If you’ve contracted mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos, you should know you have rights and that there is a longstanding precedent to hold your employer responsible. Before we discuss the typical settlement you can expect, let’s cover some basics.
A Brief History of Asbestos Mesothelioma Litigation
As you may know, asbestos is a natural mineral that was used in both commercial and industrial applications because of its unique properties. Namely, its fibers are microscopic, yet it is incredibly durable and impervious to everything from fire to many chemical reactions. Unfortunately, being microscopic means it is easily inhaled. Being incredibly durable means your body has a very hard time getting rid of it. Therefore, cancer is usually the consequence.
This was conclusively proven in 1964. The first lawsuit was filed in 1969, after the public realized that asbestos caused cancer and yet many manufacturers simply didn’t tell their workers.
Lawsuits have continued to get filed since. Each is really a form of tort litigation generally very similar to the original case from 1969 which was filed by a man named Clarence Borel. Between 1982 and 2002, the number of claimants grew from just 1,000 people to over 730,000. The number of defendants also increased from 300 to 8,400 companies. It’s currently at 10,000. Many experts believe asbestos filings will eventually hit 1,000,000.
The Typical Asbestos Mesothelioma Settlement
Unfortunately, it’s hard to speculate about the average settlement awarded to someone suffering from asbestos mesothelioma. The truth is that no two cases are alike. However, if you were to average them all out, you’d probably come up with a figure that was between a million and $1.4 million (paid out by a number of defendants). However, a lot of these settlements are made to multiple parties, meaning each only receives a fraction of the whole.
It’s important to consider that this number may be low because so many victims simply settle right away. So, a lot of them are taking smaller amounts because they just don’t know any better. This is where it’s so important to have an experienced attorney on your side who knows all about asbestos mesothelioma and the kinds of settlements that can be expected.
That number could also be kept low because, in a suit filed by multiple parties, one or more may drop out and settle for any number of reasons (e.g. to avoid attorney fees, bad publicity, a prolonged hearing, etc.), thus hurting the others’ chances.
Filing a Lawsuit
Before you can even start thinking about the kind of settlement you’ll receive, though, you have to actually file the lawsuit. As we mentioned, this is something you should really do with the help of an experienced lawyer.
Another very important piece of advice is that you need to file your lawsuit as soon as possible. When it comes to asbestos mesothelioma, time is definitely of the essence. That’s because each state sets a limit for how long you have to file a suit after being diagnosed with cancer due to asbestos.
So not only could filing on your own hurt your chances of winning and the amount you’ll be rewarded, not having an attorney help you could put you in breach of the statute of limitations if you either take too long to file or have your first attempt rejected for some minor error.
Furthermore, depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to pick from a number of states in terms of where to file. This is an advantage you don’t want to take lightly. An experienced attorney will help make sure you leverage it to its greatest potential.
The important takeaway here is that you should really seek representation for your case as soon as possible. While we can’t speculate on how much your settlement will be for, it’s virtually guaranteed that you’ll receive more if you have an experience lawyer on your side.
Whether you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, you can depend on the highly qualified and experienced team of mesothelioma lawyers at Landry & Swarr. We are happy to discuss your options – and when the time is right we will handle the legal proceedings with one simple call from you to start the process.