Imagine that you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Now, this can be difficult for anyone, but it can be incredibly confusing and stressful if you are unfamiliar with the legal process.
You may wonder if you should file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your damages. However, the vast majority of mesothelioma settlements are confidential.
So it is impossible to say definitively how much money an individual might receive. However, certain factors can affect the size of a settlement, including the jurisdiction in which the case is tried and the amount of money spent on medical treatment.
In general, mesothelioma settlements tend to be more significant when the plaintiff lives in a state with favorable laws for asbestos victims.
For example, states like California and Florida have created special trusts to compensate those exposed to asbestos. These trusts typically have more money to pay out than traditional insurance companies, so plaintiffs who file suit in these states are more likely to receive larger settlements.
Read on to explore how location can affect the size of a mesothelioma settlement and what you need to know before filing a claim.
1. Where the case is filed
The first factor affecting the size of a mesothelioma settlement is where the case is filed. And this varies because states have laws governing asbestos exposure and mesothelioma compensation.
More than 2,500 mesothelioma cases are filed each year in the United States. And the vast majority of these cases are filed in just a few states, including California, Florida, and New York.
These states have large populations and a long history of asbestos use. They also have favorable laws for asbestos victims, which makes it more likely that plaintiffs will receive large settlements.
Hence, the size of these settlements can vary on the location options available. But most people who file suit in these states are more likely to receive larger settlements than those who file in other states.
2. The amount of money spent on medical treatment
The amount of money spent on medical treatment is another factor that can affect the size of a mesothelioma settlement. It is because plaintiffs who have incurred high medical bills are more likely to be awarded larger payments.
Plaintiffs who have incurred high medical bills are more likely to be awarded larger settlements.
For example, suppose a plaintiff has had to undergo multiple surgeries or rounds of chemotherapy. In that case, they will likely have higher medical bills than someone who has only received one treatment. As such, they will be more likely to receive a larger settlement.
3. The severity of the asbestos exposure
Unfortunately, the severity of asbestos exposure is not something that can be changed. However, it is still a factor that can affect the size of a mesothelioma settlement.
And this is because plaintiffs exposed to large amounts of asbestos over a long time are more likely to develop mesothelioma. That’s why people who work in asbestos-mining or -manufacturing jobs tend to have the highest rates of mesothelioma.
4. The age of the plaintiff
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the age of the plaintiff is another factor that can affect the size of a mesothelioma settlement.
As younger plaintiffs are more likely to have a longer life expectancy, they will need more money to cover their medical bills and lost wages.
However, age is not the only factor that determines life expectancy. The type and stage of mesothelioma also play a role. So, even if two plaintiffs are the same age, one may have a much shorter life expectancy than the other.
5. The overall health of the plaintiff
Undoubtedly, overall health is the most crucial factor affecting the size of a mesothelioma settlement. And it’s obvious why this is the case.
Plaintiffs in good health are more likely to have a longer life expectancy, which means they will need more money to cover their medical bills and lost wages. On the other hand, plaintiffs who are in poor health are more likely to have a shorter life expectancy, which means they will need less money.
6. Whether the plaintiff was a smoker
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer but can also increase the risk of developing mesothelioma. It is because asbestos fibers are more likely to stay in the lungs of smokers than nonsmokers.
As such, plaintiffs who smoked during their asbestos exposure are more likely to develop mesothelioma. And unfortunately, this usually leads to a smaller mesothelioma settlement. For more updates, visit: https://kallesauerland.com/
7. The job history of the plaintiff
Workers in certain occupations are more likely to be exposed to asbestos than others. For example, shipyard, construction, and power plant workers are at a higher risk of exposure than office workers.
Also, the length of time a person spends in an asbestos-exposed job can affect their risk of developing mesothelioma. So, someone who worked in an asbestos-exposed job for 30 years is more likely to develop mesothelioma than someone who worked in the same position for ten years.
8. The presence of pre-existing conditions
Now, this factor is a bit controversial. Some lawyers argue that pre-existing conditions should not be considered when determining the size of a mesothelioma settlement.
However, other lawyers argue that pre-existing conditions should be taken into account. This is because plaintiffs with pre-existing conditions are likelier to have a shorter life expectancy than those without pre-existing conditions.
However, the truth is that pre-existing conditions usually depend on the lawsuit’s state. So, if you’re unsure about this issue, you should speak with a mesothelioma lawyer in your state.
Now, as you know, several factors can affect the size of a mesothelioma settlement. Some of these factors, such as the severity of asbestos exposure, are out of your control.
But there are other factors, such as the stage of mesothelioma and overall health, that you can control. So, to maximize your settlement, you should focus on these controllable factors.
Of course, hiring a mesothelioma lawyer is the best way to ensure you get the largest settlement possible. A qualified lawyer will know how to build a strong case and negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company. So, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, don’t hesitate to contact a mesothelioma lawyer today.