Asbestos litigation may not be as familiar to people as other types of personal injury claims. Because of this, it is not unusual for people to have certain misconceptions about mesothelioma claims. Below, we clarify a few myths that can lead people to make uninformed, costly mistakes.
Myth 1: People always get millions of dollars
Multi-million dollar lawsuits and awards often make headlines, but expecting this outcome for every case is not realistic. Every case involving asbestos-related illnesses involves unique people and circumstances, and awards and settlements come down to what parties can prove and which dots they can connect.
That said, average settlements can come to $1 million or more, and more sizable awards are certainly not out of the question. For instance, a jury recently awarded $20 million to the family of a man who died from mesothelioma.
To maximize compensation, parties can work with attorneys to assess and calculate all types of damages that may be available.
Myth 2: You have to go to court
Litigation is something people expect when they file a lawsuit. However, in many cases, parties settle a dispute before going to trial. In fact, only a small percentage of these cases make it that far.
Further, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods can also help people reach agreements without litigation.
Settlements and ADR are often preferable for parties interested in finding faster, less costly outcomes.
Myth 3: People walk away with a check
Oversimplifying these claims is something people often do. For instance, people might imagine getting an award or settlement and walking away with a check they can deposit in the bank.
Unfortunately, the reality is more complicated. It takes time to collect compensation, whether from a settlement or a trust fund. It is not unusual for it to take weeks or sometimes months. Further, in some cases, parties may only be able to pay a fraction of the awarded sum. Expecting to get the full payment immediately could lead to some unwelcome surprises.
It’s understandable for people not to know what to expect or what the legal process looks like regarding asbestos litigation. However, legal guidance can help people manage their claims – and expectations.