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Written By: Devin Golden

Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma Compensation

Mesothelioma compensation is one of the most valuable resources if you’ve been affected by mesothelioma as a patient or the loved one of someone with this cancer. The most frequently asked questions about mesothelioma compensation include topics such as eligibility, how to begin the process, average compensation amounts, what mesothelioma lawsuits entail, asbestos trust fund accessibility and important information about mesothelioma lawyers.

Troy Walton

Reviewed By

Troy E. Walton

Personal Injury Attorney


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FAQs About Mesothelioma Compensation

Mesothelioma compensation is available to victims of asbestos exposure who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and their loved ones. There are multiple compensation options victims and loved ones can pursue with the help of experienced mesothelioma lawyers.

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How Do I Know if I Am Eligible for Compensation?

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If you have mesothelioma, then you’re most likely eligible for compensation because the only cause of this rare cancer is exposure to asbestos. Companies that manufactured asbestos ignored the health risks for workers and consumers, failed to warn of the hazards, and prioritized profits. If you’re the surviving loved one of someone who passed away due to mesothelioma, then you may also be eligible for compensation.

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Did Asbestos Companies Know How Dangerous Asbestos Was and Still Is?

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Yes, asbestos companies knew the health risks of asbestos. The substance was used until the 1980s, and most companies in the 20th century were aware of its dangers. The lack of proper testing prior to the widespread use of asbestos allowed these companies to hide the dangers. Many of these companies have taken responsibility regarding asbestos-related diseases, and some of them have tried to make amends with the victims by providing financial settlements and trust fund payments.

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What Options for Mesothelioma Compensation Are Available?

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There are several mesothelioma compensation options available to victims, such as lawsuits, asbestos trust fund claims, VA benefits, Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation. People living with mesothelioma or the surviving family members of someone who has passed away from mesothelioma are eligible for compensation if they can trace their history of asbestos exposure. Lawyers specializing in mesothelioma legal claims can help victims determine how they were exposed and which companies are responsible.

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Can I Still Try to Get Compensation Even if I Can’t Remember Which Companies Exposed Me to Asbestos?

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Yes, you can still get compensation if you can’t remember which companies caused your asbestos exposure. Most people can’t remember all the asbestos products they used, and even fewer know which company made them. Mesothelioma attorneys specialize in investigating your background, determining what asbestos products you used, and learning which manufacturing company made the product. Experienced mesothelioma law firms have amassed large databases of information about asbestos companies, what they manufactured and to whom they have sold it, all of which helps you and thousands of other mesothelioma patients access financial compensation.

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Can One of My Family Members File a Claim After I Die?

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Yes, family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit and claims with asbestos trust funds in cases where the person with mesothelioma did not initiate the compensation process before passing away. This is dependent on the time limit to file, a law called the statute of limitations, not having expired.

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Where Should I File for Mesothelioma Compensation?

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Victims of asbestos exposure should file mesothelioma compensation claims in the state(s) where the exposure occurred, where the responsible company is located, or where the victim lives. In most cases, the lawsuit or trust fund claim will be filed in the jurisdiction that has laws most favorable to the victim. The mesothelioma legal team determines which jurisdiction has the best chance of resulting in maximum compensation in the shortest time.

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Can I Still Receive Compensation if I File Other Claims (Veterans Affairs Benefits, Worker’s Compensation, Social Security Disability, Etc.)?

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Yes, you can still file for legal compensation against negligent asbestos-producing companies regardless of any other current or future claims for VA benefits, worker’s compensation, disability or similar types of financial assistance. However, before explaining your exposure history to another agency or organization, consult with your attorney first to detail exactly what you plan to say about your exposure history.

FAQs About Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Mesothelioma lawsuits are one of the several compensation options for victims of asbestos exposure and their loved ones. Lawsuits may seem overwhelming and complex, but with the assistance of a national mesothelioma lawyer, the legal process is often less stressful than most think.

