Following a mesothelioma diagnosis, you may be struggling physically, emotionally, and financially. Depending on the circumstances that resulted in your diagnosis, however, you may be able to take action against the negligent party.
At Frost Law Firm, PC, we provide legal options for mesothelioma victims. We understand the challenges they’re facing, and are prepared to do what we can to ease those burdens. While filing a claim may seem like an unnecessary stressor, it may be the only way to ensure your family’s future financial security. Let’s take a look at the most common recovery options for those who have diagnosed with this rare form of cancer.
Recovery Options for Mesothelioma Victims
Depending on your situation and the origin of your mesothelioma diagnosis, you have a variety of legal actions to pursue. Your lawyer will outline your best option and help you through the process. Common ways that mesothelioma claims are handled are through civil cases, asbestos trusts, and veterans’ benefits or workers’ compensation.
The majority of mesothelioma claims result in a settlement. This happens when negotiations take place after a claim has been filed. Depending on the circumstances, the opposing party may offer the victim a settlement. If that happens, the victim’s lawyer will inform them of the advantages and disadvantages of accepting the settlement.
If the settlement offer covers the losses of the victim’s mesothelioma diagnosis, it’s likely that settlement is the right decision. If you do not believe the offer is fair, your lawyer can engage in negotiations and try to get you a higher award. If that does not happen, a lawsuit would be the next step.
It’s important to note that in most cases once you accept a settlement offer, you forfeit your right to taking any further legal action against the opposing party.
If you’re unable to reach a settlement, you’ll proceed with a lawsuit. There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuits. If you’re filing on behalf of yourself and your own injuries, you’ll file a personal injury lawsuit. If you’re filing on behalf of a deceased loved one, you’ll file a wrongful death lawsuit. Both are civil cases.
Your lawyer will walk you through the complicated trial process. As opposed to a settlement, a judge or jury will issue a verdict. If they rule in your favor, you’ll be awarded compensation.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Some companies admitted liability or filed for bankruptcy because of their employees’ exposure to asbestos. As a result, claims are paid by an asbestos trust fund. Each fund has a certain amount of money and is managed by trustees. The funds are used to compensate patients and families when asbestos-related claims are filed.
There are dozens of asbestos trusts in the United States. A claimant only has to meet the required trust fund criteria to be eligible for compensation. There is no limit on how many trusts a person can make a claim against.
A significant number of veterans of the U.S. Armed Services were exposed to asbestos. For example, naval shipyards frequently used asbestos for its durability and fireproofing qualities. As a result, individuals who were exposed to asbestos during their military career may be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. In order to qualify for benefits, the person must not have been discharged dishonorably. They must also be able to prove that exposure occurred during the time of service.
Filing a claim for medical benefits through the VA is different than filing a legal claim. Depending on eligibility and circumstance, veterans with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition may receive disability payments or be able to undergo treatment at a VA hospital.
Additionally, spouses of veterans who die due to service-related asbestos exposure may be eligible for a monthly benefit known as Dependency and Indemnity Compensation.
The Workers’ Compensation Act allows injured workers to recover money for general exposure to asbestos. For compensation to be available, the employee has to prove the exposure happened during employment experiences. In some cases, recovery may be available even after an employee has retired. As with other types of claims, a statute of limitations will apply. Your lawyer will be able to determine how long you have before you’re rendered ineligible for compensation.
Benefits of Filing a Mesothelioma Claim
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you know just how taxing the disease can be on your family and finances. While filing a claim against the party you believe caused your asbestos exposure can seem intimidating and complex, there are a number of benefits to filing.
First off, filing a claim is the most assured way to get compensation to cover your financial losses. This includes damages like lost wages, medical bills, and the future cost of care. You may also be eligible for compensation to cover your noneconomic damages like pain and suffering.
In addition to the potential monetary award, it’s important to note that most mesothelioma claims are settled outside of court in a timely fashion. When you work with a mesothelioma attorney, they’ll also do whatever they can to minimize your stress. This includes conducting a thorough investigation, building and presenting a strong case, and handling the complicated conversations and paperwork for you.
Frost Law Firm, PC Can Help
The Hawaii mesothelioma lawyers at Frost Law Firm, PC understand the challenges you’re facing with your cancer diagnosis. In the event your asbestos exposure was the result of an employer’s negligence, taking legal action will ensure financial security—now and in the future. If you’re ready to pursue a claim or you would like to learn more about your options, schedule a case evaluation with us today. We’ll evaluate your situation and help you make the best decision for yourself and your family.
If you’re wondering what the tax implications of a lawsuit may be or have a question regarding tax information, we have this information to share. However, we are not tax attorneys and are not qualified to give tax advice.