In the United States, a company can be held liable if it takes negligent or reckless actions that cause harm to another person. This means that companies that work with asbestos or asbestos-contaminated materials or companies that design, manufacture, or sell asbestos-contaminated products can be held liable if they take negligent or reckless actions that result in another person developing an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma. For example, a company that works with asbestos or asbestos-contaminated materials can be held liable for failure to warn a worker or a customer that they could develop serious diseases due to asbestos exposure.
A victim or victim's family can recover different types of damages in an asbestos claim. Below is a look at the types of damages available in asbestos claims.
What are Damages?
Before discussing the damages available in asbestos claims, it is crucial to explain what damages are. “Damages” refers to a remedy that comes in the form of monetary compensation to the victim or victim's family. In simpler words, "damages" refers to money paid to a person by another person or by a company that was responsible for causing some injury, illness, or loss.
Damages Available in Asbestos Claims
There are three types of damages available in asbestos claims. They are;
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
These damages compensate a victim or victim's family for provable financial losses and harm. Examples of economic damages available in asbestos claims include;
- Medical expenses
- Travel costs
- Lost wages
- Funeral expenses
- Domestic services costs
Because economic damages come with a price tag, it is generally easy to prove these types of damages. For example, a plaintiff can prove travel costs using receipts.
These damages compensate the victim or victim's family for the impact an asbestos-related illness has had on their life. Unlike economic damages that come with a price tag, non-economic damages are subjective. This means it can be challenging to prove non-economic damages. Usually, it is up to the jury to decide the value of non-economic damages. Examples of non-economic damages available in asbestos claims include;
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Suffering and Pain
They are intended to punish the company that caused the victim to suffer the asbestos-related illness and deter them and others from such negligent or reckless behavior in the future. Because of this, punitive damages are only awarded when it is shown that a company engaged in reprehensible behavior or egregious misconduct.
Indeed, courts do not award punitive damages in all asbestos cases. However, when punitive damages are awarded, they tend to be quite high. Usually, when a jury awards punitive damages, it orders the liable company to pay millions of dollars.
In conclusion, it is vital to note that asbestos claims can be quite complicated in terms of calculating damages. However, a skilled attorney can help. Usually, recovering fair compensation in an asbestos case requires the skills of an attorney.
Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.