Mesothelioma claims: the difference between a living client claim and a fatal claim

Posted on 27th July 2020

There are two types of settlements for mesothelioma claims. Many settlements are for those who suffer currently from mesothelioma – the asbestos based cancer. Some, however, are for the loved ones left behind after the victim has passed away.

At Hodge Jones & Allen, we deal with settlements for living client claims and fatal claims, and it helps to know the differences between the two. Below, you’ll find a general guide for successful claims where an insurance company is paying the compensation.

Key Points

  • A successful compensation claim will be based on financial losses to date, and potential financial losses in the future.
  • Compensation can cover loss of earnings and amenity, as well as the cost of medical treatments and any aid, care and appliances a sufferer may need.
  • The family of a deceased victim of mesothelioma can still claim to cover the loss of income they may now face, as well as other expenses such as funeral costs.

What’s included in the compensation for a successful living client claim?

For a living client, a successful mesothelioma claim may typically cover your financial losses to date, as well as any financial losses you may incur in the future as a result of your condition.

Compensation can be awarded for the following:

Compensation for Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity

This is compensation for the mesothelioma condition itself. The amount of compensation will consider various factors including the person’s age, symptoms, treatment received and the anticipated loss of life.

The compensation is also intended to cover loss of amenity. This is typically how the mesothelioma condition affects someone in a non-financial way, on a day to day basis in going about their life and their inability to enjoy hobbies or socialising.

  • Care and Assistance

Someone who is suffering from mesothelioma will require care and assistance and compensation can be recovered to help cover the costs.

The amount of compensation recovered may depend on whether the care is provided by a family member or professional carer and for how long the care is needed for.

The claim will also consider where the care is provided, whether at home or at a professional hospice.

  • Aids and Appliances

A mesothelioma sufferer may require the assistance of several aids and appliances designed to make their life easier, such as adjustable beds or mobility scooters.

These aids can be expensive, and the costs can sometimes be included in a mesothelioma claim.

  • Services

A mesothelioma sufferer may be limited in the everyday tasks they can complete due to their condition. If a sufferer needs to hire extra help for tasks they could previously do without help, such as housework or gardening, compensation could assist with the costs.

  • Loss of Earnings

If the mesothelioma sufferer is working at the time of diagnosis, they may incur a loss of earnings as a result of absence from work or from being medically retired. Compensation to cover any past and future loss of earnings can be claimed.

  • Future Income Loss

Unfortunately, the life expectancy of a mesothelioma sufferer will be reduced because of the disease. As such, they may lose out on future benefits, such as pension income. A successful compensation claim might include loss of future earnings that the sufferer might not live long enough to see.

  • Miscellaneous Expenses

These can include expenses such as travel and parking costs for medical appointments, so long as they’re related to the mesothelioma condition.

  • Future Private Medical Treatment

There is currently no cure for mesothelioma but there are treatment options available. Some treatment is available via the NHS but some treatment, such as immunotherapy, is only available to mesothelioma sufferers on a private basis.

The costs of such treatment can run into tens of thousands of pounds. At Hodge Jones & Allen, we insist that all our mesothelioma claims include an agreement that the insurance company will cover the costs of private medical treatment in the future.

What’s included in the compensation for a fatal claim?

If a sufferer has unfortunately passed away due to mesothelioma, the victim’s loved ones can still pursue a compensation claim if they so wish.

Fatal client claims are split into two parts:

  • On behalf of the victim’s estate
  • On behalf of their dependants

Claims on behalf of the estate

Claims on the behalf of a victim’s estate can include compensation for the following:

  • Pain, Suffering and Loss of Amenity

An assessment is made as to what the mesothelioma victim would have received and that amount is then paid to the victim’s estate.

  • Care and Assistance

An assessment is carried out as to how much compensation would have been paid to the victim for the assistance they required. That amount is then paid to their estate.

A claim for a hospice can also be included.

  • Aids and appliances

Compensation can be recovered for aids and equipment purchased to help the mesothelioma victim.

  • Loss of Earnings

Any loss of earnings the mesothelioma victim incurred because of the disease can be claimed.

  • Miscellaneous Expenses

These can include travel and parking expenses for medical appointments and any other miscellaneous expenses related to the victim’s condition.

  • Funeral Expenses

The funeral costs can be claimed as part of the compensation in a fatal matter. There are restrictions on what can be claimed but our specialist team will advise about that.

Claims on behalf of dependents

Dependents, such as a spouse, partner or children can also claim for compensation. These settlements may typically include recovery of costs related to the following.

  • Bereavement

This is a set amount of money paid as a bereavement award after someone has passed away. In a mesothelioma claim, it will usually be the husband or wife left behind who receives this.

  • Loss of Financial Dependency

If someone financially depends upon the mesothelioma victim, they may be entitled to bring a financial dependency claim. This will normally be the partner left behind who used to receive the benefit of part of the mesothelioma victim’s income.

Calculations are carried out to assess the correct amount for past and future financial losses. The amount received can vary hugely from one family to another, depending on their income.

  • Non-Financial Dependency

If someone depended upon the mesothelioma victim to do certain things, typically around the home or garden, they can claim for the cost of that lost benefit.

The amount of compensation recovered in a successful mesothelioma claim varies considerably from one case to another because the compensation is assessed on factors which are very specific to the individual or their dependants.

There are differences between the items that can be claimed for a living mesothelioma client and for their estate or dependents. Sometimes, the amount of compensation received will be similar whether the case settles for the mesothelioma victim or those left behind but in some cases the value could be significantly higher or lower in one claim.

If you suffer from mesothelioma or are considering making a claim for a loved one, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our expert mesothelioma team, who will handle your case individually and advise on next steps. Please call 0808 231 6369 or request a call back online.

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