Legal Compensation

Legal compensation is available to people with asbestos-related illnesses, like mesothelioma. If you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may have several options to seek legal compensation to pay for life-extending treatments. Working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer is the best way to obtain full compensation as quickly as possible.

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Legal Compensation for Asbestos Exposure

People who develop asbestos-related illnesses are victims of greed. Many companies using asbestos-containing materials were fully aware that long-term asbestos exposure presented deadly health risks.

Numerous victims and family members were never compensated for this terrible national tragedy.

It is estimated that over 27 million Americans suffered from asbestos exposure until the mid-1980s. Many of them have developed fatal diseases as a result, including mesothelioma. These victims and their families deserve compensation and justice.

The three main mesothelioma compensation types are: 

  • Legal Claims: A lawsuit can be brought against asbestos manufacturers and companies that made or used asbestos-containing products.
  • Asbestos Trust Funds: Over $30 Billion is set aside in trust funds for victims of asbestos exposure.
  • VA Benefits: Veterans may have a number of options to get benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Legal Compensation Benefits

People with asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma have several options to obtain legal compensation from the companies that exposed them. Working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer is the best way to obtain full compensation as quickly as possible.

Since asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma are complex and rare, they can be expensive to treat.

Financial compensation can be used to pay for:

  • Medical treatments
  • Medications
  • Surgical procedures
  • Travel
  • Caregiving costs
  • Assistance for loved ones

By taking legal action against asbestos companies, you are holding them accountable for the damage they’ve caused.

Receiving Legal Compensation for Mesothelioma

A compensation claim allows you to seek money from an asbestos company by explaining why you should receive a payout. Your claim will explain that you were exposed to asbestos during your employment, which resulted in your illness.

There are several types of compensation claims, including:

  • Personal injury claims
  • Wrongful death claims
  • Trust fund claims

Accessing compensation for mesothelioma is a complicated and challenging process. Asbestos companies have aggressive defense lawyers who will do what they can to disprove your allegations. When accessing trust funds or VA benefits, you must provide enough evidence to support your claims.

Without the help of an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, it can be difficult to receive the compensation you deserve.

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Types of Legal Compensation

Most asbestos victims seek compensation through lawsuits, trust funds, and VA benefits.

It’s important to work with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who can recommend which form of compensation will award you the most money. There may also be mesothelioma compensation for family members.

A mesothelioma lawyer can help figure out what courses of action may be possible.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

You may be able to sue asbestos companies as long as they have not declared bankruptcy. This is the most complicated and time-consuming way to pursue compensation.

While compensation payouts can be generous, filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is risky because there is no guarantee of success if your case goes to trial.

Fortunately, the vast majority of mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court.

Settlements

Most of the time, mesothelioma cases do not make it to trial. This is true in 95% of all mesothelioma cases.

When a settlement is reached, the defendants will pay a mesothelioma victim outright instead of spending months — or even years — defending a case in court.

Trial Verdicts

If a law firm is able to help, they will begin the claim-filing process. A lawsuit is then filed against the company (or companies) responsible for the patient’s asbestos-related disease.

In some cases, these lawsuits can eventually wind up in court. When this happens, a jury or a judge will render a verdict, either awarding “damages” to the client in the form of monetary compensation or deciding that the company does not owe damages.

Asbestos Trust Funds

Over 100 asbestos companies have declared bankruptcy to free themselves from asbestos lawsuits. Many of these companies set money aside in trust funds to compensate their victims.

Anyone who developed an asbestos-related disease after being exposed to asbestos can access these trust funds. Filing a trust fund claim is the safest and fastest way to get compensation.

Today, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds for future claimants.

Access Asbestos Trust Funds

Compensation for treatment, loss of income and other damages are available through Asbestos Trust Funds. Mesothelioma patients exposed to asbestos may qualify.

Find Out If You Qualify

VA Benefits

Veterans are much more likely to develop asbestos-related illnesses than civilians, accounting for one-third of all mesothelioma diagnoses.

