Mesothelioma patients and their families may be able to file a claim.
Three common claim types are personal injury, wrongful death and trust fund claims.
Veterans may be able to file a VA claim for veteran-specific benefits.
Mesothelioma lawyers can help determine claim options and eligibility.
Mesothelioma claims can provide financial compensation to patients and their loved ones. Compensation helps with lost income, treatment bills and other associated costs.
The primary types of mesothelioma claims include personal injury claims, wrongful death claims and asbestos trust fund claims. They may result in a settlement, court verdict or trust fund award. There are also options specific to veterans.
Should I File a Mesothelioma Claim?
Filing a legal claim can seem daunting. This is especially true for patients navigating a mesothelioma diagnosis. However, an asbestos claim can offer families the compensation they deserve.
A claim award can help with treatment costs, lost income, travel expenses and other bills associated with an asbestos-related diagnosis.
Mesothelioma lawyers can provide immense support. They can collect information to build the victim’s case. They may also be able to file on the claimant’s behalf. They will answer any questions and walk claimants through the entire process, start to finish.
Experienced attorneys have handled numerous mesothelioma cases in the past. As a result, they can provide an additional layer of understanding and support.
Types of Mesothelioma & Asbestos Claims
Mesothelioma patients and their families often have several options for filing a claim. They may file:
- An asbestos lawsuit
- A trust fund claim
- A VA claim
- An insurance benefit claim
- A workers’ compensation claim
If you’re considering filing a claim, you should first talk to a mesothelioma lawyer. Mesothelioma attorneys can help you understand all of your options. They can also help you determine which claim type could deliver the most compensation.
The two types of mesothelioma claims are:
- Personal Injury Claims: Patients can file after receiving an asbestos-related diagnosis.
- Wrongful Death Claims: Loved ones can file after a family member dies from an asbestos-related disease.
Mesothelioma lawsuits often result in a settlement. However, claimants can decide to pursue a trial verdict instead.
Asbestos companies and claimants can agree on a compensation amount to settle the case. This will prevent both parties from going to court.
If a settlement isn’t reached, the case will go to court. After review, the court will issue a verdict in favor of the asbestos company or the claimant.
Oftentimes, asbestos victims decide to accept a settlement. This can provide financial help more quickly than a verdict. Some decide to pursue a verdict because it could result in a higher payout.
Asbestos Trust Fund Claims
Claimants may be able to file a claim with an asbestos trust fund. This applies if the asbestos company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and established a trust fund. Trust funds are set with payment schedules to ensure current and future claimants can receive compensation.
Each trust fund has its own eligibility criteria. Victims must meet these requirements to file a claim. Mesothelioma attorneys can help navigate these requirements.
Because trust funds have a payment schedule and a more standardized process, claimants may get a payout sooner than through a lawsuit.
Veterans and their loved ones may be able to file for veteran-specific benefits. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) handles these claims.
They also have access to various compensation types, including:
- Disability Compensation
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
- Special Monthly Compensation (SMC)
- Claims Based on Special Circumstances
More information regarding veteran compensation is available on the VA website. Veterans and loved ones can also speak with an asbestos attorney. They are well-versed in options for those who have served in the military and can help file a VA claim.
Insurance Benefit Claims
Mesothelioma patients may explore other financial assistance options, such as forms of mesothelioma insurance. Other benefits include:
- Medical insurance plans may help cover treatment costs. Patients should talk with their insurance carrier to figure out coverage.
- Supplemental insurance may be an option to help pay for mesothelioma treatment. There are many different types of supplemental insurance. This includes disability insurance, hospitalization insurance or health insurance specific to certain types of cancer.
- Life insurance is often an option for family members who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma. Life insurance may help with lost wages, outstanding medical expenses and other costs.
- Social security disability insurance (SSDI) may be an option for victims who paid Social Security taxes at their job. There are requirements specific to short-term and long-term disability claims.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance with unique eligibility requirements. Victims should consult with an attorney to determine their eligibility.
Am I Eligible to File an Asbestos Claim?
Most asbestos illnesses can be attributed to wrongful asbestos exposure. This may have occurred on the job or through the use of asbestos products.
Other eligibility requirements vary based on the type of mesothelioma claim. For example, workers’ compensation claimants must have proof their asbestos illness is a result of exposure at work.
An asbestos attorney can determine legal options and help claimants decide what is best for them.
Deadlines to File a Mesothelioma Claim
Deadlines to file an asbestos claim are statutes of limitations. These timelines vary based on the type of claim and state.
Statute of Limitations by Claim Type
The timeframe to file a claim is based on when the patient was diagnosed with an asbestos illness.
The timeframe to file a claim is based on when the patient passed away from an asbestos illness.
Statutes of limitations typically range from 1 – 4 years. Even if individuals think they missed their time limit, they should still talk to an attorney. There may be exceptions or alternate claim options.
How to File a Mesothelioma Claim
The process to file a mesothelioma claim has multiple steps. Claimants can rely on their lawyer from start to finish to ensure they file correctly. A lawyer may also be able to file on the claimant’s behalf.
1. Schedule a Consultation
Patients and loved ones should first talk to an asbestos lawyer when considering pursuing a claim. Initial consultations are usually free. This gives claimants the chance to ask questions and sort through their options. Lawyers will advocate for the victim to ensure the most financial compensation possible.
Reliable asbestos law firms work on a contingency basis. This means they will not collect payment unless they win the case. The payment is usually agreed upon before filing.
2. Review Eligibility and Determine Claim Type
Claimants will discover which claim types they are eligible for. For example, victims filing against a bankrupt asbestos company will likely need to file an asbestos trust fund claim.
3. Collect Required Documentation
To build a strong case, asbestos lawyers will help victims gather:
- Documentation of work history
- Details about their asbestos exposure
- Medical records showing diagnosis and treatment details
- Medical bills and other costs related to their illness
For wrongful death lawsuits, attorneys will help collect the same information. They may also collect a death certificate, funeral costs and other related details.
4. File the Claim
The type of claim determines how to formally submit an asbestos claim. An attorney can often file on the claimant’s behalf, so the claimant can focus on their treatment journey. Individuals may file a claim in person or they may be able to file online.
5. Claim Approval and Compensation Award
The asbestos claim will undergo review and hopefully get approved. Attorneys can negotiate on the victim’s behalf. Experienced mesothelioma lawyers have handled asbestos litigation in the past. They will have an idea of what victims are entitled to.
Once a decision is made, claimants await their compensation award.
Who Pays Asbestos Compensation Claims?
Asbestos claims are usually paid out by asbestos companies. Asbestos companies are the parties responsible for exposing individuals to asbestos. They may have put their employees at risk on the job. These companies may have also put the public at risk of exposure by providing consumers with contaminated goods.
Asbestos companies pay claims through lawsuits or trust fund claims. Bankrupt companies fund the trust when it is created.
In the case of VA claims, compensation comes from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Insurance claims are paid out by the insurance company. Insurance policies may be offered through an employer, or individuals may purchase their own insurance.
How Long Does it Take to Receive Mesothelioma Compensation?
The timeline to receive mesothelioma compensation varies on a case-by-case basis. Timing is different based on the claim type and circumstances of the individual case.
Claims can take months or years from the time they are filed to when compensation is awarded.
Ultimately, an asbestos attorney can provide claimants with the best estimate of how long their claim will take.