Since 1929, more than 700,000 claims for compensation have been filed in the United States. The compensation provided from these lawsuits replaces such costs as lost income, pain, suffering and medical expenses. The actual sum of these damages received differs in each case, and an experienced mesothelioma attorney can help determine the amount you may recover if you pursue compensation as part of a claim.
Soon after a claim has been filed, the offending company may ask to negotiate a settlement before going to court. This often happens when corporations want to quickly agree on a claim without additional legal expense. It also happens to prevent unwanted attention to the company, particularly if it had to provide compensation for the same type of damages in the past.
By offering the patient a settlement, the defendant may try to pay a lower amount than is appropriate. This is why having an experienced asbestos attorney involved in your settlement negotiations is so important. The attorney will know when to advise the client to accept an offer and when to continue pressing forward for more appropriate compensation. A fair amount shouldn't be based on what the company feels is appropriate but what will help with the patient's medical expenses, lost wages and other documented costs.
The good news is that some plaintiffs with mesothelioma have been granted very high settlements in the past, sometimes in the millions of dollars. While those cases tend to be on the higher end of the scale, they show the potential for what an attorney can negotiate with the corporate defendant.
The plaintiff should consider more than the total, though. For one, attorney's fees may be different for a settlement offer than for a trial-based award. Also, the payment of the settlement may be stretched over years versus a lump sum. To address this latter issue, some people take advantage of investment firms, which buy out a settlement for a fee and then pay the plaintiff the remainder as a single amount. Although not ideal, these firms provide immediate relief to those struggling to pay for health care costs.