The VA provides compensation to veterans who suffered diseases from asbestos exposure while serving the country. The VA only provides compensation to cover military-related expenses, like healthcare or lost wages. They do not pursue punitive damages against asbestos suppliers.

It’s also worth noting that veterans cannot sue the government or the U.S. military. But they can pursue private lawsuits against companies while claiming VA benefits.

How Much Compensation Will I Receive?

The amount of your compensation payout will depend on the type of compensation you seek, as well as the severity of your suffering. Typically, lawsuits that end in a settlement pay more money than trust funds. However, the values vary with each case.

People with mesothelioma often receive the highest compensation amounts possible in any claim.

Your compensation claim will be evaluated to determine how much money you will receive. Compensation claims adjusters follow a schedule of standard payouts depending on specific illness levels. Typically, claimants receive monthly payouts.

Many factors will influence your compensation amount, including: 

  • Illness severity: People with minor illnesses like benign tumors and non-life-threatening tissue scarring may receive less compensation than those with fatal diseases like mesothelioma
  • Victim Expenses: Courts and trust funds consider the costs of the victim’s medical treatments, lost wages, and personal suffering. They may also award punitive damages against highly negligent defendants.
  • Other Payment Sources: Compensation claims may be adjusted if you have received settlements in claims against other defendants, workers compensation, or benefits from Medicare or Medicaid

How Long Will It Take to Receive Compensation?

Compensation time frames depend on how severe a claimant’s case is and the type of claim being made. While lawsuits can take years to play out, some trust fund claims get processed in a matter of months.

Without legal help, it may be near impossible to receive financial compensation in a timely manner.

Since many mesothelioma patients face unfavorable life expectancies, it’s essential to work with a lawyer to accelerate your compensation claim timeline.

Statute of Limitations and Legal Claims

Some compensation claims are subject to statutes of limitations. These are laws that dictate how much time you have to take legal action after receiving your diagnosis.

In most states, personal injury claims must be filed within 2-3 years of your diagnosis. Family members often have 2 years to file a wrongful death claim after the victim has passed away.

However, the best — and only — way to know for sure how long you have to file a claim is by working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer.

Legal Help to Receive Compensation

Seeking compensation for an asbestos-related illness is tricky. Claimants must be able to prove a link between their illness and the company’s products.

The best thing to do when seeking asbestos compensation is to work with an experienced lawyer specializing in asbestos cases.

Mesothelioma law firms have the skills needed to build a case against asbestos companies and maximize that case’s success. Working with an experienced lawyer may mean the difference between winning compensation and losing out entirely.

If you have developed an asbestos-related disease after being exposed to asbestos at work, you may be eligible for compensation.

Mesothelioma cases are a priority, and significant compensation payments have been negotiated for many victims.

To learn whether you may be eligible for compensation, start a free case review today.

Author:Stephanie Kidd

Editor-in-Chief of the Mesothelioma Justice Network

Stephanie Kidd

Stephanie Kidd works tirelessly as a dedicated advocate for the vulnerable and underrepresented. Stephanie worked as a copywriter for an agency whose focus was communicating safety procedures on construction work sites. With her extensive background in victim advocacy and a dedication to seeing justice done, Stephanie works hard to ensure that all online content is reliable, truthful and helpful.

Last modified: September 18, 2019

View 3 Sources
  1. Stephen, C., Hensler, D., Abrahamse, A., Gross, J., White, M., Ashwood, S., & Sloss, E. (2002). Asbestos Litigation Costs and Compensation. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/documented_briefings/2005/DB397.pdf.
  2. Dixon, L., McGovern, G., & Coombe, A. (2010) Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts: An Overview of Trust Structure and Activity with Detailed Reports on the Largest Trusts. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2010/RAND_TR872.pdf.
  3. United States Government Accountability Office. (2011, September). Asbestos Injury Compensation: The Role and Administration of Asbestos Trusts. Retrieved from: http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/585380.pdf.
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