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What Types of Lawsuits Can Victims of Asbestos Exposure File?

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Victims of asbestos exposure can file two types of mesothelioma lawsuits: personal injury and wrongful death. When the person with mesothelioma is filing the case themselves, they file a personal injury lawsuit. When a surviving loved one is filing a case after the person with the cancer has passed away, it is a wrongful death lawsuit.

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How Do Mesothelioma Lawsuits End?

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Mesothelioma lawsuits usually end in a settlement between the victim and the asbestos manufacturing company. Settlements allow the defendants (the at-fault asbestos companies) to avoid a costly lawsuit and move past the case. Therefore, it’s usually in their best interest to reach a private settlement agreement with the victim. Some cases go to a trial, which involves a jury deciding a verdict. Trials are risky as there are instances in which the lawsuit is dismissed by a judge for not having enough basis to proceed to a trial, which does not result in any compensation.

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What Is the Average Payout for a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

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The average payout for a mesothelioma lawsuit ranges from $1 million-$1.4 million, according to a legal report from 2019. However, this report may not include all the data since most mesothelioma settlements are kept private. Verdicts are public record, and some victims have received verdicts topping $100 million. Settlements usually have much smaller payouts but lead to quicker payment to the victim since verdicts can be appealed and drag on for a long time.

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What Is the Process of a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

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The process of a mesothelioma lawsuit typically includes:

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  • Finding a lawyer – This first step is probably the most important, as victims of asbestos exposure will choose a lawyer specializing in mesothelioma and asbestos cases to represent them in the legal process.
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  • Preparation – Attorneys help determine the source of asbestos exposure and prepare the case for filing.
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  • Filing – The mesothelioma claim is filed in the state(s) related to the case.
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  • Discovery – Attorneys evaluate the available evidence for exposure to asbestos, such as work history along with information and company documents from the asbestos manufacturers.
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  • Deposition – The victim usually records a video testimony used in the case process.
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  • Negotiations – Attorneys from both sides privately negotiate a settlement amount to avoid a trial.
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  • Trial and judgment – If the case is unable to reach a settlement, it will go to trial. A jury or judge will declare a verdict. Few cases make it to trial, though. According to a report from The New York Times in 2008, between 80% and 92% of cases settle privately.

FAQs About Asbestos Trust Funds

Asbestos trust funds are one of the most commonly pursued mesothelioma compensation options as victims typically receive compensation much quicker than a lawsuit. However, payouts from asbestos trust funds are not as much as one might receive through pursuing a lawsuit.

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What Is an Asbestos Trust Fund?

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An asbestos trust fund is a bank account created and funded by a bankrupt asbestos company to compensate victims of asbestos exposure. At the end of the 20th century, companies recognized an increased risk of being sued for using asbestos, and many filed for bankruptcy and formed court-ordered trust funds to settle any pending lawsuits and compensate future victims of their negligence. Without the formation of these asbestos trust funds, people diagnosed with mesothelioma after the at-fault company filed for bankruptcy would have been left without compensation options. Once a company files for bankruptcy, it cannot be sued in any future lawsuits. There are billions of dollars available to mesothelioma victims in asbestos trust funds.

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How Do I Access Trust Funds?

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To access trust funds, victims should find an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to assist with their claims. Since most people with mesothelioma don’t know which asbestos-containing products they were exposed to, an attorney specializing in mesothelioma claims can identify the liable asbestos manufacturing companies. To file a claim against the trust funds, you and your family members should work with a national mesothelioma law firm.

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What Is the Process for Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim?

