The Financial Impact of Mesothelioma


From costly treatment to lost income, the financial impact of mesothelioma is one of its most tragic consequences. Fortunately, there are resources that can help families alleviate some of the financial burdens they face and various legal pathways through which they can seek justice and compensation for their losses.

At SWMW Law, we know the financial burdens victims and their loved ones bear in the wake of a mesothelioma diagnosis and the long-term impact they can have on families’ financial health. It’s why we devote a large portion of our practice to helping mesothelioma victims navigate the process of filing claims for compensation and why we fight tirelessly for the financial recoveries they deserve.

Expenses & Financial Losses Associated with Mesothelioma

A mesothelioma diagnosis is a life-changing event with profound financial repercussions. This includes, as is the case with all cancers, the obvious costs of expensive medical treatment. However, the disease also comes with many other ancillary costs and losses that aren’t so obvious but which add to the tremendous strain placed upon patients and their families.

Examples of expenses and losses associated with mesothelioma include:

Medical Treatment

Treating cancer averages anywhere from $11,000 to $13,000 per month, according to some estimates, with an average total cost in the $150,000 range, according to AARP. These figures, however, are very general, as total out-of-pocket costs depend on a range of factors, including the type of cancer, insurance coverage, and the types of tests, medications, and therapies being used. Due to the rarity of mesothelioma, costs associated with treatments and specialists may be higher.

In addition to treatment expenses, there are other less obvious costs associated with mesothelioma. This includes expenses for traveling to and from appointments, as treating mesothelioma often requires patients to travel far distances to meet with specialists or obtain specialized care.

Other Health Care Expenses

Some mesothelioma patients require other forms of care, including assistance with daily tasks, in-home health care, or care in residential settings, as well as care for other medical conditions that may or may not be related to their underlying mesothelioma or their mesothelioma treatments.

Many people diagnosed with mesothelioma also seek mental health counseling and therapy as they grapple with the emotional burden of being diagnosed with such a profound disease.

Lost Income

Mesothelioma diagnoses prevent many people from being able to work and earn an income. In some cases, it may also require spouses and other family members to forgo full-time employment or all employment to provide care and assistance to loved ones.

Lost income and lost future earnings that would have been earned by mesothelioma patients can account for significant financial losses that only exacerbate the strain of dealing with this condition.

Studies Illustrate Financial Toll of Mesothelioma

Extensive treatment costs, reduced or lost income, and considerable out-of-pocket spending make mesothelioma a perfect storm for financial toxicity. These problems can be financially ruinous even for families who are in decent financial health and are most troubling for those who are underinsured, low-income, retired, or come from blue-collar families, which workers in many at-risk occupations for asbestos exposure do.

The financial toll of mesothelioma and other cancers is so pronounced that numerous studies have explored just how severely victims can be impacted. Some notable findings include:

  • Cancer patients are nearly 3x more likely to file for bankruptcy than people without cancer, according to a study published in Health Affairs. Bankruptcy filing rates among cancer patients under 65 are two to five times higher than the bankruptcy rate among those 65 and older.
  • In a study conducted by the American Journal of Medicine, researchers found that it took just two years for nearly half (42%) of the 9.5 million cancer patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2012 to deplete their life savings.

Helpful Resources For Mesothelioma Expenses

While our health is priceless, obtaining treatment and meeting daily needs comes at a cost – especially for conditions as rare and complex as mesothelioma.

