How Long Does a Mesothelioma Settlement Take?
Each case is different, but a mesothelioma settlement can take just a few months or as long as a year. Many factors affect how long a mesothelioma settlement takes. For example, state laws and other regulations, the number of defendants named in the lawsuit, and the willingness of the defendants to settle may affect the settlement process.
If you or your loved one developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit and negotiating a settlement are complex processes, and mistakes can be costly or delay the process. You may feel more comfortable working with a lawyer who has experience handling mesothelioma cases.
How Much Compensation Can You Get for Mesothelioma?
How much compensation you can get for mesothelioma depends on many factors, including the extent of your illness, your medical expenses, the value of your loss of income, and many others. Whether you choose to seek compensation through a trust fund, lawsuit, or settlement also affects your compensation. One of our Mass Tort Lawsuit lawyers can look at your case’s specifics and estimate how much compensation you may be entitled to after your mesothelioma diagnosis.
If you choose to file with an asbestos trust fund, you may receive tens of thousands of dollars annually. If you seek compensation through a lawsuit or settlement, you may obtain a one-time payment worth millions of dollars. Each case is different, so there is no easy answer to this question. You may be able to seek compensation for:
- Diagnostic medical bills: The Mayo Clinic states that doctors may require X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, and biopsies to diagnose you with mesothelioma and determine the extent of the disease
- Mesothelioma treatments bills: Most mesothelioma treatments are aimed at slowing the spread of the cancer and relieving your mesothelioma signs and symptoms. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
- Transportation to and from the treatment center: If you cannot drive because of your illness, you can seek compensation for taxis or rideshare services.
- Loss of income: During treatment, you may have to take unpaid time off work because of your illness. You can seek compensation for this lost income.
- Future loss of income: Eventually, you may not be able to work. A lawyer can estimate how much money you would have earned during your career if you were healthy. You can seek compensation for this loss.
- Pain and suffering: Mesothelioma and its treatments cause many people physical pain. Many people also experience depression, anxiety, and insomnia because of their diagnosis. You can seek compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering that your mesothelioma diagnosis causes.
How Long Will It Take to Get Compensation?
How long it takes to get compensation varies from case to case and how you seek compensation. Filing a claim with a trust fund and settling out of court are typically the fastest options. You may start receiving payment within 90 days after filing a trust fund claim. Lawsuits may take close to a year or longer to resolve. A lawyer familiar with mesothelioma cases can estimate your timeline.
You do not have forever to file a lawsuit against the company that exposed you or your loved one to asbestos. You should note the statute of limitations for personal injury and wrongful death in your state. These statutes often range from two to four years. For personal injury cases, the clock starts on the date you were diagnosed. For wrongful death cases, it starts on the date your loved one died.
Types of Mesothelioma Compensation
Multiple types of compensation are available to victims of mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. In general, seeking compensation from an asbestos trust fund or through an out-of-court settlement is quicker than filing a lawsuit against the negligent party. However, a lawsuit may provide you with a larger payout. A lawyer can go over your options with you and help you choose the best approach for your situation.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Companies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy created asbestos trust funds to provide financial support to asbestos-injured workers. About 60 such trust funds are available to people with asbestos-related mesothelioma. Together, these trust funds have billions of dollars available. A board of directors manages the funds and disburses compensation to qualified claimants. Each trust fund pays a percentage of the settlement amount to each claimant so that the fund does not run out.
If you or your family member qualify, you can file a claim for financial compensation with the appropriate asbestos trust fund. You will need a medical diagnosis of mesothelioma, documentation (such as medical records and test results) of the disease, and evidence showing that you were exposed to asbestos at the location in question. In addition, you must file your claim before your state’s statute of limitations expires. A lawyer can help you file a claim.
With a mesothelioma lawsuit, you sue the negligent party for damages. If you win, the court will award you damages to compensate you for your losses. You may be able to file an individual lawsuit or join a class action lawsuit. A lawyer can help you determine which approach makes the most sense for you.
The benefit of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is that it has the potential to get you a higher payout. The downside is that going through with a lawsuit is a long process, and there is always the chance that you will lose. Some people would rather end things faster with a trust fund claim or an out-of-court settlement. However, others see the legal battle to hold these companies accountable as worth the effort.
During any time in the process of suing the negligent company, you can end things with an out-of-court settlement. Here, both parties agree to end the lawsuit with a one-time payment. Many companies prefer to settle out of court to avoid the time, expense, and negative publicity that come with a lawsuit. Mesothelioma victims may also prefer to get their money quickly.
