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How Do Asbestos Trust Funds Work?

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In order to receive compensation, you need to file a claim with the asbestos trust fund set up by the company responsible for your injury. A lawyer will speed up the process significantly.

answered by Krissi Orlando

Asbestos trust funds are permanently supplied with money by the liable companies to ensure that claimants will receive the compensation they deserve

Shortly after the first asbestos trust fund was established by Johns Manville in 1988, nearly 100 other asbestos companies proceeded to file for bankruptcy reorganization under section 524(g) of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Nowadays, there are 60 active asbestos trust funds from which former workers severely injured by long-term occupational asbestos exposure can request financial compensation. Although the process of recovering compensation is not complex in itself, there are numerous factors which could easily prevent your asbestos claim from being approved by the board of trustees if you choose to file by yourself.

Additionally, there are a series of important aspects only a lawyer specializing in asbestos litigation will know how to properly take care of to ensure you will receive the maximum compensation you are eligible for. The most important aspect when it comes to asbestos cases is undoubtedly the statute of limitations, which prevents victims of asbestos exposure from filing a claim with asbestos trust funds if a certain period of time elapsed. Each U.S. state has a different statute of limitations, ranging between one and six years. If you intend to seek financial compensation for your asbestos injury, being up-to-date with the statute of limitations which applies to your case is crucial. A lawyer will not be able to help you file a claim with asbestos trust funds if the statute of limitations expired and you will thereby lose your right to compensation. This is why it is extremely important to take legal action as soon as you find out about your illness.

Each asbestos trust fund is managed by a board of trustees who do not have any connection with the company's executives or staff. At the moment, only individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer qualify for compensation from asbestos trust funds. In order to request financial compensation from a certain asbestos trust fund, you have to file a claim. While you can file it on your own, it is highly advisable to seek the help of a lawyer specializing in asbestos litigation, as there are a lot of factors which might negatively impact your chances of recovering the money you deserve. A legal team with vast experience in asbestos cases will promptly take care of all the necessary paperwork before sumbitting your asbestos claim.

The eligibility requirements claimants have to meet are slightly different for each asbestos trust fund. However, providing your work history and your medical records is always necessary in order to support the causal relation between asbestos exposure and your diagnosis. If you work with a lawyer, their legal experts will gather additional evidence in this respect so that the connection between exposure and your illness will be unquestionable. This way, your asbestos claim is guaranteed to be approved.

Your asbestos claim can be sumbitted via expedited review or individual review. The former entails a non-negociable amount of money, while the latter takes into consideration factors such as your specific diagnosis, your age and your jurisdiction. A lawyer will be able to advise you on what the best type of submission would be for your particular case. After your asbestos claim is sumbitted, you will have to wait for it to be approved by the board of trustees. The waiting time will depend on the size of the asbestos trust fund in question, as well as on the number of claims they have to process. In general, asbestos victims who file a claim with the help of a lawyer receive compensation within 3 to 6 months.

What do you need to file an asbestos claim?

  • Lawyer

    An experienced attorney specialized in asbestos litigation cases can help you tremendously through the process of filing a claim and can also negotiate with the trust funds to obtain the maximum compensation for you.

  • Medical Records

    A formal diagnosis supporting the causal relation between your disease and occupational exposure to asbestos is crucial for your claim to be deemed valid following submission.

  • Work History

    You will be required to provide your lawyer with documents which clearly state that you were an employee of the company in question, what your job entailed, as well as the period of time you had worked there.

  • Patience

    It may take from several months to over one year to be awarded the financial compensation you are entitled to and thus, patience is essential. However, a lawyer with significant experience in asbestos cases may be able to speed up the process considerably.

If you are struggling with a disease which developed as a result of workplace asbestos exposure, we strongly encourage you to take legal action. Within the past 25 years, the diligent attorneys at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. have recovered $1.4 billion for over 25,000 asbestos victims and their families. Please contact our office at (205) 328-9200 and we will further advise you.

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The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to file an asbestos claim after diagnosis. It varies between one and six years, depending on the state you live in.

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