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The process for filing an asbestos trust fund claim typically includes:

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  • Finding a lawyer – Not all attorneys have experience with asbestos trust fund claims. These types of compensation claims have unique characteristics and intricate details inexperienced lawyers may not fully understand.
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  • Filing the claims – With the help of a mesothelioma attorney, you’ll match your exposure history to specific companies involved in manufacturing and using asbestos. You’ll likely file claims with multiple trusts.
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  • Review – Your claims are reviewed based on the rules of the trust. There’s either an expedited review, which pays you a predetermined amount, or an individual review. Expedited reviews are quicker, but individual reviews can lead to more compensation. A mesothelioma attorney will help select the right type of review.
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  • Liquidation – Liquidation is the assignment of a monetary value to the claim. When filed as expedited and valid, claims already have a monetary value scheduled by the trust. Liquidation for individual reviews, on the other hand, is negotiated between the trust fund’s trustee and your asbestos lawyer.
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  • Payment – After an offer is made and accepted, payment is the final step of the procedure.
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Does it Take Long to Process an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim?

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Typically, the asbestos trust fund process is relatively quick compared to filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. However, the answer varies based on numerous factors, most notably which type of lawyer or law firm you choose to represent the claim. Many lawyers who regularly deal with mesothelioma cases are able to reach a settlement quickly. Some trust fund payments are made to the victim in as little as three months. Many mesothelioma lawyers also sit on the committees that control these trust funds, which means they make sure the trusts expedite the claims process.

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What Is an Asbestos Trust Fund Payment Percentage?

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A payment percentage is the percentage of the asbestos trust fund payout going to the victim. Every trust fund has a board of trustees who invest the capital in the fund to make sure there are funds available to compensate victims. These trust managers also set the payment percentage of their respective trusts. For example, a payment percentage of 20% for a particular trust means a patient will receive 20% of the estimated value of their claim. If the scheduled value of the trust is $100,000, then the claimant would receive $20,000. The purpose of these percentages is to prevent asbestos trusts from running out of funds. Some trust funds pay 100% of the claim value, while others that are not as well-funded or have already been significantly depleted pay less than 10%.

FAQs About Finding a Mesothelioma Lawyer

Pursuing any type of mesothelioma compensation options can seem stressful, but the legal process can be simplified with a mesothelioma lawyer. They handle all the work and will make sure the process is stress-free.

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What if I Can’t Afford a Mesothelioma Lawyer?

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Victims of asbestos exposure who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma do not need to worry about the affordability of a lawyer. Top mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you do not pay any money to the lawyer unless and until compensation is recovered. After a claim is paid, the legal team receives a percentage of the total as their fee. Therefore, you never have to worry about paying any out-of-pocket expenses for legal representation.

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What if I, as a Veteran, Don’t Want to Sue the Government or Military?

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Veterans pursuing mesothelioma legal claims are not suing the government or military. These claims or lawsuits are filed against asbestos manufacturing companies responsible for the veteran’s asbestos exposure. Veterans are loyal to the country they served and are never asked to file a lawsuit against the military. All cases involving military asbestos exposure are brought against the asbestos manufacturers that sold asbestos to the military, not the armed forces themselves.

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What if I Don’t Have the Ability to Travel?

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People with mesothelioma and victims of asbestos exposure are never expected to travel for meetings or matters related to their case. The top legal firms handling mesothelioma cases will meet the needs of the people affected by mesothelioma. They will travel to you, collect all the information they need, and work on your behalf. As a client, you can focus on treatment while your legal team handles everything related to the case.

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What if There Isn’t a Mesothelioma Law Firm Near Me?

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The best mesothelioma law firms have national practices, meaning they can handle cases in multiple states, regardless of the client’s residence or where the asbestos exposure occurred. Since law firms can’t have an office in every part of the country, national mesothelioma lawyers travel to you, often visiting you in your home. Working with a national mesothelioma law firm means you never have to leave the comfort of your own living room to meet with an attorney.

Sources & Author

  1. Asbestos. Mealey’s Litigation Report. Retrieved from: http://www.bateswhite.com/media/pnc/5/media.285.pdf. Accessed: 03/19/2019.
Devin Golden

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is a content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.