Every year, scores of asbestos companies settle lawsuits with mesothelioma victims to avoid costly public trials. The resulting settlement means victims get compensation for injuries, funds to pay for medical treatments and capital for long-term financial security.
Mesothelioma settlements are monetary sums that have been accepted by both parties in lieu of a trial. Settlement amounts vary widely based on individual case circumstances.
Up to 90 percent of mesothelioma and asbestos-cancer lawsuits end in a settlement before going to trial. Most asbestos companies want to avoid the publicity and expense of a trial. For patients, settlements allow for a quick end to what could have been a lengthy legal process.
Because of the variable nature of mesothelioma cases, settlement amounts can range widely. In 2015, an unsealed court document in Illinois showed 38 claimants filed asbestos-related lawsuits with a total value of about $22 million. The records showed 850 asbestos victims across the country—just a small percentage of asbestos claimants overall—had been awarded $334,711,143 through the court system and $182,259,276 from bankruptcy trusts.
Legal experts say mesothelioma trial awards average $2.4 million, but jury verdicts differ based on case facts and jury decisions. Even if victims win the trial, the award may be delayed if the at-fault company decides to appeal the jury’s decision. Appeals courts may overturn trial awards.
The average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million. Even though settlement amounts are typically lower sums than the average trial awards, the compensation is guaranteed and usually arrives in a matter of weeks
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After a mesothelioma lawsuit is filed, the courts generally fast track the litigation because of the urgent needs of the patient. After the initial stages of the lawsuit, including discovery and depositions, attorneys from both sides will discuss possible settlement terms.
The process of a settlement is a negotiation. If the company’s offer is too low, your attorney will discuss the next steps of the case. There are no guarantees an agreement will be reached, so your attorney should always be prepared to go to trial. As a starting point for determining a settlement, attorneys on both sides take several factors into consideration:
The decision to settle an asbestos cancer case or follow through with a lawsuit depends on a variety of factors. The overall goal is to collect compensation that will pay for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Our advocates connect mesothelioma patients with the nation’s top-rated asbestos experts. Before our legal experts agree to any settlement, we help you understand the offers so you can make a sound legal decision.
Once a settlement is reached, plaintiffs must agree in writing to terms and conditions. Common terms of agreement include the following:
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