The average settlement for mesothelioma victims in Illinois and across the U.S. is around $1 million to $1.4 million, but the specific amount will depend on numerous factors affecting each case, including the severity of the plaintiff’s health condition and the damages sustained.
Learning more about these cases can help you determine if you have a valid claim and what kind of compensation you might be able to recover.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
The primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, with asbestos appearing in many forms to expose people to this potentially dangerous substance. In fact, asbestos exposure accounts for 80% of mesothelioma cases, with a secondary cause being living with someone who has worked with asbestos.
Asbestos exposure results when someone either inhales asbestos particles or makes contact with them through skin and clothing, which can lead people to inhale those particles.
While construction projects no longer use asbestos because of its health risks, it does appear in older construction, meaning people could still encounter it in older buildings. However, the U.S. government officially banned the use of asbestos in construction in 1978. By 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also banned the use of asbestos for new uses in new asbestos products.
If you believe you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma, some signs and symptoms to look for include:
- Pain in the lower back or side of the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent coughing
- The sensation of having something stuck in your throat
If you notice any of these symptoms, especially if they persist, consult a healthcare professional to receive an examination and formal diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be able to file a lawsuit against certain potentially liable parties.
Understanding Mesothelioma Settlements in Illinois
Mesothelioma settlements in Illinois result when the parties involved reach an agreement, ending a lawsuit. Settlements for mesothelioma cases typically range from $1 million to $1.4 million dollars, but the exact amount varies from case to case based on each individual situation. Keep in mind that a settlement is different from a verdict, which is a decision that a judge or jury makes regarding the liability of asbestos companies.
The timeline for a mesothelioma lawsuit can vary. Generally, the process can take anywhere from months to years, depending on the complexity of the case and all the factors involved.
What Factors Influence Mesothelioma Settlement Amounts?
Multiple factors can affect the timeline and settlement of a mesothelioma lawsuit. The following are some main influencing factors to keep in mind:
Medical Expenses and Costs
You may see steep medical costs when treating mesothelioma, which is a serious condition that is often fatal. The more medical expenses you need to cover to treat serious illnesses, the higher the settlement amount is likely to be.
Lost Wages and Future Earning Potential
People diagnosed with mesothelioma may need to take time off from work to seek treatment and go through the recovery process. As a result, they will experience lost wages.
Additionally, some may not be able to return to work in the same capacity or at all after receiving their diagnosis. The costs associated with this would include lost future earning potential, which can also impact the total settlement amount.
Pain and Suffering Endured
People with a mesothelioma diagnosis could also experience pain and suffering as a result of their symptoms and the difficulties of daily life with this illness. They may experience physical pain along with emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression.
Victims’ families may also suffer from a loss when victims pass from mesothelioma.
All these losses are non-economic damages that could factor into a settlement along with economic damages.
Type and Extent of Asbestos Exposure
The type of exposure and the length of exposure to asbestos can also influence the total settlement amount in these cases.
For instance, different types of asbestos cause mesothelioma, including anthophyllite, crocidolite, and tremolite asbestos. Some are more likely to cause mesothelioma than others, and victims could experience exposure in different environments, such as mining facilities and other workplaces.
Also, if you suffered a long period of exposure to asbestos, you could see a higher settlement amount, as a company will be more liable for mesothelioma if it allowed employees and others to endure sustained exposure.
Important Considerations for Mesothelioma Victims in Illinois
Before filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, there are a couple of key factors to think about to increase your chances of succeeding with your case:
Without the help of an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, you may have a difficult time reaching a favorable settlement. Attorneys with experience handling these types of cases will know how to navigate them more effectively and can guide you through the legal process. Specifically, an attorney can help with negotiating a settlement and collecting evidence to support your arguments.
Learning more about how to find a good mesothelioma lawyer can help you make the right choice for your case. In a consultation, you’ll be able to discuss the options available to you and potentially begin building a case.
Statute of Limitations
To ensure you file your lawsuit on time, you must also file before your case exceeds the statute of limitations. This statute is a specific deadline you must file by, and it varies depending on where you file the lawsuit.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for these cases is two years from the time of the mesothelioma diagnosis or two years from the time of the victim’s death in a wrongful death case. This means you have two years to file a suit before you’re unable to recover compensation. An attorney can work with you to help you file on time.
Taking the right steps can help maximize your chances of recovering a full settlement, which could fall between the average amounts ranging from $1 million to $1.4 million.
Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.