Judges overseeing mass tort lawsuits, including those involving hair straighteners, usually encourage the parties to settle their cases. While settlements are never required, they should always be explored where possible. A settlement can save the stress and time of an extensive lawsuit and potentially net higher damages versus a trial.
For this reason and others, those injured by hair straighteners should understand which factors affect the ultimate settlement amounts. Rueb Stoller Daniel takes a closer look at this issue.
Settlement Versus Trial
Trials are the ultimate form of legal relief sought by the victims of dangerous and defective consumer products. If the attorneys and insurance companies representing defendants refuse to fairly negotiate, a trial is always an option. However, there are several risks inherent to relying solely on a trial to deliver justice. Here are a few:
A trial could take a long time.
Trials can drag on for months and even years. There are motions, hearings, pleadings to file, and much more. The rules of civil procedure can be intricate and crowded court dockets can delay a trial. Meanwhile, medical bills and other victim losses continue to accrue.
The award might be much less.
A jury may agree with you and find the hair straightener manufacturer liable for its actions. This means the jury will likely award you something for your losses. But the amount of the jury award may be much less than you expected.
A higher verdict may be overturned.
On the other hand, a jury may return a significant verdict in your favor. The amount of damages may be relatively high in a situation like this. However, the victim should then assume that the manufacturer defendant will appeal the verdict. An appeal could drag out the matter and result in a lower amount of damages.
There are other risks associated with going to trial. And of course, there are risks with settling a case, too. Perhaps the most obvious is that the settlement amount might be lower than what a jury may award. No two cases are alike, even when it comes to mass tort lawsuits like those involving hair straighteners.
An experienced attorney can review the facts and make recommendations about the most advantageous way forward.
What Goes Into the Value of a Settlement?
Assuming that a settlement is the best option in your case, what exactly determines its value? Since every case is different, the factors that affect the settlement value in your lawsuit will vary from another claim. Nevertheless, in general, these elements will influence the final dollar figure of a settlement:
- The facts of the case and the strength of the evidence that supports the facts.
- How serious the injuries were that you sustained from the hair straightener product.
- The total estimated cost of your medical bills and other damages, like lost wages.
- The estimated value of your future damages, such as medical treatments you may need later.
- If the victim died from his or her injuries, the cost of funeral expenses and other wrongful death. damages.
- Other so-called non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, which are more subjective.
- Whether punitive damages, intended to punish the defendant for its conduct, will be allowed.
What Is Your Hair Straightener Injury Lawsuit Worth? We Can Help You Estimate
No one truly knows the value of a hair straightener injury lawsuit until the verdict, settlement, or final appeal. Regardless, an experienced mass tort lawyer can help you reasonably forecast the probable outcome of your claim. This includes providing an educated estimate of what the damages may end up being.