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Our asbestos claim process

Pursuing a legal case is often perceived as a daunting, time-consuming endeavor due to the numerous aspects it involves. Accordingly, many victims of asbestos exposure decide against recovering the compensation they deserve out of fear of a never-ending and exhausting process. However, while asbestos cases are indeed complex, it is the attorney and their team who carry out the challenging tasks. If you are a victim of asbestos exposure, we strongly encourage you to take legal action. Our lawyers will permanently offer you assistance and efficiently take care of the demanding aspects on your behalf.

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Legal process and steps for asbestos exposure claims

With a professional experience of over 20 years, our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients throughout the U.S. and are bound to dedicate their time and effort to obtaining the compensation you deserve.

The preliminary step: Am I eligible for compensation?

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The preliminary step: am I eligible for compensation?

If you suffer from a disease that occurred as a result of occupational asbestos exposure, chances are you can seek financial compensation from asbestos trust funds. Nevertheless, there are multiple factors that may disqualify you at play, such as the duration of exposure or your diagnosis, so the only certain way to find out whether you are eligible for filing a claim is to contact us.

This is actually the first step in the process. After assessing the circumstances of your exposure and the specifics of your current diagnosis, our lawyers will promptly let you know if you have a case.

In the event that you do qualify for compensation, we will explain to you how the process is most likely going to unfold for your particular situation since every case is unique. Transparency is one of the aspects we value above all in the relationships we develop with our clients. Please feel free to ask any questions and express any concerns you might have with regard to the legal process. We will gladly provide you with the information you are seeking without falsely raising your expectations.

While the eligibility criteria can vary considerably, depending on the particularities of each case, the requirements asbestos victims usually have to meet in order to recover financial compensation from asbestos trust funds are the following:

  • Significant occupational asbestos exposure. You must have been exposed to asbestos at your former workplace for a total time of at least 5 years. Additionally, some asbestos trust funds provide that you also underwent asbestos exposure for at least one day prior to a certain year (usually 1983).
  • A formal diagnosis of a disease which is the direct result of asbestos exposure. There are several illnesses asbestos trust funds pay out compensation for, the most known being lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. It is worthy of note that they have another requirement in this respect: your disease must have had a latency period of at least 10 years. In other words, if you became ill within less than 10 years from your first asbestos exposure, you do not qualify for filing a claim.
  • Statute of limitations. Unfortunately, the time you have to seek compensation is limited. Cases involving asbestos exposure fall into the category of personal injury cases, which means they also have a statute of limitations. Although filing a claim with asbestos trust funds is different than filing a lawsuit, the statute of limitations still applies. The statute of limitations for asbestos cases ranges between 1 and 3 years from the moment you receive your asbestos-related diagnosis. It is distinct for each state. However, which statute of limitations applies to your case may not depend on where you live – sometimes, it is the statute of limitations effective in the state where your former employer was located. It is critical that we submit your asbestos claim before this period of time elapses, otherwise it will not be taken into account and you will lose your right to compensation.

Nevertheless, if you suffer from a disease as a consequence of workplace asbestos exposure but do not meet the requirements above, contacting our lawyers is still worth a try. Since every case of occupational asbestos exposure is different, there might be a key aspect to your situation which could make you eligible for financial compensation nonetheless.

Finally, if you decide you would like Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. to assist you with filing a claim, the next step is setting up a consultation with one of our lawyers and their legal team. This is necessary to sort out the essential aspects, as well as the logistics of your case. Before we start working on your asbestos claim, you will need to provide your attorney with only two types of documents:

  • employment records (as evidence of your working for the company whose asbestos trust fund we file your claim with)
  • medical documents from the treating hospitals and physicians (as proof of your illness and how it relates to occupational asbestos exposure)
  • social security records from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program
  • military records, if applicable (if you are a veteran, the documents need to describe what activities resulted in asbestos exposure, include the products you were exposed to, explain your duties, as well as state the period of time you were exposed to asbestos)

While your involvement is crucial for a favorable outcome, you should not be concerned about having to invest countless hours in the legal process. We will efficiently handle the better part of it so that you can dedicate your time to more important aspects, such as your health.

1

We thoroughly research your asbestos case

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2

Preparing your asbestos claim for submission

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3

We file your claim with asbestos trust funds

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4

You receive compensation for your injury

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Step 1: We thoroughly research your asbestos case

Research is without a doubt fundamental when it comes to preparing your asbestos claim. Our experts will conduct elaborate research to discover additional details concerning the circumstances of your exposure and your former employer. What we find may prove to be instrumental in achieving the optimal results for your case. Due to the long latency of their illness, asbestos victims typically seek compensation several decades after exposure took place. Thereby, it is often very difficult – if not downright impossible – to remember every aspect concerning your occupational asbestos exposure and a lot of essential details might be left out.

