When a person passes away from mesothelioma, their loved ones have different legal options. An asbestos lawyer can explain how to file wrongful death lawsuits and other claims. A lawyer will help surviving family members throughout the process. They will help secure compensation and negotiate mesothelioma settlements.

01. Asbestos Claims After Death

About Asbestos Claims After Death

Asbestos death claims may be available to surviving family members whose loved one died of mesothelioma. Successful claims can provide mesothelioma compensation to family members for their loss. Usually, to file a claim the victim must have died from an asbestos-related illness. Asbestos exposure alone is generally not enough to file asbestos claims after death.

A mesothelioma victim may have filed certain claims while alive. For example, they may have brought a personal injury lawsuit or claim against an asbestos company that they worked for. A victim’s estate may take over the lawsuit if the victim dies during litigation.

Mesothelioma patients’ loved ones may have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit or other claim when a victim passes away. Filing a wrongful death claim does not affect a personal injury claim. They are two different legal actions.

A mesothelioma lawyer can help victims’ loved ones determine their eligibility for different types of legal actions. Wrongful death damages can help pay outstanding medical expenses, recoup lost wages and compensate for other expenses such as end-of-life costs.

02. Claim Options

Asbestos Claim Options After Death of a Loved One

A mesothelioma victim’s surviving family members may have different asbestos death claim options. They may be entitled to multiple forms of compensation. A mesothelioma attorney can help loved ones understand their options.

One option may be to file a wrongful death lawsuit against an asbestos company and/or other liable parties. People may have questions about what a wrongful death lawsuit entails. An experienced asbestos attorney can help them decide whether to pursue this type of claim.

There are also other kinds of asbestos death claims that may be available to a victim’s loved ones. These include:

  • Asbestos trust fund claims
  • Veterans’ benefits claims
  • Workers’ compensation

An asbestos attorney can help victim’s loved ones understand their claim eligibility. They will help decide which options are available and which are likely to maximize compensation.

Asbestos Lawsuit After Death

An asbestos lawsuit may be an option for financial compensation when a person dies from an asbestos-related illness. A victim’s loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

A wrongful death lawsuit is filed against an asbestos company or other entity responsible for a victim’s asbestos exposure. The plaintiff must show a loss of financial or emotional support due to the death of the victim. They must also show that the victim died from an asbestos-related illness, such as asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma.

A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit may result in either a settlement or jury verdict.

A lawyer can help throughout the entire process of litigating a mesothelioma lawsuit after the death of a victim. They will help file the lawsuit, build the case, negotiate any settlements and litigate at trial.

Asbestos Trust Fund Claims

A mesothelioma victim’s loved ones may be able to file an asbestos trust fund claim. Asbestos trust funds provide compensation from bankrupt asbestos companies.

Each trust fund has its own requirements to determine who is eligible to file asbestos claims after the death of a victim. They may ask for proof of:

  • The victim’s asbestos exposure
  • The victim’s asbestos-related diagnosis
  • The victim’s death from an asbestos-related disease (e.g., a death certificate)

Bankrupt asbestos companies designed the trust funds to pay out all present and future claims. The payout a victim’s family may receive will vary. The amount of money in a fund, the victim’s specific diagnosis and other factors are used to determine the amount of any payout.

A lawyer can help families identify any trusts they may be eligible to file a claim against. They will also help determine if filing an asbestos bankruptcy trust fund claim is the best option for a particular case.

VA Claims for Surviving Loved Ones

Veterans have high rates of asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos use in the military was widespread during the twentieth century and continues to be a risk for military personnel. A veteran’s loved ones may be eligible to file a benefit claim if the veteran passes away from mesothelioma. This type of claim is filed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The VA has specific requirements for who may file an asbestos death claim. For example, the veteran’s surviving family members must be able to show that the veteran was exposed to asbestos as a result of their military service.

Various benefit programs exist to help families of deceased veterans. The VA has different conditions for deciding which program will pay out a claim. VA benefit programs include:

  • VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC): DIC provides a monthly, tax-exempt payment to immediate family members. For instance, spouses and unmarried children of deceased veterans may be eligible.
  • VA Survivors Pension: This type of benefit may be available to surviving spouses whose income is below a specific amount.
  • Special Monthly Compensation: Surviving spouses may be able to claim this benefit. It may be available if the veteran in question had a special circumstance like the loss of a limb.

The VA may also pay up to $2,000 to surviving spouses to cover burial expenses. Like with the other VA benefits, there are specific conditions for who qualifies.

Workers’ Compensation After Death

Surviving family members may qualify for death benefits under a company’s workers’ compensation policy. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that covers the costs of on-the-job injuries such as asbestos exposure at work. Most states require businesses with employees to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Death benefits can provide financial support to surviving spouses, children and other dependents. They can also cover funeral and burial costs.

Conditions to qualify for workers’ compensation death benefits vary by state, the insurer and the specific policy. A mesothelioma lawyer can help determine eligibility and the amount of compensation available.

03. Compensation for Asbestos Death

Compensation for an Asbestos-Related Death

Legal actions such as lawsuits and other types of claims may result in compensation for surviving loved ones. Mesothelioma death compensation amounts may vary based on the type of claim and the specific facts of a case.

Expenses and Other Losses Covered by Asbestos Compensation After Death

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of care, companionship and guidance
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Lost wages
  • Outstanding medical bills related to the deceased’s mesothelioma treatment

A lawyer can help ensure maximum mesothelioma death compensation. They can help develop and file a claim and negotiate to ensure the best outcome for victims’ loved ones.

How Is Mesothelioma Compensation After Death Paid Out?

