Should I Settle My Mesothelioma Injury Lawsuit?
Posted in Personal Injury on June 6, 2018
As with any injury lawsuit, there is a chance that the defendant may offer to settle with you before going to trial. However, it can be hard to determine if you should accept the settlement or not. After all, some settlement offers are less than your potential gains in court. So how do you choose?
There is no one right answer to accepting a mesothelioma injury settlement. Different situations have different variables that can affect your choice. Before you make the call, you should consider several factors.
Taking a case to court means that you’ll be spending a significant amount of time in trial. Not only will it take longer to reach a verdict, it can take even longer to receive your compensation. Accepting a settlement means that you’ll generally have access to your money much sooner, which can be critical if time is of the essence for mesothelioma treatment.
Amount of Compensation
Settlement offers are usually an attempt to end a case while saving time for both plaintiff and defendant, but they can also be a way for the defendant to save some money. A successful trial can end in as much as double the amount of compensation offered in a settlement.
It may seem obvious to take your case to trial, but there’s more to it than that. Courts offer no guarantees when it comes to a verdict, and the judge and jury may deem even the most hard-fought case as not worthy of as much compensation. If you accept a settlement, you have a guaranteed amount of money, instead of the risks of a trial.
Most lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that they don’t receive payment if you don’t win compensation. However, they will receive a percentage of any settlement or court award, though the percentages often differ. When considering accepting a settlement, be aware of the percentage your attorney will take before agreeing to a compensation amount.
Proof of Negligence
Mesothelioma claims require proof of negligence to show that the defendant knew about the danger of asbestos but chose to use it anyway. When an attorney proves the facts, it can result in a high award from the court. However, if you are having trouble acquiring proof of negligence or other critical evidence in your case, it may be better to accept a settlement instead of risking a loss in court.
Multiple Settlement Offers
Many times a company will continue to make settlement offers even after you have rejected one. In some cases, the company may offer a settlement up to the date of and even during the trial. You do not have to settle early if you do not find the amount acceptable, but the option may still be there if the circumstances of your case change before going to court.
Factors That Affect Settlement and Verdict Amounts
The amount of compensation depends on several factors:
- Financial hardship caused by mesothelioma, including loss of wages and medical bills
- Number of defendants sued in a case
- The details of diagnosis, extent of exposure, and past medical history
- If a company has an asbestos trust fund
These elements in combination with the jury can affect the amount you’re likely to win if the case goes to court. In some situations, the court may determine that the combination of circumstances makes you ineligible for any compensation at all.
Deciding a Course of Action
As every asbestos case is unique, and so is the best course of action. Consulting with an attorney can help determine your chances of success if you take your case to court. A Nashville, TN personal injury lawyer can also help you determine what amount is acceptable if you chose to take the settlement. In the end, the right answer is the one that you determine after careful consideration of your situation.