Fortunately, there are resources patients and families can explore to help lessen the financial burden associated with mesothelioma. Some examples include:

  • Clinical Trials. Mesothelioma research is advancing at a rapid pace, which is why exploring potential clinical trials may be a viable way for patients to affordably obtain treatments, including new and novel medications or therapies. Typically, a clinical trial’s sponsor, as well as health insurance plans, will cover the bulk of costs associated with participation in these trials. Some sponsors and programs, such as the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, which helps connect mesothelioma patients with specialists and clinical trials, also offer Patient Travel Grants and other forms of financial assistance.
  • Financial professionals. Financial professionals, including qualified and properly licensed advisors, estate planning attorneys, CPAs, Certified Financial Planners, and more can be a great resource for mesothelioma patients looking to efficiently manage their money, retirement, and tax situations while covering expenses and accounting for related losses associated with their conditions and health care. Consulting with financial professionals can also allow you to explore options for establishing important legal and financial instruments, such as power of attorney, guardianship, and trusts that can ensure your legacy and the financial well-being of loved ones – especially if you’ve obtained settlements or awards through legal action.
  • VA Assistance. Because the U.S. military, and especially the U.S. Navy, used astronomical quantities of asbestos in its equipment and assets, veterans account for roughly 30% of all mesothelioma diagnoses each year, despite comprising just 6% of the country’s population. Given veterans’ overrepresentation in the data and their increased risks of developing asbestos-related diseases, the Department of Veterans Affairs has many resources that can help veterans and families ease financial concerns and obtain needed treatment. This includes not only helping veterans obtain care at VA health care centers partnered with mesothelioma specialists, but also a variety of benefits for disability, aid and attendance, caregivers, and more.

Seeking Compensation After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

In addition to finding and utilizing various resources, people diagnosed with mesothelioma may have options for recovering compensation from companies that produced, manufactured, distributed, or otherwise exposed victims to asbestos and asbestos-containing products. That’s because exposure to asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma.

Asbestos companies knew for decades (and as early as the 1930s) that asbestos had human health risks but continued to make asbestos-containing products that endangered the health of consumers, workers, and military personnel. As such, there is a long history of asbestos exposure victims holding these companies liable through litigation and by claiming funds from special asbestos trusts.

At SWMW Law, we specialize in helping mesothelioma victims and their families pursue financial compensation for their losses. Depending on the circumstances, this may include helping victims file:

  • Asbestos bankruptcy trust claims. After decades of exposing people to asbestos-containing products they knew were harmful, asbestos companies were ordered to fund trusts to compensate victims when they went out of business or reorganized through bankruptcy. These funds can be a viable source of compensation for mesothelioma victims.
  • Civil personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits. Mesothelioma victims may have grounds to pursue civil lawsuits against asbestos companies, suppliers, and other liable entities that are still in business. When successful, these claims can allow victims and families to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income and financial support, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic losses.

Our award-winning team at SWMW Law is passionate about providing the firepower mesothelioma victims need in their quest for justice and compensation.

From conducting meticulous investigations into exposure history, gathering evidence, and identifying liable parties to accounting for the full scope of our clients’ losses, our work is intended to help victims recover the maximum compensation possible. It’s also intended to level the playing field with powerful corporations and insurance carriers that work aggressively to deny, dispute, and underpay victims.

With a disease as financially devastating as mesothelioma, this level of dedication can make the difference in helping families pay for needed care, make up for lost income, and establish a legacy for loved ones – be it by ensuring that they are taken care of, able to attend college, or prepared to financially handle emergencies of their own.

Over our years in practice, we’ve helped countless mesothelioma victims navigate the asbestos trust process and the civil justice system and have recovered more than $750 million on their behalf. Some of our most notable victories include an $11.5 million jury verdict for a U.S. Navy machinist diagnosed with mesothelioma, a $9.7 million verdict for a client diagnosed with mesothelioma due to take-home exposure, and a $7.5 million settlement for a union pipefitter diagnosed with mesothelioma, among many others. You can see more examples of our results here.

SWMW Law: Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve.

If you or your loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer or health condition, our team at SWMW Law wants to help.

Backed by decades of experience and the insight of top-rated trial lawyers, we know the immense emotional and financial suffering mesothelioma victims endure and are passionate about helping them navigate the legal pathways to justice and full compensation. Our attorneys proudly serve clients nationwide, offer FREE consultations 24/7, and handle cases on contingency – which means there’s no up-front cost to hire our team and no fee unless we win.

To speak with an attorney about how we can help you, call (855) 744-1922 or contact us online.