212-681-1575

There Are Bankruptcy Funds Already Set Aside for Families of Victims

Did you know that 27.5 million people in the United States have been exposed to asbestos at work?
Large corporations have been required by law to set aside money in trust funds for mesothelioma victims. These funds were intended to help families pay for medical care and compensate for lost wages, but many families never even act to claim their portion of the fund.

  • Get help and advice
  • Get funds for your treatment and care


Mesothelioma patients and their families may have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on treatment for this debilitating cancer. Many mesothelioma patients face mounting bills from surgeries, hospital stays, chemotherapy, radiation, and other medical procedures and tests, as well as the expense of paying for assisted living facilities or caregivers.

However, patients and their families should know that they have several options for pursuing compensation for mesothelioma. Because asbestos is the only known cause of this type of cancer, companies that manufactured or distributed asbestos products can be held responsible for the harm they have caused you. In addition, you can apply for government disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Social Security Administration.

A skilled asbestos lawyer can help you and your family pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve after a mesothelioma diagnosis. To discuss the types of compensation that may be available to you, contact us for more information.

Options for Pursuing Mesothelioma Compensation

When exploring your options for mesothelioma compensation, your lawyer should start by discussing your work history or your military service history. A skilled mesothelioma attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to identify exactly which asbestos companies can be held responsible for your diagnosis.

It is important to understand that you will likely not be suing your former employer (or the military). Instead, mesothelioma compensation payouts come from the companies that manufactured and sold products containing asbestos. In addition, your attorney may identify several options for seeking compensation, such as:

Filing Claims with Asbestos Bankruptcy Funds

In an effort to protect mesothelioma patients, federal law requires asbestos companies that file for bankruptcy to put aside money in special trust funds.

Filing a claim for compensation from an asbestos trust fund is different from filing a lawsuit. However, your lawyer may still need to identify and provide proof of which asbestos products you were exposed to at work or home. They will do all the work to protect you and your family.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Many of the companies that manufactured and sold asbestos products are still in business and can be sued in court.

Your asbestos attorney will file a lawsuit against responsible companies and prepare a case against these companies. They will appear in court, take depositions get records, hire experts and take the case to trial if  necessary. Your lawyer will obtain settlements for your and your family.

Sometimes, a settlement can occur after a lawsuit has been filed, even at the very last minute before a verdict is read or a judgment is made.

Obtaining VA Benefits

Many people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos during their time in the armed forces. Navy veterans, in particular, are at a higher risk for developing the disease due to the prevalence of asbestos on ships and in shipyards.

If you have mesothelioma and were exposed while in the military, you may be eligible for monthly benefits. We will help you file a claim with the Veterans Administration.

Filing for Social Security Disability Benefits

If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma before you reach retirement age, you can claim Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Although the Social Security Administration recognizes that mesothelioma is a debilitating disease, you will still need to provide detailed proof of your medical condition in order to obtain benefits.

A knowledgeable mesothelioma attorney can help you gather the necessary documentation for an SSDI claim, as well as represent you in an appeal if your initial claim has been denied.

Workers Compensation

A workers compensation claim may also be filed on your behalf.

Every person’s circumstances are different, and you may end up pursuing compensation from a combination of sources. For example, your attorney may file a claim through an asbestos trust fund while negotiating a settlement with another asbestos company. At the same time, your attorney may help you file for VA benefits or SSDI benefits.

Types of Compensation You Could Receive

 

It is impossible to put a price on what you and your family are going through. However, an experienced mesothelioma attorney will thoroughly assess your case and help you get the compensation you and your family deserve.

Your attorney will likely demand payment for:

  • Medical expenses, including future medical treatments your doctor may recommend
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity for the future
  • Pain and suffering (both physical and emotional)
  • Wrongful death
  • Loss of services to your spouse
  • Travel expenses related to your treatment


In cases involving extreme misconduct on the part of the asbestos company, your attorney may also pursue punitive damages, which are meant to punish the at-fault party.

 

What to Look for in a Mesothelioma Lawyer

When you and your family are facing the expenses related to mesothelioma treatment, you should know that you are not alone. Many families have learned that having an experienced mesothelioma lawyer on their side takes the burden off them, so they can focus on treatment and improving their quality of life.

When choosing a mesothelioma lawyer, you should look for one who is:

    • Focused on asbestos cases. Mesothelioma claims can be complicated, and you need an attorney with plenty of experience with these types of cases. Don’t be afraid to ask how many cases an attorney has successfully handled and how long the attorney has been practicing in this area. 

    • Widely recognized for recovering mesothelioma compensation payouts. Every state is different in the way mesothelioma cases are handled, so you need an attorney with a national reputation for securing compensation. Always ask for a list of mesothelioma verdicts and settlements.

    • Sensitive to your needs. Pursuing compensation should not be a stressful process, and your attorney should make it as easy as possible on you and your family. For example, your attorney should come to you for consultations and interviews, rather than asking you to travel. Ask the attorney for client testimonials and recommendations, so you know how other clients were treated.

    • Previously tried asbestos cases to verdict. Asbestos companies will only pay you what you deserve if they think your lawyer will actually take them to trial. Ask the attorney if they have previously taken asbestos cases to trial and secured verdicts for asbestos victims.

A good mesothelioma lawyer should meet with you for free to discuss your case. In fact, you should not have to pay anything until your case is settled. The attorney should work on a contingency fee basis, meaning legal fees would be collected only if you recover compensation.

If you or a loved one needs financial help after a mesothelioma diagnosis, or if you just want to learn more about your options, please contact us. We are here to connect you with the support you need to get through this difficult time

Nancy Meredith

About the Author - 

Nancy is a blog and content writer with more than 20 years of professional experience. Nancy has been writing about mesothelioma and cancer for close to eight years.

Published: Aug 29, 2016 - Updated: Mar 20, 2017