How to File an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Today, most companies that manufactured asbestos-based products have established asbestos trust funds. A trust fund allows victims to receive financial compensation while protecting the rest of the company’s assets.
With the help of an asbestos lawyer, victims may be able to access money from asbestos trust funds.
Who Can Access Asbestos Trust Funds?
To receive compensation from an asbestos trust fund, a person will need to file a claim. An asbestos attorney can help the claimant navigate the claim process and increase the chances of successfully recovering the compensation they deserve.
It’s essential to work with an experienced legal team to gather evidence that supports the claim.
Those who can access asbestos trust funds may be:
- Victims: anyone who has developed an asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma
- Family members: Family members can file claims if the asbestos victim has died
- Secondhand asbestos exposure victims: those who lived with people who worked around asbestos may have inhaled the fibers as well, and may have a claim
Some of the eligibility requirements for accessing asbestos trust funds include:
- A confirmed diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, or another specified form of lung cancer
- Proof of a connection between the company’s asbestos-containing product and the asbestos illness
- Evidence that the death of an asbestos victim had a substantial impact on their family’s financial or emotional well-being
Proving Past Exposure to Asbestos
People who wish to access asbestos trust funds must prove the connection between their asbestos exposure and their disease. Essentially, they will need to prove how, when, and where they were exposed to asbestos.
For a claim to succeed, claimants also need to demonstrate that the disease was caused by the asbestos products manufactured or used by the bankrupt company.
Claimants must provide the following evidence when filing a trust fund claim:
- Industry in which the exposure occurred
- Occupation during the time of exposure
- Name of the site of exposure
- Beginning and end dates for the time of exposure
- Social Security and employment records
- Documented proof of economic loss
- Type and stage of disease (mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other cancer)
- Death certificate (if applicable)
- Date of diagnosis
- Medical records
Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims
Statutes of limitations are strict rules about the period of time in which an injured person can take action to enforce their rights or claim compensation related to their injury.
Every state has its own statute of limitations, but typically, the clock starts ticking when the injured person receives their medical diagnosis.
The best practice is to file a claim as soon as possible after receiving an asbestos-related diagnosis, even if the person who was exposed to asbestos is not yet experiencing serious symptoms. Work with an experienced lawyer to determine how long you have to file a claim.
Steps to Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
There are several steps involved in accessing money from an asbestos trust fund.
The steps are highlighted as follows:
- File the claim: In order to file a claim, a claimant must know which company to file with. This includes producing evidence that shows where asbestos exposure occurred.
- Claim review: After the claim is filed, trustees review it. Claims are reviewed in two ways:
- Expedited review: If medical history and asbestos exposure meet specific criteria, they can be reviewed faster.
- Individual review: A person’s background is investigated in more detail.
- Claim liquidation: In this stage, claims are given a monetary value. This is the amount of money the asbestos trust fund will pay out.
- Payment: Once an offer is made and accepted, the victim is paid.