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What If I Want to File an Asbestos Claim on My Own?

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.

answered by Gregory A. Cade

Filing an asbestos claim without a lawyer will prevent you from recovering the maximum compensation you deserve

If you are a victim of occupational asbestos exposure, you have the option to file a claim with asbestos trust funds on your own. However, you should know that the process is very complex, unpredictable and time-consuming. There are numerous technical aspects you need to properly attend to before submitting your asbestos claim, as well as a series of factors which might significantly decrease your chances of recovering financial compensation. The knowledge and experience of a legal team specializing exclusively in asbestos cases is invaluable and will benefit you tremendously if you intend to file a claim with asbestos trust funds.


It is important to know that asbestos trust funds will not provide you with any assistance if you decide to file a claim by yourself. The board of trustees are only responsible with processing asbestos claims and calculating what sum of money each eligible claimant will receive. Each of the 60 active asbestos trust funds has specific eligibility requirements you have to make sure you meet before requesting compensation. You will also have to provide your work history and medical records to support your asbestos claim. Because you were most likely exposed to asbestos several decades ago, certain documents might be difficult to obtain or you might need to gather additional evidence, which can be very challenging. Similarly, the evidence you submit with your asbestos claim might be deemed inappropriate by the board of trustees, in which case you will be denied compensation.

The statute of limitation is another problematic aspect. It refers to the period of time you have to file your asbestos claim and ranges between one and six years. There is a specific statute of limitations for each U.S. state. If you fail to submit your asbestos claim within this time frame, you will permanently lose your right to compensation. Which statute of limitations applies to your case is determined by factors only an experienced attorney will know.

Finally, there are multiple ways of filing a claim with asbestos trust funds, such as individual review or expedited review. Choosing how to submit your asbestos claim is another aspect only a lawyer will be able to advise you on.

How you navigate the process of recovering financial compensation is ultimately your decision. Nevertheless, working with a legal team has a lot of advantages, including:

  • you will not have to worry that your asbestos claim might not be approved
  • you will recover the maximum compensation available for your injury
  • you will receive the compensation you deserve in a shorter period of time
  • you will be able to focus on your health and treatment, as your attorney will take care of most paperwork
  • you will not have to gather additional evidence to support your asbestos exposure, as the legal experts will conduct thorough research in this respect
  • if more than one company is responsible for your illness, your lawyer will make sure to file with multiple asbestos trust funds

It is also worthy of note that you do not have to pay your attorney anything unless your case is successfully solved. After your asbestos claim is approved, legal fees and expenses will be deducted from your compensation.

Are you or a family member diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer? If you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace, we highly encourage you to take legal action. The lawyers at Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. have been representing asbestos victims since 1990. Whether you have decided to file for compensation or would only like to find out more about the process, feel free to contact us at 205.328.9200 and we will answer all your questions.

*The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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