Thousands of people get diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. Many of these people and their families pursue legal charges to recover compensation from the parties responsible for asbestos exposure that contributed to the illness.
However, these legal claims are uniquely complicated. And myths and misunderstandings about asbestos lawsuits can add complexity.
Myth: They end up in front of a jury
If you expect your case to go before a jury, you may be in for a surprise. Many asbestos-related claims never reach the courtroom because parties resolve them through a settlement.
Avoiding court can be preferable in many situations for a few important reasons:
- It can get victims and their loved ones compensation much faster
- It can protect sick parties from having to go through the stress of a trial
- It can reduce parties’ legal fees
Of course, a settlement may not always be possible or in victims’ best interests, in which case litigation can be appropriate. But understand that your case may not necessarily end up in the courtroom.
Myth: Proving liability is at the heart of every case
Establishing which party is liable for damages is indeed crucial in an asbestos-related lawsuit. However, in some cases, liability is not in question. Instead, the main point of contention could involve factors like:
- The extent to which one party may be liable
- Calculation of damages
- Whether the statute of limitations expired on bringing the claim
These elements can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of a case. So, even when parties do not dispute liability, a case could still take considerable time and legal strategy to resolve.
Myth: They always make people rich
When people read about mesothelioma claims, the headlines often highlight multi-million-dollar awards and settlements. And while the average settlement may be over $1 million, they do not necessarily make people millionaires.
For instance, a significant portion of these settlements covers the financial expenses plaintiffs have already covered.
Further, even if a court awards someone more than $1 million, there are challenges to actually collecting that money, especially if there is just one defendant. This is why it can be crucial to spread liability across multiple entities to increase the chances of maximum compensation.
Dispelling these myths can help mesothelioma patients and their families appreciate the value of pursuing a claim swiftly, aggressively and with legal support.