If you’re thinking of pursuing a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit, you should know what costs these settlements generally cover. This will help you keep better records and increase the likelihood you’ll receive compensation for all out-of-pocket costs you incur as a result of your disease.
Typical Costs Covered
Most settlements cover all medical costs resulting from mesothelioma diagnoses. This includes the medical costs of getting the diagnosis itself, which can sometimes be extensive. Travel costs incurred getting to and from medical treatments are typically included as well as the costs of home health aides, self-paid health insurance premiums and alternative therapies for symptom relief.
Settlement Awards Over and Above Costs
It is not unusual for mesothelioma settlements to include consideration for wages lost due to time away from work as well as interest from increased debt accumulated. Many settlements also include punitive damages, which are additional monies intended to compensate claimants for pain and suffering and punish defendants when their behaviors are considered especially harmful.
Average Settlement Amounts
Mesothelioma settlements generally range from $1M to $1.4M and have been increasing over the past decades. Many factors affect settlement amounts. Competent mesothelioma attorneys can help you understand which factors may impact your claim. Your actual out-of-pocket expenses will be considered as well as factors such as the defending company’s level of negligence, your asbestos exposure duration, your diagnosis and your prognosis. Other elements that may have multiplying or limiting factors on a potential settlement amount are the number of defendants involved in your claim and possible caps on settlement awards for the state in which you file.
Though awards directly related to medical costs are not generally taxable, monies awarded for lost wages and punitive damages usually are. It is important for you to consider the tax implications, especially when working with an attorney on a contingency fee basis. Attorney’s contingency fees are generally a third of your full settlement amount, so you will need to pay taxes on the full taxable amount after your attorney contingency is paid and after you’ve reimbursed the law firm for the legal costs it fronted to pursue the claim.
Though it is generally in your best interest to pursue a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit to receive relief for your medical costs, it is important to seek competent counsel to review your specific case and ensure the monies you are seeking not only cover your medical costs but are sufficient to cover the attorney’s contingency fee, legal expenses and any owed taxes.