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Mesothelioma Compensation

Many mesothelioma patients are entitled to compensation as a result of developing the disease. You can get compensation from VA claims, trust funds, settlements and jury verdicts.

Financial Compensation for Mesothelioma Patients

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that requires specialized treatment. From chemotherapy rounds to surgery, medical bills can start adding up. Even if you have great insurance, deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses can build quickly with frequent doctor appointments. Compensation can help you afford treatment and stay out of debt.

How compensation can help:

  • Pay for treatment expenses. Compensation can cover your leftover treatment expenses. It can also help pay for an aggressive, life-extending surgery.
  • Cover lost wages. Many patients can’t work or lose their jobs during treatment. Surgical recovery time can take months in some cases. Compensation ensures you don’t have to worry about your wages.
  • Compensate for disability. Some patients aren’t able to return to work. There are several ways to receive disability compensation to help cover the cost of living.
  • Secure your estate. Payouts from asbestos trust funds and litigation can secure your family’s future. Whether you have a prognosis of 1 year or 10, compensation gives you peace of mind that your family will be financially secure in your wake.

While financial compensation is meant to offset medical costs, it is also meant compensate you for pain and suffering. In nearly all cases of mesothelioma, there is some company responsible. The dangers of asbestos were widely known in the industry. And companies hid the dangers from their employees. Don’t miss out on the compensation you and your family deserve.

Did You Know?  A memo circulated through the asbestos industry in 1988. It contained documents more than 50 years old. These documents contained “evidence of corporate conspiracy to prevent asbestos workers from learning that their exposure to asbestos could kill them.” This memo shows that many companies were aware of the risks of asbestos before WWII.

Mesothelioma Compensation Explained

The amount of compensation you receive can be based on several factors. These factors may include lost wages, emotional distress, physical pain and the cost of health care. Compensation also comes from many different sources.

Types of Compensation

There are several types of compensation you can receive, including:

  • Asbestos trust funds. You may have worked for a company that is no longer in existence or that has declared bankruptcy because other victims have filed lawsuits against them. Many of these companies have bankruptcy trust funds. They use these trusts to compensate their former employees who developed mesothelioma. You can usually get money from these trust funds fairly fast.
  • VA Claims. Many victims of mesothelioma were military veterans. Asbestos was widely used in all branches of the armed forces. Veterans can file a VA claim for benefits relating to their disease. They can also get reduced cost treatment through the VA health care system.
  • Settlement funds. You may have worked for a company that doesn’t have an asbestos trust fund. Rather than having a lawsuit that goes to trial, most companies work with your attorney to come up with a fair amount of compensation. This includes medical care, legal fees, funeral benefits and lost wages.
    Trial verdicts. Some people choose to go to trial. This usually happens if a company refuses to pay for your illness or if the settlement they suggested is too small. The trial will determine if the company was liable for your mesothelioma. Trials don’t guarantee a compensation. You can file a lawsuit as an individual or as part of a joint lawsuit filed by other victims that worked for the same company.
  • Trial verdicts. Some people choose to go to trial. This usually happens if a company refuses to pay for your illness or if the settlement they suggested is too small. The trial will determine if the company was liable for your mesothelioma. Trials don’t guarantee a compensation. You can file a lawsuit as an individual or as part of a joint lawsuit filed by other victims that worked for the same company.

You may receive different amounts of compensation depending on your situation. You can receive anything from just a little bit of money to millions of dollars. Each case is unique. For example, a person in a high-paying career who can no longer work may be compensated for a loss in earning potential. Or a low-income veteran with mesothelioma may get a pension from the U.S. government. Patients with a more extensive asbestos exposure history are also likely to get more compensation.

Most of the time, professionals can determine exactly when, where and for how long you had asbestos exposure. This exposure history is necessary to know where to turn for compensation. If an employer exposed you to asbestos, they could be legally liable for your illness. Employers often settle these cases by paying for lost wages, medical bills and other costs.

You should never have to determine your own asbestos exposure history. Depending on the type of compensation you’re looking for, someone will help you. If you are applying for VA benefits, there are VA claims agents who can help find out your exposure history. If you are filing a lawsuit, your lawyer has many tools to find out where you were exposed.

A Quick Look into VA Benefits

VA benefits come in different shapes and sizes. If you have mesothelioma as a result of your military service, you qualify for disability compensation. There are also other types of benefits available. These are based on factors like your income, marital status and whether you have dependents.

Some common benefits that mesothelioma patients or their family members qualify for include:

Applying for VA benefits can be difficult. There are many documents and pieces of evidence to submit. Luckily, there are VA claims agents who can help you for free. These VA-accredited claims agents are veterans themselves.

Determining the Value of a Claim

Evaluating how much money you are entitled to is complicated. This is why you should hire a mesothelioma attorney who specializes in asbestos claims. The attorney will add up the various costs associated with having the disease and attempt to get you compensated as soon as possible. They will look at your medical record, your asbestos exposure history, the costs of care, loss of wages and emotional distress. These are common variables attorneys use to find a monetary figure that makes up for your losses.

The attorney will ask you about your work history and the potential for future lost wages. The stage of your cancer and the prognosis of your disease are also important in deciding the value of your claim. The attorney will also help you find out which company exposed you to asbestos if you don’t already know.

Some companies have already set up a trust fund. Trust funds have baseline payout amounts set aside for all victims of mesothelioma. If your situation is unique, you can ask your attorney to settle for a higher amount than the baseline complication.

Factors that could affect the amount of compensation you receive include:

  • The type of asbestos you were exposed to
  • Where the exposure took place
  • How much physical and emotional distress you are experiencing
  • How long you were in the service and were exposed to asbestos
  • Where you live
  • Your age and gender
  • Your work history and potential for future wages
  • Your medical expenses not covered by your health insurance
  • The costs of travel to see a mesothelioma specialist
  • Funeral expenses
  • Whether or not you have dependents you support
  • The cost of medical care you expect to have in the future

General Assistance

Some people make use of general assistance because it’s faster than mesothelioma claims. General assistance is provided for any person with a serious medical illness that prevents them from working.

You can get general assistance from a variety of sources, including the following:

  • Private insurance. They should be able to pay for medical care regardless of your diagnosis.
  • Medicaid and Medicare. This also pays for medical care regardless of your diagnosis.
  • Social Security Disability. You can file for this benefit if you can’t work.
  • Long-term disability insurance. This may be provided to you by your employer.
  • Community assistance. There are volunteer and nonprofit organizations that help with incidental expenses.

General assistance usually does not have much of a delay. You can use these sources while you pursue a mesothelioma compensation claim.

Getting the Compensation You Deserve

Virtually every mesothelioma patient has the right to some level of compensation. Many victims of mesothelioma look toward trust funds or lawsuits for compensation. Veterans with mesothelioma have total access to the VA. All mesothelioma veterans can receive benefits.

Key avenues of compensation for veterans:

  • Your employer may pay into an asbestos trust fund that you can access.
  • People seeking litigation often receive million dollar settlements.
  • Talk to a VA claims agent to learn about your veteran benefits.

Once you’ve been diagnosed by a mesothelioma specialist, it’s up to you to seek compensation. But you’re not alone. There are people who can help from financial aid and legal advisors to VA claims agents. Let us help you get started now.

Sources & Author Edited: May 16, 2016

About the Writer

Senior Veteran Support Team

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center was created to provide information and assistance to veterans regarding treatment, clinical trials, and VA benefits for veterans suffering from asbestos illnesses. The MVC was founded by retired veterans and veterans advocates who have helped hundreds of veterans get approved for their VA benefits after developing mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer from their asbestos exposure in the military.

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