For decades, asbestos was sought after for its near-magical heat-, chemical- and fire-resistant properties. It was utilized in countless industries, from construction to the military. But when asbestos fibers settle in the lungs, they cause a slow and steady inflammation that can lead numerous deadly diseases including mesothelioma. Today, mesothelioma victims by the thousands are filing claims against the employers who carelessly and crassly put them at risk. Today, many of those victims have received millions of dollars from their claims.
For some mesothelioma victims, filing a claim may be a frightening and overwhelming process; for other victims, it may be liberating and therapeutic. For all of the victims, filing a claim can help pay for huge medical bills and mounting household expenses. Mesothelioma claims can help with lost wages, lost future earnings and overall financial security.
Even though asbestos and asbestos abatement are highly regulated, many workplaces simply ignore federal regulations regarding working with this toxic mineral. Some workers aren't provided with the proper protective gear, including facemasks, to protect from the dangers. Others aren't given the full information about the scope of their work. Others still may suspect possible problems but do what they're told without question because they depend on their jobs to pay the bills. Already, asbestos has claimed more than 200,000 lives in the U.S. and millions more worldwide. Every year, about 3,000 new mesothelioma cases are diagnosed in the United States alone.
Filing a Claim
There are several claim options for injured workers to pursue when seeking financial assistance for injuries. Some do not provide adequate financial help however:
- Workers' compensation — In some states, mesothelioma claims are considered an occupation illness and automatically qualify for workers' compensation. However, some state workers' comp systems require the victims to give up the right to sue the employer. And workers' comp often does not offer ample financial gains, leaving the injured worker and family struggling to make ends meet.
- Veterans benefits — For the mesothelioma victims who served in the military, there are some compensatory claims options. However, the paperwork to file a claim is known to be complicated and confusing.
- Bankruptcy trust — Because so many at-fault companies have since filed for bankruptcy protection and gone out of business after being found negligent, courts required trusts be established for injured workers. Filing a claim against the trust requires documented evidence of an asbestos-related injury. The trustees who manage the asbestos trust and your attorney negotiate an equitable settlement based on the extent of injuries and laws guiding the trust.
- Litigation — For many mesothelioma victims, filing a court claim is the most successful route to sufficient financial compensation. Depending on your case and your attorney's expert advice, you may sue the injurious company for personal injury or wrongful death.
Financial Assistance for Mesothelioma Victims
No matter the route asbestos victims and their attorneys choose to take, it is important to remember that acting quickly is the key to a successful outcome. Because many states limit the amount of time to file a claim, sometimes just 12 months after the initial mesothelioma diagnosis, it is important to speak to a mesothelioma attorney today.