01. Types of Claims
Types of Mesothelioma Claims
Mesothelioma claims provide compensation to asbestos victims and loved ones. Personal injury claims are filed by patients after a mesothelioma diagnosis. Wrongful death claims are filed by loved ones after a patient dies of mesothelioma.
Many companies wrongfully exposed their employees to asbestos. Filing a claim may provide compensation to cover treatment costs, lost income and other associated expenses. Individuals diagnosed with other asbestos-related diseases, such as lung cancer or asbestosis, may also file an asbestos claim.
Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims are filed by individuals exposed to asbestos who are later diagnosed with a related illness. Claimants file against the asbestos company responsible for their exposure.
If patients are too ill to file a claim, a mesothelioma lawyer may be able to file on their behalf.
The term “asbestos company” refers to the company responsible for wrongful exposure. This could include companies providing raw asbestos, manufacturers of asbestos products or negligent employers. Asbestos victims may sue employers if they were aware of worksite asbestos exposure and did not notify employees or provide them with protective equipment.
Financial Assistance from Personal Injury Claims
- Helps with medical expenses associated with diagnosis, treatment, travel, etc.
- Replaces lost income when the patient can no longer work
- Provides financial security for patients and their families
Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim is filed by a family member after a loved one dies from an asbestos-related illness. An individual files a claim against an asbestos company to receive financial compensation.
Quick Facts About Asbestos Claims After Death
- Wrongful death claims are filed by family members after an asbestos-related death.
- If a patient dies during the legal process, claims will likely be paid to the victim’s estate.
- Attorneys typically distribute compensation awards for claims after death.
- Wrongful death claims may be paid out in one lump sum or through several installments.
Asbestos attorneys can help loved ones determine if they are eligible to file a mesothelioma claim after the death of a family member.
Financial Assistance from Wrongful Death Claims
- Helps with outstanding medical bills or funeral costs
- Replaces lost household income
- Provides financial security for grieving families
02. How to File
How to File a Mesothelioma Claim
Who Can File a Mesothelioma Claim?
- Victims of asbestos exposure diagnosed with mesothelioma
- Family members who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma
A lawyer can assist patients or family members with filing a mesothelioma claim. Many mesothelioma patients are concerned with their eligibility, how much they will receive from a claim and how quickly they will receive compensation. An attorney familiar with asbestos litigation can help people answer these questions and guide them through the claim-filing process.
The general steps to filing a mesothelioma claim include: meeting eligibility requirements, determining claim type, gathering documentation and awaiting claim review.
Step 1: Understanding Eligibility Requirements
Claimants will work with an asbestos lawyer to determine claim eligibility. Requirements often differ based on claim type. Mesothelioma law firms can help claimants understand what compensation options they are eligible for.
Eligibility requirements often include proof of exposure, an asbestos-related diagnosis and adherence to the statute of limitations.
Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma Claims
Mesothelioma and asbestos claims must be filed within a certain timeframe, referred to as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations differs by state and by the time of claim.
Statute of Limitations by Claim Type
- The asbestos victim files the claim.
- Individuals must file a claim within a certain number of years after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
- The family member of a deceased victim files the claim.
- Individuals must file a claim within a certain number of years after a mesothelioma death.
If asbestos victims have missed the deadline to file a claim, there may be other options. Special circumstances may extend deadlines or there may be other venues for compensation.
Step 2: Gather Required Documentation
After determining what type of claim to file, lawyers will help claimants gather the required documentation. The information typically required to successfully file an asbestos claim includes:
- Proof of asbestos exposure
- Documented work history at an asbestos company
- Medical records for proof of asbestos-related diagnosis
- Documentation showing financial hardship
- Testimony stating the cause of exposure and related diagnosis
Can You File a Claim for Asbestos Exposure?
To be eligible to file a claim, individuals should have proof of an asbestos-related diagnosis. Common asbestos diseases include malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer. Typically, proof of asbestos exposure alone does not meet the eligibility requirements to file a claim.
Step 3: File the Asbestos Claim
The claimant’s lawyer will submit the claim with all appropriate documentation. Mesothelioma attorneys will know where and how to file the claim. By filing on the claimant’s behalf, lawyers help patients focus on treatment and other personal matters.
Where Should I File My Claim?
