Most cases of asbestos exposure occur on job sites. Since asbestos is a carcinogen—and the only known cause of mesothelioma—employers have a duty to protect their workers from exposure.
Over 96% of mesothelioma deaths are related to occupational asbestos exposure.
Many mesothelioma patients know that they can seek compensation for their suffering. Before choosing a compensation option, make sure you’re fully aware of your legal rights. Workers’ compensation is just one way to seek a monetary reward.
Mesothelioma victims might be able to receive workers’ compensation if they were exposed to asbestos at work. However, this may not be your best choice. Before filing for workers’ compensation, talk to a mesothelioma lawyer. Alternative legal options may help you receive a much higher compensation amount.
Workers’ Compensation for Mesothelioma
Workers’ compensation laws cover all employees in the United States. The purpose of these laws is to give employees access to compensation without filing a lawsuit against their employer. Workers’ compensation is paid out by state programs or private insurance—most employers are required to contribute to these.
Most employees who are injured at work are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Because mesothelioma can be caused by asbestos exposure at work, it is considered a job-related illness. Other asbestos-related diseases, like asbestosis, are also covered.
If your mesothelioma workers’ compensation claim is accepted, you will receive money to cover lost wages and medical expenses.
Mesothelioma can take decades to show up after asbestos exposure. In this case, you can still file for workers’ compensation for mesothelioma, even if you no longer work for the company. Typically, you will have to file within a specified period following your diagnosis. Some state laws require employees to report their claim within a certain time frame after their last asbestos exposure.
You must meet specific eligibility requirements to receive workers’ compensation. For example, you must be a direct employee of the company rather than an independent contractor. Additionally, you may not be able to file a claim if you are a seasonal worker, domestic worker or agricultural worker.
Restrictions of Workers’ Compensation for Mesothelioma
Although workers’ compensation benefits can reduce the financial burden of your illness, this form of compensation will place limits on you.
Workers’ compensation protects employers by limiting the compensation amount that employees can receive. At the same time, filing for workers’ compensation prevents you from suing your employer directly, and receiving punitive or personal injury payments.
Often, mesothelioma patients can receive more money from lawsuits than workers’ compensation.
Additionally, workers’ compensation claims do not extend to manufacturers or suppliers. You will only receive compensation from your employer. However, you may be able to file a lawsuit against other responsible companies after receiving workers’ compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Your Employer
Workers’ compensation only pays a limited amount of money to cover some medical expenses and partial wages. Filing a lawsuit may be a better option to secure the financial stability of you and your family.
If your asbestos exposure occurred at work, your employer might have a legal obligation to pay you compensation. By suing your employer instead of filing a workers’ compensation claim, you can seek full compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages to punish your employer for their negligence.
Filing a lawsuit gives you a chance to seek justice and hold your employer responsible. In many asbestos cases, employers negligently exposed their workers to the known carcinogen. These companies need to be held liable for their actions.
However, filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is complicated. You will need plenty of evidence to build a solid case against your employer and prove that they are at fault for your illness. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help you determine whether or not you have a case against your employer. Your lawyer can also advise you on alternative compensation options.
Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer Before Making a Claim
Before you file any compensation claim for your illness, contact a mesothelioma lawyer. You don’t want to limit your options by pursuing the wrong form of compensation.
Since your employer wrongly caused you harm, you deserve the highest compensation amount you can get. Contact the Mesothelioma Cancer Network today to have your legal case reviewed to free.