How to Get Compensation for Asbestos Exposure
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Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that affects organ tissue, and it’s increasingly common: according to the American Cancer Society¹, about 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. However, it can take as long as 50 years for mesothelioma to appear. This means many people don’t know they have mesothelioma, living undiagnosed and unaware.
Why is mesothelioma so common? Most mesothelioma cases are linked to asbestos exposure. If you develop this terrible type of cancer, you likely worked for a company or in an environment that used asbestos even after it was discovered to be dangerous.
If you've been diagnosed with mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, you deserve better. The company responsible should be held responsible – and you should act quickly to get the compensation you deserve. In most states, Nolo² reports, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit is one to five years after you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma. There are a few ways you can receive compensation, and the following are three of the top options.
1. Mesothelioma Lawsuits
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the company responsible for the exposure. If a loved one died from mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
No matter which case you’re dealing with, you can begin working with a lawyer and building a case today. Consultations are free, letting you meet with different attorneys, share your experiences, and decide if you have a case. A free consultation is the perfect way to begin pursuing the compensation you deserve without any financial commitment.
During your free consultation, you and your lawyer will decide how to handle your case. Most asbestos cases are individual lawsuits, meaning you'll be the only person filing legal action against the company responsible for your mesothelioma.
In order to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, you’ll need an official diagnosis by a doctor. The first step in building a legal case is to gather as much information as possible about your asbestos exposure, like medical reports from your mesothelioma doctor, proof of your asbestos exposure, and documents that prove your employment history. Once you have your case, you can sue your former employer and receive compensation for your treatments, lost income, pain and suffering, and potentially even your legal fees.
2. Mesothelioma Trust Funds
If you don’t want to deal with the complications and potential frustrations of going to court for mesothelioma compensation, you can turn to mesothelioma trust funds.
Since the link between asbestos and mesothelioma was discovered, many companies that produced products containing asbestos or used asbestos in their operations faced numerous lawsuits. Some of these companies filed for bankruptcy to reduce their liability, but they were required to set up trusts to provide compensation for current and future claimants.
Mesothelioma trust funds are managed by a board of trustees and are completely separate from the companies that caused asbestos exposure. They're designed to pay out claims quickly, which is why many people choose to file a claim with a trust instead of filing a lawsuit.
Filing with a trust is typically faster and easier than filing a lawsuit. If you decide to file a claim with a trust, you'll have to prove you were exposed to asbestos. Most trusts have medical and exposure criteria that all claimants must meet to receive compensation.
Each trust fund has a different payment schedule, but they all pay a percentage of the compensation you’re entitled to. For example, a judge may determine that you’re entitled to $500,000. If the trust has a payment percentage of 50 percent, you would receive just $250,000.
This is the biggest drawback of filing with a mesothelioma trust: you may not receive all the compensation you deserve. The average payout in 2018, according to the Environmental Litigation Group³, is only about 25 percent of the amount owed – and that percentage can drop even lower if multiple people make claims at the same time.
3. Mesothelioma Care Centers
If you're not sure where to start with your asbestos case, a mesothelioma care center can offer you guidance, help with your treatments and medical options, and advice on pursuing compensation for what you’ve suffered. Mesothelioma care centers like Asbestos.com, Mesothelioma.net, and the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center. These organizations employ patient advocates who will find helpful medical and legal information for you.
The experts at these care centers can help you arrange medical treatment, find doctors who specialize in mesothelioma, and offer advice on how to pursue compensation for your unique case. The patient advocates at mesothelioma care centers can also help you find a reputable attorney in your area or recommend mesothelioma trusts. They've worked with many people in the same situation as you, so they can offer valuable advice about how to pursue compensation.
Many companies were aware of the dangers of asbestos for years, but they didn't bother to protect their employees or customers. Their negligence has resulted in terrible consequences for thousands of people, and they must be held accountable.
Fortunately, seeking compensation for mesothelioma doesn’t have to cost you more money or financial strain. Lawyers, trust funds, care centers, and other resources offer free consultations, so you won't risk anything or have to pay anything if you schedule a meeting. You deserve to be compensated, and you should act quickly for the best results.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.