Helping you find the perfect attorney!

Calculating Damages in Mesothelioma Cases

Lawsuits as the result of exposure to asbestos are fairly common. In some cases the damages that may be awarded are very high. In other cases however they are not as much as people often expect. It is important to know how damages are calculated so that you will know what to expect.

The first thing that you have to understand about calculating damages in cases of exposure to asbestos is that there are two different types of damages that will have to be factored in. The first of these is compensatory damages, this is basically to compensate you for the damage that was done. Part of this is fairly easy to work out as it will include your medical bills and any lost wages while you couldn’t work. Where things get harder is that you are also entitled to damages for suffering. Things are made even more complicated by the fact that mesothelioma is almost always fatal which means that compensatory damages have to put a financial value on your life.

Calculating compensatory damages can be very complicated which is why lawsuits that seem similar often have very different results. In one case the claimant could be awarded one million dollars and in another ten million dollars even if they both got sick from exposure to asbestos in the same place. This is why most mesothelioma attorneys will ask for far more than they realistically expect to get. In most cases the jury will award them something much lower than they asked for.

The other type of damages that you may be entitled to in an asbestos case are punitive damages. This is a financial penalty against the company that caused your exposure. The penalty is because they have done something wrong, in most cases it will be because of negligence. Punitive damages are intended to discourage others from doing the same thing, they can however be harder to prove. It is possible to win the case and receive compensatory damages but not punitive damages if the jury believes that your exposure was an accident. Punitive damages can often greatly increase the amount you receive in your case.

While it is important to know about both compensatory and punitive damages the reality is that most of the time cases never get this far. Your mesothelioma attorney will likely recommend that you settle out of court. The cost of a trial is very high and the results can be a real wild card. You may get a lot more than you asked for or you may end up with a lot less, or even nothing. The companies that are liable for asbestos exposure really don’t want to go to court and risk a large judgement and your lawyer likely won’t want to risk losing and getting nothing. The result is that an agreement that keeps the case out of court can usually be come to.