How Long Does a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Take?

Although each case is different, many mesothelioma lawsuits start to award compensation within 90 days. Further, the entire mesothelioma lawsuit timeline usually is usually 12 months or less. The average asbestos claims payout is between $1 million and $1.4 million

Every case is different, but if you go to trial, it could be a year or two before your case gets to that point. The vast majority of mesothelioma lawsuits end in settlements that take much less time to resolve. This is only a rough timeline that varies depending on individual factors:

Filing the Lawsuit. Your legal team will need some time to consult with you, investigate, and gather information before filing. This could take a couple of months.
Waiting for a Response. Once filed, it’s up to the defendants to respond. There is a time limit for this, typically 30 days.
Discovery period. This is the step with the most variation. It can take six months to a year for both sides to put together their cases. The more complicated the case, the longer it takes.
Negotiating. Your lawyer will try to avoid a trial by getting you a fair settlement. The negotiations can take anywhere from days to months.
Getting a Verdict. If your case does to to trial and is straightforward, it could be over in days. The most complicated cases take several months or up to a year.
Appealing. There is a time limit on appealing, which varies by state and court, typically between one and six months.

The are several factors affecting the length of time a lawsuit can take including the court, the evidence, witnesses, and the state of the plaintiff’s health.

Stages involved in an asbestos claim

Those exposed to asbestos — often construction and manufacturing workers — are turning to litigation, alleging that they developed asbestos cancer after exposure to the dangerous fibers, often while on the job. Like every case that goes to court, the typical asbestos claim involves numerous steps.

Once a diagnosis has been made and a lawsuit filed, the court sets a date for a settlement conference. Depending on the jurisdiction, this may be set for anytime between three months and a year after the filing.

In the meantime, the two parties gather and share evidence, witness lists, and depositions from experts, a process known as discovery. When the settlement conference takes place, the parties inform the judge as to whether or not the case is ready for trial. If so, a trial date is assigned, generally within six months to a year.

Most injury lawsuits wind up settling before they actually go to trial. Often, something that comes up during the discovery process will trigger a settlement.

How long does an asbestos claim take: contributing factors

Some of the issues that can affect the length of time required for an asbestos lawsuit includes:

Jurisdiction: Because asbestos cases have been common over the past few decades, with over 700,000 claims involving 8,000 defendants, it is the longest-running tort action in U.S. legal history. Some jurisdictions have set up special departments specifically for asbestos litigation. In other jurisdictions, asbestos lawsuits are treated no differently than any other tort action. This can result in delays and postponements.
Health and age of the plaintiff: An asbestos disease victim who is elderly and in a late stage of the disease may have their case fast-tracked in order to ensure a resolution before their potential death.
The complexity of the case: A lawsuit filed by someone who worked in the same machine shop or shipyard for decades will have an easier time of it than a construction worker whose job took them to many different sites over the years. New evidence and/or witnesses for one side or the other can also cause delays.
The number of plaintiffs: A case involving only a single claimant is likely to proceed much more quickly than a class action lawsuit or multi-district litigation.
What happens to an asbestos claim after death
Should the plaintiff succumb to an asbestos disease before the case is decided, the victim’s claim becomes part of the estate and the case continues with the executor or administrator in place of the plaintiff. Family members may also file a wrongful death lawsuit, arguing that a company’s products played a role in the death.

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