The extra information we strive to collect so as to speed up the claim filing process and help you recover a larger amount of compensation pertain to:

  • the asbestos products you handled or were exposed to on the job
  • where exactly asbestos exposure occurred at your former workplace
  • which of your work tasks would involve handling asbestos products
  • how your occupation was related to asbestos exposure
  • the duration of asbestos exposure

We will also actively help you recall more information with regard to your asbestos exposure. Your family members and former co-workers can join our legal team in this endeavor, too, if they will. Our law firm has access to a wide range of resources which are meant to jog your memory, including:

  • product identification catalogs, which contain descriptions and pictures of asbestos products you might have come in contact with on the job
  • our extensive database, by virtue of which we can identify over 200,000 asbestos products

Step 2: Preparing your asbestos claim for submission

After we gather sufficient information to include in your asbestos claim, our legal team will efficiently take care of the necessary paperwork before submitting it. We will also double-check your employment records and medical documents to ensure they support the causal relationship between asbestos exposure and your diagnosis without fault. We will also report to Medicare to obtain a clearance so as it will release the necessary funds to you. If multiple companies were responsible for your exposure, you are eligible for financial compensation from each one's asbestos trust fund. We will also seek to discover whether there were any other asbestos companies whose products you were in contact with.

Should you qualify for filing a claim with multiple asbestos trust funds, the amount of compensation you will receive may grow substantially. At the end of the preparation phase, we will ask you to sign affidavits documenting your exposure and your attorney will subsequently submit your asbestos claim to each asbestos trust fund you qualify for, along with your documents.

Step 3: We file your claim with one or multiple asbestos trust funds

Following submission, we will wait for the board of trustees, who are responsible for processing the claims and paying out eligible claimants, to approve your request. Each asbestos trust fund operates by a different set of rules and pays out only a certain percentage of the entire compensation you are eligible for, depending on the financial resources they have, as well as on your diagnosis. Consequently, both the waiting time and the amount of compensation you will receive vary from trust fund to trust fund. Depending on the complexity of your case, as well as on the number of asbestos trust funds you filed a claim with, the waiting time can range from one month to one year.

We have two pieces of advice for you in this respect:

  • Be patient.
  • Do not set your expectations too high.

Asbestos trust funds pay out compensation to claimants using the First In, First Out (FIFO) accounting method. Therefore, people who filed asbestos claims in 2014, for instance, are going to receive compensation before those whose claims were submitted more recently. The waiting time also depends on the size of the asbestos trust fund in question and on the number of claims it has to process, as well as on how fast the board of trustees is able to review them. In general, local asbestos trust funds have between 2,000 and 3,000 claims awaiting review every year, whereas larger ones receive approximately 50,000 claims annually.

When it comes to the sum of money you can recover from each asbestos trust fund, it is important to keep in mind that they also have Maximum Allowable Payments (MAPs). Therefore, a trust which pays out only $1 million per year will no longer process asbestos claims if the limit is met and thereby, your claim will be pending until next year. However, the following key factors will ultimately influence the amount of compensation you are eligible for:

  • your diagnosis – while mesothelioma is the highest-paying illness, non-malignant conditions are worth less money, according to the rules of asbestos trust funds
  • the percentage paid out by the asbestos trust fund – depending on the financial resources it has, each asbestos trust fund will pay out a different percentage of the total sum of money a claimant qualifies for, which may range from 4% to 100% (the average percentage is 30)
  • claim review type – submitting your asbestos claim via individual review might provide you with more compensation than using an expedited review

Step 4: You receive compensation for your injury

Following approval, each asbestos trust fund pays out the compensation you are eligible for, which you are to receive in one installment. Asbestos claims submitted via expedited review will result in a preset sum of money, whereas the compensation you receive from those who undergo individual review will vary depending on factors such as:

  • your diagnosis and how severe your illness is
  • the number of dependents you have
  • your age
  • non-economic damages you have suffered

While individual review often provides claimants with more compensation, liquidation ensues within a longer period of time if this option is chosen, as the board of trustees must thoroughly assess your personal circumstances and the documents accompanying your asbestos claim. How your claim should be submitted is a question only a lawyer specialized in asbestos cases will be able to answer, since there are numerous aspects that need to be carefully taken into account and each situation requires a unique approach.

Having a lawyer with vast experience in handling asbestos exposure cases prepare and submit your claim is the most effective way of recovering financial compensation. They will be able to speed up the legal process considerably and make well-informed decisions with regard to how your asbestos claim should be submitted and the evidence necessary to support it, which is bound to provide you with the maximum compensation you can recover in the shortest time possible.

Recovering compensation as a former industrial worker

If you have a history of occupational asbestos exposure and developed a related disease, you are eligible for compensation from asbestos trust funds. With over 25 years of experience in pursuing compensation for the victims of asbestos exposure, our attorneys will help you file a claim with one or multiple asbestos trust funds, depending on the number of companies that exposed you to asbestos. Because the legal process is very complex, the assistance of a specialized attorney is necessary. Following the initial discussion, during which you will need to describe the circumstances of your asbestos exposure, your attorney will begin preparing your claim for submission. However, the claim must be accompanied by solid evidence to be approved by asbestos trust funds, such as your employment records, which must state that you handled asbestos on the job, and your medical records, which must explain that your diagnosis is the result of occupational asbestos exposure. To gather additional evidence to support your claim, our legal experts will conduct in-depth research. Eventually, you will receive the compensation you deserve, within 3 months to 1 year, depending on the severity of your diagnosis and the number of asbestos trust funds your claim was filed with.

