Filing after the death of a loved one from mesothelioma is a deeply personal decision. Families may seek compensation and justice through different kinds of wrongful death claims. In general, mesothelioma lawsuits settle for between $1 and $1.4 million. Asbestos trust fund claims may pay over $125,000.

01. Asbestos Claims After Death

About Asbestos Claims After Death

When a loved one dies from mesothelioma, families often feel they are owed justice. The law gives families an opportunity to act on these feelings by filing lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims. These cases can result in compensation, which can help ease financial burdens in the wake of loss. An asbestos lawyer can help handle the process of filing after death.

Families of deceased patients may file wrongful death lawsuits. In some instances, a patient may have filed their own personal injury lawsuit before passing. Family members may be able to take over the deceased’s case while pursuing their own separate wrongful death lawsuit.

Compensation options other than lawsuits may also be available, including trust fund claims and veterans benefits claims. Attorneys from qualified mesothelioma law firms can explain all possible legal options.

Who Is Eligible to File an Asbestos Claim After Death?

Family members may file asbestos lawsuits and claims after a loved one dies from an asbestos-related disease. In all states, spouses, children and parents of unmarried children may file wrongful death lawsuits. Individual states may allow other people close to the deceased to file.

Who Can File Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Eligible to File in Every State
  • Children
  • Parents of unmarried children
  • Spouses
Eligible to File in Some States
  • Financial dependents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings

Mesothelioma claim eligibility may differ from wrongful death lawsuit eligibility. For example, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) limits some benefits to spouses and dependent children.

Every asbestos case is unique. The state where the death occurred, how long ago the death happened and other facts may all affect eligibility. A mesothelioma lawyer can explain how different factors affect an individual case.

02. Claim Options

Asbestos Claim Options After a Loved One’s Death

Families may have several options for compensation after the death of a loved one. Wrongful death lawsuits, trust fund claims and veterans benefits claims may all be options. Asbestos attorneys can help families explore possible sources of compensation.

Depending on the unique facts of their case, family members of deceased mesothelioma patients may be able to file one or more of the following:

  • Asbestos trust fund claims
  • Veterans benefits claims
  • Workers’ compensation claims
  • Wrongful death lawsuits

Asbestos attorneys can help family members determine claim eligibility. They can explain how the passing of a loved one affects their financial compensation options. They can also handle the process of filing and litigating claims and lawsuits on behalf of their clients.

Asbestos Lawsuit After Death

Families can file lawsuits to hold asbestos companies accountable for the death of a loved one from mesothelioma. Successful wrongful death lawsuits can set precedents for other families to win against companies that exposed people to asbestos. Asbestos lawsuit compensation can also provide financial security and help cover mesothelioma-related costs.

Family members may file wrongful death lawsuits against companies that exposed their loved one to asbestos. To win their case, they must show that their loved one died from an asbestos-related illness, like mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis. Asbestos lawyers have the knowledge and resources to help build a strong case.

Wrongful death lawsuits may result in asbestos settlements or jury verdicts.

Asbestos Trust Fund Claims

Family members may be able to file asbestos trust fund claims after the death of a loved one from mesothelioma. Many companies have set up trust funds to handle present and future asbestos liabilities. Families may seek compensation from several trusts when more than one company caused their loved one’s asbestos exposure.

Each trust has its own requirements for filing a claim after the death of a loved one. Trusts may ask for the following documentation when filing a mesothelioma wrongful death claim:

  • Death certificate
  • Employment records
  • Medical reports
  • Testimony from a family member

Asbestos lawyers can help families identify companies that may have caused their loved one’s asbestos exposure. They can also help gather the evidence necessary to file successful wrongful death trust claims.

VA Claims for Loved Ones

Family members of veterans who have passed away from mesothelioma may be eligible for benefits from the VA. The VA has its own eligibility requirements, which may vary depending on the type of benefits being applied for. In most cases, family members must be able to show that the veteran was exposed to asbestos as a result of their military service.

Veterans have high rates of asbestos-related diseases. Asbestos use was widespread in the military during the twentieth century. Members of the Navy, Air Force, Army and other military branches often experienced asbestos exposure while serving.

