What types of damages can be awarded in asbestos claims?

If you have lost a loved one due to mesothelioma or asbestosis, money may very well be the last thing on your mind right now. You are probably more focused on handling funeral arrangements, going through estate planning documents and trying to manage the grief and sadness of the loss.

While money may not be your top priority, the unfortunate reality is that a death caused by an asbestos-related illness typically takes a considerable financial toll on the decedent’s family and loved ones. Assessing this toll and understanding your legal options can help you minimize the financial impact of the loss by pursuing compensation from a negligent party.

If you choose to file a claim for compensation based on wrongful death in North Carolina, there are a few different types of damages that could possibly be awarded should your case be successful.

  1. Economic damages: These relate to financial expenses that can be added up and were incurred as a result of the illness and death of your loved one. For instance, funeral expenses, lost income as well as legal and medical bills can all be recouped through legal action.
  2. Non-economic damages: These are damages that are much more subjective and are not necessarily financial. However, because they are still significant, they are not overlooked. Financial awards can be available to cover pain and suffering as well as loss of guidance and consortium.
  3. Punitive damages: In some cases, a judge or jury determines that a defendant’s actions that contributed to the death were so malicious and willful that further financial consequences should be levied. These are referred to as punitive damages and can be awarded strictly to punish the defendant.

All these damages may be available in cases involving wrongful death due to asbestos exposure, though they are not all awarded in every case. In order to assess what types of damages you may be eligible to receive, you can discuss the specifics of your case with an attorney familiar with asbestos litigation.