Mesothelioma compensation for family members

How Much Compensation Can You Get for Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma compensation differs for each type of claim. According to a 2016 Mealey’s Litigation Report, the average mesothelioma trial payout is about $2.4 million. The average settlement ranges from $1 million to $1.4 million.

If a mesothelioma claim goes to trial, a settlement could be reached or a jury could determine the amount of compensation, if the defendant is found guilty of the asbestos exposure. Most cases settle before trial.

If a loved one dies from mesothelioma, compensation may be available to family members, spouses or dependents through a wrongful death lawsuit filed on behalf of the loved one’s estate.

Mesothelioma compensation helps cover medical expenses, lost wages, travel costs and other losses. It also provides financial security for families when a loved one can no longer work.

There may also be other types of financial assistance available. It’s important to weigh all of your available options for compensation to decide what is best for you and your family.

How Long Will It Take to Get Compensation?

Reaching a verdict from a jury trial and then receiving compensation could take years, but defendants may offer to settle quickly, possibly within several months. The amount of time it takes to receive compensation also depends upon the type of claim that you file.

Money from asbestos trusts may be received within a few months.


Deciding whether to file a lawsuit is an important decision in any situation, especially if you are coping with the stress of a terminal illness. A mesothelioma lawyer can provide the most accurate estimate of how long it might take to receive compensation for your unique case.


Types of Mesothelioma Compensation

Sources of mesothelioma compensation include asbestos trust funds, as well as verdicts or settlements obtained through lawsuits.

Legal claims directed to asbestos trust funds outnumber mesothelioma lawsuits because many asbestos companies have gone bankrupt. This does not necessarily mean that those companies have escaped liability.


In bankruptcy proceedings, many asbestos manufacturers have been ordered to set up trust funds with enough money to compensate future asbestos victims. Most trust funds contain hundreds of millions of dollars, and some even contain billions.

A mesothelioma lawyer may recommend that you file both a trust fund claim and a lawsuit depending upon which asbestos products are relevant to your case.

Asbestos Trust Funds


If you develop mesothelioma as a result of exposure to an asbestos product made by a company that went bankrupt, your legal claim for damages may be processed through the bankrupt company’s trust fund rather than the court system.

Trust fund claims generally are processed quicker than mesothelioma lawsuits because they don’t have to be handled by the court system. Claimants typically receive compensation within a couple of months.

Learn about asbestos trust funds

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

A mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit frequently is the best type of claim to file if your family wishes to receive compensation to pay for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses. A mesothelioma attorney can walk you through the process and handle every legal detail while you focus on treatment and recovery.


Another option is filing a wrongful death claim when a person dies of mesothelioma. Surviving family members often represent the estate when filing this type of claim.

There are Two Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits:

  • Personal Injury Claims: These lawsuits are filed by people diagnosed with mesothelioma seeking compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.
  • Wrongful Death Claims: These lawsuits are usually filed by the estate of a deceased loved one who died of mesothelioma.

If the defendants don’t settle and your case goes to trial, a court or jury will decide your case. If the defendant is found liable, the trial verdict will include monetary compensation.

If you win, the amount owed to you depends on the facts of your case and other factors such as medical costs and lost income. Each mesothelioma case is unique, and there are no set guidelines for compensation.

According to a 2021 leading industry report, more than 3,600 mesothelioma lawsuits seeking compensation were filed in the U.S. in 2020.


A settlement happens when a defendant offers to pay compensation to a mesothelioma plaintiff in exchange for discontinuation of the lawsuit.

Many mesothelioma lawsuits are settled before trial. A qualified asbestos law firm will negotiate settlements on your behalf and advise you on whether to take the compensation or pursue a trial.

Several factors affect whether your mesothelioma lawsuit reaches a settlement. Some defendants decide settling a claim is cheaper than incurring more legal fees and affords certainty of the amount of payment rather than risking a loss at trial, along with an uncertain amount of damages.

Other defendants are willing to risk a trial because they can opt to negotiate a settlement at any point, particularly if the evidence in the case seems to favor the defendent.

Who Is Eligible for Compensation from Asbestos Exposure?

Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma who was exposed to asbestos can file a claim for compensation. An experienced asbestos attorney can help gauge your eligibility, as well as the value of your case.

