Steps to Access Asbestos Trust Funds
With mesothelioma legal help, it may be possible for you to get money from asbestos trust funds. Below, learn the steps to pursuing trust fund compensation.
1. Prove Past Asbestos Exposure
First, evidence must be gathered that shows how you were exposed to asbestos and that you got sick as a result. An asbestos attorney can help you gather this evidence.
Evidence required to file a trust fund claim may include:
- Proof of Diagnosis: You must have medical records showing you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness.
- Physician Statement: This written notice gives a doctor’s insight into your condition and how it developed. For example, your doctor may note that your cancer stems from asbestos exposure.
- Proof of Asbestos Exposure: In order to build your case, your lawyer must know how and where you were exposed to asbestos. Top mesothelioma law firms have vast databases of information about the asbestos industry they will use to strengthen your case.
With this information, your mesothelioma lawyer will determine which manufacturers may be to blame and if they have asbestos trust funds.
2. File the Claim
When you work with a lawyer, you don’t have to prepare or file an asbestos claim yourself.
Your lawyer will file on your behalf once they know how you were exposed to asbestos and which mesothelioma trust funds you qualify for. This can help you avoid mistakes on your claim and prevent delays in compensation.
3. Have Your Claim Reviewed
Next, the mesothelioma trust fund’s board of trustees will review your claim and determine how much money you will get.
Asbestos trust fund claims are reviewed in 2 ways:
- Expedited review: The board of trustees uses a set of pre-established criteria to award compensation. The criteria may include the severity of your illness and which asbestos-based products you were exposed to.
- Individual review: With this option, the trustees take an in-depth look at your claim and award a value based on your unique situation. You can choose this option to try and get more money from your claim than you would from an expedited review.
4. Receive Asbestos Trust Fund Compensation
The board of trustees will make a financial offer to you and your lawyer after the claim is reviewed. If you accept, you will receive compensation over time based on the trust’s payment schedule.
Trust Fund Payments and Schedules
To keep a trust fund solvent, its board of trustees will place the money in an investment portfolio. These investments cause the trust’s balance to fluctuate, and they help determine when and how often claimants get paid. Payment schedules for mesothelioma trust funds are predetermined and make it so victims get paid over time.
Further, asbestos trust funds rarely pay the actual value of a claim in full, as most trusts couldn’t do this without dissolving completely. In these cases, the United States Bankruptcy Code (USBC) allows trusts to set up payment percentages.
Through payment percentages, the trust can pay a small portion of what is fully owed to a victim for the good of all the others who may need compensation in the future. For example, if a person is owed $100,000 from a trust, but the payment percentage is set at 1.5%, they will actually receive $1,500.