Patients who have been diagnosed of Mesothelioma and their families most times do not know the Mesothelioma settlement process. You find some not even knowing if they can get settled at-all. The good news is that patients with this deadly illness can get settlement but it takes a process.
There’re instances when you may have to sought Mesothelioma settlement process via Asbestos Trust Funds. We’ve also discovered that it’s not all asbestos manufacturing companies that have trust fund in-place, so employees who gets the disease can easily go through the Mesothelioma settlement process.
Mesothelioma settlement process requires a patient of the illness or a family member of such patience first file a lawsuit. Now, the patients and the asbestos producing company which the patient worked for before contacting the illness will have to seat and reach a settlement before the case is formally heard in court.
There’re cases where settlement have been reached between the two parties during the trial. It’s left for the Mesothelioma patient and his family to accept the settlement or over it. Though expert attorneys in Mesothelioma cases at this instance will advise as necessary depending on the nature of the case at hand.
Here’re the Mesothelioma settlement process arranged in stages,
Stage A: You have to decide to pursue a legal action
After being diagnosed by Mesothelioma, you have to decide first to pursue a legal action against the asbestos manufacturing company.
Stage B: You must research
At this stage, your Mesothelioma attorney will research and gather enough useful information to enable him give flesh to your case. Some of the required information needed are but not limited to:
- Medical doctor’s report, which will include a diagnosis of mesothelioma
- Staff employment record with a valid union membership and military service data
- Payment receipts and bills for all expenses as it relates to the illness, which includes travel expenses to see a specialist for treatment (where applicable)
Stage C: You have to file a lawsuit
After gathering all the necessary information to have a successful legal Mesothelioma settlement process, the attorney handling the matter will then go ahead to file a lawsuit against the asbestos producing company. The attorney in-charge will have to work-out the following details:
- Venue to file: Attorney will decide on which state to file the legal suit in, which in most cases should be in the state where the patient lived and worked, mostly in the cases of those who have retired a long time ago.
- Settlement to claim: There are two major mesothelioma settlement claim available (a) personal injury (b) wrongful death. In the case of personal injury, patients file for settlement on their own behalf. Wrongful death are cases where loved ones of the dead file on behalf of their loved one that died.
- Defendant to name: There can be one or multiple defendants in a mesothelioma lawsuit, depending on the asbestos company or companies that are responsible for the exposure.
Stage D: Pre-trial Activities
This is the discovery stage, where all parties will file different motions and present their own information as it concerns the case
At any instance at this stage, the asbestos company’s attorney can stage a settlement offer to the plaintiff’s lawyer. The Mesothelioma attorney cannot accept the offer without informing the plaintiff. He will present the offer to the person suing, with advice on the advantage and disadvantages of accepting the offer that has been presented. The plaintiff may at such point accept the offer or reject it.
If the offer is accepted by the plaintiff, then a hard-copy agreement papers will have to be signed then the case is over. Meanwhile, here’re a few facts to consider before accepting the offer:
- First offer from the defendant’s attorney is usually too small compare to what they will pay if the settlement is decided in court. This is why most of such first offers are rejected.
- In cases where there are multiple defendants, you find some being willing to settle, while others are eager to battle it out in court, so it’s far better to treat each settlement offer separately instead of handling them together as a group.
- Most Asbestos companies who have faced mesothelioma lawsuits in the past and lost are most likely to settle quickly out of court instead of standing a chance to lose again.
- Not all lawyers can handle Mesothelioma settlement process effectively, so it better to choose attorneys with experience in Mesothelioma cases based on their knowledge and previous cases results.
If you choose to reject the settlement, the case will be taken to court where the jury will decide upon a verdict. Another option is to counteroffer through your attorney, who will negotiate settlement terms with the defendant’s lawyer.
Stage E: The trial
At this stage, the trail begins in court. Meanwhile a defendant can still present settlement offer while the trial is on in court, in some cases, a settlement is achieved after the verdict. But note that, if the verdict rules in favour of the plaintiff, which is the Mesothelioma patient or his family, the jury awards settlement based on expenses, lost income, pans and suffering, which really varies the amount to be awarded.