In the early 1500s, many companies used asbestos to manufacture their products. Asbestos is a fibrous chemical that can infect anyone who encounters it once released in the air. It can lead to asbestos-related severe illnesses, including mesothelioma cancer.
However, its harmful effects did not surface until later since the symptoms of its harmful impacts take years to show. In the late 1800s, the US federal government banned its usage across all States. Unfortunately, it was still present in many old buildings as it was also a construction component. Even after the buildings are demolished, they can still release asbestos into the air, causing collateral damage.
The entire scenario led to a rising number of lawsuits against companies that used asbestos, and the affected people started filing financial claims for their deteriorating health. To cover the financial claims of the victims, companies declared themselves bankrupt and pooled resources into trust funds to compensate them.
Now, let us delve into the details of this trust fund.
Eligibility Criteria to File for Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
A trust fund claim can be made by anyone exposed to asbestos, whether through their employment, the use of asbestos-containing items in their home, or environmental exposure. It can also be made by anyone who has lost a loved one due to asbestos exposure.
You can access additional trust fund details and get a case analysis to learn if you are eligible to receive the compensation. An asbestos attorney or law firm specializing in asbestos claims can help you with that.
Filing for the trust fund claim requires proof of exposure, diagnosis of asbestos-related illnesses and test reports, etc.
Compensation Amount from Trust Fund
The amount of compensation depends on four factors:
- The type and severity of asbestos-related illness
- An estimate of medical expenses and damage costs
- Payment percentage and schedule of the trust
- Amount paid to asbestos claimants before declaring bankruptcy
The schedule and percentage of the compensation are according to the type of asbestos-related illness to ensure fair allocation to the victims. Moreover, Mesothelioma claimants can consider more compensation options like:
- Veterans benefit claim
- An asbestos-related lawsuit in case of any discrepancy
- Social security disability due to asbestos-related disease
- Insurance claims
The median value of Mesothelioma claims amounts to $180,000. If the trust’s payment percentage is 25%, you will be eligible to receive $45,000, and so on.
Steps to File for Asbestos Trust Fund
Step 1: Meet Your Claim’s Trust Fund Criteria
Consult an Asbestos attorney to help determine if you are eligible for the trust fund. They can help you discover when, where, and how you exposed yourself to asbestos. In addition, they can identify the asbestos companies that manufactured certain products you used and inform you of the Statute of Limitations to file the claim.
The Statute of limitations states the time limit you have to file your claim. However, it can differ from one trust fund to another. Therefore, if you are filing a claim in more than one trust fund, you need to know the Statute of limitations of each trust fund.
You may qualify for more than one asbestos claim if your legal team can form a strong basis. Your legal representation will also take care of any paperwork to ensure that you meet all the criteria.
Step 2: Collect Proof to Support Your Claim
Some forms of evidence may include:
- An asbestos-related diagnostic test report, a pathology report, or imaging scans
- Work permit, employment contract, or proof of your association with an asbestos company
- Your asbestos exposure history in the form of any previous test results and medical documentation
- Your physician’s statement confirming the diagnosis
- Witness affidavit
Step 3: File your Claim
Have an Asbestos attorney submit your claim to the trust fund according to the trust’s protocol. Some trusts accept it electronically, while others require you to mail your claim with all the required documents.
Your lawyer will know the best way to file the claim on your behalf to ensure a smooth process.
Step 4: Review Claim and Receive Payment
Trust funds offer you two options to review your claim:
- Expedited Review: Under this review, the trust groups your claim with other similar claims based on their criteria. You receive a fixed amount against your diagnosis and the trust’s payment percentage.
It makes payment processing easier, and you receive your claim quicker.
- Individual Review: When reviewed individually based on your specific claim, it may take longer to receive the amount. It can be more or less than the amount you initially claimed. The trust processes your claim considering all factors and whether it makes it unique or extensive compared to others.
Your asbestos attorney will be able to select the best review for your case in hopes of receiving fair compensation.
Asbestos Trust Fund Legislation and Litigation
The US federal government lets each State determine its asbestos legislation and only dictates how the distribution of trust fund claims affects lawsuit awards. Every trust fund has its Statute of Limitations, which can be up to two or three years after diagnosis or death due to asbestos exposure.
The Fairness in Class-Action Litigation (FACT) Act requires all class-action lawsuits to have similar injuries and demands specific information to report to their public bankruptcy dockets released four times a year.
The FACT Act is in place to ward off those who might want to take advantage of the trust fund.
Asbestos trust funds serve the sole purpose of helping asbestos victims and their families financially. Every trust fund has its legislation and Statute of Limitations. Therefore, if you plan to file your claim, you must know the laws governing each trust fund.
There are four steps involved in filing for a financial asbestos claim. First, make sure that you consult an asbestos attorney before filing for a trust fund claim. They can help you determine if you are eligible, collect evidence to support your claim, file the claim on your behalf and select the right review process to ensure that you get fair compensation. So do not hesitate to receive your rightful compensation if you have been exposed to asbestos.