Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer that can wreak havoc upon your health and wellbeing.
It occurs due to asbestos exposure. It is genuinely menacing because it can lie dormant for decades before rearing its ugly head.
What follows is usually an uphill battle that is not impossible to win despite how difficult it may seem.
However, what is clear is that if you find yourself in this position, you deserve compensation and all the help you can get. This assistance is made possible through mesothelioma claims.
A mesothelioma claim is a legal recourse that you have to hold your employer accountable for their negligence.
After filing the claim, legal proceedings begin that can culminate in one of two ways – with a trial or a settlement.
According to Measley’s Litigation Report, settlements pay out $1.4 million on average, whereas trials may get people as much as $2.4 million.
However, most mesothelioma claims end in settlements due to the hit or miss nature of trials.
Read on to learn more about what kinds of mesothelioma claims may be right for you.
Basics Of Mesothelioma Claims
Mesothelioma claims may be filed by the patient or their family on their behalf. Consulting with experienced mesothelioma lawyers is usually advised, as these claims can quickly get very messy.
While you would usually sue your employer for compensation, sometimes the companies responsible go bankrupt, leaving trust funds in their wake.
You can then file your claims to these funds. Claims may also be filed on behalf of someone after their passing by their surviving family members.
Claims help pay for any medical and travel costs and support families during difficult times when their loved one cannot hold down a job.
1. Compensation Timelines
Depending on the kind of claim you choose to file, you may receive compensation at different times.
Trials are notoriously long-winded, and it often takes years for juries to authorize the payout.
For this reason, many people who file claims choose to settle out of court instead, as these, along with asbestos trust fund settlements, can be received in a relatively short few months.
Filing a lawsuit or claim is hard on your nerves, especially if you have to do it while dealing with the debilitation or mourning the passing of a loved one.
It makes good sense to file your claims through a mesothelioma lawyer to have the clearest idea of when you will get payouts based on the specifics of your case.
2. Asbestos Trust Funds
Mesothelioma claims filed against trust funds far outnumber any other kinds of compensation. This occurs for the simple reason that many asbestos manufacturers filed for bankruptcy a long time ago.
However, they were asked to leave these trust funds behind to help future victims of asbestos exposure.
Some of these funds have millions (even billions) of dollars of compensation to hand out. A mesothelioma lawyer may direct your energies to a trust fund claim based on your or your loved one’s asbestos exposure.
Suppose the exposure occurred because of products made by a now-defunct company. In that case, you will file a claim to an asbestos trust fund, usually settling out of court.
This process is relatively painless, and you can expect a quick payout.
3. Mesothelioma Lawsuits
If you or your loved one has suffered from asbestos exposure, lost earnings, or had to eat into your savings to cover treatment costs, your mesothelioma attorney may advise you to file for a personal injury claim.
They can take care of the exhausting day-to-day details of fighting your case. At the same time, you focus on recovering from this devastating disease.
Claims may also be filed after someone’s passing by the family they leave behind. Usually, mesothelioma lawyers instruct the surviving family members to bond together like an estate and file a wrongful death claim.
These claims will ensure that the people left behind have the support they need to absorb the shock of their loved one’s passing.
Industry reports suggest that more than 3500 mesothelioma lawsuits were filed in 2020. As each case is unique, it is hard to give any general guideline for how it will proceed, but it may take years before you see any money coming your way.
4. Mesothelioma Support For Veterans
Asbestos exposure isn’t limited to the private sphere. In fact, large swathes of the armed forces have been exposed to it over the decades.
Asbestos was found in pipes, flooring, roofing, and other materials, engulfing veterans as they ate, slept, and fought.
As much as $1 billion have been spent by the military to clean up their bases and remedy the environmental disaster brought about by asbestos use.
Veterans have this additional recourse available to support themselves while battling diseases resulting from asbestos exposure during their service days.
These types of claims fall under the banner of VA claims. They are usually handled through a VA-accredited claims agent, who will take the red tape and messy paperwork.
At the same time, you focus on your health and wellbeing. VA claims agents typically advise co-filing VA claims with other types of mesothelioma claims so that there is no delay or risk of exceeding statutes of limitations.
The two types of claims don’t impact one another, so it is in your best interest to co-file and receive your compensation.
5. Insurance Claims
Health insurance can help offset some of the costs and payments, and claims should be filed to this effect as soon as you receive a diagnosis.
Mesothelioma insurance claims usually fall under private insurance or Medicare/Medicaid categories.
For private health insurance, make sure you know your deductibles, copay amounts, and coverage limits, documenting bills as they are incurred.
If your job pays for your health insurance, they may stop after you can no longer work, resulting in higher premiums.
Still, you may be eligible for coverage for a few months beyond your last day at work, so ask your mesothelioma lawyer to explain your options.
6. Medicare And Medicaid Benefits
You may be qualified for Medicare or Medicaid benefits based on your circumstances. The government runs these programs to help the elderly or those with limited income, including people with disabilities.
Coverage provided by these programs usually includes most kinds of mesothelioma treatment and cancer care.
Copays and deductibles for Medicare and Medicaid are far more reasonable than other insurance, so make sure you get your mesothelioma attorney’s advice on including these benefits into your overall compensation plan.
Suppose you or your loved one has had their life ravaged by mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.
In that case, you need not suffer in silence. With proper documentation, an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, and awareness of the different ways you can receive compensation, you can get the support you need.
Whether you choose to file a personal injury or lawful death claim, go to court, use insurance or VA, and governmental assistance, you have many options to be compensated and ease the burdens of recovering from mesothelioma.