If you're thinking about filing a lawsuit over defective hernia mesh (or a health care provider's mistake related to your hernia mesh implant), you probably have questions about the outcome: not just the likelihood of winning or losing, but the chances that you'll receive a settlement or see your case go all the way to trial. As with the majority of personal injury claims, most hernia mesh cases will reach an out-of-court settlement before the trial stage of the lawsuit.
A settlement (in the context of a personal injury case) is an agreement between an injured person (the plaintiff) and the party allegedly responsible for causing the injury (defendant). The plaintiff agrees to accept some amount of compensation in return for releasing the defendant from any future liability for the underlying incident. (Learn more about who might be liable for hernia mesh complications.)
A personal injury settlement will include compensation for such things as pain and suffering, lost wages and future income, medical bills, and other expenses incurred as a result of the harm (the cost of prescription medication, the need to hire household assistance, and such).
The dollar amount of any hernia mesh settlement depends on many things, including the nature of the complications caused by the defective or failing implant, and the strength (or weakness) of the medical evidence. Learn why a proper diagnosis is crucial in a hernia mesh case.
Hernia mesh cases can sometimes be complicated by the passage of time between the implant of the hernia mesh and the development of health complications from a defective or failing implant. That's one of many reasons why it's often difficult for even an experienced lawyer to speculate as to what kind of settlement a claimant is likely to receive, although there are a few tried and true factors that affect the settlement value of a hernia mesh case.
With most kinds of lawsuits, the parties involved (and their respective lawyers) want to minimize risk and avoid any surprises. That's true of hernia mesh cases too. An injured patient usually doesn't want to risk going all the way to trial and coming away with nothing, and the manufacturers of these devices (and the health care providers that implant them) don't want to put their financial viability or their reputations in the hands of a civil jury (more than a few of which have held medical device manufacturers liable for millions of dollars in damages based on less-than-airtight proof of liability).
Settling a hernia mesh lawsuit also saves the parties time, money, and stress. Learn more about why most injury-related cases settle.
A typical hernia mesh lawsuit proceeds along a fairly predictable timeline, but these cases can also reach an out-of-court settlement at any time. The parties might reach a settlement on their own, before a lawsuit is even filed, or after information is exchanged through the "discovery" process and one or both sides see the proverbial writing on the wall. Court-ordered attempts at resolution (like mediation and mandatory settlement conferences) can also help coax the parties toward resolution.
Learn more about the timeline of a typical hernia mesh case.
It's important to keep in mind that if your hernia mesh case settles, the defendant (that's usually the mesh manufacturer or a health care provider) will pay you an agreed-upon amount, but there won't be any admission of liability in the settlement agreement (the defendant won't admit to having done anything wrong, in other words). And chances are the agreement will require the parties to keep the terms of the settlement (including how much you received from the defendant) confidential.
It's perfectly normal to wonder about how your hernia mesh case might get resolved—how much compensation you might get, how long it could take—just don't expect any guarantees from an attorney. Learn more about finding the right lawyer for you and your hernia mesh case and how a lawyer can help.