The VA has set up a number of benefits programs to help families of deceased veterans. Different types of benefits may have different eligibility requirements and payout structures.

VA Benefits Programs for Veterans’ Family Members

Aid and Attendance

Spouses of veterans may be eligible for monthly Aid and Attendance benefits. They may qualify if they need help with daily activities because of a mental or physical illness or infirmity.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC)

VA DIC provides monthly, tax-exempt payments to family members of veterans who have died from service-related injuries. Spouses, children and parents may qualify.

Survivors Pension

Spouses and dependent children of deceased wartime veterans may qualify for monthly pension payments. The VA sets limits on net worth and income to qualify for this benefit.

Family members of deceased veterans may be able to continue receiving healthcare coverage from the VA. The VA may also provide up to $2,000 to spouses to cover end-of-life costs. Like with the other VA benefits, there are specific conditions for who qualifies.

Mesothelioma lawyers can help families determine eligibility for different VA benefits programs. They can also help gather any required documentation and file claims on their behalf.

Workers’ Compensation After Death

Families may be able to file death benefit claims under a company’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. Family members whose loved one passed as a result of occupational asbestos exposure may be eligible to receive this benefit.

Every state except Texas requires businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits vary by state, the insurer and the specific policy.

Receiving workers’ compensation may prevent family members from seeking compensation from better paying sources. A mesothelioma lawyer can help families decide whether to pursue workers’ compensation.

03. Compensation for Asbestos Death

Compensation for an Asbestos-Related Death

Families may receive compensation for an asbestos-related death from lawsuits or asbestos claims. Money from mesothelioma legal actions can help pay expenses and provide financial security. In general, the average mesothelioma settlement is $1 – $1.4 million. Asbestos trust fund claims may pay over $125,000.

Expenses and Other Losses Covered by Asbestos Compensation After Death

Experienced mesothelioma lawyers provide service every step of the way to win compensation. They can identify and argue for losses for which their clients are owed payment. This gives families time to care for each other while their lawyers are fighting on their behalf. Any compensation received can help provide financial security during a difficult time.

How Is Mesothelioma Compensation After Death Paid Out?

Mesothelioma compensation after death is generally paid out as either a lump sum or a structured settlement. Family members to whom the compensation is owed receive the money through a wire transfer or check.

Lump sums pay out compensation all at once. Structured settlements pay out compensation monthly, yearly or quarterly over a period of time.

Compensation amounts are calculated to be able to cover certain costs. Often, money provided from lawsuits helps pay for these expenses, like medical bills and end-of-life costs. However, the money is generally provided without any specifications on how to spend it.

Compensation received for wrongful deaths is not subject to federal taxation. In general, states also do not tax wrongful death compensation.

04. How to File

How to File an Asbestos Claim After Death

Families can seek legal counsel to help them file an asbestos claim after the death of a loved one. Mesothelioma lawyers can handle lawsuits and claims on behalf of their clients, from filing to negotiating compensation amounts. This leaves families time to focus on other concerns.

Process for Filing an Asbestos Claim After Death

The process for filing an asbestos claim after death begins with a free consultation at a mesothelioma law firm. This free case evaluation does not come with an obligation to hire the firm. If hired, the firm’s lawyers will get to work collecting the necessary documents to file a lawsuit and any claims. They will then file the case on their clients’ behalf.

Infographic explaining steps for filing an asbestos claim after a loved one's death. Blue icons and text on a white background. Phone icon. Step 1: Get a free case review at a law firm. Scales icon. Step 2: Hire your preferred law firm. Documents icon. Step 3: Gather documents to prove your case. Checklist icon. Step 4: Determine your claim options. Courthouse icon. Step 5: File your lawsuit and claims.

Lawyers can handle the rest of the legal process after filing as well. They can keep their clients updated on any developments in their case and will present any settlement offers to them for approval.

Mesothelioma lawyers have the knowledge and resources to build strong cases. They know how to gather and present necessary documents and can help ensure any filing deadlines are met.

