Accessing Asbestos Trust Funds
To receive compensation from an asbestos trust fund, you will need to file a claim. An asbestos attorney can help you navigate the claim process and increase your chances of successfully recovering the compensation you deserve.
It’s essential to work with an experienced legal team to gather evidence to support your claim.
Who Can Access Asbestos Trust Funds?
Anyone who has developed an asbestos-related disease may be able to access asbestos trust funds. Family members can also file claims if the asbestos victim has died. However, various restrictions apply when a person makes a claim to access compensation payments. Legal assistance can help you determine your eligibility and ensure your claim is successful.
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.
Choosing a Trust Fund
People seeking compensation through a trust fund must first determine which trusts they qualify for. Often, more than one company is responsible for someone’s asbestos-related illness, so it’s common to file with multiple trusts.
When filing a trust fund claim, you must show that a particular company caused your illness. This is often established based on the claimant’s work history. While it can be challenging to identify the companies responsible for exposing you to asbestos, an asbestos attorney can help you determine your exposure history.
Many companies worked together to make and sell asbestos-containing products. As a result, more than one company may be responsible for your asbestos-related disease. In this case, you may be able to file against more than one trust.
Asbestos Trust Fund Companies
The first asbestos trust fund was set up by the Johns-Manville Corporation in 1987. Since then, over 100 major asbestos companies have filed for bankruptcy, and many of these have set up trust funds for their victims.
Some of the most notable companies to set up asbestos trust funds include:
- W.R. Grace & Co.
- Babcock and Wilcox
- Armstrong World Industries
- Turner and Newall
- Pittsburgh Corning
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 you are not yet experiencing serious symptoms. Work with an experienced lawyer to determine how long you have to file a claim.
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Proving Your Exposure to Asbestos
People who wish to access asbestos trust funds must prove the connection between their asbestos exposure and their disease. Essentially, you will need to prove how, when and where you were exposed to asbestos. For your claim to succeed, you also need to demonstrate that your disease was caused by the asbestos products manufactured or used by the bankrupt company.
You 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