No amount of money can take away the devastation of a cancer diagnosis. However, money can help victims and their families seek treatment, cover everyday expenses and provide for the future. Money can also serve as a powerful way to hold parties responsible for the cancer accountable.
This is why people who have asbestos-related illnesses and their families should take seriously their options for filing a legal claim if the illness was the result of negligence. In Minnesota, victims of negligence can be awarded three different types of damages.
- Economic damages: These damages refer to actual monetary losses. This would include lost income, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, funeral and burial expenses, medication costs, and costs related to special home construction projects, if a person’s needs require such measures.
- Non-economic damages: These damages are more difficult to calculate because they are typically subjective and aren’t reflected in a receipt or bill. Non-economic damages refer to damages like pain and suffering, loss of support and mental anguish.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are ordered as a means of punishing a negligent party. They are reserved for cases where the at-fault party knowingly put people in danger and at risk of getting hurt. In asbestos claims, these damages might be ordered if the liable party knew they were exposing people to asbestos but did nothing to warn or protect them.
Some or all these damages may be awarded in asbestos claims, and the amounts can vary considerably. For instance, even if the economic damages seem relatively insignificant, the courts could also award a much larger sum in non-economic or punitive damages.
Again, it is true that money cannot heal families and victims affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. However, it can serve as a way to acknowledge the various types of damages suffered and provide financial support now and in the future.