Documenting Asbestos Exposure

Strong mesothelioma cases for wrongful death present evidence of exposure, diagnosis and death from an asbestos-related disease. Families and patients may want to begin collecting evidence as soon as a potential asbestos exposure occurs. Once hired, lawyers can also help gather documents and organize them to create a strong case for compensation.

It can be difficult to know if and when asbestos exposure occurred. People who worked in high-risk occupations, at known asbestos jobsites and used asbestos products may be at risk of exposure. If a person suspects they or their loved ones may have been exposed, they may want to document exposure history using:

  • Evidence of any potential secondary asbestos exposure
  • Invoices, receipts and other records of work history
  • Military records, if applicable
  • Personal testimony of work history, including dates spent at specific jobsites
  • Statements from co-workers attesting to asbestos risk on the job

Asbestos attorneys can also help locate this information. Many asbestos victims may not know they were exposed, so an experienced lawyer can help pinpoint sources.

After a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is also important for patients to make medical records available to family members. Medical records can be difficult to access after a patient passes. Patients can talk to a mesothelioma doctor or lawyer to make sure records are available to family members.

Having useful evidence on file can make the legal process easier and faster. But it is understandable if family members are not prepared when a loved one passes from mesothelioma. Asbestos lawyers are aware of this and have the skills to gather evidence families do not have on hand.

Statutes of Limitations for Mesothelioma Lawsuits After Death

Each state has deadlines for filing wrongful death lawsuits found in laws called statutes of limitations. Wrongful death statutes of limitations generally range from one to three years after the death of a patient from an asbestos disease. Different mesothelioma claims may also have filing time limits that may differ from lawsuit deadlines.

Speaking to a mesothelioma attorney soon after the death of a loved one gives families the most options for compensation. A lawyer can file all possible legal actions in a timely manner.

Steps for Undiagnosed Asbestos Victims and Loved Ones

Asbestos exposure victims may want to prepare for the possibility of an asbestos cancer diagnosis. Asbestos exposure alone is usually not enough to file a lawsuit or asbestos claim. In general, a diagnosis or death from an asbestos disease is needed to seek compensation.

  • What doctors can do: Doctors can watch for the development of mesothelioma symptoms in patients. Not only does this create an important record that may be used in litigation, but it also can lead to early diagnosis.
  • What asbestos victims can do: People who know or suspect asbestos exposure may want to keep records about their work histories and asbestos product use. In the event of a diagnosis, these records can help build a strong case against companies responsible for the exposure.

Any level of exposure to asbestos fibers can lead to the development of an asbestos-related disease. Good recordkeeping helps with any potential legal action and, more importantly, the health of the patient. An early mesothelioma diagnosis may lead to better treatment outcomes and life expectancy.

05. How Death Impacts Existing Claims

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

A personal injury lawsuit does not end when a mesothelioma patient dies during a case. When a person dies during their lawsuit, a representative may continue the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate. It would be unjust otherwise, giving companies an incentive to draw out litigation to wait for their victims to die. In most cases, families may also file their own wrongful death lawsuit at the same time.

Estate representatives are often spouses, children or a person designated in the decedent’s will. A court must approve the representative before the personal injury lawsuit can continue. An asbestos attorney can navigate the process of naming an estate representative.

06. Common Questions

Common Questions About Filing an Asbestos Claim After a Loved One’s Death

How can family members get help with mesothelioma compensation?

Asbestos attorneys can handle the process of seeking compensation when a loved one dies from mesothelioma. Families may be able to file wrongful death lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims against asbestos companies. Veterans’ families may also be entitled to VA benefits.

What is the deadline for filing an asbestos claim after death?

Deadlines to file wrongful death lawsuits are outlined in state laws called statutes of limitations. In general, the deadline for families to file after the death of a mesothelioma patient is one to three years. Trust fund claims have their own deadlines, which may or may not be the same as lawsuit deadlines.

Can you claim for asbestosis after death?

Yes, family members may pursue asbestosis wrongful death cases against asbestos companies. The process for filing an asbestosis lawsuit or claim is the same as the process for mesothelioma cases. Payouts for asbestosis lawsuits and claims may be lower than those for mesothelioma.