Mesothelioma Compensation

Mesothelioma compensation allows victims to afford medical treatments and get justice for this deadly cancer. This compensation can be accessed through a lawsuit, asbestos trust fund claim, or other avenues. Victims typically receive an average of $1 Million in compensation. Working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer is the best way to obtain full compensation as quickly as possible.

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What Is Mesothelioma Compensation?

Mesothelioma compensation is any amount of money paid out to those diagnosed with this rare and deadly form of cancer. Victims typically receive mesothelioma financial compensation by taking legal action against major manufacturers of asbestos-containing products.

Manufacturers are obligated to compensate mesothelioma victims since they knew that asbestos could cause life-threatening illnesses for decades but hid the facts to keep making money.

Did You Know?

Between 2004 and 2016, manufacturers of asbestos products paid out $15 Billion to victims through trust funds alone, according to a 2018 report from the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

Victims may access mesothelioma compensation through:

  • Asbestos trust funds: Some manufacturers could not keep up with the number of mesothelioma lawsuits they faced, so they declared bankruptcy to stop more lawsuits from being filed. In exchange, the companies were forced to set aside money to pay current and future victims.
  • Mesothelioma lawsuits: If a manufacturer did not establish an asbestos trust fund — and is still in business — it may be possible to file a lawsuit against them. Some mesothelioma lawsuits have awarded millions of dollars in compensation.
  • VA Benefits: Since asbestos was widely used in military vehicles and bases from the 1930s to the early 1980s, veterans who develop mesothelioma may be entitled to compensation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • Other health care options: Private health care options and government-sponsored programs such as Social Security may award mesothelioma compensation to those who qualify.

No matter the option, anyone looking to access mesothelioma financial compensation should work with an experienced lawyer. With help from a mesothelioma lawyer, victims may receive enough compensation to cover their expenses in a relatively short amount of time.

Quick Facts About Mesothelioma Compensation

  • Mesothelioma compensation amounts vary depending on what type of legal action is taken.
  • The average mesothelioma compensation amount from a lawsuit is about $1 Million to $1.4 Million if it settles out of court, according to recent industry reports.
  • Mesothelioma claims that go to trial may award anywhere from $50 Million to no money at all, depending on what the judge and jury decide.
  • According to a report from the RAND Institute of Civil Justice, the average amount of mesothelioma compensation awarded by asbestos trust funds is $180,000.

Benefits of Mesothelioma Compensation

Mesothelioma compensation can greatly help families afford the costs associated with this deadly cancer.

Mesothelioma can cost $500,000 or more just to treat, diminishing a family’s savings. Without treatment, mesothelioma can be fatal in a matter of months.

Costs of mesothelioma include:

  • Caregiving costs
  • Medical expenses
  • Medications
  • Surgical procedures
  • Travel
  • Other expenses, including assistance for loved ones

Once victims secure mesothelioma compensation, they can focus on healing without worrying about the costs of medical treatments and other expenses.

Types of Legal Compensation

The type of mesothelioma claim that will work best depends on the specifics of each case. The most common types of compensation come from filing an asbestos trust fund claim or pursuing a lawsuit.

Victims should consult an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to determine the best course of action in their case.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Through a mesothelioma lawsuit, the victim requests compensation from the active manufacturers of asbestos-containing products who harmed them.

The mesothelioma lawsuit process consists of: 

  1. Gathering evidence
  2. Filing the case in court
  3. Building a case
  4. Reaching an agreement between both legal teams

The amount of money a victim receives can vary depending on how the lawsuit concludes. Most mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court, but some proceed to a trial.


Through a settlement, both parties agree to stop all legal action. The defendants (the manufacturers being sued) agree to compensate the plaintiff (the person with mesothelioma).

Most lawyers favor mesothelioma settlements because they allow victims to receive compensation faster than going to trial. Some settlements may even award more money than a trial verdict would.

Did You Know?

95% of personal injury cases reach out-of-court settlements, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

A Texas man received $4.1 Million in a recent mesothelioma settlement. He served in the Marine Corps and also worked as a carpenter, both of which exposed him to asbestos.

Trial Verdicts

Sometimes, lawyers cannot reach an out-of-court settlement that satisfies both parties. In these cases, the lawsuit then proceeds to the trial phase. A judge and/or jury will hear both sides of the case during the trial and render a verdict.

