How Civil Trials Work
The United States has two separate court systems. One branch is criminal jurisdiction courts hearing cases involving crimes like murder, robbery, and assaults.
All other claims of wrongdoing fall under civil court jurisdiction. That includes lawsuits for asbestos-related litigation where compensation is claimed from negligent companies who harmed an innocent individual.
There are two separate standards between criminal and civil evidence:
- Criminal Trial Standards: In a criminal trial, the state charges an individual with a crime and then must prove the accused’s guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. That’s a high burden of proof, given that a prosecutor must convince all twelve jurors that the facts presented to establish the accused’s guilt.
- Civil Trial Standards: Civil trials have a lower standard. Whether it’s a jury of citizens or a judge acting alone on a bench trial, the civil standard is based on a preponderance of the evidence that it’s more likely than not a defendant wronged the plaintiff. If the balance of probabilities indicates the defendant acted improperly and harmed the plaintiff, then a guilty verdict is entered. Following that, compensation may be awarded to the plaintiff according to how the jurors or judge sees fit.
Mesothelioma cases almost never go to trial. Less than 5% of mesothelioma lawsuits see the inside of a courtroom and end with a verdict.
Mesothelioma litigation is one of the most complex and time-consuming legal undertakings in the United States civil court system.
They’re also one of the riskiest issues to place before juries. That’s why the vast majority of mesothelioma lawsuits end in a negotiated settlement.
Both the defendant and plaintiff agree on settling without taking the chance of a trial rejecting the claim or awarding enormous compensation.