You also may be eligible to receive compensation if you lost a loved one to mesothelioma. Close family members such as spouses and children who lost their loved one to mesothelioma may qualify for compensation through a wrongful death claim.

Proving the mesothelioma diagnosis and evidence of asbestos exposure is vital, whether filing a claim as a patient or as the survivor of a loved one.

Are Family Members Eligible for Compensation?

Yes, surviving family members who lost a loved one to mesothelioma may be eligible for mesothelioma compensation. Family members may represent the estate of the loved one who died by filing a wrongful death lawsuit or trust fund claim.

A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can review your case and advise you on whether you are eligible to file a claim, as well as the best claim to file depending upon the circumstances of your case. In certain cases, surviving family members may be eligible to receive compensation through multiple legal options.


How to File for Compensation for Mesothelioma

It is beneficial to file for mesothelioma compensation with an attorney experienced in handling asbestos lawsuits. A financial award can aid in covering costs incurred by asbestos-related diseases that are not covered by insurance, such as transportation, home health aides and complementary therapies. 

The right mesothelioma attorney will help you understand all your options for filing a claim, prove your history of asbestos exposure and track your expenses. A top mesothelioma lawyer will maximize your compensation but won’t promise a certain amount.

  1. Get an Attorney: Find out what compensation you may be eligible to receive by speaking with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who can help determine what’s best for you and your family.
  2. Discovery Period: Work with your attorney to help them discover the facts concerning your asbestos exposure history. This process generally focuses on the places you’ve worked and which products you were exposed to.
  3. Weigh Your Options: Consider all options for compensation that your attorney presents, including trust funds and lawsuits.
  4. Accept or Reject Settlement Offers: If you decide to file a lawsuit you may have to consider settlement offers from defendants. Your attorney will counsel you on whether to settle your claim or move forward to trial.

If you decide to accept a settlement offer from a defendant, your lawyer will manage the settlement process. Both your lawyer and the defense attorney will report the settlement agreement to the court, which will issue an order of settlement. The defense will prepare a document called the Release. Once agreed upon, your lawyer will send it to you to sign and have notarized. 

Any personal liens, whether medical (typically health care providers) or governmental (for example, Medicare, Medicaid or child support agencies), will need to be paid from the settlement amount before your lawyer can disburse the remainder of the settlement to you.

Before accepting a settlement amount, consider and track all the expenses related to your mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment. Account for cancer treatment, traveling for treatment, hiring help and affording complementary therapies.

Transportation can become costly, as can hiring a home health aide to help with cooking, cleaning, yardwork, general maintenance and your care. Your health insurance may not cover complementary therapies, such as massage therapy, so it’s important to note these costs as well.

Documenting Your Exposure

No one is expected to remember everything about their work, health, life and asbestos exposure history. It’s simply too much information, and the time between exposure and diagnosis is too long.

This is one of the reasons why people file lawsuits instead of workers’ compensation claims. Additionally, often the time has expired legally to file a workers’ compensation claim in many cases.

Your attorney will help you document your asbestos exposure by asking questions about your work history to determine your exposure to products containing asbestos. They’ve done extensive investigations into thousands of job sites to reveal exactly which asbestos products were used and when they were used. They can also conduct new investigations into workplaces to determine whether asbestos was used. This can include reviewing purchase order histories and other historical records.

Resources Exclusive to Mesothelioma Lawyers

The single most important action you can take when considering an asbestos claim is to speak with a qualified mesothelioma attorney. They have resources to trace your exposure history that other attorneys do not have, and those resources can help your case significantly.

  • Product Identification: Books featuring pictures of asbestos-containing products and their packaging help former asbestos workers identify the products they used. Knowledge of exposure to specific products or brands can significantly raise the value of your case.
  • Employment Records: These are accessible through the federal government with your approval. These documents prove you worked where asbestos products were used.
  • Eyewitnesses: Attorneys will also attempt to identify and locate coworkers, friends or other witnesses who can help confirm your exposure history.
  • Expertise: Experienced attorneys can compare your case to others they have handled and see how it stacks up. Case histories from other claims can be a good indicator of what can be expected in your case.

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