Court records indicate that most defendants in a mesothelioma law claim finish by settling out of court. Facing a jury in these types of trials is a huge risk for defendants – especially when large money amounts are put up against a suffering mesothelioma victim. When a case makes it to court after a settlement is not reached by the conclusion of the trial, a jury will be given instructions by a judge to deliver a verdict. When it is found that the defendant is liable, a jury can award compensation based on two types of damages: punitive and compensatory.
There are some legal terms that anyone filing an asbestos lawsuit should know.
Compensatory damages – these are based on actual economic losses.
Punitive damages – these are based on how offensive and malicious the behavior of the defendant(s) was (were) that brought on the lawsuit.
Punitive damages are awards given by a jury to a victim for the sole means of deterring the defendant and other similar companies from creating the same type of injuries again. Some awards are of substantial amounts dependent upon the deplorable actions of the defendant(s).
It is important to understand mesothelioma law in your particular state. Some set a limit on compensatory damages while many have no such limit on punitive damages.
Understanding Mesothelioma Law and Due Process
Every mesothelioma law firm knows that each case is unique and dependent upon individual circumstances of the mesothelioma victims. The general case process when having a mesothelioma law attorney file a claim is usually expedited because of the terminal diagnosis of the disease. The steps are as follows:
1. Preparation Phase – During this time, your attorney will obtain critical information about you, your work history and injuries. They will determine where you were exposed and which company manufactured the asbestos.
2. Filing Phase – Once your mesothelioma attorney has sufficient information about your case, they will file a complaint. This is a legal document detailing your injuries and which defendant(s) are liable.
3. Responses Phase – During this phase, the defendant will reply to your complaint.
4. Discovery Phase – This phase happens before a case goes to trial or even settles. Each side prepares evidence by requesting documents and taking depositions.
5. Settlement or Trial Phase – Most often, an asbestos lawsuit will settle before trial. On the off chance the case goes all the way to trial, your lawyer will present your story during the entire trial process.
6. Appeals Phase – Anytime you are awarded monies by a jury, the defendant(s) can file an appeal. When this occurs, there will be a delay in receiving your awarded monies. A very small percentage of cases will not have an appeal and you will receive payment within a few months after the trial completes.