Verdicts can sometimes award more mesothelioma compensation than settlements. For example, a jury awarded a 73-year-old New York man with $8 Million in 2019. The former civil engineer worked with spray-on asbestos in the 1960s.

However, the judge and/or jury may not always side with the plaintiff. If they side with the defendants, the plaintiff will not receive compensation.

Asbestos Trust Funds

Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products typically establish asbestos trust funds by filing for bankruptcy. Through an asbestos bankruptcy trust, a company agrees to compensate a victim if they meet certain criteria established by a trust.

To receive this compensation, victims need to show they used the asbestos-containing products made by the manufacturer which established the trust.

Oftentimes, many mesothelioma victims qualify to receive compensation from more than one bankruptcy trust fund since they were usually exposed to multiple asbestos-containing products.

Today, there is over $30 Billion in asbestos trust funds for future claimants.

Who Is Eligible for Mesothelioma Compensation?

Anybody that developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos may be able to receive financial compensation, provided they can prove what manufacturers are responsible.

Mesothelioma compensation for family members may also be available in some cases. For example, if a person dies due to mesothelioma, their loved ones may be able to take legal action to cover any remaining medical bills.

Family members who didn’t work with or handle asbestos-containing products directly may also develop mesothelioma through secondhand exposure. If this happens, they can also file a lawsuit against certain manufacturers of asbestos-containing products to receive compensation.

Victims and their families should consult with a mesothelioma attorney to learn who may be eligible for compensation.

How to Receive Mesothelioma Compensation

To receive compensation, victims need to present evidence that a company caused their health problems and then file an asbestos trust fund claim or a lawsuit.

There is no guarantee that someone with mesothelioma will receive compensation. However, by working with a mesothelioma lawyer, victims have a better chance of getting the money they deserve.

Get an in-depth look at the compensation process — and how a lawyer can help — below.

Gather and Organize Evidence

First, evidence must be gathered that shows how and why the victim developed mesothelioma.

This evidence includes: 

  • Medical Records: These records confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis and show how the disease has impacted the victim’s life for the worse.
  • Written Doctor’s Statement: In a legal sense, medical records may not be enough to prove that asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma. A doctor’s written statement can officially link the cancer to asbestos exposure.
  • Work History: Many people were exposed to asbestos at their jobs. Work-related documents (such as proof of employment) can help narrow down where and when the victim was exposed.

While there are no guarantees, cases with more solid evidence of asbestos exposure may result in a larger amount of mesothelioma compensation.

Determine Companies at Fault

After the basic evidence has been gathered, lawyers will determine what asbestos companies may have caused their client to develop mesothelioma.

The best mesothelioma law firms will have a database of asbestos worksites and products to help their clients track down exactly where, when, and how they were exposed.

File a Lawsuit or an Asbestos Claim

Once the evidence has been gathered and the companies identified, the client and their lawyers will either file a lawsuit or an asbestos trust fund claim.

Lawyers can name multiple manufacturers in a lawsuit, or file several different asbestos trust fund claims, depending on how many asbestos-containing products caused the victim to get sick.

Statutes of Limitations and Legal Claims

Some compensation claims are subject to statutes of limitations. These are laws that dictate how much time you have to take legal action after receiving your diagnosis.

In most states, personal injury claims must be filed within 2-3 years of your diagnosis. Family members often have 2 years to file a wrongful death lawsuit claim after the victim has passed away.

However, the best — and only — way to know for sure how long you have to file a claim is by working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer.

Common Questions About Mesothelioma Compensation

If you are interested in receiving mesothelioma compensation, you may have many questions. Get answers to important questions below.

How much compensation will I receive?

The amount of compensation you may receive will depend on the type of compensation you seek, as well as the severity of your suffering. Typically, lawsuits that end in a settlement pay more money than trust funds. However, the values vary with each case.

Your compensation claim will be evaluated to determine how much money you will receive. Compensation claims adjusters follow a schedule of standard payouts depending on specific illness levels. Typically, claimants receive monthly payouts.

Many factors will influence your compensation amount, including: 

  • Illness Severity: People with minor illnesses like benign tumors and non-life-threatening tissue scarring may receive less compensation than those with fatal asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.
  • Victim Expenses: Courts and trust funds consider the victim’s medical costs, lost wages, and personal suffering. They may also award punitive damages against highly negligent defendants.
  • Other Payment Sources: Compensation claims may be adjusted if you have received settlements in claims against other defendants, workers’ compensation, or benefits from Medicare or Medicaid.

