Patients who suffer from mesothelioma should know that, aside from the financial aid that they can get via some of the options that are provided to them by non-profit organizations, the government, and other entities, they can also get financial assistance by going the legal route.
Mesothelioma Help Center provides information about mesothelioma diagnosis, treatment, and financial and legal assistance. On this site you can learn about asbestos exposure and the different types of mesothelioma, connect with local mesothelioma medical experts, and find ways to pay for treatment.
Working with an expert lawyer is an integral part of your fight against mesothelioma and the companies responsible for your asbestos exposure.
A legal claim can provide compensation to cover costly mesothelioma treatments and other disease-related expenses. An attorney specializing in mesothelioma cases can also help you file benefit claims and find top local doctors and support groups. Most reputable firms offer their services on a contingency-fee basis, so you incur no out-of-pocket expenses.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or if you have lost a loved one to the disease, Mesothelioma Help Center can put you in touch with attorneys who are dedicated to getting you the money you deserve. Learn how we can help during a free case review.
A Personal Advocate for Mesothelioma Victims
Asbestos litigation is extremely complex, often involving numerous defendants and products, as well as exposure events that may have occurred decades ago. Even though companies have set aside billions of dollars in trust funds for mesothelioma victims, handling an asbestos claim is not practical for most individuals, especially those who may be fighting for their lives.
Working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer gives you a personal advocate who has your best interests in mind and will help you in many ways, including:
- Determining how you were exposed to asbestos and obtaining supporting documentation from your employment, military, medical, and other records
- Identifying all the types of mesothelioma compensation available to you
- Navigating the complex asbestos claims process
- Managing all paperwork, communications, research, and case management related to your claim(s)
- Answering any questions or concerns you have about your case
- Providing guidance related to treatment, financial resources, and other patient resources
- Giving you the peace of mind that your claim is being expertly handled
Perhaps most importantly, hiring a lawyer to take care of the legal aspects of your mesothelioma case allows you to focus on treatment and spending time with your family during this difficult time. And because asbestos lawyers charge a contingency fee, you pay nothing unless you win your case.
The High Costs of Mesothelioma Treatment
While mesothelioma currently has no cure, research breakthroughs in recent years are allowing patients to live longer and healthier lives. Treatments such as immunotherapy, microgene therapy, photodynamic therapy, and mesothelin-targeting drugs, as well as refinements in chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, have given mesothelioma patients new hope that a cure is forthcoming.
Mesothelioma treatment, however, is not cheap. Patients commonly incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. The cost of a single round of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can exceed $100,000. Undergoing additional therapy regimens can cause costs to increase exponentially. Even if you have health insurance, because mesothelioma is such a rare disease, an in-network specialist may not be available. Certain requests may be denied altogether by the insurance company.
In order to get the best treatment possible—including treatment that must be paid for out of pocket—patients should pursue every type of financial compensation available to them. An attorney will identify every possible source of compensation and handle all the work that’s required to file a successful claim.
A lawsuit is often the best way to obtain compensation for mesothelioma, but it is not the only way. When evaluating law firms, it is helpful to choose a firm that is willing and able to help you pursue each of the following potential sources of compensation.
Some companies were forced to file for bankruptcy due to the number of asbestos lawsuits filed against them. As part of the bankruptcy process, courts ordered these companies to establish trusts, or funds containing compensation available to workers diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. These trusts hold more than $30 billion.
Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma who can prove that they were exposed to a company’s asbestos products are eligible to file a claim and recover a portion of the money held in an asbestos trust. If a person was exposed to multiple asbestos products, they can make claims with multiple trusts.
An attorney can identify which asbestos trust funds might owe you compensation and navigate the complex claims process on your behalf.
Mesothelioma Settlements and Verdicts
Not all asbestos companies went bankrupt. Many are still in business and, unlike a bankrupt company, these companies can be the target of a mesothelioma lawsuit.
A lawsuit against a solvent company is typically worth more than an asbestos trust claim. In fact, many companies continue to pay multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements to asbestos victims.
In addition, previously unidentified sources of asbestos exposure are being uncovered. For example, it has recently come to light that talc used in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder may contain asbestos. In May 2018, a jury awarded a $25.75 million verdict to a long-time Baby Powder user diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Asbestos lawsuits can—and frequently do—end in settlements. This means you’ll probably never have to appear in court. Nevertheless, you should work with a law firm that has a strong track record of asbestos trial success, since research shows that the average mesothelioma trial award (between $2 and $3 million) exceeds the average mesothelioma settlement (approximately $1 to $1.4 million).
When it comes to accepting a settlement or going to trial, it’s completely up to you. Your lawyer may advise for or against a course of action, but in the end the choice is yours.
In addition to recovering compensation from asbestos companies, patients diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible for different types of government benefits, including:
- Veterans’ Benefits: Veterans comprise about 1/3 of all known mesothelioma deaths. Asbestos was used widely in the military and resulted in millions of service members possibly being exposed. Veterans whose exposure occurred during their military career may be eligible for monthly VA benefits.
- Social Security Disability: The Social Security Administration recognizes mesothelioma as a debilitating illness. If mesothelioma is affecting your ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
- Workers’ Compensation: Your state’s workers’ comp program may provide medical care, disability payments, and other benefits related to occupational asbestos exposure.
Depending on your asbestos exposure history, you may be eligible for more than one type of mesothelioma compensation. A knowledgeable lawyer can determine each and every source of compensation you’re eligible for in order to maximize your recovery.