The company may offer an initial settlement amount, but you do not have to accept it. A lawyer can compare the offer to an evidence-based estimate of your true losses. They can help you negotiate a settlement that covers everything from your past and future medical bills to your lost wages and pain and suffering.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation from Asbestos Exposure?
People who develop mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure are eligible to seek compensation from companies that exposed them to asbestos despite knowing it was a carcinogen. To seek compensation for your diagnosis, you must show:
- You have mesothelioma: You will need medical documentation of mesothelioma. A pathology report from your doctor describing your mesothelioma accompanied by diagnostic test results, such as bloodwork and imaging scans, can serve as documentation.
- The at-fault company exposed you to asbestos: You must prove you were exposed to asbestos from the company you are naming. A lawyer can investigate your case and locate case-supporting evidence, such as employment records, that establishes a connection between you and the asbestos that caused your cancer. The National Cancer Institute states that workers in these industries may have been exposed to asbestos:
- Asbestos mining and milling
- Manufacturing of asbestos products
- Construction and demolition
- Automobile workers
- Rescue, recover, and cleanup workers from Ground Zero in New York City
Are Family Members Eligible for Compensation?
Sadly, some victims of mesothelioma die before they can seek compensation or before their case has been resolved. If you lost a close family member to mesothelioma, you may be able to seek compensation.
While any money you receive will not replace your loved one, it can help you maintain financial security even without your family member’s support. It also allows you to hold the company responsible for knowingly exposing people to asbestos.
Family Members Can File a Trust Fund Claim
If you lost a family member to mesothelioma, you can file a claim with an asbestos trust fund. You will have to document your loved one’s illness and exposure to asbestos through the company in question. The trust fund’s board of directors will determine your award based on the hardship your family experiences because of your loved one’s death.
Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
You can also sue the at-fault company for wrongful death damages. State laws vary, so talk with a lawyer in your state about local laws. These laws may limit how much time you have to sue and describe the types of damages available to you. Some types of damages that may be available are:
- Medical bills your loved one incurred before dying
- Pain and suffering your loved one experienced before their death
- Loss of financial support for the income, benefits, and retirement your loved one would have provided
- Loss of support for chores, childcare, household maintenance, and more
- Loss of relationship between spouses or between parent and child if the loved one left behind minor children
Learn About Your Mesothelioma Compensation Options
Dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis is bad enough. When you are already facing a drastic life change, it can be exhausting to sort through your legal options, trying to figure out the best way for you to obtain compensation for your illness. At the same time, you may be worried about your financial security as well as your family’s future.
A lawyer in our network can help you learn about your mesothelioma compensation options. We will listen to your story, evaluate your case, and explain the options available to you, including filing a claim with a trust fund, filing a lawsuit, or settling out of court. We can help you make an informed decision on how you can get the best possible compensation.
How to File for Compensation for Mesothelioma
You have a few options when it comes to filing for compensation from mesothelioma. One of our lawyers can help you decide which is the best option for you. We can also help you file for compensation from the party responsible for your mesothelioma exposure.
How to File for Compensation from an Asbestos Trust Fund
A lawyer can help you file for compensation from an asbestos trust fund. It is a straightforward process in which you submit the paperwork required by the trust fund. This paperwork will document your medical diagnosis, the extent of your disease, and the value of your related losses. It will also provide proof of your connection to the asbestos-containing product in question, such as through occupational exposure.
Based on your submission, as well as how much money is in the fund, the trust fund will award you a payment. Filing for compensation from an asbestos trust is often an easier and quicker process than seeking compensation with a lawsuit or out-of-court settlement. In some states, people are eligible to file for compensation from an asbestos trust fund and with a lawsuit. A lawyer can go over your state’s laws with you.
How to File for Compensation Via a Lawsuit or Settlement
You can seek compensation directly from the company or companies that exposed you to asbestos via a lawsuit. You may be able to sue for damages that include your medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. If you lost a loved one to mesothelioma, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages for medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and more.
After you file a lawsuit, the defendant may offer to settle out of court. A settlement allows both parties to end the legal process more quickly than going to trial. A lawyer can help you evaluate the settlement offer and negotiate a fair settlement. You can also go forward with the lawsuit. Going to court is riskier because you may lose. But if you win, you will generally receive more money than with a settlement.
Consult a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Attorney Today
If you or a family member developed mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to damages for your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The Mass Tort attorneys in our network can help you seek damages from the negligent parties and give you an idea of how long a mesothelioma settlement may take.
Fill out our contact form for help with your case or call 1.844.448.6787 for a free consultation.