Posted on April 23rd, 2020
Now that there is an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus, those who have been exposed to asbestos through their industrial jobs or serving in the Navy, Air Force, Marine, Army, Coast Guard - who would generally belong to the older age group - fall into the high-risk category for severe illness from COVID-19.
Asbestos exposure in the workplace can be responsible for several different diseases, some of which may be life-altering as well as life-threatening and the family's risk of significant financial burden becomes strikingly high.
Former workers with occupational lung diseases caused by the inhalation of asbestos are at greater risk for serious complications if they are infected with the new coronavirus, potentially due to the weakened immune system and state of their health. Thus, they need to be well-informed and consider all options for obtaining financial assistance to help cover high treatment costs.
Because asbestos is an effective insulator, numerous industries have used the mineral in hundreds of commercial products. Unprotected workers were exposed to it mainly by breathing in the fibers which were released when these products were manufactured or used.
Soon-to-be-bankrupt companies organized trust funds to pay current and future claims, per court orders, to ensure that people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases receive compensation. Lost wages, and current and future medical treatment, are just a few of the expenses that may be considered in awarding compensation for asbestos exposure. Even if a loved one has already passed away due to an asbestos-related condition, a spouse, child, or representative may still be entitled to benefits from the asbestos trust funds - but the process can get more complex as the person exposed to asbestos is no longer available as a resource.
The trusts started emerging in the 1980s, formed by manufacturers of asbestos-containing products to shield themselves from lawsuits while setting aside money to pay all existing claims as well as those made in the future. Claimants are usually required to meet and prove certain criteria. This may include medical records, statements from physicians, proof of future health problems, and work records. Given the need for social distancing to control the spread of COVID-19, we will work with you to get all these without face-to-face contact.
Depending on your work history, you may be able to file claims against one or more asbestos trusts. Before you can receive financial compensation, your claim must be validated. Your asbestos-related diagnosis will need to be confirmed through medical examinations that include imaging scans, biopsies, and blood work. Your doctor will need to evaluate and describe the potent relationship between asbestos exposure and your illness and provide an in-depth overview of the extent of your disease.
You will also have to show that exposure happened in a specific workplace, and identify asbestos-containing products and materials you may have dealt with. Additionally, there are strict time limits to consider. These time limits called statute of limitations vary by state and can be challenging to interpret in asbestos cases. An attorney who specializes in asbestos-related cases can help you with all the legal aspects of your case and explain your options to you. He/she will be able to advise you on when the clock started to run on your claim and whether you are still in time to bring a claim.
Once it has been established that someone has been diagnosed with a compensable asbestos condition and their claim is considered to be within the time limits, we will handle the next steps of the process for you.