Mesothelioma Settlements versus Verdicts
If you have suffered damages due to asbestos exposure and the negligence of a company or business on that behalf, you’ll likely want to seek out some form of compensation. Mesothelioma and other related illnesses can be incredibly expensive to treat and as such, it can be difficult for victims to manage their medical bills while also being out of work due to illness.
What Are Those?
A settlement is a decided upon amount between an attorney and a negotiator on behalf of the company on what you are owed as a victim of negligence. They will often negotiate what is fair after going over the evidence and reach a conclusion of how much you should be compensated for your injury.
If you are reaching a verdict, that is handled by a judge and jury. This will be the result of a trial regarding your diagnosis and claim for compensation. Then once your attorney and legal fees have been paid, you will receive a payout which is your compensation. These payouts can vary greatly in size but for a mesothelioma case, they can sometimes be in the millions depending on the severity of your case.
Why Should You Opt For a Settlement?
Though you may receive a larger payout if you take your case to trial, it can take a long time and be more difficult. By waiting on a verdict, you may find that the jury doesn’t side with your case and you end up receiving nothing because the jury did not rule in your favor. Though the amount you may be awarded in a settlement would ultimately be smaller, you get guaranteed compensation rather than uncertainty.
They are intimately aware of the ins and outs of this process, so allowing your attorney to settle may be the best option for you.
You may also choose to settle simply because you don’t think you’d win a verdict case, expense and evidence aren’t viable enough for a review, or your legal fees may steadily begin to climb over time. By choosing a settlement you know what you’re getting into from the start and can easily negotiate out your compensation.
Average Payout for a Mesothelioma Case
The trust fund payments you might be able to qualify for may be a smaller settlement than you could get from taking your case to court, but that also greatly depends on the evidence you have. You need to keep up with your records and make sure to file your claim within the right timeframe so you can get your settlement.
Johnson and Johnson is a well-known company that has produced a wide variety of products that consumers have used for decades. However, their baby powder has been traced back to cases of ovarian cancer and other illnesses due to the amount of asbestos found within the talc. They’ve been forced to award over one hundred million in settlements to victims who have found themselves sick due to the baby powder used on them or that they’ve been using for years.
In 2003 there was a settlement made by United States Steel in favor of a retired steelworker who had contracted mesothelioma working at one of their plants. This single man alone was awarded about two hundred and fifty million but settled for less.
In the last two decades, there have been significant lawsuits against multiple companies spanning all manner of industries. Automotive, construction, manufacturing, and many more have seen some type of asbestos litigation brought against them for negligent exposure.
What Affects Settlement Numbers?
When you start filing a claim, you need to make sure you have everything prepared to do so. Mesothelioma is tricky and there are factors to your individual story and diagnosis that can affect how much the company is willing to award you.
Wage Loss and Medical Bills
You may be awarded more if your bills have piled up or if you haven’t been able to work due to illness. If you are a loved one who lost a family member to mesothelioma, you may be able to seek compensation to cover the medical bills that have been left behind. Or if you are a family member or spouse of someone with mesothelioma who has been acting as a caregiver, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your lost wages.
Compensatory or Punitive Damage
If the company you are seeking litigation against is found to be at fault, you may be awarded compensation based fully on your economic loss. The company in question may also be further punished for their negligence by awarding you more money so that they will reconsider ever putting workers or consumers at risk again.
If the company that caused your exposure was fully aware that their product or the environment would be damaging to workers or consumers, their liability raises considerably. Millions of dollars have been awarded in settlements for cases like these where the victims were unknowingly exposed while the company had full awareness.
Plenty of victims of exposure will file multiple claims against employers and manufacturers alike in hopes of being awarded their damages in full. If multiple companies are part of the same lawsuit, it is highly likely they will settle and try to avoid lengthy lawsuits.
The Process of Reaching an Asbestos Settlement
They will get that case ready for trial and then present it to the court for you. They may be able to settle the suit before it even goes to court, but that is entirely based on your individual case.
- File Your Claims: Your attorney will work with you on your specific case to determine what companies are liable for your injuries and will be viable to pursue. You may have one or multiple that you want to pursue and your lawyer will help you contact them and file your claim, which they have thirty days to respond to. Some companies may simply settle payment with you without taking the case to court, while others might deny you and you might have to take further action.
- Trial Preparation: Your lawyer will spend the next leg of the case building up evidence and validating your claims. The other side will be doing so as well. This is the research period and it may still go to trial, but some companies will try to settle at this stage as well.
- Trial: The trial may not go according to plan for the company, so you may find them settling before the verdict has been made. If they still believe they have a chance for victory, they may keep opposing until the end. In the effort to not prolong the case, you may want to accept your settlement rather than dragging out the legal process. Some companies will drag on their cases for a while even after the appeal process, so settlement might be the most efficient option for some cases.
The best thing to do when filing a claim and going through with a settlement or waiting for a verdict is to trust your lawyer. A lawyer specializing in mesothelioma cases will know these cases like the back of their hands and will be able to advise you properly on what you should do every step of the way. They can also help you figure out what kind of action you should be pursuing whether that be a trust fund, a settlement with a company directly, or going to trial.
There are so many who are going through the same experience you are and who have won their settlements, even with great odds ahead of them. It can be a difficult battle to face, but so many think that the reward for their suffering is worth it. A resident of Adelaide South Australia stated that if he could keep at least one person from getting an asbestos-related illness, then the legal battle would have been worth all the trouble.