The amount of mesothelioma compensation after death may differ based on claim type. Compensation options such as mesothelioma settlements, verdicts, asbestos trust fund claims, VA claims and workers’ compensation claims all have varying average payouts. For example, the average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 and $1.4 million. The average verdict amount is $2.4 million.

Compensation is generally provided to surviving loved ones without specifications on how to spend it. Some forms of compensation, such as VA burial benefits, must be spent on specific items. Many mesothelioma victims’ surviving family members will have expenses such as:

  • Funeral costs
  • Medical debt
  • Travel expenses
  • Other expenses related to the victim’s illness

It may be difficult to cover all these expenses without compensation. Successful wrongful death actions can help cover costs and provide financial security to victim’s surviving loved ones.

Compensation awards from wrongful death lawsuits are typically paid out either as lump sums or structured settlements. Surviving loved ones will usually receive the award through a check or wire transfer from their attorney.

Benefits from other claims may be paid out as lump sums, monthly payments or through other types of payment plans depending on the type of claim. The surviving loved ones’ lawyer or party against whom the claim is filed may disburse benefits via check or wire transfer.

04. Eligibility

Who Is Eligible to File an Asbestos Claim After Death?

Surviving family members, such as spouses and children, may be eligible to file a claim after an asbestos-related death. Eligibility may vary based on the type of claim filed, the underlying facts of the case and other factors.

People able to file a mesothelioma death claim may include:

  • A spouse or life partner
  • Children
  • Parents or grandparents
  • Financial dependents

Certain claim types, such as VA claims and workers’ compensation, may limit the type of people eligible to receive benefits. For example, the VA may limit benefits to surviving spouses or unmarried children.

Victims and their loved ones may be owed compensation for injuries caused by asbestos exposure. A mesothelioma attorney can help them determine compensation options.

Steps for Undiagnosed Asbestos Victims and Loved Ones

Asbestos exposure alone is generally not enough to file a lawsuit or other type of claim. Usually, an individual must have developed an asbestos-related disease to be eligible. For wrongful death lawsuits, a victim’s loved ones generally must show the victim died of an asbestos-related disease.

However, anyone with a history of asbestos exposure may develop an asbestos-related disease. People who have been exposed to asbestos can take steps to prepare for future medical and legal needs. Preparing for a potential diagnosis benefits the patient as well as their loved ones.

People who know or believe they have been exposed to asbestos should talk to their doctor. They should explain their exposure history and go in for periodic checkups. An experienced mesothelioma doctor can watch for signs of asbestos-related illness and document any health changes. Talking to a doctor can help catch any illness early. An early diagnosis along with treatment can improve a patient’s life expectancy.

Individuals may also want to consider documenting as many details about their exposure and work history as possible. This includes listing entities and activities that may have resulted in asbestos exposure, such as:

A good record will also include a timeline of when the potential exposure occurred. An individual may also want to create a list of co-workers. They may be able to serve as witnesses in a deposition or at trial. In the event an exposed person develops an asbestos-related disease, good recordkeeping can help them and their loved ones. A good record can help build stronger cases against asbestos companies.

Experienced lawyers at national asbestos law firms have access to extensive resources. They can help determine exposure details and build a strong case for victims and their loved ones. A lawyer will help throughout the entire process of filing a claim.

05. How to File

How to File an Asbestos Claim After Death of a Loved One

When a person passes away from an asbestos-related illness, their family should seek legal representation from an experienced asbestos law firm. Lawyers can file any claims that families may be eligible to file. They will also help families throughout the entire claims process.

Process for Filing an Asbestos Claim After Death

  • Families should consult a lawyer at an experienced mesothelioma law firm. A lawyer will generally provide an initial free case evaluation.
  • A lawyer will help secure copies of the victim’s death certificate if families have not secured them already.
  • A lawyer will guide families in collecting the victim’s medical records and documented exposure history details.
  • A lawyer will also guide families in collecting any documents that show financial hardship resulting from a victim’s death.
  • A lawyer will determine which claims the victim’s surviving loved ones may be eligible to file. They will also use documents such as the death certificate and any other records to file claims.
  • A lawyer will help claimants throughout the entire legal process following filing. Processes vary based on the type of claim filed.

Statutes of Limitations for Mesothelioma Lawsuits After Death

Victims’ surviving loved ones looking to file a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit should contact an attorney. A lawsuit must be filed within a certain time limit specified by laws called statutes of limitations. The timeline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit varies by state.

It is important to seek help from an experienced mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible to ensure the applicable deadline is met. A lawyer will help determine the jurisdictions in which a case may be filed. Some jurisdictions may be more favorable to a mesothelioma case or have statutes of limitations that have not expired.

06. Death After Filing

What Happens if a Loved One Dies After Filing a Mesothelioma Personal Injury Claim?

People with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses may file personal injury lawsuits or other claims. In some instances, a patient may die before their lawsuit is complete.

The death of the plaintiff does not end a personal injury lawsuit. State law will designate who may continue the lawsuit on the decedent’s behalf. The responsible party is usually the decedent’s estate representative. The estate representative may or may not be a member of the deceased’s family.

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit does not end a personal injury lawsuit. They are two separate legal actions with different purposes. A personal injury lawsuit compensates a victim or their estate for losses resulting from an injury. A wrongful death lawsuit compensates families for losses resulting from the death of a mesothelioma victim.

Families of deceased victims may also be able to receive compensation from victims’ personal injury lawsuits. The nature and status of the deceased victims’ estates will determine whether this is possible. A lawyer can help families navigate the process of accessing personal injury compensation.

It is important for victims’ surviving loved ones to work with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.