Many have fallen victim to the harmful effects of exposure to asbestos, but not everyone fully understands the options for financial recovery after asbestos-related injuries have been sustained. With medical bills piling up on these victims, it is no wonder why individuals will seek out legal options for financial recovery. However, many of these victims may not be well-versed in legal terminology, nor are they experienced with legal disputes. With this in mind, we hope to provide some insights into what victims might expect when going down through the legal process towards financial recovery.
What is a Lawsuit?
The most basic description of a lawsuit is a legal claim or dispute filed in a court of law by one party (the plaintiff) versus another party (defendant). While some may claim to sue others over a dispute, the process of arguing and making demands is not an actual lawsuit until the proper documents are properly filed with a court of competent jurisdiction. From here, the claims may very well be dismissed unless the plaintiff files a proper claim and follows a very strict filing process. The lawsuit will not be considered final until either a formal resolution is met or the parties agree to a settlement outside of court.
What is a Settlement?
As referenced above, a settlement is a means by which parties to a lawsuit can resolve a legal dispute outside of a formal court proceeding. For example, the defendant to a lawsuit might decide that paying the plaintiff a certain amount, usually less than they stand to lose at trial is well worth it to make the lawsuit “go away”. The defendant may not necessarily believe they are guilty of the plaintiffs’ claims but may find their time and money better spent elsewhere. In other cases, some defendants may prefer to avoid any negative claims in the public eye, so they also want to settle a claim in private.
In general, a settlement is achieved when the parties sign a formal agreement detailing the terms of the settlement. Usually, the parties agree to a dollar figure to be paid from the defendant to the plaintiff and the plaintiff agrees to a release of legal claims to be made against the defendant. This settlement does not admit guilt on behalf of the defendant and it usually covers the defendant for any currently unknown harm that the plaintiff might discover in the future.
How does this apply to Mesothelioma cases?
When it comes to Mesothelioma cases, individuals experiencing the harmful effects of exposure to asbestos fibers may find themselves dealing with chest pain, breathing problems or a much shorter life expectancy. If your doctor discovers that former exposure to asbestos has now lead to cancer affecting the lungs, you could be facing some serious life-altering decisions. Whether it be expensive medical treatment or a painful and shorter lifespan, these are unfortunate decisions victims of mesothelioma have to deal with.
With the medical bills that may pile up, it’s no wonder that you may wish to consider your legal options. It may be in your best interest to seek out an experienced lawyer in your area that can assist you in the process of a lawsuit. During this process, an experienced lawyer should be able to assist you in determining the amount of damages you may be able to recover. Beyond that, the lawyer should be able to evaluate the strength of your case and determine the best course of action.
If you are not able to afford to wait out the lengthy lawsuit process that can sometimes take several years, positioning yourself confidently until a settlement can be reached is often a good idea. While you may wish for a settlement, it is best to reveal this information with the defendant until your lawyer believes this option is primed for pursuit.
Ultimately, every case is unique and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Being open-minded regarding your legal options will allow you to experience the best results for your situation without having your heart set on any one outcome.