Individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos fibers may choose to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the exposure. These lawsuits can be critical in helping an individual recover resources that will help them pay for medical treatment. One way in which the amount of damages may be determined is by valuing the victim’s pain and suffering.
What is Pain and Suffering in Mesothelioma Cases?
An individual may experience physical and mental pain and suffering as the result of developing mesothelioma. Physical pain and suffering includes a person’s actual physical injuries. This involves the pain and discomfort that the person’s condition imposes on them. In mesothelioma claims, this may include pain in the chest, abdomen, or pain during coughing. Additionally, there is pain and discomfort as a result of treatment the individual receives.
Additionally, a person may experience mental pain and suffering. This involves any negative emotions as a result of the condition, including, but not limited to, mental anguish, emotional distress, fear, anxiety, or the loss of enjoyment life. A person diagnosed with mesothelioma may experience many of these emotions as a result of the numerous symptoms associated with the disease. These symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Shortness of breath;
- Weight loss;
- Bowel obstruction;
- Anemia; or
- If the cancer spreads, difficulty swallowing or swelling of the face and neck.
Further, if the prognosis is not good, there is significant mental pain and suffering as the victim faces the prospect of their life ending.
How is Pain and Suffering in Mesothelioma Cases Determined?
It can be difficult to value an individual’s pain and suffering because it is largely subjective. Unlike a person’s medical bills, pain and suffering is not easily quantifiable. Often, there are no specific guidelines for the jury to follow in making the determination of the value of pain and suffering. Instead, the judge will instruct the jury to use their best judgment to reasonably value the claim. As a result, providing the jury with a clear picture of how the diagnosis and symptoms of mesothelioma have affected the victim’s life will help in obtaining the highest possible award.
In some instances, the court will use what is known as a multiplier to determine the amount of pain and suffering to award. When using a multiplier, the court will multiply the total medical bills and lost earnings by some number, usually between 1.5 and 5. The product of that multiplication is the pain and suffering award.
Speak with a Mesothelioma Attorney
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be facing significant medical expense in your battle with this disease. Filing a lawsuit to recover damages from those responsible for your exposure to asbestos fibers can help you obtain the resources you need to pay for medical expenses. At the Throneberry Law Group, we have experience in helping victims file these types of claims. If you have any questions,contact us today.