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Legal Support for Veterans with Mesothelioma

Asbestos was used frequently prior to the 1970s, before its dangers were well-known. Occupational exposure has led to many United States’ workers developing asbestos-related illnesses, and one of the largest exposed groups has been veterans.

Around 30% of the total diagnosed cases of mesothelioma are veterans, since asbestos was used so frequently throughout military bases, equipment and vehicles. As a result, many veterans have developed mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. Asbestos companies knowingly put people at risk, which is why veterans can exercise their legal rights. Legal support has allowed veterans to find financial compensation and benefits to help after their diagnosis.

Financial Assistance for Veterans Diagnosed with Mesothelioma Financial Assistance for Veterans Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

Understanding Legal Options for Veterans

A mesothelioma diagnosis can cause pain and suffering, as well as a large financial burden on veterans and their families. Lost income from the inability to work and rising mesothelioma treatment costs can make it difficult to take care of a family and afford ongoing care. Fortunately, there are resources available that can help those who have served and their loved ones.

It can be difficult for patients to fully understand what types of legal action they can take to get help after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis. However, there are mesothelioma law firms dedicated to taking such cases, with asbestos attorneys trained and experienced in providing veterans with the best options for their individual case.

Compensation for Veterans with Mesothelioma

Veterans may pursue the same options for compensation as other mesothelioma victims. However, they may be eligible for additional benefits after serving. Mesothelioma lawyers have experience exploring these routes for financial help and can offer insight into what will deliver the most compensation possible.

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Veterans’ Mesothelioma Lawsuits

One way in which veterans or their surviving loved ones can get financial help is through an asbestos lawsuit. While they cannot sue the U.S. Government, they can sue the asbestos companies that produced the materials or asbestos products leading to asbestos exposure and a mesothelioma diagnosis. The two primary types of mesothelioma lawsuits include:

Patients or family members will work with a lawyer to gather evidence of their exposure, diagnosis and time served to build a case. Once the mesothelioma case is filed, it will be reviewed. In many cases, asbestos companies offer a mesothelioma settlement, providing compensation before the case goes to trial. The individual may accept or reject the settlement, and if rejected, the case will go to trial where a verdict will be reached.

Due to a growing amount of asbestos lawsuits, many asbestos companies have gone bankrupt. However, many were forced to set up asbestos trust funds with adequate funds to pay out current and future claims, allowing veterans to collect compensation years after the asbestos company was in operation.

VA Claims

Members of the U.S. Military that have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness may be able to file a VA claim. Most claims have been filed by members of the U.S. Navy as a result of high risk of asbestos exposure, but have also been seen among members of the Air Force, Army, Marines and Coast Guard. A VA claim allows individuals to file for veterans’ benefits through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Claim types for veterans include:

For veterans filing an asbestos-related claim, it will likely be a post-service disability claim, which covers disabilities from exposure to hazardous materials. Once the claim is filed, it will go through a claims process that will hopefully result in a financial award. A mesothelioma lawyer will be able to gather the necessary evidence and ensure the claim is strong before being submitted.

Compensation from a VA claim may include disability compensation, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) or Special Monthly Compensation (SMC).

In addition to monetary benefits, there is other help that veterans may get from a VA claim. The VA may be able to offer housing or additional insurance benefits to veterans, such as Adapted Housing grants, Service-Disabled Veterans’ Insurance and Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance.

Legal Considerations for Veterans

Mesothelioma attorneys have experience working with mesothelioma patients to get these VA benefits and will be able to determine potential eligibility. They will also take stress and work off of veterans and their families by organizing information, collecting evidence and making any necessary court appearances on the patient’s behalf, allowing them to focus on their treatment journey.

It’s important for patients and loved ones to note that there is also a statute of limitations, requiring lawsuits and claims to be filed within a certain amount of time after receiving a diagnosis or after an asbestos-related death. Each state has its own statute of limitations, and patients or family members should discuss with a mesothelioma lawyer to ensure they are filing in time.

Author: Tara Strand

Senior Content Writer

Tara Strand

Reviewer: Jennifer R. Lucarelli

Lawyer for Mesothelioma Victims and Their Families

Jennifer R. Lucarelli
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Sources

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Compensation. Updated October 2018.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Eligibility for VA Disability Benefits.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA Disability Compensation.

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