Mesothelioma Information and Facts

Factors That Affect Settlement Amounts

Anyone considering filing an asbestos-related lawsuit should understand what affects any settlement amount. Certain factors are more relevant than others as the defendant decides whether a settlement is warranted. Aspects of a case that influence a settlement amount range from personal hardships to third-party liability. If evidence clearly shows that asbestos exposure negatively affected your life, in addition to having other documentation in order, you will have a better chance of a higher settlement.

Medical Expenses and Lost Wages

As most mesothelioma patients deal with the hardships of cancer, they also undergo financial difficulties as the costs of medical expenses like treatment, doctor visits and medicines mount. Furthermore, because patients need to focus on treating their disease, they may be unable to working, causing a loss of wages and other income. Medical expenses and lost wages from asbestos exposure typically add to settlement totals. Depending on the financial hole that a patient is in with medical expenses and bills, a settlement may be viewed as the best option for them because trials may take long periods of time to conclude.

Company Negligence

During the late 1900s, research showed a definitive link between asbestos exposure and the development of diseases like mesothelioma. Companies that produced asbestos-containing products eventually become aware of the dangers that their products posed to consumers and employees. In cases where the manufacturer knowingly allowed asbestos-containing products to harm people, the potential financial liability may be enormous. Settling with plaintiffs may be the best way to minimize expenses as some historic cases have warranted awards in the tens of millions of dollars.

Number of Companies Being Sued

During a patient's history, he or she may have been exposed to asbestos through more than one product. As a result, during litigation, claims are often filed against multiple companies who manufacture asbestos-containing products. Most claims now involve between 20 and 30 different defendants. In the event of a settlement, all defendants will be required to participate in the payment to the mesothelioma patient.

State of Case

Proving liability, negligence and wrongdoing on the part of a defendant may or may not be easy, depending on where the claim is filed and how exposure occurred. As litigation revolving asbestos-related claims have filled the court system, some states have actively changed the way this process works in their state. Different amounts of evidence and proof will be required in different states. If you are considering filing an asbestos-related lawsuit, consider researching the trends and requirements in your state so that you understand what will be expected of you.

Case Matrix

The totality of factors that determine settlement amounts is already well understood by trust funds established by companies that manufacture asbestos-containing products. The factors have been calculated and weighed based on importance, forming an equation-like matrix that these trusts funds will use to determine settlement amounts. Some factors include the patient's age, specifics of the cancer diagnosis, level of asbestos exposure, and past health records. Depending on the criteria of the case, there will be a settlement amount assigned to that plaintiff. This means that settlement amounts are pre-determined based on qualifying factors. For example, a mesothelioma patient who smoked and worked as a boilermaker for 10 years may receive one settlement amount while a mesothelioma patient who worked as painter, who didn't smoke or have prior health issues, will receive another settlement amount. Each factor of each situation will be assigned values and will be calculated accordingly. At the end of the day, no settlement amount will return health to a mesothelioma patient. Legal action simply provides compensation to the patient for damages while financially punishing the company or companies that are responsible.


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