Whenever you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you likely have a lawsuit coming soon. That’s because you deserve compensation from the responsible party who put you in a situation of exposure to the asbestos that caused your disease. Often, a mesothelioma lawsuit will lead to a settlement, which is much easier on both parties. However, occasionally, an agreement cannot be reached, and the case will go to a jury trial. You may be wondering if a trial is worth the time and stress.
By looking at cases that have gone to trial, one of the first things you will see is that they usually result favorably for you. In fact, the jury may even pay you more than you would have gotten in a settlement. However, there is the risk too. If the jury decides that the defendant is not responsible, you could walk away with nothing.
Let’s look at some successful verdicts that have worked out for people who found out they had mesothelioma:
- In 2013, Rose-Marie Griggs had contracted mesothelioma when exposed to asbestos dust on her ex-husband’s clothing. Her case went to a jury trial, and she was awarded $27 million. The case only took one year.
- In 2005, Kelly McCormick’s husband passed away from mesothelioma after working for 18 years at an air force base. She was awarded by a jury of $980,000.
- In 2012, Bobbie Izell received the largest mesothelioma award to date when more than one company was found responsible for her illness. She was awarded $48 million by the jury.
With that information in mind, you may come to a point where you have to go to trial. If that is the case, then it would help if you know what to expect.
The Jury Trial
If a settlement could not be reached, and your case is scheduled to go to trial, keep in mind that things aren’t nearly as dramatic as you may have seen on television and in movies. Throughout the trial, the attorneys will still work on a settlement, and it could be reached a verdict. Otherwise, here are the steps to the test:
- The lawyers will each make opening statements
- Each attorney will be able to present evidence for their case
- Witnesses will give testimonies. In the event of mesothelioma, this often includes expert witnesses.
- Each lawyer will be able to make closing arguments.
- The jury will deliberate.
- A verdict will be given.
There are two different types of damages you could be awarded. The first is compensatory, which would be money to pay for your expenses in connection with mesothelioma. That can mean medical bills and other costs now and in the future. Punitive damages are used as a way of punishment. They are often awarded if the defendant was grossly negligent or if this is not the first time they have been sued over the same thing. The jury will decide if punitive damages will be given, and they will decide how much to give as well. As far as compensatory damages, your attorney will state how much they are seeking for you.
Most mesothelioma cases are settled, and that is usually a good thing. However, if you feel the settlement isn’t fair to you, then you do have the right to say no and then go to a jury trial. Keep in mind that this could be a risk, and you could walk away with nothing. At the same time, though, the vast majority of jury trials do end up favorable for the mesothelioma victim. This is something that you should discuss in detail with your attorney to determine the best course of action.