If you have mesothelioma, please remember this fact: The legal system is on your side. Asbestos trust funds were created specifically to defend the victims of this cancer.
Mesothelioma is a fast-spreading cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The root of this disease is usually working with asbestos decades ago. The culprit is the companies who manufactured, sold and used asbestos commercially.
The general public learned of their unethical business practices toward the end of the 20th century. People with mesothelioma eventually stood up for themselves, filing lawsuits against these companies. The result for many was bankruptcy, but the American court system ensured that future victims wouldn’t be forgotten.
What Are Asbestos Trust Funds?
Asbestos trust funds are financial accounts with set-aside money for the victims of asbestos-caused diseases, such as mesothelioma. People with this cancer have every legal right to file with asbestos trust funds.
Our legal experts want to help you understand how asbestos trust funds work. We’ve also provided some tips for filing these claims and maximizing your chances and compensation amount.
When you’re ready to connect with a mesothelioma lawyer, contact our patient advocate team. Carl Jewett (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jenna Campagna (email@example.com) are both available to recommend to whom you should speak.
Tip #1: Research the Statute of Limitations for Your Case
First, let’s explain what the phrase “statute of limitations” means.
Statute of limitations is a law that restricts how long you, as the victim and plaintiff, have to take legal action against the at-fault party. In mesothelioma claims, the party responsible is usually an asbestos manufacturing company.
The statute of limitations for mesothelioma claims varies by state. They range from one year to six years, with most being two or three years.
Research the statute of limitations for those states to know how much time you have to file. Once you find out, don’t wait until the last minute to contact a lawyer. Experienced mesothelioma attorneys will investigate all avenues and need time to find out which companies are at fault.
Tip #2: Find an Experienced, National Mesothelioma Lawyer
There’s a list of around 60 active asbestos trust funds. Your mesothelioma diagnosis could link to any one — or multiple — of them. There is no limit to how many trust funds you can file against for causing your cancer.
Hiring an experienced, national mesothelioma lawyer will only help you. The top mesothelioma lawyers have the resources to explore all potential exposure occurrences. Their extensive database of ships, products and buildings that contained — or still contain — asbestos maximizes your chances of applying with multiple trust funds.
Tip #3: Know How Wrongful Death Claims Work
Mesothelioma wrongful death claims apply to situations when the patient has passed away. In these instances, immediate family members can seek compensation for the “wrongful death.”
Most people think of lawsuits as the principal legal action in a wrongful death claim. However, asbestos trust funds also apply. The family members of deceased mesothelioma victims still deserve compensation. They often struggle with:
- Medical bills and debt
- Lost wages
- Funeral costs
- Emotional distress
- Depleted retirement and savings accounts
In many wrongful death cases, the asbestos companies that caused the mesothelioma to form have gone bankrupt. They shouldn’t be protected from accountability just because the victim died. Asbestos trust funds are a way to hold them responsible.
Tip #4: Look Up Your Asbestos Exposure History
Most mesothelioma victims — or their families — don’t know where or when they were exposed. For decades, the general public didn’t even know asbestos was dangerous.
Hiring an experienced lawyer is one way to learn your history. However, you may be able to start the process yourself.
We created an asbestos exposure database, which lists every location we know of where the substance was present. These locations could be:
- Asbestos manufacturing plants
- Companies that used asbestos in products
- Buildings constructed with asbestos
- Naval ships
You can search by city and state, which will help you link your work and residential history to possible instances of exposure.
If you know your asbestos exposure history, then you’ve got a head start. Determining where you were exposed is a significant portion of the work in an asbestos trust fund claim.