Determining Value of Mesothelioma Case

Value of a mesothelioma case in simple terms means the total compensation a claimant can expect either though settlement of through court verdict.

Mesothelioma has no cure and thus very unfortunate for both the patient and their family, emotionally and financially. Further, the medical expenses for mesothelioma can also be very high. In such situation, compensation can provide great support. While all mesothelioma patients want maximum / high compensations, but in reality the compensations vary a lot from case to case. Mesothelioma compensation vary based on several parameters and in most cases it is too complex to identify a number. In such situations an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help provide a range of expected compensation.

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Mesothelioma Settlements

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused due to exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was a darling material several decades ago and was used extensively for construction, industrial, heavy machinery and automobile industries, just to name a few. When the dangers of asbestos exposures came out in open, production and uses of asbestos was restricted but by then several thousand people have been exposed to asbestos above danger limits. As mesothelioma takes as much as 10-30 years to show symptoms, the people exposed to asbestos decades ago are diagnosed with mesothelioma today.

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What is Mesothelioma Verdict

A mesothelioma case process has several stages:

  • Finalizing type of trial – bench trial or in front of judge and jury
  • Taking up trial date
  • Documentation and evidence collection
  • Jury selection (in case of selection of jury trial)
  • Trial proceedings
  • Verdict
  • Compensation payment (in case claimant wins)

But most mesothelioma cases never actually reach trial stage. They are settled even before the trial starts. But there are instances where either the defendants are confident of their case or the settlement offered is not sufficient, then the case goes for a trial.

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Army and Asbestos Exposure

Navy veterans are not the only ones which were exposed to asbestos while serving the nation. Asbestos related disease such as mesothelioma are also prevalent among army veterans.  In navy, the key cause of asbestos exposure was extensive use of asbestos in ship building material.

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Mesothelioma and Veterans

Asbestos mines, asbestos processing plants and households are not the only place where asbestos exposure could take place. Based on statistics, close to 30% of the asbestos exposure cases are witnessed with people who have served in military, navy, air-force, etc.

Millions of people have served in various US armed forces and many of them were exposed to asbestos during their duty. This was during the time period when asbestos was considered very valuable for military because of its fireproofing and heat resisting properties. Many veterans got exposed to asbestos after world war II till 1970s when it was decided to phase out the use of asbestos. The risk was not only in military but also to navy as ships used high levels of asbestos in them and many people working on them got heavy exposure to it.

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Steps in a Mesothelioma Trial

Filing a lawsuit against the company responsible for asbestos exposure leading to mesothelioma is one way through which a patient can get financial assistance for his medical expenses and to support his family.

Once a suitable lawyer to fight the case has been identified, the lawyer takes over and prepares for the case against the defendants. A good mesothelioma lawyer will make sure that the case is handled in proper manner based on evidences the patient provides and the lawyer collects from others. This also decides what type of trial bests suits patients case.

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Stage Four of Mesothelioma

Stage 4 is the last and most advanced stage of mesothelioma. Stage 1 and 2 are termed as initial stages while Stage 3 is considered to be advanced stage. As with all cancers, the stage is determined based on how far the cancer has spread from the initial location. Stage 4 is characterised by high spread of cancer to vital organs through the lymphatic system and blood stream. For example, in case of Stage 4 of Pleural Mesothelioma apart from entire lung being affected, the cancer would have spread to other vital organs such as esophagus and lymph nodes in the neck. In case of stage 4 of Pericardial Mesothelioma the cancer spreads to chest cavity and with blood stream remote parts of the body too. For Peritoneal Mesothelioma the cancer spreads throughout the abdominal cavity and to other vital organs of the body.

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Compensation in Mesothelioma Cases

Mesothelioma has no cure. With early detection of the disease the life span and quality can be improved. But unfortunately taking proper medical care of mesothelioma patient is expensive. This is where compensation received from mesothelioma cases can come as a great relief to the the patient and his family.

In many cases of mesothelioma exposure, the fault is with the firms involved. In such cases where the negligence of firms caused serious disease such as mesothelioma, the courts hold them accountable and directs them to compensate the patient for medical and earning loss apart from the emotional trauma to him and his family.

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Stage Three of Mesothelioma

Like all cancers, Mesothelioma also has been divided into stages. Medical science has divided it in 4 stages. These stages also indicate the progression of cancer into the body. Stage 1 and Stage 2 are considered to be stages where the cancer is in initial stage and is localized. Situation changes when mesothelioma reaches Stage 3. This is considered to be advanced stage of mesothelioma.

Stage 3 is generally identified based on how much nearby organs have been affected by the cancer. For example, in stage 3, cancer spreads to other vital organs such as – the abdomen, heart, ribs, esophagus, from pleural lining. The lymphatic system is also for sure affected in stage 3 of mesothelioma.

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Stage Two of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is divided in four stages. Stage 1 is the initial stage where the cancer has not spread to any other body part and still at the location of original tumor site. As time passes the cancer starts to spread from the original site to nearby areas and lymph nodes. It is to be noted that that the cancer in Stage 2 is also more or less localized. For example in stage 2 of  pleural mesothelioma the cancer spreads from the original location to say lining of chest all, diaphragm, heart sac etc. but it still does not spread to various organs of the body which generally happens in later stages.  

While the prognosis of mesothelioma when diagnosed on stage 2 is not as good as in stage 1 but it is still better than later stages.

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