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The eligibility criteria you must meet for a successful asbestos claim

By Shaniqua Williams

Posted on April 01st, 2020

If you developed a disease as a result of occupational or military asbestos exposure, you are entitled to financial compensation for your physical and emotional suffering. However, there are a series of eligibility criteria you must meet in order to qualify for compensation, the most important being the statute of limitations.

Between 1940 and 1980, over 27 million people were exposed to asbestos in the workplace throughout the country, as the mineral was employed by more than 75 industries for the manufacturing of a wide range of products. While major companies had been aware of the dangers of using asbestos ever since 1920, they strived to cover up the terrible health effects of exposure for their own financial gain. Today, up to 20% of former industrial workers and over 30% of veterans suffer from a disease as a result of asbestos exposure. While money cannot fully restore your health if you are a victim of asbestos exposure, seeking the compensation you deserve from the liable companies is undoubtedly worth it, as it will help you afford superior healthcare and treatment. However, there are a series of eligibility criteria you must meet in order to qualify for compensation, either as a former industrial worker or as a veteran.

There are numerous diseases, particularly affecting the lungs, people with a history of workplace asbestos exposure can develop within 20 to 50 years from their first exposure to asbestos. The following are the most common health problems and disease asbestos workers may come to struggle with:

Perhaps the most important aspect you should keep in mind if you decided to seek financial compensation is the statute of limitations, which, in the majority of states, is 3 years from the moment of diagnosis. You must file a claim with the asbestos trust funds of the responsible companies within this period of time. Otherwise, you will lose your right to compensation. For this reason, you should take legal action as soon as you receive your diagnosis, as the legal process is very complex. Nevertheless, it will require minimal involvement on your part, as you will only have to send your attorney your employment or military records and your medical records, documents that will stand as evidence to support your claim. The assistance of a lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure cases is vital if you intend to apply for compensation, as they will help you navigate the legal process as smoothly as possible and will also take care of the necessary paperwork on your behalf.

Recovering compensation as a former industrial worker injured by asbestos exposure

During the last century, numerous industries made use of asbestos, as the mineral has many convenient properties, such as fire and electricity resistance, as well as resistance to various chemicals, and was also very cheap at the time. As a consequence, thousands of former employees came to struggle with terrible diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, which lowers their life expectancy and decreases their life quality to a great extent. The following are the occupational groups at the highest risk of developing a disease as a result of workplace asbestos exposure:

If you are a former industrial worker injured by occupational asbestos exposure and the statute of limitations for your case has not been exceeded, you will have to meet the following eligibility criteria in order to recover the financial compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional suffering:

  • must have been exposed to asbestos on the job for at least 3 years
  • must have a diagnosis related to asbestos exposure
  • must have worked with asbestos or asbestos products on the job

Asbestos trust funds are the primary source of compensation for former industrial workers today. There are over 65 asbestos trust funds throughout the country at the moment. Your asbestos claim can be filed with more than one asbestos trust fund if you were exposed to the dangerous mineral by multiple companies during your lifetime. If the company you worked for is still in business, our skillful attorneys will file a lawsuit against it, but this is rarely the case, as former major asbestos companies set up asbestos trust funds to provide compensation to former employees injured by workplace asbestos exposure. There are many ways in which you can gather proof of employment at a company that used asbestos during the last century, such as:

  • looking at old photo albums and yearbooks
  • searching through old documents
  • scanning the library or online sources for newspaper clippings
  • checking credit reports for past employment records

Nevertheless, if you were exposed to asbestos on the job, our resourceful legal experts will conduct their own research to discover additional evidence for your claim, as solid proof must accompany your asbestos claim upon submission. With the help of a legal team specializing in toxic exposure cases, you are bound to gather all the necessary evidence to support your asbestos claim. This is another reason why you need to work with a lawyer with vast experience in toxic exposure cases. As for medical evidence, your doctor will be able to provide you with the necessary records that prove your disease is the result of workplace asbestos exposure. Medical documents such as chest X-rays, pathology reports, CT scan results, breathing tests result and blood tests result are some of the paperwork we will need to begin preparing your claim for submission.

What are the eligibility criteria for filing a claim for veterans who developed a disease as a result of military asbestos exposure?