In some cases, claimants will file a claim in the state where they reside. However, people may file asbestos claims based on the following factors:
- Previous place of residence
- Location of the asbestos company
- Location of asbestos exposure
In some instances, claimants may need to file in multiple states if exposure location, current company location and claimant residence are in different states. A lawyer will review all evidence and details of the case before advising which state(s) to file in.
Step 4: Claim Review and Compensation Award
A mesothelioma cancer claim undergoes review once it is submitted. At this stage, lawyers can negotiate to ensure claimants receive the most compensation possible. The nature of the review will differ based on the type of claim.
The amount of compensation a claimant receives also depends on the claim type and individual circumstances. Mesothelioma lawsuits typically result in the highest payouts, followed by settlements and trust fund awards.
03. How Long Claims Take
How Long Does a Mesothelioma Claim Take?
The amount of time it takes to receive compensation for mesothelioma ranges from months to years. The timeframe differs largely based on the type of claim and the circumstances of each individual case.
For instance, asbestos companies may offer claimants a settlement. Settlements often result in a quicker payout. However, claimants may decide to deny the settlement and pursue a jury verdict. This process may take longer but could result in a higher payout. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will be able to advise on the best option for an individual’s case.
Resources for Mesothelioma Patients
04. Benefits of Filing
What Are the Benefits of Filing a Mesothelioma Claim?
Filing a claim can provide claimants with financial assistance, peace of mind and the opportunity to exercise their rights after wrongful asbestos exposure. Compensation can help with expenses associated with receiving mesothelioma treatment and provide families with financial security.
Individuals should not be discouraged from filing a claim, even if they feel the process is too time-consuming or difficult. Mesothelioma lawyers will be able to offer help throughout the entire process. This allows patients to focus on their treatment journey or family members to address the loss of their loved one.
“You were harmed because of the negligence of the asbestos companies, and you are entitled to compensation for that. So, I urge everybody to hire a reputable law firm and make sure that you’re represented and you’re well taken care of, if not for you, for your family.”
–Heather Von St. James, Mesothelioma Survivor
Compensation from Mesothelioma Claims
The three main venues for mesothelioma compensation are a mesothelioma lawsuit to reach a settlement or verdict, an asbestos trust fund award or VA claim. Additional forms of compensation include insurance claims and workers’ compensation may also offer financial assistance.
Who Pays Mesothelioma Claims?
- Asbestos manufacturers
- Negligent employers
- Insurance companies
- Mesothelioma trust funds
- The Department of Veterans Affairs
Mesothelioma patients and loved ones can file a lawsuit against an asbestos company or employer. This can result in a verdict or a settlement for compensation. A settlement may be reached before the case goes to trial. If claimants don’t accept a settlement, they will seek compensation via a jury verdict.
Mesothelioma settlements allow patients and family members to receive compensation without going to trial. In most cases, claimants will decide to accept a settlement from an asbestos company to receive compensation quicker, without proceeding in court.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Claimants may decide to pursue compensation from an asbestos trust fund. There is currently more than $30 billion available and more than 65 trust funds accepting claims. This money was set aside from bankrupt asbestos companies to pay out current and future claims.
Veterans exposed to asbestos and later diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease may be able to seek additional benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA offers financial benefits as well as additional treatment resources to those who have served. Veterans’ family members may also be eligible for compensation from a VA claim.
Other Types of Financial Assistance
Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones may be able to pursue additional forms of financial assistance. In some cases, filing for certain types of claims can prevent individuals from seeking compensation elsewhere. As a result, claimants should discuss potential restrictions with an asbestos attorney.
Several types of insurance offer financial assistance to mesothelioma victims and their families.
Medical insurance can help pay for treatment expenses. Coverage varies by plan.
Disability insurance can help make up for lost income. This may be available through employers.
SSDI could provide monthly income to patients under the age of 65 who are unable to work. Eligibility requirements apply, such as payment towards Social Security taxes.
Loved ones may be able to receive compensation from a previously established life insurance plan. Policy documentation and a death certificate are typically required.
Workers’ compensation is an additional option for financial help. These claims could help cover medical expenses and lost income associated with a mesothelioma death or diagnosis. Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, individuals may recover money for asbestos exposure during employment. This benefit may also be available to retired workers.
Before filing a workers’ compensation claim, individuals should discuss their legal options with an experienced attorney. Filing for this type of financial compensation may make individuals ineligible for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit in the future.