What Is the Average Mesothelioma Settlement Time Frame?
The average mesothelioma settlement time frame is 12 months or less — but time frames may vary by case. In fact, some patients have started receiving compensation within 90 days.
A mesothelioma settlement occurs when the defendants (manufacturers of asbestos-based products) agree to pay the plaintiff (a mesothelioma victim) so the lawsuit does not go to trial.
Settlements can occur at almost any stage of a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Mesothelioma settlement time frames are affected by:
- When the defendants agree to settle the case
- Where the lawsuit is filed (some courts/states hear mesothelioma cases within a year)
- Trial dates (some defendants won’t settle until a trial date approaches)
For these reasons, it’s important for asbestos victims to work with lawyers that have handled mesothelioma cases before.
Victims can get the most compensation in the shortest amount of time by working with mesothelioma lawyers who can negotiate settlements.
Mesothelioma Settlement Time Frames and Lawsuit Payouts
Each step in the legal process affects mesothelioma settlement time frames and when you may receive compensation.
Learn more about each step in the settlement process below.
1. Connect With a Law Firm and Gather Details
It is best to contact a law firm that has handled mesothelioma cases to file your legal claim.
These law firms understand the burden that a mesothelioma diagnosis brings and will work to get you money within the average mesothelioma settlement time frame.
General personal injury firms may not know how to get the most mesothelioma compensation in the shortest amount of time. Work with a mesothelioma law firm for the best results.
Top mesothelioma law firms will send a member of their team to discuss your case in person within 24 hours or less.
After this meeting — and if you have a valid case — you can sign documents to work with the law firm. This first meeting typically takes 45 minutes to one hour.
2. Meet Your Trial Team
You will meet your legal team within a few days after filling out the initial paperwork.
Your team will consist of:
- Mesothelioma lawyer(s)
- Medical experts
This trial team will contact you to gather more evidence for your case, such as your work history, your asbestos exposure history, and which products may have led to your asbestos-related illness.
This case evaluation process can help them figure out which asbestos companies and manufacturers caused your illness.
The team may follow up with you to get more information related to your case.
3. Filing the Lawsuit
Your team will file a mesothelioma lawsuit after collecting all the information needed and identifying key defendants.
Some asbestos cases are filed against more than 30 different manufacturers of asbestos-containing products.
The defendants in the lawsuit need to respond in a certain number of days, or they could automatically lose the case. The number of days in which they have to respond can vary with each case.
The defendants named in asbestos lawsuits almost always respond within this time limit.
Your lawyers and the defendants’ lawyers gather facts related to the case (like company documents and medical records) in what’s known as the discovery process.
The discovery phase typically lasts a few months as it requires both teams to find, gather, and provide information.
Your lawyers may request documents from the defendants to prove that their products contained asbestos. The defendants’ lawyers may also request documents to try and prove they are not responsible for your illness.
Depositions (spoken testimonies) may also be taken during this time. You or a loved one may need to give a deposition for the defendants.
Your lawyers may also speak to employees who knew how the manufacturers used asbestos in their products.
5. Settlement Negotiations
A settlement offer can occur at almost any stage of a mesothelioma lawsuit. Your lawyer will try to negotiate settlements with each manufacturer named in the lawsuit.
Mesothelioma settlement time frames can vary with each defendant named in the lawsuit. Some defendants may settle your case in just a few weeks while others may take a few months or more.
Other manufacturers may not agree to a settlement until a trial date approaches.
That said, most lawyers try to avoid trials because they add time and additional expenses to a lawsuit, and there is no way to guarantee a win.
Experienced mesothelioma attorneys can make your case as strong as possible to properly represent you in the event of a trial.
6. Receiving Settlement Compensation
Once a mesothelioma settlement amount has been determined, your legal team will tell you the offer. You can then sign off to receive this money.
Recent reports state that the average mesothelioma payout from a settlement is $1 million.
This number represents the combined amount of compensation mesothelioma patients received from all defendants named in their lawsuits.
Your lawyers can keep you updated throughout each stage of a lawsuit and help you get compensation as quickly as possible. Learn more about getting compensation after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Factors That Affect Mesothelioma Settlement Time Frame
The actual lawsuit settlement process is just one factor that impacts time frames. See what other issues may affect when you receive settlement money.
Statutes of Limitations on Mesothelioma Claims
Statutes of limitations are laws that prevent people from taking legal action after a certain period of time.
You cannot file an asbestos claim or a mesothelioma lawsuit after the statute of limitations expires.
Yet statutes of limitations can be very hard to understand. They vary by state and by certain case types (personal injury vs wrongful death).
Contact a mesothelioma law firm immediately after a diagnosis to avoid these issues. The earlier you take legal action, the sooner you can provide financial security for your family.
Some states or court systems allow mesothelioma lawsuits to be heard much sooner than others.
For example, some states have laws that guarantee mesothelioma victims the right to a trial in one year. Lawmakers in these states know how quickly this cancer can spread and become fatal.
Nationally renowned mesothelioma law firms can help you file your case in a court system that can award you the most compensation in the shortest amount of time.
Number of Manufacturers in a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
The number of manufacturers named in your lawsuit also can affect a mesothelioma settlement time frame.
The more manufacturers named in the lawsuit, the more likely that one (or more) of them will want to settle the case sooner rather than later. This means you may be able to access compensation faster.
Motions and Trials
In rare cases, a settlement cannot be reached, meaning the lawsuit must be resolved either through a motion or a trial. Both of these issues can extend mesothelioma settlement time frames.
Motions call on a judge to decide the case or dismiss it. The judge can sometimes determine a winner without a trial through a motion for summary judgment.
It takes roughly three months for a judge to make a decision through summary judgment.
The case may go to trial if a motion does not decide the case.
In a trial, a judge oversees the case while the jury reaches an asbestos verdict. Mesothelioma lawsuit trials take different amounts of time to reach a conclusion in each case.
The good news is that settlements can occur even during these phases. For example, Johnson & Johnson settled a mesothelioma lawsuit for over $2 million during a trial in January 2020.
Learn More About Mesothelioma Settlement Time Frames
Only an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help you maximize your compensation in the shortest amount of time possible.
These lawyers can negotiate timely settlement payouts that can keep your family financially secure — now and for years to come.
It’s also important that you file your lawsuit as soon as possible. Doing so may increase your overall settlement payout and reduce the amount of time you have to wait to receive compensation.
Download our free mesothelioma guide today to learn more about mesothelioma settlement time frames and other legal options.