Firstly, it is important to know that if you are a veteran injured by military asbestos exposure, you are eligible for compensation both from asbestos trust funds and from the VA, as the latter offers disability compensation and other benefits to veterans who struggle with a disease as a result of asbestos exposure that occurred during military service. During the last century, the U.S. military, particularly the U.S. Navy, made use of tremendous amounts of asbestos and it is estimated that, on every ship, there were over 300 different asbestos products. Thereby, veterans who served before 1980 were inevitably exposed to asbestos. On military ships, the areas with the heaviest asbestos exposure were the pump room, the engine room, the damage control room and the propulsion room. Consequently, people who spent a long period of time in these ship rooms are the most likely to develop a disease as a result of military asbestos exposure.

The eligibility criteria of asbestos trust funds for veterans are the same as those for former industrial workers. However, the eligibility criteria for the VA are the following:

  • must have worked with asbestos products during military service
  • must have a diagnosis related to asbestos exposure
  • must have not been discharged from the military dishonorably

If you are a veteran who developed a disease as a consequence of military asbestos exposure, the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure cases is crucial for filing a claim both with asbestos trust funds and with the VA, as the process is very complex and solid evidence must accompany your claim. Similarly, our legal experts will conduct research of their own to find additional proof for your claim.

Why a claim for asbestos exposure may be denied

If you choose to submit a claim for asbestos exposure on your own, either with asbestos trust funds or the VA, chances are it will be denied, as pertinent evidence must accompany it, which only a specialized attorney and their legal team will be able to gather. Nevertheless, there are other reasons why your claim may be denied, such as:

  • you are unable to prove who exactly is responsible for having caused your disease
  • you cannot present any proof of asbestos exposure
  • there is no definitive causal relation between asbestos exposure and your diagnosis
  • exposure to other toxic agents may be responsible for your diagnosis

Nonetheless, if you choose to work with a lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure cases, your claim is bound to be approved, which will eventually result in you receiving the maximum compensation you are eligible for from asbestos trust funds or the VA. It is worthy of note that, if you decide to work with a law firm, you will not have to pay your lawyer anything unless they recover compensation on your behalf, as the majority of law firms that pursue asbestos exposure cases work on a contingency fee basis. Thereby, you can rest assured that you will not have to pay the legal team any money if they fail to obtain a favorable outcome for your case.

We offer free of charge asbestos screening to the victims of asbestos exposure

Oftentimes, diseases that are the result of occupational or military asbestos exposure are misdiagnosed, as they are quite rare and the majority of medical professionals do not have the chance to examine people injured by this harmful mineral. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to seek a second and even a third opinion from different medical specialists for a correct and accurate diagnosis. Not only will having a wrong diagnosis prevent you from receiving the treatment you need, but it may also disqualify you from applying for compensation. With over 25 years of professional experience, our medical experts offer free of charge asbestos screening to people with a history of asbestos exposure. By employing diagnostic tools such as breathing tests, chest X-rays and blood tests, they will be able to assign you a correct and precise diagnosis. Thereby, if you live within driving distance of Birmingham, Alabama, we wholeheartedly invite you to pay our law firm a visit and undergo asbestos screening at our medical facility.

Quality legal assistance for the victims of asbestos exposure

If you developed a disease as a consequence of occupational or military asbestos exposure, our attorneys, who have been pursuing compensation for the victims of asbestos exposure since 1990, will help you file a claim to receive the money you deserve for your physical and emotional distress. After a thorough discussion with our legal team, during which you will be asked to describe the circumstances of your asbestos exposure, we will promptly begin preparing your claim for submission. While complex and tedious, the legal process will require minimal involvement on your part, as you will only have to send your attorney your employment or military records and your medical records, as the rest of the paperwork will be efficiently taken care of by our resourceful legal team. Because solid proof must accompany your claim, our legal experts will conduct in-depth research to discover additional evidence that will support your claim. Eventually, you will recover the maximum compensation available from asbestos trust funds and from the VA, if you are a veteran, which will also help you afford better healthcare and treatment for your disease. For more information, please contact our law firm at your earliest convenience and we will gladly answer all your questions and address all your concerns.