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.