Medical expenses, lost income, and out-of-pocket expenses can add up quickly after a mesothelioma diagnosis, but they may less important when compared to the physical pain and emotional suffering you experience. While we can’t take away this pain and suffering, we want you to know what to expect and how to protect your deserved legal recovery for it.
Pain and Suffering You May Experience With Mesothelioma
Physical pain and emotional suffering are unique to each individual and may be dependent on many different factors, such as:
- Overall health
- Stage of mesothelioma
- Prognosis or projected life expectancy
- Support of friends and family
- Beliefs about death
While all of these things shape your experience, there are also some common reasons for physical complications after a mesothelioma diagnosis. You may experience:
- Significant chest pain. This can be severe and prolonged. As the cancer spreads, it may interfere with lung, heart, and other vital organ function, which can be extremely painful.
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing. These physical symptoms are distressing and contribute to your chest pain.
- Persistent coughing. This may also contribute to chest pain and throat pain.
- Generalized pain. As more and more cells are damaged by mesothelioma, your pain may spread from your chest to other parts of your body.
- Pain caused by treatments. Mesothelioma often requires aggressive medical procedures such as chemotherapy, radiation, and experimental treatment. These procedures may have severe side effects that cause additional pain.
- Fatigue. As pain affects your vital organ function and your immune system struggles against the disease, energy levels may decrease, resulting in significant fatigue.
These physical consequences of mesothelioma are hard enough to deal with, but they often come with significant emotional problems as well because:
- Your prognosis is grim. The five-year survival rate for mesothelioma sufferers ranges from 1–to–16 percent, depending on which stage of the cancer diagnosis.
- You're overwhelmed by life changes. Your whole world was turned upside down by this diagnosis. The endless appointments and procedures, many unanswered questions, and the simple act of surviving each day is a lot of stress and anxiety.
- You're unable to participate in your daily activities. Because of energy levels, reaction to treatments, and other health factors, you could be rightfully depressed over the state of things.
- You're unable to plan for the future. Dealing with the possibility of reduced life expectancy is a difficult challenge. It may take considerable time and even counseling to acknowledge what you may miss in the lives of your friends and loved ones, as well as the aspirations you had for yourself.
Proving the Extent of Your Pain and Suffering
You know how badly you’ve suffered both physically and emotionally, but in order to recover damages in these categories, you're going to have to prove their financial value. This may involve proving to an insurance company or to a court the extent of this impact. This can be difficult to do, since receipts, paystubs, and other physical evidence doesn’t begin to quantify the intrinsic harm caused by physical and emotional distress.
However, the following evidence can help you prove the value of these significant damages:
- Your mesothelioma diagnosis and prognosis. These factors are critical to your case. The prognosis establishes the forecasted journey of what this disease will do to you and those who care for you.
- Evidence of your medical treatment. Each stage of your treatment is relevant to determining the value of your pain and suffering.
- Detail in your medical records. Your doctors should document each physical symptom in order to provide important evidence about the extent of your pain and how it impacts your quality of life.
- A wellness journal. You should also use a journal to record your daily symptoms, not only regarding physical issues but also your state of mind, quality of sleep, and other aspects of dealing with your condition that affect your emotional wellbeing.
- Witness testimony. An individual who sees you regularly may be able to testify about how mesothelioma has affected you physically and emotionally.
These types of evidence are critical to establishing a sound case, but they may not be enough to compel the insurance company or the court to provide you with fair damages. Instead, you need knowledgeable legal counsel to make a convincing argument about how pain and suffering compound the damage to your health.
Our Experienced Mesothelioma Attorneys Ready to Fight
Your mesothelioma legal recovery will be unique. It's dependent on all of the specific damages that you have suffered. Let us help get the fair recovery you deserve.
Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means you'll owe no legal fees up front and that, instead, we will be paid a previously agreed upon percentage of your recovery. Contact us online, or by phone at 318.5888.6303 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. You can also learn more about your rights by downloading a free copy of our report, Understanding Your Rights After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis.