Many mesothelioma patients are hesitant to file a lawsuit, fearing their case may take a long time to resolve. However, most mesothelioma claims are settled out of court.
What Are Settlements?
Mesothelioma settlements are awarded to victims of asbestos exposure who developed mesothelioma as a result of the negligent actions of the asbestos manufacturing companies responsible for producing the asbestos parts and products to which the victim was exposed. Settlements are monetary amounts agreed to by both parties to avoid a trial. Because there is a high degree of uncertainty in trials, settlements are a surefire way to receive compensation.
Benefits of Settling
Receive a Negotiated Sum
The primary benefit of mesothelioma settlements is receiving an agreed upon sum of money. Going to trial can be risky because the outcome is placed in the hands of a jury, whose opinions may be swayed by the defense counsel.
Avoid a Lengthy Trial
Trials move slowly, and unfortunately time is not a resource most mesothelioma patients have. Agreeing to settle a suit can significantly expedite the payout process, and that money may provide funding for better treatment.
Settle in Private
One of the disadvantages of trials is they are public. Settlements also allow you to keep your compensation private.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits never go to trial. A large majority of cases are settled out of court to save clients the time and hassle of a trial.
How Much Are Settlements Worth?
Settlements vary in amount from case to case and out of court settlements are rarely made public. However, there are several estimates of mesothelioma settlement amounts made through policy research. A report by the Rand Corporation in 2005 found that the overall compensation for mesothelioma lawsuits rose sharply in the 1990s.
Average mesothelioma settlement:
Settlements may be worth even more now. Mesothelioma settlement amounts are decided based on many factors and some of these factors tend to go up in value over time. Medical expenses, lost wages, and debt caused by lost wages have all potentially increased in value since 2007. Also, increasing life expectancies can cause an increase in potential lost wages.
How Are Settlements Determined?
The amount of compensation depends on various factors involved in the negotiation of the settlement with the asbestos companies. Every settlement is different and some factors may be more important than others in negotiating a settlement, but there are certain topics consistently covered in every case.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Asbestos exposure history
- Accumulation of debt from lost wages
- Minor children and other dependents
A mesothelioma settlement is an agreement made between the patient or patient’s family and the at-fault asbestos manufacturing company. Settlements are amounts agreed to that allow both patients and defendants to avoid going to trial. Most mesothelioma lawsuits progress as if they are going to trial, and there are quite a few steps involved in this process. The steps involved in mesothelioma litigation include discovery of evidence, depositions and pretrial motions.
During this part of the lawsuit process, mesothelioma attorneys attempt to force the hand of the asbestos companies into offering an acceptable settlement. This involves many formalities and negotiations, but both parties usually intend to settle unless there are unusual circumstances. Because of this, an overwhelming majority of all lawsuits, including mesothelioma lawsuits, are settled out of court.
Should I Take My Case to Trial?
Mesothelioma cases go to trial when the plaintiff and the asbestos company can not settle on the amount of compensation. This is rare, as most mesothelioma cases are resolved out of court because there generally exists a significant amount of evidence in favor of the patient, encouraging asbestos companies to settle.
The primary disadvantages of going to trial are the uncertainty of a jury verdict and the expense and the length of time the process takes, so settlement agreements are sought out the majority of the time. However, every mesothelioma case is different and it could potentially benefit a patient to seek a verdict. Find out the best course of action for you by getting connected to top mesothelioma law firms.