Filing a Mesothelioma Claim
A mesothelioma claim, also known as an asbestos claim, is a type of legal action that allows mesothelioma patients and their families to obtain compensation for illnesses related to asbestos exposure. The three types of mesothelioma claims are personal injury claims, wrongful death claims and trust fund claims.
Types of Mesothelioma Claims
The most common types of mesothelioma claims are personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. Bankrupt asbestos companies also created asbestos trust funds, which are another type of mesothelioma claim that may provide needed compensation for victims.
A mesothelioma claim is a legal action that mesothelioma patients and their families can take to obtain compensation for their injuries. Filed as a result of asbestos exposure, these claims are also known as asbestos claims.
Mesothelioma claims may result in compensation through a settlement, payment by an asbestos trust fund or trial verdict. Payout varies depending on the type of claim filed, but some claims are worth more than $1 million.
Experienced mesothelioma lawyers are familiar with how best to pursue a mesothelioma claim on your behalf, including the identities of the various asbestos manufacturers, and may help you determine which companies are responsible for your illness. A qualified attorney will explain all your options for filing a claim for compensation.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
When a patient files a mesothelioma lawsuit, it takes the form of a personal injury claim. Juries can award monetary damages for various losses such as medical expenses, lost income, loss of consortium and pain and suffering.
In some cases, juries can also award punitive damages, which are monetary damages awarded to discourage future wrongdoing. Most mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court before a trial takes place.
Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim is a lawsuit the estate, including family members, can file after a person has died of mesothelioma. In these cases, juries may award compensation for various losses, including funeral costs in addition to cancer-related expenses.
Trust Fund Claims
Many asbestos companies have set up an asbestos trust fund list. Companies do this to set aside funds to compensate people harmed by asbestos exposure while avoiding further lawsuits.
An experienced mesothelioma law firm can help you determine whether the company responsible for your injuries has a trust fund and, if so, they will walk you through the claim-filing process.
Why Should You File an Asbestos Claim?
One of the top reasons mesothelioma patients file personal injury claims is to receive compensation. This compensation may be used to cover medical expenses for cancer treatment and make up for lost wages. Families who lost a loved one may file wrongful death claims for compensation to afford funeral costs, pay medical bills and gain financial support for surviving spouses and family members.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive illness that often requires expensive cancer treatments, travel and caregiving costs not covered by health insurance. This cancer is also preventable, and mesothelioma claims are designed to hold responsible companies accountable. Mesothelioma cases almost always trace back to asbestos exposure caused by corporate negligence.
In 2020, Americans who had gotten sick from asbestos exposure filed more than 3,600 lawsuits, according to a leading industry report.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer, your family may be entitled to receive significant compensation. Don’t assume you are not eligible to file a mesothelioma claim. A qualified mesothelioma attorney will provide a free consultation and case review.
What if Your Loved One Cannot Participate in the Claims Process?
If your loved one with mesothelioma is not feeling well enough to initiate a claim, a family member can step in to start the process on their behalf. Or if your loved one has already died from mesothelioma, the estate can file a wrongful death claim. You can contact a mesothelioma lawyer to start the claim filing process. They will begin the investigation by gathering evidence for the case.
Initiating the claims process allows the law firm to conduct research and interviews to locate witnesses and record testimony. If your loved one cannot record testimony on their own behalf, witnesses become even more important to the case. This makes it important to file a claim as soon as possible to afford time for the investigatory period.
How to File a Mesothelioma Claim
Filing a mesothelioma claim is made easier by hiring a lawyer who specializes in asbestos litigation. A knowledgeable attorney will help you gather documentation of your mesothelioma tests and asbestos exposure history to build a strong case. They will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
IN ORDER TO FILE A MESOTHELIOMA CLAIM, YOU WILL NEED:
- Medical records proving the diagnosis
- Work history records showing you or your loved one worked for the company named in the claim
- Testimony required to prove the cause of your asbestos exposure and the resulting cancer diagnosis
- Financial records showing financial hardships the illness has caused your family
The most important thing you can do is speak to a mesothelioma lawyer who can advise you of your rights. An experienced attorney can determine the best strategy to help you receive compensation for your losses, including medical bills, travel for treatments, funeral costs and other expenses.
Timeline of a Mesothelioma Claim
- Consult an Experienced Asbestos Lawyer:
A knowledgeable lawyer with a successful track record in mesothelioma cases can draw on their experience to determine the best options for your individual case.
- Confirm Eligibility:
A mesothelioma lawyer will research your exposure history and gather evidence and important information to understand how and why you were diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. If possible, they will determine which asbestos products you were exposed to and whether you qualify to file a claim.
- Filing the Claim:
Your attorney will handle every legal step, including filing your claim in the right court.
- Discovery Period:
After your claim is filed, defendants and your attorney will enter the discovery phase of the legal process where both sides conduct research, interviews and depositions to collect evidence and build their cases.
- Settlements, Trials and Verdicts:
Most of these claims are resolved through a mesothelioma settlement. It is rare for a mesothelioma case to go to trial. Most plaintiffs receive compensation through a settlement rather than a verdict.
