One of the key factors in pursuing a claim for mesothelioma compensation is to ensure a victim of asbestos exposure, who is diagnosed with the fatal incurable mesothelioma cancer, can see justice and financial security assured for their spouse and immediate family in the remaining time they have left.
In an overwhelming number of cases a confirmed diagnosis is made at a late stage in the spread of the disease. A victim who initiated the claim may only expect to survive another 4 to 12 months and will often pass away before the process can be completed or, in some instances, even before a claim even begins.
It is a particularly emotional and vulnerable time for a spouse and close family, and the thought of undertaking a legal process may feel even very daunting indeed but claims involving “the lost years” may be significantly different if settled before a patient’s death.
“The lost years”
Claims for “the lost years” are based upon “normal life expectancy” and usually includes amounts awarded for loss of earnings, pain and suffering experienced according to symptoms, assistance with medical treatment, necessary care-related travel, care in the home – particularly 24-hour care during the last few months of life – and funeral costs.
Unfortunately, if the mesothelioma claimant does pass away before a settlement can be completed, or is only commenced after death by a spouse or close family members, the compensation will almost certainly be calculated differently and a reduced amount should be expected.
If a mesothelioma victim is relatively young and / or has a high income, the total compensation amount is usually higher than would be expected to be awarded to an older claimant or someone on a lower income. According to The Department of Work and Pensions nearly 95 per cent of mesothelioma victims are male and over 65 years of age, and the amounts awarded can reach an additional average of £14,000 if the claimant was still alive at the time of settlement.
According to the prescribed guidelines a judge must follow, the total amount awarded for a mesothelioma claim will depend on the following basic considerations:
General Damages for the “pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life”, which is determined by the amount of time, which has elapsed between the emergence of mesothelioma / asbestosis symptoms and potential life expectancy.
Nursing Care provided to assist around the home, such as help with washing and dressing, which may be supplied by a spouse , family member or a nursing assistant.
Lost Earnings from the point when mesothelioma has been diagnosed and when forced to stop working, indefinitely. A claim is usually calculated at a percentage based on the amount of money that would have been earned had the condition not developed. Medical evidence will be given to determine the length of time a victim is entitled to claim based upon average life expectancies.
Additional Expenses may also include special equipment, clothing or assistance with tasks around the house or garden normally carried out by the claimant and may extend to travel costs for hospital and doctor appointments.