Consequently, the Department of Veterans Affairs created financial initiatives to facilitate veterans suffering from mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Veterans Affairs Benefits
- Veterans Affairs Pension: Veterans may be eligible for a pension if they meet some income threshold.
- Veterans Affairs Healthcare: The veterans can access health care for free or subsidized through mesothelioma experts via veteran affairs.
- Disability payments: Veterans suffering from mesothelioma are eligible for tax-free disability compensation.
Many individuals who suffer asbestos-related diseases have filed a civil action against parties that exposed them to toxic asbestos and have won compensation at trial or through a settlement out of court.
However, the compensation each one received depended on the unique specifics of their case and the severity of their injuries.
Filing a lawsuit against companies at fault for their injury is a way to hold parties responsible for the damage accountable for their neglect. In addition, financial compensation assists victims in paying their medical bills and recoup their lost wages.
The amount of compensation differs for every mesothelioma claim. The compensation each victim receives ranges from just a tiny sum of money to millions.
Predicting the amount of compensation can be challenging, just like determining how the case will be resolved. However, a reputable personal injury attorney who specializes in asbestos disease cases can use proven methods to gauge the victim's eligibility for compensation along with the value of their claim.
The Asbestos Claims Process For Asbestosis and Mesothelioma Cases
Seeking compensation in a mesothelioma case is not as simple as just filling out a claim form. Personal injury tort laws are complex. Successfully obtaining recompense requires proof of what parties are at fault and the level of injury suffered by the victim.
In nearly every case, a mesothelioma diagnosis can be traced back to specific companies or one company that exposed the victim to asbestos.
When it can be proved that the company knew or should have known about the specific dangers of exposure to the toxic chemical, they can be held legally liable for damages. However, because of the complexities of state tort law involving asbestos-related disease claims, it is usually imperative to hire a skilled attorney to handle the case.
Settling the case for compensation involving mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases is usually achieved through three specific avenues including:
- Quick Settlement – Often, defendants facing lots of cases will want to settle each claim quickly to avoid the legal expense of taking cases to trial. However, accepting a quick settlement can cause significant financial damage to the victim if the compensation is not adequate to cover ongoing and future medical expenses along with lost wages and other damages caused by asbestos exposure.
- Accepting an Offer – Companies that expose others to asbestos tend to drag out the amount of time they have in responding to a valid claim for compensation. They hold out in an attempt to wear down the victim who might grow tired or financially desperate and ultimately accept an offer significantly lower than the value of the claim. However, an attorney experienced in mesothelioma cases will likely advise their client to refuse to accept the lower offer and instead build a solid case for trial to ensure they receive adequate compensation.
- Accepting a Settlement at Trial – Nearly every type of mesothelioma case is settled out of court. However, obtaining the amount the victim deserves usually requires building a solid case against the defendant. Typically, defendants will settle the case before taking the case to trial to avoid negative publicity and the high cost of courtroom litigation.
Numerous factors can influence the amount of settlement obtained through negotiation or trial. A skilled attorney can determine the claim's value and investigate the case to see if any third parties are also liable for exposing the victim to asbestos.
Mesothelioma Victims Are Owed Compensation
Asbestos exposure has caused the victims' emotional pain, physical pain, and loss of wages in cases where they can no longer work. The mesothelioma settlements offer them some relief to pay for their medical expenses and pay for upkeep.
The concerned victims should follow up early before the statutes of limitations bar them from further legal action. Although the victims' health cannot be fully restored, at least asbestos companies have scrutinized it. The tax incentive on the mesothelioma settlement offers some respite to the victim.
Hiring an Attorney With Experience Resolving Mesothelioma Cases
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our experienced mesothelioma attorneys fight aggressively for their clients who have suffered illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. We will pursue compensation, including compensatory and punitive damages, when the negligent actions of all parties at fault are egregious.
We aim to provide you with experienced legal representation to receive adequate compensation for your injuries to cover all your current and future expenses.
While we acknowledge that you are likely entitled to a significant award for punitive damages, a large verdict by juries is never guaranteed. Because of that, we offer our best legal advice to help you decide if settling out of court or proceeding to trial for a jury verdict serves your best financial interest.
To schedule a no-obligation free consultation with an experienced mesothelioma attorney, call our law offices at (888) 424-5757, so we can evaluate your compensation claim and provide you with legal options.
Many mesothelioma patients have already resolved their million-dollar lawsuits against manufacturing companies that produced asbestos-containing products. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule your free consultation to discuss obtaining the compensation your family deserves.