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May 13, 2010

Types of Asbestos Settlements

 
 
 

It is forecast that asbestos related disease such as asbestosis and mesothelioma are expected to peak around 2020. This means that there will be thousands of people who have been diagnosed with an illness caused by asbestos seeking legal asbestos or mesothelioma compensation, by a variety of ways.

Settling a Claim In and Out of Court
An out of court settlement is a common occurrence in an asbestosis claim. A defendant may agree to an out of court settlement in order to save the time and expense of a trial. They may take the view that the overwhelming evidence proving the health hazards of asbestos exposure, coupled with the volume of asbestos claims passing through the court system, it would be in their best financial interests to settle out of court.

However, if a company decides against this option, or the amount of their first settlement offer is deemed inadequate, it may be necessary to take the case to trial, although settling out of court still remains an option. It is quite common for an out of court settlement to be negotiated during the trial process.

Class Action Law Suits
A class action suit is a large suit filed on behalf of a group or class of people. In some cases, the lawyer in charge of the class action lawsuit will notify you of your involvement in the case. If you receive a notification regarding a class action lawsuit, you should read it carefully. Many of these suits are written to include everyone named in the suit. If you are named and do not wish to be included, you must notify the lawyer to have your name removed from the lawsuit.

In many cases, inclusion is a class action lawsuit may be advantageous. With a large group of claimants, an out of court settlement is likely. But there are some drawbacks to a class action lawsuit. By being included in such a large pool of plaintiffs, you will have no control over the direction of the case. The lawyer will not answer directly to you, but will work toward the resolution that is best for the largest number of claimants.

Another very important drawback of being involved in a class action suit is that it often disqualifies you from taking further action against the company. In other words, if you are involved in a class action suit and receive compensation, you are restricted from receiving additional compensation later, should additional health problems arise.

Filing a Claim with Insurers or Settlement Trust
If the company responsible for your asbestos exposure has declared bankruptcy, you will probably be required to file a claim with the company’s insurers – if also still in business – or settlement trust to receive compensation. When you file a claim with the trustee of a settlement fund, they will determine the value of your claim and then pay a small percentage of that amount. With a settlement claim there are no visits to court or medical experts necessary. An experienced lawyer will fill out the claim form and submit on your behalf.

It is essential that you seek legal asbestosis advice with a qualified and experienced asbestosis lawyer to ensure that you get accurate information early on in the claim process to help increase the likelihood of a quick and fair settlement.

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