Mesothelioma Compensation–Compensation for Victims of Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma Compensation–Compensation for Victims of Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones can claim financial compensation for the costs of diagnosis and treatment, travel, pain and suffering, loss of income and other expenses related to asbestos exposure diagnosis . The options and amounts of compensation can vary considerably depending on the aspects of your case.

Many forms of compensation may be available. The money can come from asbestos trust funds, mesothelioma lawsuits, settlements and / or veterans benefits. A mesothelioma lawyer can advise you on which recovery options you are entitled to and which options will provide the most compensation.

Types of Asbestos Compensation

There are four main types of compensation that mesothelioma patients may receive. Not all patients are eligible for all compensation options. A mesothelioma lawyer can discuss what is best for you.

Asbestos Trust Funds

Asbestos was used frequently from the 1940s through the 1960s, before its dangers became known and laws and regulations were put into place in the early 1970s. Over time, a number of asbestos companies that manufactured, distributed, sold or used asbestos products and materials have either gone out of business, merged with other corporations or have been restructured due to bankruptcy. Oftentimes, the end of their business was due to a series of compensation claims filed against them for asbestos-related injuries.

Even if the company responsible for your exposure and diagnosis is no longer in business, it’s still possible to receive compensation from them. In many cases, they were required to establish asbestos bankruptcy trust funds with money to pay out future claims. These claims do have certain criteria that the mesothelioma victim must meet to be eligible. An asbestos attorney can help determine your eligibility.

Mesothelioma Settlements

A settlement can occur if a patient or loved one files a mesothelioma claim against one or more asbestos companies for personal injury or wrongful death. In most cases, companies will offer a settlement before the claim reaches trial, to avoid the possibility of paying out even more financial compensation if the jury or judge finds them guilty.

The patient or family member filing can decide whether or not to accept compensation in the form of a settlement, and an experienced mesothelioma attorney can offer insight to the advantages and disadvantages.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits

From time to time, a mesothelioma claim may make it all the way to a jury trial. If no settlement is reached, and if the defendant is found liable for the asbestos exposure that led to the development of mesothelioma, a jury will determine the amount of compensation to be paid to the injured party. The amount awarded often includes actual expenses incurred as well as punitive damages.

Waiting for a verdict can sometimes be risky, which is why many companies want to settle. However, it may also be in the best interest of the plaintiff to settle as well, since juries could also return a verdict that either finds the company not to be liable or which awards a smaller amount of compensation than they might have received in a settlement. Having a skilled attorney who can advise you about the strength of your case and the likelihood of a favorable verdict and award is critical to ensuring that you receive the greatest amount of monetary compensation possible.

Veterans’ Benefits

Retired military personnel make up one of the largest populations of people that were exposed to asbestos, especially those who served in the Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and U.S. Army Transport Service. Much of veterans’ exposure was due to the use of asbestos on warships and other naval vessels. As a result, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA) has designated mesothelioma as one of the several diseases that qualify for disability benefits.

To qualify for a VA claim, veterans must meet the following criteria:

  • Discharged under circumstances other than dishonorable conditions.
  • Ability to show that asbestos exposure occurred during the time of service.

Veterans may also be eligible to get financial assistance through no-cost health benefits given to veterans with service-related disabilities, including malignant mesothelioma.

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Many people with asbestos-related diseases receive financial support from asbestos trust funds, a form of mesothelioma compensation. Companies that were on the verge of bankruptcy have arranged these funds, by court order, so that victims of asbestos exposure can be compensated for wrongdoing by companies. The Asbestos Trust Fund supports people with all types of asbestos-related diseases.

What You Need to Know About Asbestos Trust Funds

Billions Available in Compensation

According to a report by RAND Institute for Civil Justice, victims of asbestos exposure collectively received approximately $3.3 billion from asbestos trust funds in 2008. Trust fund payments vary widely from one trust to another, but, according to another report by RAND Institute for Civil Justice, as of 2010, the average value for a trust fund claim before payment percentages were applied was around $180,000. The same source lists the median payout at $41,000 in 2008.

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Thousands Receiving Financial Support

More and more mesothelioma patients and their families are turning to asbestos trust funds for financial support. Trust funds have paid out billions of dollars and will continue doing so as more victims file claims.

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Mesothelioma Patients Are Victims

People who develop mesothelioma are victims of corporate misconduct and negligence. Most companies selling asbestos knew or should have known about the dangers of their products but either neglected to or should have done more to inform their workers or the companies purchasing their products.

How Are Trust Funds Created?

The bankruptcy courts forced asbestos companies that filed for bankruptcy to set up asbestos trust funds. The purpose of these trusts is to set aside money for future asbestos-related claims. These trusts help protect asbestos-exposure victims, including people diagnosed with mesothelioma, who should be compensated by these bankrupt companies.

Asbestos trust funds are a result of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which is a form of corporate bankruptcy that allows companies to reorganize their finances in order to continue doing business while also continuing to pay their debt.

Patients diagnosed with asbestos-caused diseases must file their claims against a trust fund if a company responsible for their disease has filed for bankruptcy.

The Johns Manville Corporation

The Johns Manville Corporation became one of the first companies to file for bankruptcy because of asbestos liability. They established the first asbestos trust fund in 1987, which created a precedent for other companies. Since Johns Manville created their trust, many other asbestos companies have had to file for bankruptcy and create their own trust funds.

The Johns Manville trust has paid hundreds of thousands of asbestos claims since it was established in 1987, and it continues to compensate victims.

Johns Manville was once a leading manufacturer of insulation and roofing materials. Their products contained substantial quantities of asbestos. Employees of Johns Manville began filing for disability due to lung diseases as early as 1929. The corporation was even involved in a violent strike at one of its supplying asbestos mines in Asbestos, Canada.