The mesothelioma claims process is complex. Make sure you understand your options by seeking out professional advice from an experienced mesothelioma attorney.
Deadlines for Filing a Claim
State laws called statutes of limitations limit how long you can wait to file a mesothelioma claim. This time limit ranges from one year to a few years, depending on the state. The clock generally starts ticking at the date of diagnosis for personal injury claims and the date of death for wrongful death claims.
You may have the option of filing your claim in multiple states, depending on the location of the companies identified as defendants and where the asbestos exposure occurred.
You should work with a qualified mesothelioma attorney to decide where to file, make sure your claim paperwork is filled out properly, and ensure your claim is filed on time.
Who Pays Mesothelioma Compensation Claims?
Mesothelioma compensation can come from several sources, including: liable companies, asbestos trust funds, insurance companies and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Depending on the circumstances of the asbestos exposure, type of claim you file and status of the liable companies, you may be eligible to receive compensation from multiple sources. This may involve filing different types of claims resulting in compensation that liable companies, insurance companies and even the VA will pay if you’re a veteran with mesothelioma.
MESOTHELIOMA CLAIMS MAY BE PAID BY:
- Liable Companies: These can include asbestos mine operators, asbestos product manufacturers and companies that distributed or used asbestos products.
- Asbestos Trust Funds: Many liable companies have set up trust funds to pay asbestos claims in exchange for protection from future liability.
- Insurance Companies: Many companies have liability insurance that covers lawsuit claims. Workers’ compensation claims also fall into this category.
- Department of Veterans Affairs: The VA recognizes mesothelioma as a service-connected illness if the patient’s asbestos exposure happened during military service.
Insurance and Benefit Claims
Filing a claim for veteran benefits or workers’ comp may provide compensation without the need to file a lawsuit in court. The most immediate financial resource for families affected by mesothelioma is health insurance claims. You should work with an experienced claims agent or lawyer to make sure you receive all of the health insurance benefits available to you.
Many veterans develop asbestos-related diseases because of exposure during active-duty service. The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes mesothelioma as a potentially service-connected illness, which makes patients and family members eligible for disability compensation and survivor benefits.
A VA-accredited claims agent can help veterans with mesothelioma understand their options and file a claim. The VA has accredited team members at The Mesothelioma Center as claims agents, and they are available to help veterans seven days a week.
“Thank you for helping me file my brother’s VA claim. If you hadn’t guided me each step of the way, I would have felt helpless. The Mesothelioma Center made it easier than I could have imagined.”
sister of a veteran diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma
It is possible to file for workers’ compensation over a mesothelioma diagnosis, but most workers’ comp systems are not designed to adequately compensate people for occupational cancer.
Filing for workers’ comp usually means giving up your right to file a lawsuit, so make sure you consult an asbestos attorney about which option will better serve your needs.
Make sure you understand all the details of your insurance coverage so you don’t miss out on any financial resources available to your family.
Health insurance coverage for mesothelioma may cover a lot of cancer treatment costs but still leave patients with significant out-of-pocket expenses.
A disability insurance policy can compensate for loss of income during cancer treatment. Some people have disability insurance coverage through their employer.
Workers who have mesothelioma and are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits can file to receive these benefits early through Social Security Disability Insurance, which provides monthly compensation to those who qualify. A mesothelioma diagnosis qualifies for compassionate allowance, which speeds up processing to allow patients to receive payments faster.
A life insurance policy purchased individually or through an employer can ease a family’s financial burden when their loved one dies from mesothelioma. To file a life insurance claim, you often need the original policy documentation and a copy of the death certificate.
Common Questions About Mesothelioma Claims
What are the different types of mesothelioma claims?
There are three types of mesothelioma claims: Personal injury claims, wrongful death claims and trust fund claims. Veterans also have the option to file a VA claim to receive compensation for mesothelioma.
How long does it take to resolve a mesothelioma claim?
It depends on the type of claim filed. Trust fund claims may take months, while mesothelioma lawsuits may take years to reach a settlement or a trial verdict.
How much does an asbestos claim pay out?
The payout for an asbestos claim depends on the type of claim filed and the specifics of the individual case. For example, a mesothelioma claim usually has a higher payout than an asbestosis claim. Mesothelioma compensation can vary greatly from thousands of dollars obtained from settlements to millions obtained from jury verdicts.
Can loved ones of a mesothelioma patient file a claim?
Certain family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim if their loved one died of mesothelioma. A mesothelioma lawyer can let you know if you are eligible to file a claim in your state.
What is the statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims?
Each state sets its own statute of limitations for mesothelioma claims. The range is one to six years, with two years being the average allotted time to file a mesothelioma claim.
What different types of companies have been legally responsible in asbestos claims?
Many different types of companies have been held liable in asbestos claims, including asbestos mining companies, raw asbestos fiber suppliers, asbestos product manufacturers and contract companies that installed or repaired asbestos-containing products. Other types of employers and landowners have been held responsible as well.
Is it possible for more than one company to be held legally responsible?
Yes, it is quite common for multiple companies to be ruled responsible. That’s because asbestos workers encountered different types of asbestos products manufactured by different companies. Juries are tasked with appropriately allocating responsibility to all liable defendants.