Asbestos Settlements: What to Expect?

Asbestos Settlements: What to Expect?

Asbestos-related lawsuits are usually filed for compensating the losses that a person bears due to results of asbestos exposure. This can be health problems, the loss of earning capacity, emotional distress, etc. The compensation can be also paid to relatives of a person died from an asbestos-related disease. In all these cases people deal with so called asbestos settlements.

As a rule, they are paid to asbestos victims by employer who was responsible for exposing a person to asbestos. Otherwise it will be an organization that produced products with asbestos that caused the exposure. Depending on the type of contact with asbestos various parties can be involved into the process. The most of asbestos settlements are paid before the case comes to jury for consideration. If there is a clear source of payment that was proven by appropriate documents, and your attorney has convincing strategy, a defendant may wish to come to an agreement before the case goes to the court. This way you can save more money, because the trial implies additional expenses.

In a normal situation, when you’ve found the body that is responsible for paying you a settlement, you can expect to get compensation that covers the following:

  • expenses for treatment
  • expense for travelling to get treatment
  • moral and physical damage
  • compensation for losing the source of income (due to inability to work)
  • support for an asbestos victim and his/her family
  • expenses for funeral (in case of deceased demandant)

However, in each case it is hard to define the exact amount of settlements. Sometimes a demandant receives millions of dollars, while the others get ten-twenty times less. The amount of asbestos settlements directly depends on the organization that pays it off. For instance, an employer who exposed a victim to asbestos is a bankrupt now or has closed his business long time ago. Even if such a company has a trust fund for paying compensations, they are limited in resources and often not able to satisfy the requirements in full. So the first factor that defines the amount of settlement is a defendant that will pay it out.

The second factor is the condition of a patient and the financial value of his losses due to the asbestos-related disease. Not only physical expenses are taken into account. Pains and suffering of a person are also important.

The third factor is time. Too often people want to get the compensation as quickly as possible, having no time for serious long-lasting process in the court due to the quickly progressing disease (such as lung cancer). As a result they agree to the amount offered by a defendant in settlement agreement. Preparations and proceedings in the court may take years, and a demandant simply risks not receiving the compensation during the lifetime (if there is a case with severe condition like mesothelioma).

Usually an asbestos settlement for mesothelioma cases varies from $1 million to $5 million (this is an average amount). With less harmful asbestos-related disease the compensation may be smaller. A demandant will receive the settlement amount not in full size. The expenses for attorney, court fees, the cost of treatment – all this will be deducted, and he will receive approximately 60 – 70% from the original amount.

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