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What Are My Legal Rights with Asbestos Exposure?

If you were injured by asbestos exposure, you have the legal right to file a claim with asbestos trust funds and, if you are a veteran, with the VA as well. The family members of asbestos victims who passed away can file a wrongful death claim.

answered by Wendy Garmon

Legal Rights for Industrial Workers and Family Members Following Asbestos Exposure

During the last century, numerous industries made use of asbestos, as the mineral had multiple convenient properties and was also cheap. However, asbestos exposure can lead to serious diseases within 20 to 50 years, which is why today, 20% of former industrial workers struggle with a disease that occurred as a consequence of occupational asbestos exposure. If you are a former industrial worker who was injured by asbestos exposure, you have the legal right to seek compensation from the responsible parties, namely the companies which exposed you to asbestos. Because the majority of asbestos companies filed for bankruptcy due to the increasing number of former employees suing for the diseases they developed as a result of workplace exposure, you will receive compensation from the asbestos trust funds they subsequently established. There are approximately 60 active asbestos trust funds in the country at the moment, which provide former industrial workers with the compensation they deserve. Litigation is no longer necessary, as when you seek compensation from asbestos trust funds, you have to file a claim which must be accompanied by strong evidence of asbestos exposure and of related diagnosis, such as your employment and medical records.

While you can attempt to recover compensation on your own, you will most likely fail, as the legal process is very complex in asbestos exposure cases and the assistance of a specialized attorney is necessary. After you thoroughly explain your situation, they will file a claim on your behalf with one or multiple asbestos trust funds, depending on the number of companies, which exposed you to asbestos, while their legal experts will conduct in-depth research to discover additional proof to support your claim. If you have mesothelioma, your claim will be expedited to obtain compensation within the shortest time possible, as it is the most serious disease caused by asbestos exposure and implies great suffering, as well as a poor prognosis. Regardless of the disease, you struggle with, your involvement in the legal process will be minimal, as you will only have to describe the circumstances of your asbestos exposure and to provide your attorney with documents such as your employment and medical records. This will allow you to continue focusing on your health and treatment, as the legal team will carefully take care of every aspect of the legal process. Following submission, you will receive your compensation within 3 months to 1 year, depending on your diagnosis and the number of asbestos trust funds the attorney filed your claim with.

If you have a family member who developed a disease as a consequence of occupational asbestos exposure, you can help them recover the financial compensation they deserve, which will also help them receive superior healthcare and treatment for their disease. Because the legal process is complex, the help of a family member is welcome and we are bound to assist you throughout the entire legal process to recover compensation for your family mebers.

Legal Rights for Veterans and Family Members Following Asbestos and Toxic Exposure

The military is notorious for having employed tremendous amounts of asbestos, particularly the U.S. Navy, between 1920 and 1980, when proper regulations concerning asbestos use finally came into effect. This led to heavy exposure among the people who were serving during this period of time. As a result, 30% of veterans struggle with a disease as a consequence of military asbestos exposure today. In the unfortunate case, you are a veteran who developed a disease following military asbestos exposure, you also have the legal right to seek compensation from the asbestos trust funds of the companies which manufactured the hazardous products you came in contact with. However, you are also eligible for disability compensation from the VA, as they offer money to veterans injured by asbestos exposure and other toxic agents as well.

The assistance of a lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure cases is also necessary in this case, as filing a claim on your own is very difficult and will most likely not result in receiving the compensation you deserve. A lawyer whose main area of practice is asbestos exposure will carefully assess your situation and subsequently prepare your claim for submission. Similarly to the legal process, former industrial workers have to go through to obtain compensation, your involvement will be minimal, as you will only have to provide your attorney with your military and medical records. Their legal experts will look for additional evidence to support your claim in the meantime. The VA will assign you a disability percentage, depending on the severity of your disease. While veterans who struggle with mesothelioma will receive compensation within several months, those who have non-malignant diagnoses will have to wait a bit longer, as their diseases are not as serious and life-threatening as mesothelioma.

If you have a veteran in your family who developed a disease as a result of military asbestos exposure, you can help them during the legal process by getting involved, as veterans are often too sick to carry out the legal process on their own, particularly if they struggle with cancer. By collaborating with our attorneys, you are bound to recover the maxmum compensation available for your family member.

Legal Rights for Immediate Family Members of Asbestos Victims Who Passed Away Due to Their Disease

It is not uncommon for a victim of asbestos exposure to fail seeking compensation for their disease during their lifetime. Nevertheless, their family members can file a claim on their behalf to recover compensation with the assistance of a specialized lawyer, since wrongful death asbestos exposure claims are even more complex to prepare. In this case, the attorney will need the employment or military records, the death certificate, and the medical records of the deceased asbestos victim. The legal process will be similar to that of occupational and military asbestos exposure cases, but more evidence will be necessary to support the claim. However, if you work with a lawyer with vast experience in asbestos exposure cases, you will not have to worry about gathering evidence, as their legal experts will do this for you. The claim will also be submitted to one or multiple asbestos trust funds and, if the asbestos victim was a veteran, to the VA as well. The VA offers compensation to the surviving family members of victims of asbestos exposure in the form of dependency and indemnity compensation.

What Diseases Are Eligible for Asbestos Trust Fund Compensation?

It is important to know that not all diseases which stem from asbestos exposure qualify you for seeking compensation since a definitive causal relation must exist between asbestos exposure and your diagnosis. Nevertheless, if you struggle with a disease that does not have a formal correlation with asbestos exposure and you have a history of asbestos exposure, you can still become eligible, provided asbestos fibers are present in your lungs. The following diseases make a person immediately eligible for compensation from the asbestos trust funds and the VA:

If, however, you have one of the following diseases, you will need to undergo asbestos screening to determine whether asbestos fibers are present in your lungs, as otherwise, you cannot qualify for compensation:

Asbestos screening entails a medical specialist thoroughly examining your most recent chest X-ray to determine whether you have asbestos fibers in your lungs. It may also imply other tests and exams, such as blood and breathing tests. Only a medical professional who specializes in diagnosing diseases that occur as a consequence of asbestos exposure can tell you with certainty if asbestos fibers are present in your lungs.

Other related questions

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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Yes. Oftentimes, former industrial workers were exposed to asbestos by more than one employer and, thereby, they have the legal right to seek compensation for all of them.

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Yes, definitely, one can seek legal action on behalf of a close relative who has lost his/her life to an asbestos-related disease.

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While you can seek compensation by yourself, the complexity of the process is very likely to affect your chances of recovering the amount of money you are truly eligible for.

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Victims of asbestos exposure can file a claim with asbestos trust funds and, if they are a veteran, with the VA as well, to recover compensation. However, because the legal process is very complex, the assistance of a specialized attorney is necessary.

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Asbestos cases are complex and also very difficult to pursue. Thereby, it is highly recommended to hire a lawyer specialized in asbestos litigation who can efficiently recover compensation for you.

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