Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts: Settlements
Plaintiffs sickened by exposure to asbestos sometimes choose to accept settlements rather than taking their cases to trial. While settlement amounts tend to be lower than jury verdicts, when you settle your case, you will usually receive payment from the defendant soon after. Trials may take months or years and defendants often appeal, stretching the process out even further. Negotiating a just settlement for your case is often the best way to provide much needed funds for medical care and to replace lost income.
What can I expect from the settlement process?
Settlement discussions may take place at any point before or even during trial, but they most commonly begin after both sides have exchanged documents through the discovery process. Negotiations may take several weeks or several months and there are usually separate negotiations with different defendants. At Kazan Law, our goal is to achieve settlements that allow our clients and their families to maintain their quality of life and achieve goals that may have been derailed by asbestos-related illness. In calculating a good settlement, we take into account the emotional and financial toll of dealing with a family member’s illness and the financial hardship our clients suffer when a wage earner is forced to leave his or her career early.
What variables will affect my mesothelioma settlement amount?
Settlements, like jury verdicts, take into account past and future lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, and, for married couples, loss of consortium (loss of marital relations). When a worker contracts mesothelioma, his or her age at the time and expected earnings potential for the remaining work years are factored into the settlement amount.
What kind of settlement can I expect?
While each case is unique, Kazan Law has been able to negotiate some of the highest asbestos-related settlement payments for our clients. The terms of our settlements require us to keep the amounts confidential, but we have achieved sizable settlements for an airline pilot exposed to asbestos during airplane hangar construction and a man who was exposed to asbestos on the job at a PG&E power plant.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts: Verdicts
What can I expect from the trial process?
When settlement negotiations fail, cases proceed to trial. Because of the seriousness of mesothelioma, Kazan Law attorneys do everything in our power to schedule an early trial date for our clients. Even so, it can take months or years after filing the initial lawsuit before your case comes before a jury. You will be asked to attend the trial, health permitting, and may be called on to testify before the jury. If the jury reaches a verdict in your favor, you may not immediately receive payment. Defendants often choose to appeal, drawing out the process. It is not uncommon, however, for parties to come to a settlement during or even after trial.
What is the risk of going to trial instead of settling my case?
The outcome of a trial is not guaranteed. A jury may reach a verdict in your favor but award lower damages than hoped. Judges sometimes reduce the damage amounts awarded by juries. On the other hand, juries tend to be sympathetic to mesothelioma victims and have awarded much higher amounts than plaintiffs could have gained through settlement negotiations. Juries can also determine punitive damages, which may increase the amount of the verdict.
What kind of verdict can I expect?
Kazan Law attorneys have won sizable verdicts from companies that knowingly exposed people to asbestos. We won a $5,482,047 verdict for a machinist who developed mesothelioma after working with asbestos-lined wire products. After reaching a settlement with multiple defendants, we won an additional $10,038,000 at trial against the remaining defendant for a welder who had died of mesothelioma. We won a $20,500,000 award for a man who had worked for a plant that manufactured asbestos-lined pipes. We won over $20 million for a woman who developed mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos in the flooring of her childhood home.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Payouts: Asbestos Trust Funds
What is the purpose of mesothelioma and asbestos bankruptcy trust funds?
Because mesothelioma usually does not manifest until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos, some of the companies responsible for exposing their employees to this harmful mineral have ceased operations or declared bankruptcy. Others are struggling financially. To protect the many victims of asbestos exposure who may develop mesothelioma in the future, money has been set aside in 50 different trust funds to compensate current and future victims of asbestos-related illnesses.
Do I need a lawyer to seek compensation from an asbestos trust fund?
If a company responsible for your asbestos exposure has protected their assets through an asbestos trust fund, you cannot file a lawsuit against them. Claims for money from these funds are handled by the trustees who manage them. Many people suffering from mesothelioma choose to engage an attorney experienced with the trust process to ensure their paperwork is completed quickly and correctly.
How are payouts from the trust funds calculated?
The trust calculates payment based on the amount of assets remaining in that trust divided among all current cases and expected future cases. Approximately $32 billion is available in the various trust funds. The average payout for a shipyard or construction worker who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is $260,000, but the amount varies considerably and a skilled attorney can get you the maximum amount possible