Over the years, a number employees and customers have been affected by exposure to asbestos, whether it be from working with the substance or using products made from it. Some of these people have gone on to develop a disease called mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer. It occurs in the mesothelium, which is a layer of tissue that covers most of the internal organs. This is where malignant mesothelioma occurs. Physicians divide mesothelioma types based on the part of the body they occur in. Mesothelioma most often occurs in the pleura, which is the tissue that surrounds the lungs. This type is called the pleural mesothelioma. Treatment for this type of cancer is available, but for others it can be fatal. Other types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen the heart, and other organs.
The main cause of pleural mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. 80% of people with this form of cancer have been exposed to asbestos fibers. When a person breathes them in, they travel through the small airways and reach the pleura where they cause inflammation and tissue scarring. This damages the cells’ DNA material which results in their uncontrollable growth. If a person swallows the asbestos fibers, it can reach the abdominal lining.
How to File
As with all the other steps, the filling process varies on the type of compensation the individual chooses. However, here are some of the actions of the process. The experts from DolmanLaw.com explain that the most reliable way is to hire a lawyer to file all the documentation and claims you might have. If you are looking for an asbestos attorney, you can get legal advice who specializes in mesothelioma litigation. The experienced lawyers will help you receive the maximum award possible. The second step in filing a mesothelioma claim is to thoroughly research the details of your claim. This includes where you were exposed to asbestos, and how and when did it happen. It’s vital to give your attorney the documentation listed above to support these claims. Good lawyers can access any previous records of asbestos exposure cases which can certainly help in this stage.
Decide what your compensation option will be. Discuss with your lawyers about which type of claim could be the best option for you. As soon as you have prepared your case, your lawyer will file the claim. This final step leads to negotiating your award.
Mesothelioma compensations differ depending on the type of claim. Based on many reports, the average payout after a trial is around $ 2.4 million. The average settlement amount is between $1 million and $1.4 million. Trust fund payouts vary. Big trust fund payouts can go as high as $125,000.
Types of Compensations
There are a few types of mesothelioma compensations that you can choose from. These include mesothelioma lawsuits, mesothelioma settlements, and asbestos trust funds.
At the end of a trial, mesothelioma lawsuits are decided by the jury. If the jury finds the defendant liable for being exposed to asbestos, they will decide on the amount of the lawsuit payout. However, if they do not, the plaintiff will receive no compensation.
Mesothelioma settlements are essentially a legally binding agreement between the plaintiff and the defendant. A settlement can be offered before the trial, or at any given time during the trial itself. As a general rule of thumb, the defendant company will offer the settlement before the trial in order to avoid it.
Asbestos companies will often undergo bankruptcy due to the lawsuits filed against them. This is why they create asbestos trust funds, to provide some sort of compensation.
Who is Eligible?
Individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma are eligible to file a compensation claim. The factors that affect the eligibility of the person vary greatly with each different claim, however, these are the general ones that go into consideration:
- Documentation and medical records which show the mesothelioma diagnosis or any other type of asbestos-related disease
- Evidence showing that the person has been exposed to asbestos
- Adherence to the statute of limitations
If the person has passed away, their surviving family members may also be eligible to receive compensation.
On a general note, mesothelioma compensation payouts are determined based on a set of factors such as the occupational history of the plaintiff, military service, history of asbestos exposure, and the type of asbestos claim filed. If the person diagnosed with mesothelioma dies, their family or spouse can receive compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
It usually takes up to a year for the plaintiff to receive a mesothelioma compensation either from trust funds and settlements. However, it can take years to receive compensation from a lawsuit trial. This is why it’s crucial to hire specific and most experienced lawyers you can afford.
The information contained in this article is the opinion of the author and is not a substitute for professional legal, medical or financial advice. Always consult with legal, medical or financial professionals with recognized qualifications before making medical, legal or financial decisions.