Facts You Need to Know About mesothelioma settlements


Settlements for Mesothelioma Patients Once you file an asbestos personal injury lawsuit, there are two ways to receive compensation for your injuries If your case goes to trial, you may receive a favorable jury verdict awarding you compensation for your injuries

But in many instances, asbestos lawsuits settle out of court Settlements occur when common ground is found on the amount a defendant is willing to pay and the amount a plaintiff is willing to accept for pleural mesothelioma or other asbestos injuries Since there is no guarantee on how a trial will end, parties often reach settlement agreements to avoid prolonged litigation and the uncertainty of trial But just as there are no guarantees at trial, there are no guarantees that your case will settle It is best to consult experienced pleural mesothelioma lawyers about your options during the case process, including options for settlement

Determining When to Settle Pleural mesothelioma lawsuits are usually filed against multiple defendants who allegedly contributed to the injury Defendants are not always held equally liable, and states have different rules regarding how liability is divided among defendants Because a case�s outcome may be different for each defendant, the chances of settling also vary for each defendant Parties can reach settlements any time after the complaint is filed In some instances, it is possible to reach a settlement with one or more defendants early in the case process before many papers are filed or much discovery has taken place

This may be especially true for defendants who aren�t facing many lawsuits, don�t have much litigation experience, or are especially concerned about avoiding substantial litigation costs They may be inclined to pay some portion of the claims to end the litigation Plaintiffs may have incentives to accept offers from these defendants so they can have more resources to focus on the remaining defendants during discovery and trial Some cases settle during discovery, as more evidence comes to light and the strength of each party's case becomes clearer Others settle on the eve of trial or during trial for the same reason

Sometimes parties reach settlements after a jury has ordered a substantial award In some cases, a plaintiff may accept a settlement that's lower than a jury award in order to ensure receiving some payment soon In exchange, the defendant may agree to waive its right to appeal an award and thus delay payment Landmark Cases Borel v Fibreboard is a U

S landmark asbestos case that has provided precedents for thousands of asbestos claims It began in 1936 when Clarence Borel, a husband and father of six, started working in the shipyards and oil refineries along the Texas-Louisiana border He was unaware that shipyards would soon become a leading cause of occupational asbestos exposure Diagnosis and First Settlement In 1969, doctors diagnosed Borel with advanced asbestosis

That spring, he filed for a workers� compensation claim for injuries caused on the job He eventually settled for a little more than $13,000, but that was not enough to cover all of his medical expenses It was then that Borel asked Ward Stephenson, a Texas attorney, to sue the eleven asbestos manufacturers that knowingly exposed him to asbestos for $1 million in damages A verdict of more than $79,400 was made in favor of Borel, but he died of mesothelioma in 1970 before his trial came to a close All monetary damages were awarded to his wife

Recognizing Manufacturer's Responsibility Borel v Fibreboard became known as the first case to recognize a manufacturer�s responsibility of warning and protecting their workers against the hazardous effects of asbestos exposure Since then, there have been many promising mesothelioma verdicts A jury in Madison County, Illinois in 2003 ordered manufacturer US

Steel to pay Roby Whittington $250 million He is a former employee who was diagnosed with mesothelioma In 2012, a California jury awarded former construction worker Bobbie Izell $48 million in a lawsuit against Union Carbide Izell was exposed to asbestos on various construction sites in the 1960s and 1970s In 2011, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma

Factors Affecting Settlement There are many factors influencing the decision to settle This is true for both sides of a lawsuit But these reasons can usually be traced to a common concern: Is there some economic incentive to settling a lawsuit? Pleural mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are very aggressive Their physical, emotional and financial tolls mount quickly So although plaintiffs may want all of their losses compensated, it may be in their best financial interests to obtain some portion sooner rather than take a chance at receiving more compensation later

Defendants want to limit their liability for asbestos claims Sometimes the best way to do that is by agreeing to settle a case Whether or not the defendant is engaged in multiple asbestos lawsuits will affect the decision On one hand, settling a case may be a good strategy for avoiding a trial verdict that could encourage further lawsuits and litigation costs Defendants usually settle without admitting any liability, so settlements can't be used as admissions of liability in other cases

On the other hand, agreeing to a substantial settlement could encourage further lawsuits or affect the settlement amount which other plaintiffs are willing to accept for the claims Another factor affecting settlement is whether or not insurance coverage is available to pay asbestos claims This is particularly true with larger corporate asbestos defendants who usually have insurance policies that help them pay litigation claims and expenses Their insurers are usually actively involved in litigation and have considerable input into whether and when the corporations agree to settle The amount of insurance coverage available also affects the amount of settlement

What Settlement Means for Plaintiffs Plaintiffs usually have to do more than just deposit payments under settlement agreements Before agreeing to settlements, plaintiffs should understand that they will likely be responsible for doing certain things under the terms of the agreement For instance: They must usually agree to drop their lawsuits and waive any future claims against the settling defendant as a condition for settlement Defendants have little incentive to settle if there's a chance a plaintiff could sue them again In addition, plaintiffs must usually accept the settling defendant's unwillingness to admit liability

The defendant usually includes language in the settlement agreement that specifically denies responsibility for a plaintiff's injuries Finally, plaintiffs usually can't talk about settlement agreement terms In particular, they must usually agree to keep the amount of the settlement a secret For this reason, pleural mesothelioma settlements are usually reported as settling for an undisclosed amount It's wise to consult a qualified pleural mesothelioma attorney before agreeing to settle an asbestos personal injury claim

An even wiser decision would be hiring an experienced pleural mesothelioma attorney to explain your legal options, file your claim, and potentially negotiate a settlement on your behalf Do You Settle or Seek a Verdict? While a jury verdict may result in a larger award, there is no guarantee the jury will side with you Juries can be surprising, and many attorneys can attest there are no sure bets in a trial While the amount awarded in an asbestos lawsuit settlement may be smaller than what might be expected in a trial verdict, at least compensation is guaranteed The decision to settle or go after a verdict is best made with the advice of an experienced mesothelioma attorney

These lawyers understand the nature of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases They realize a quick resolution to a lawsuit is not only desired but necessary Ultimately, it will be up to you to accept or decline a settlement offer There is no magic formula to decide whether to reject an offer and take the case to trial The issue becomes whether you are ready to end the case by accepting the offer

Only you or your family can answer that question

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