Compensation for veterans injured by military asbestos exposure

Between 1920 and 1980, veterans were heavily exposed to asbestos, which is why today, 30% of veterans struggle with a disease as a consequence of military asbestos exposure. Thereby, if you are a veteran who suffers from a disease which occurred as a result of asbestos exposure, you are entitled to compensation from both asbestos trust funds and the VA, which offers compensation to veterans injured by toxic agents while serving in the military in the form of disability compensation. Our attorneys will help you file a claim with the asbestos trust funds of the companies which manufactured the hazardous products you were in contact with, as well as with the VA. You will only need to provide your attorney with your military and medical records, documents which will be used as evidence of asbestos exposure and of related diagnosis. The average waiting time for veterans is 4 months from the moment of claim submission. However, if you struggle with severe diseases, such as mesothelioma, your attorney will expedite your claim so that you will receive the compensation you deserve within the shortest time possible. It is important to know that seeking compensation from asbestos trust funds does not disqualify you from receiving disability benefits from the VA.

The surviving family members of a victim of asbestos exposure are also eligible for compensation

In the unfortunate case, you have a family member who passed away to a disease caused by asbestos exposure, you can still recover compensation on their behalf by filing a claim with asbestos trust funds and, if they were a veteran, with the VA with the help of a specialized attorney. Because wrongful death cases that involve asbestos exposure are significantly more challenging, additional evidence must accompany the claim. However, you will only need to provide your attorney with the employment or military records, the medical records, and the death certificate of your deceased loved one, as the rest of the evidence will be gathered by our legal experts, who will conduct in-depth research. It is important to know that wrongful death asbestos exposure cases have a statute of limitations of 2 years from the moment of death in the majority of states, which should make taking legal action a priority for you. Since 1990, our attorneys have been helping the family members of asbestos victims recover the compensation they deserved and will gladly offer you quality legal assistance as well.

Misconceptions about asbestos claims

Your health should always come first, especially when you suffer from such a serious and distressing disease as those caused by asbestos exposure. Our process is simple and easy and requires only conversations over the phone. We also work with family members that will help us obtain the medical records we need. However, you should know that the time you have to recover compensation from asbestos trust funds is limited, and filling the claim within 2 years since you receive your diagnosis is essential. The statute of limitations, which is different for each state, prevents you from filing an asbestos claim if a certain time limit is exceeded.

When you work with us, you will not have to worry about not having enough time for your doctors' appointments and treatment, as we take care of all legal aspects and documents for you.

While it is true that the process of preparing a claim can take several months, as there are numerous aspects our attorneys take care of. Our clients generally receive compensation from asbestos trust funds within one year after submission. This is why it is very important to file a claim as soon as you are diagnosed, or as soon as possible. For clients who are in particularly poor health, we submit the asbestos claim via Expedited Review, which will speed up the process considerably.

The vast majority of people who are struggling with asbestos-related diseases were exposed in the workplace several decades ago. If you were diagnosed with lung conditions but do not exactly know where exposure occurred, we can help you pinpoint the exact circumstances. We already have a lot of documentation and proof about thousands of jobs and we also collaborate with occupational medicine experts, who are able to determine whether your exposure happened on the job and identify the asbestos-containing products you were in contact with.

If you were diagnosed with a life-threatening disease as a result of occupational asbestos exposure, the cost of the legal process should be your least concern. We offer consultations free of charge and work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay anything unless your asbestos trust fund claim is approved and we recover compensation for you. Whether we file a claim with asbestos trust funds or a lawsuit against the liable company, the risk of losing money is practically non-existent. Our standard fee is a 40% contingency fee. Which means we only collect the fee when we are able to collect compensation for a client. If we do not collect anything, our clients do not pay anything out of pocket.

In the case of veterans exposed to asbestos while serving in the military, it is not the government who will be held responsible if the injured person decides to file an asbestos trust fund claim. The company which manufactured or sold the asbestos products in question already has set up trust funds that provide compensation for victims and family members, instead. Veterans also have the option to seek additional financial compensation and other benefits for themselves and their families from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. By filing a VA claim after filing for an asbestos trust fund, veterans can obtain additional monthly compensation, health care benefits, disability compensation, as well as dependency and indemnity compensation.

Filing asbestos claims might seem like a simple, easy to navigate the process, but in reality, it requires specialized knowledge, extensive experience with the legal system, as well as a lot of careful research. Therefore, only a lawyer who handles exclusively asbestos cases – preferably with several years of experience – will be able to provide you with the assistance you need. Regardless of how complex your situation is, we have competent, well-versed attorneys and a legal team who will know how to attend to any unforeseen issue and speed up the claim process so that you and your family can receive the money you deserve.

Common questions

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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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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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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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.

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