Should I Accept A Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement or Go to Trial?

Two people meet in a legal setting

Many people with mesothelioma are offered a settlement when pursuing legal recourse for the pain, suffering, and damages their disease has incurred. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to accept a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement or go to trial. Both options have their pros and cons, and it’s up to each person to determine whether a trial is right for them.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Outcomes

All successfully filed mesothelioma lawsuits end in one of three general ways:

  • Settlement
  • Trial win
  • Trial loss

While mesothelioma lawyers can often predict what a likely outcome may be, even the most experienced lawyers never know for sure. Therefore, it’s important for mesothelioma victims to understand each potential outcome and the risks involved with going to trial.

Mesothelioma Settlements

Mesothelioma settlements occur when companies offer victims a lump sum payment to immediately halt the trial. Settlements help you avoid a lengthy trial process and provide compensation much sooner, which can be a determining factor for many patients with mesothelioma.

For example, a rapid settlement can be particularly beneficial if you’re ill and have accrued costly medical bills.

The benefits of settling before a trial include:

  • Receive compensation faster
  • Avoid the stress of going to court
  • Eliminate the risk of losing
  • Minimize legal fees
  • Ensure personal privacy

However, settlements allow companies to avoid liability for their actions.

If you accept a settlement, you will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which prevents you from speaking about the harm the company caused. The company is essentially off the hook. This lack of justice can make settlements challenging for some mesothelioma victims to accept.

Families who have filed wrongful death lawsuits are more likely to reject a settlement. Those who have already lost their loved one often want to feel a stronger sense of justice and may not have the same financial and time constraints as mesothelioma victims.

Whether you’re a mesothelioma victim or a surviving family member, you should always talk to an experienced mesothelioma lawyer before accepting or rejecting a settlement offer.

Mesothelioma Trials

If no settlement is offered or the settlement is rejected, the case will go to trial. Approximately 5% of all mesothelioma lawsuits end up before the courts.

Trials may be heard by a judge or a jury and can take several months or even years to conclude. Both plaintiffs and defendants will appear in court multiple times, presenting their evidence and arguing their side of the story.

If successful, you may receive millions of dollars in compensation — but only if you win your case.

Unfortunately, nobody can ever predict with certainty how a trial will end, and some trials end in the defendant’s favor. Lawyers can make predictions based on their experience, but they can’t control the outcome of any single trial, and they can never guarantee a victory.

Therefore, it’s possible that you will spend months in court only to end up with nothing.

You must decide whether the risk of losing your mesothelioma lawsuit at trial is worth the time, stress and fees to fight in court for several years. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will help guide and advise you on this decision, but it’s ultimately a choice that you will make for yourself.

Verdicts Can Be Appealed

Even if the verdict is in your favor, the defendant may have the opportunity to appeal to a higher level of court. Most companies will take advantage of this opportunity if possible.

As a result, appeals draw out legal proceedings for lengthy periods, delaying compensation for additional months or years. In some cases, defendants will win the appeal, and the mesothelioma victim will not be compensated at all.

Mesothelioma Lawyers Work on Your Behalf

Deciding whether you should accept a mesothelioma lawsuit settlement or go to trial is an incredibly difficult decision. Your lawyer’s job is to help you get the most amount of money possible, quickly and efficiently.

An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can guide you through the legal process and help you make the right decision for you and your family.

Author:Stephanie Kidd

Editor-in-Chief of the Mesothelioma Justice Network

Stephanie Kidd

Stephanie Kidd works tirelessly as a dedicated advocate for the vulnerable and underrepresented. Stephanie worked as a copywriter for an agency whose focus was communicating safety procedures on construction work sites. With her extensive background in victim advocacy and a dedication to seeing justice done, Stephanie works hard to ensure that all online content is reliable, truthful and helpful.

Last modified: July 23, 2019

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