People with mesothelioma often receive the highest compensation amounts possible in any claim.

How long will it take to receive compensation?

Compensation time frames depend on how severe a claimant’s case is and the type of claim being made. While lawsuits can take years to play out, some trust fund claims get processed in a matter of months.

Without legal help, it may be near impossible to receive financial compensation in a timely manner.

Since many mesothelioma patients face unfavorable life expectancies, it’s essential to work with a lawyer to accelerate your compensation claim timeline.

Why should I work with a lawyer to receive compensation?

It is typically almost impossible to receive mesothelioma compensation without a lawyer’s help.

Asbestos lawyers have years or decades of experience in handling mesothelioma cases specifically. They work their hardest to get the greatest amount of mesothelioma compensation for their clients.

While you can file a lawsuit or trust fund claim with a general lawyer, they may not know how to get the most compensation for your claim. Lawyers also understand the best time to file a lawsuit or an asbestos trust fund claim.

Other Types of Mesothelioma Compensation

Outside of asbestos lawsuits or trust funds, government programs or insurance plans may award victims with mesothelioma compensation in some cases.

Learn more about other ways people can receive mesothelioma compensation below.

Mesothelioma Compensation for Veterans

From the 1930s to the early 1980s, every branch of the U.S. military relied on asbestos to construct bases, trucks, airplanes, and ships. 1 in 3 people diagnosed with mesothelioma is a veteran.

Today, veterans can receive mesothelioma compensation through VA benefits and other programs.

VA programs that offer compensation include:

  • Aid & Attendance
  • Housebound Benefits
  • Pensions
  • VA Disability Compensation
  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC)

Veterans should work with a mesothelioma lawyer who can help them gather the right information to file VA claims and coordinate with a Veterans’ Service Officer (VSO) to make sure the claim is filed properly.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance can help offset the costs of mesothelioma. Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma should review their health insurance plan to see what expenses will be fully or partially covered.

Depending on different health insurance plans, not every expense may be covered. This is why some people explore other compensation options, such as a lawsuit or trust fund claim.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare and Medicaid are government programs that may cover some mesothelioma expenses.

Here is a breakdown of each program:

  • Medicare: This federal insurance program covers those over the age of 65 and some younger people with select disabilities.
  • Medicaid: This state-operated insurance program covers health care costs for those with low incomes. In some cases, it may also cover expenses that Medicare does not.

Those looking to qualify should investigate the Medicare and Medicaid government websites for more information.

Long-Term Disability Insurance

Those with mesothelioma usually cannot work as they receive treatments, and many can never go back to working at all. Fortunately, long-term disability insurance can cover a portion of a victim’s living expenses if they can no longer work.

Those with long-term disability insurance can use their compensation pay for food, mortgages or rent, car payments, and other expenses.

According to National Public Radio (NPR), it usually takes 3-6 months for long-term disability insurance to take effect.

Social Security Disability Insurance

Some mesothelioma patients can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if they are under the age of 65 but can no longer work due to their illness.

While most people diagnosed with mesothelioma are over the age of 65, it is sometimes diagnosed in younger adults and even teenagers.

People may receive SSDI if they worked long enough to qualify and have paid their Social Security taxes, according to the official Social Security website.

Legal Help to Receive Compensation

Mesothelioma compensation is crucial for anyone with this rare form of cancer. There are many legal options to receive compensation, but most of them can only be accessed with the help of an experienced, specialized lawyer.

Mesothelioma lawyers know how to:

  • Build strong claims and cases
  • File cases with the proper courts before deadlines
  • Get large amounts of compensation for clients

To learn more about how a lawyer can help with your mesothelioma compensation claim, get a free legal case review today. Our team can answer your questions and recommend what steps you can take next.

Mesothelioma Support Team
Stephanie KiddWritten by:


Stephanie Kidd grew up in a family of civil servants, blue-collar workers, and medical caregivers. Upon graduating Summa Cum Laude from Stetson University, she began her career specializing in worker safety regulations and communications. Now, a proud member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) and Editor-in-Chief of the Mesothelioma Cancer Network, Stephanie serves as a voice for mesothelioma victims and their families.

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