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8 Things That Mesothelioma Patients Need to Know!

Updated on February 17, 2020
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Asbestos: The Root Cause Of Mesothelioma
Asbestos: The Root Cause Of Mesothelioma

1. What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive, malignant cancer caused when inhaled asbestos fibers lodge in the lining of the lungs (pleural), abdomen (peritoneal) or heart (pericardial). The American Cancer Society records about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma each year in the United States. Almost 80% of these cases are due to working in factories or environment which deal with asbestos. As this is a fatal and a very expensive medical condition to treat there are many things that the patients need to know once they are diagnosed with mesothelioma. In this article we will discuss about these things in detail.

2. What is Mesothelioma Survival Rate?

While there are different stats gathered by different countries and medical practitioners across the globe, the average of all these stats suggest that 60% of mesothelioma patients die within a year after the diagnosis. 90% of the patients fail to survive 5 years after initial diagnosis. On rare occasions remaining 10% manage to survive for more than 5 years after initial diagnosis. Of course one important reason for these stats is that the disease is often detected at a later stage and most of the patients are above the age of 55 years, which makes it more difficult for them to respond to medicine or to fight this cancer.

Mesothelioma Survival Rate
Mesothelioma Survival Rate

3. What Are The Legal Options For Mesothelioma Patients?

As mentioned before, 80% of mesothelioma cases are due to prolonged exposure to asbestos in the work environment, you can file a lawsuit against the employer to reach a financial settlement. The kind of physical and emotional trouble which a mesothelioma patient and his family goes through cannot be compensated in terms of money but it can still help them cope up with the medical expenses and support the family of the patient in his absence. So patients are recommended to contact a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as they are detected with this disease and get his expert advice on how they could be compensated and what are the legal options. In the United States for example, the patient can file a personal injury lawsuit. If the patient dies before filing the lawsuit then his loved ones can file wrongful death lawsuit.

Legal Options For Mesothelioma
Legal Options For Mesothelioma

4. What Compensations Can A Patient Claim In A Lawsuit For Mesothelioma?

A mesothelioma patient can claim all the expenses like diagnosis, treatment, medicines, cost of travelling, hospitalization in his personal injury lawsuit. Additionally he can claim lawsuit for loss of job and emotional and physical sufferings which he and his family goes through. In case the patient dies, his loved ones can claim compensation under wrongful death lawsuit. Here the important point to know is that the settlement can be done with the asbestos company before the case reaches for hearing. This is out of court settlement. The companies prefer this option as it saves them time and money spent on court cases. Also patients receive their compensation much faster. But the important thing to note is that there is a huge variance in the amount that one could get as a part of settlement. So it is best to consult a mesothelioma attorney to get an estimate of amount which the patient and his family is entitled to.

5. What Are The Options For Mesothelioma Patients From The Army Background?

There are many cases of mesothelioma retired army personnel. This is because during the second world war, many of those were exposed to asbestos on the battle fields and naval vessels. Such patients may get compensation from the government in the form of free health treatment and other financial assistance like travel and care and support needed for such patients. The compensation amount for such patients depend on factors like :

1. The number of years you have served in the army.

2. The severity and stage of mesothelioma.

3.Medical bills submitted by the patient.

4.Amount and type of asbestos you have been exposed to.

5. The location where the lawsuit is filed

6. Should You Rely On Your Health Insurance To Treat Mesothelioma?

Well the sad part of mesothelioma is that in most cases it is detected after the age of 55 where the patient has already retired from his job or about to retire. So the employer insurance does not come to a patient's rescue here. But in case you are detected with mesothelioma while still working for the employer, you may still get most benefits of your insurance plans. This again depends on the terms and conditions agreed between the insurance company and your employer. In case of individual insurance plans, you may have to end up paying more premium and it will still not be sufficient to cover your expenses. So relying solely on insurance plans is not a good idea and legal options help in these cases.

7. Are There Charitable Organizations For Mesothelioma?

The good news is that there are charitable organisations which help mesothelioma patients. Patients should reach out to them in case you need financial assistance. Also those who wish to donate for mesothelioma cause can also contact them.

Some of them are listed below:

  1. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization in the U.S.
  2. Bernie Banton Foundation Australia.
  3. Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia (ADFA).
  4. Mesothelioma UK Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
  5. Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund UK .

8. How Much Is The Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement Amounts?

There is a huge variance between the upper and lower limit of settlement amounts paid to mesothelioma patients in the past. For example the highest amount paid so far is roughly $50 million paid to Roby Whittington by U.S. steel in the year 2003. Though the stats for lower limit are not available online but on an average the settlement amount in the United States is anything between $1 million to $1.4 million. So if a patient has doubts whether he can afford the lawyer's fees or not, he should not hesitate to approach mesothelioma lawyers as they would be willing to to fight your case for free until the claim is settled and later recover the fees from you once you receive the final amount.


Summary

The harsh reality of mesothelioma is death but the patient and his family can get some temporary relief if they know their rights and legal options, financial aids. This article was an attempt to help such patients.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Shrikant Jadhav

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