There are a number of compensation options available for people injured by asbestos exposure.
Every case is different, but asbestos bankruptcy trusts, which today hold more than $30 billion in unused funds, were established by courts to hold asbestos companies liable and pay out claims related to illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos.
They are perhaps the fastest method of compensation because they do not involve a lawsuit. An asbestos attorney can file and document your condition to ensure you receive fair compensation for your illness.
Do you have symptoms of asbestos-related illness?
Or have you received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis or another disease caused by asbestos exposure?
If you may have been exposed to asbestos, speak with your healthcare provider about tests and screening to help detect the presence of asbestos fibers and asbestos-related damage.
Compensation for asbestos injuries is available.
If you are thinking about filing an asbestos claim for yourself or on behalf of a loved one, a lawyer can help you to receive money you may be entitled to through an asbestos bankruptcy trust fund or other type of claims, a personal injury lawsuit, or a wrongful death lawsuit.
Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Fund Claims
Let’s break down your options:
Asbestos bankruptcy trusts, which today hold more than $30 billion in unused funds, were established by courts to hold asbestos companies liable and pay out claims related to illnesses caused by exposure to asbestos. They are perhaps the fastest method of receiving compensation because they do not involve a lawsuit or time wrapped up in court proceedings.
Get asbestos compensation without a lawsuit
Anyone with medical records documenting an asbestos-related illness and a proven work history in a high-risk field can file a claim. A lawyer can help you check the statute of limitations in your state and gather the appropriate documentation. Once submitted, the claim will be reviewed and compensation, if any, will be determined. Your lawyer can negotiate to help ensure fair compensation for your illness.
Workers Compensation Claims
If you were exposed to asbestos on the job, otherwise known as occupational exposure, you can file a workers compensation claim. This is a type of insurance specifically for those injured on the job, and since illness from asbestos is considered a work-related injury, it may be one way to receive money for your condition. Keep in mind that deadlines are tight and there are limits on how much money you can receive. Also, by filing a worker’s comp claim you may waive your right to file a lawsuit.
Veterans Disability Claims
If you served in the military, you may have been exposed to asbestos, as hundreds of thousands of veterans have been. If you have a service-related medical diagnosis resulting from asbestos exposure, you may be eligible for compensation. You can file a veterans disability claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, but keep in mind that the agency is often backlogged. Both veterans and their families may be eligible for financial assistance.
Social Security Asbestos Claims
There are two main types of asbestos claims that someone can file with the Social Security Administration:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
If you have worked and paid taxes and are now disabled due to an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. The Social Security Administration lists mesothelioma and some other asbestos-related illnesses as qualifying for SSDI benefits. Applications based on severe medical conditions are generally processed more quickly (i.e., mesothelioma usually makes it to the top of the list) — and normally there can be long waiting periods, in general — so make sure you submit your claim under the administration’s compassionate allowance program to prioritize it. Your lawyer can also help ensure you have the proper documentation so your application will not be denied.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you have not earned enough income to qualify for social security retirement benefits, you may not qualify for Social Security disability insurance. But if you have few assets (money and property) and are diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible for supplemental security income (SSI). This program is also administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Check with your lawyer or the SSA for income and asset guidelines.
The Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) was established in 1908 to protect and compensate railroad workers injured on the job. The law permits railroad workers to receive compensation from their employers for health problems relating to asbestos exposure at work. Until the early 1980s, many asbestos-containing products were used by railroads, resulting in workers developing asbestos-related illnesses including mesothelioma and other respiratory conditions. Employees must file a lawsuit within three years of becoming aware of an asbestos-related illness.
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The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 is a federal law that established the U.S. merchant marine. It also extended the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) to seaman and offshore workers who are injured on the job. Also known as The Jones Act, it permits maritime workers at sea (and offshore workers) with asbestos-related health problems to receive compensation from their employers through a personal injury lawsuit that can be filed in either a federal or state court.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
You may decide to file a lawsuit against an asbestos company or an employer. Victims often sue employers when they have been exposed to asbestos without notification or protective equipment and later develop an illness.
While lawsuits often result from occupational exposure, victims can also sue if they became ill by being exposed to asbestos products or through second-hand exposure, such as breathing in particles brought home by loved ones. If you are too ill to file a suit your lawyer can do this for you and your family.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
If your family member died from an asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party allegedly at fault. Children and spouses are often entitled to compensation based on the loss of a primary breadwinner, lost future earnings and emotional support, as well as other hardships. These lawsuits can provide financial security to help a family through a very difficult time.
Every case is different, but generally the fastest way to receive asbestos compensation is an asbestos claim with an asbestos bankruptcy trust.
Bankruptcy trust claims tend to be the fastest when it comes to paying out for asbestos-related illnesses. Again, you don’t have to argue that asbestos caused the damage, and you can avoid time-consuming court proceedings.
If you have questions and aren’t sure which option is best for you, consider referencing a database like W.A.R.D., which is the largest repository of asbestos information on the planet! It has documents and extensive details of asbestos-contaminated workplaces, companies and products (even ones that no longer exist) and this information can help you prove exposure quickly, without any delay. For more information, discuss your options with an asbestos attorney.
AsbestosClaims.law is your comprehensive resource for all things asbestos. We hope this information is helpful.
If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, check out our website and YouTube page for videos, infographics and answers to your questions about asbestos, including health and safety, asbestos testing, removing asbestos from your home and building, and legal information about compensation for asbestos injuries.
And if you believe that you were exposed to asbestos, or have been diagnosed with an asbestos illness, you could be entitled to significant compensation—money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being.
All without filing a lawsuit.
If you’d like help with filing a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], or call or text us at (833) 4-ASBESTOS (427-2378) or (206) 455-9190. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options. And we never charge for anything unless you receive money in your pocket.
Sallie B. Kraus (2015) Looking Back and Forward on Asbestos Claims, Environmental Claims Journal, 27:2, 149-168, DOI: 10.1080/10406026.2015.1035574