FAQ - Legal Compensation and Health Insurance

Legal compensation and health care are two of a patient's most valuable resources. If you are a victim of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma patient, you’ll likely have questions on numerous topics: legal options, health care, insurance and financial assistance.

Here are the most frequently asked questions related to mesothelioma compensation and health care.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits and Legal Questions

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

Yes. Asbestos was used for many years, and most companies using asbestos products in the 20th century were aware of its dangers. The lack of proper testing prior to the substance’s widespread use allowed these companies to hide the dangers. Many of these companies now admit fault and responsibility regarding asbestos-related diseases, and some of them have tried to make amends to the victims by providing financial settlements and trust fund payments.

What Is an Asbestos Trust Fund?

As companies recognized an increased risk of being sued for using asbestos, many filed for bankruptcy and formed court-ordered trust funds to compensate future victims of their negligence. Without the formation of these asbestos trust funds, future victims would have been left with no compensation options from these bankrupt asbestos companies because once a company files for bankruptcy, it is insulated from any future lawsuits. At times since they were first created, these trust funds had more than 30 billion dollars. Even today, there are billions of dollars available to mesothelioma victims in asbestos trust funds.

How Do I Access Trust Funds?

Since most patients with mesothelioma don’t know which asbestos-inclusive products they were exposed to, they should hire an attorney to 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.

Does It Take Long to Process a Trust Fund Claim?

The answer varies based on numerous factors, most notably which type of lawyer or law firm you hire. 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 board of directors at these trust funds, which means they are able to get claims expedited.

What Is a Payment Percentage?

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

What if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

No patient should renounce seeking legal help because they believe they can’t afford an attorney. Top mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you as a patient do not pay any money to the lawyer until a recovery is made. After a claim is paid, the legal team receives a percentage of the total as their fee for all the work required to handle a mesothelioma lawsuit or trust fund filing. Therefore, you never have to worry about paying your attorney out of pocket for anything associated with your case.

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

Yes. Asbestos was used for many years, and most companies using asbestos products in the 20th century were aware of its dangers. The lack of proper testing prior to the substance’s widespread use allowed these companies to hide the dangers. Many of these companies now admit fault and responsibility regarding asbestos-related diseases, and some of them have tried to make amends to the victims by providing financial settlements and trust fund payments.

What Is an Asbestos Trust Fund?

As companies recognized an increased risk of being sued for using asbestos, many filed for bankruptcy and formed court-ordered trust funds to compensate future victims of their negligence. Without the formation of these asbestos trust funds, future victims would have been left with no compensation options from these bankrupt asbestos companies because once a company files for bankruptcy, it is insulated from any future lawsuits. At times since they were first created, these trust funds had more than 30 billion dollars. Even today, there are billions of dollars available to mesothelioma victims in asbestos trust funds.

How Do I Access Trust Funds?

Since most patients with mesothelioma don’t know which asbestos-inclusive products they were exposed to, they should hire an attorney to 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.

Does It Take Long to Process a Trust Fund Claim?

The answer varies based on numerous factors, most notably which type of lawyer or law firm you hire. 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 board of directors at these trust funds, which means they are able to get claims expedited.

What Is a Payment Percentage?

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

What if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

No patient should renounce seeking legal help because they believe they can’t afford an attorney. Top mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you as a patient do not pay any money to the lawyer until a recovery is made. After a claim is paid, the legal team receives a percentage of the total as their fee for all the work required to handle a mesothelioma lawsuit or trust fund filing. Therefore, you never have to worry about paying your attorney out of pocket for anything associated with your case.

Angela Mobile
Angela Desktop

Angela C. Bullock

Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyer

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

Veterans are loyal to the country they served and are never asked to file a lawsuit against the military. All cases involving military exposure are brought against the asbestos manufacturers that sold asbestos to the military, not the armed forces themselves.

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

The top legal firms handling mesothelioma cases are trained to meet the needs of their clients. 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.

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

Many mesothelioma law firms have national practices, meaning they can handle cases 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 law firms travel to you, often visiting you in your home. Hiring a national mesothelioma law firm means you never have to leave the comfort of your own living room to meet with an attorney.

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

Yes. Family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit and a claim with the asbestos trust funds in cases where the mesothelioma patient didn’t hire a lawyer before passing away. This is dependent on the time limit to file, called the Statute of Limitations (SOL), not having expired.

Can I Still File Even if I Can’t Remember Which Companies Exposed Me to Asbestos?

Yes. Most patients can’t remember all the asbestos products they were exposed to, and even fewer know which company made them. Mesothelioma attorneys are different than your average personal injury attorney in that they specialize in investigating your background, determining what asbestos products you were exposed to and learning which manufacturing company made the product. Seasoned 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.

Where Should I File a Lawsuit?

A mesothelioma lawsuit is usually filed in the state or states where your exposure occurred or where the company responsible for the asbestos exposure is located. In most cases, you’ll file the lawsuit in the jurisdiction that has laws most favorable to the patient. The legal team determines which jurisdiction will get you the most compensation in the shortest time.

What Happens if I Die Before the Case is Resolved?

If you — or any mesothelioma patient — die before a case is resolved, the case usually transitions seamlessly to your next of kin. After you pass away, your estate can continue pursuing the case as a wrongful death lawsuit.

Can I Still Sue if I Filed Other Claims (Such as Veterans Affairs Benefits, Worker’s Compensation, Social Security Disability, Etc.)?

Yes. As a victim of mesothelioma, you can file legal claims against negligent asbestos-producing companies regardless of any other current or future claims for VA benefits, worker’s compensation, disability or other 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.

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

Veterans are loyal to the country they served and are never asked to file a lawsuit against the military. All cases involving military exposure are brought against the asbestos manufacturers that sold asbestos to the military, not the armed forces themselves.

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

The top legal firms handling mesothelioma cases are trained to meet the needs of their clients. 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.

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

Many mesothelioma law firms have national practices, meaning they can handle cases 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 law firms travel to you, often visiting you in your home. Hiring a national mesothelioma law firm means you never have to leave the comfort of your own living room to meet with an attorney.

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

Yes. Family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit and a claim with the asbestos trust funds in cases where the mesothelioma patient didn’t hire a lawyer before passing away. This is dependent on the time limit to file, called the Statute of Limitations (SOL), not having expired.

Can I Still File Even if I Can’t Remember Which Companies Exposed Me to Asbestos?

Yes. Most patients can’t remember all the asbestos products they were exposed to, and even fewer know which company made them. Mesothelioma attorneys are different than your average personal injury attorney in that they specialize in investigating your background, determining what asbestos products you were exposed to and learning which manufacturing company made the product. Seasoned 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.

Where Should I File a Lawsuit?

A mesothelioma lawsuit is usually filed in the state or states where your exposure occurred or where the company responsible for the asbestos exposure is located. In most cases, you’ll file the lawsuit in the jurisdiction that has laws most favorable to the patient. The legal team determines which jurisdiction will get you the most compensation in the shortest time.

What Happens if I Die Before the Case is Resolved?

If you — or any mesothelioma patient — die before a case is resolved, the case usually transitions seamlessly to your next of kin. After you pass away, your estate can continue pursuing the case as a wrongful death lawsuit.

Can I Still Sue if I Filed Other Claims (Such as Veterans Affairs Benefits, Worker’s Compensation, Social Security Disability, Etc.)?

Yes. As a victim of mesothelioma, you can file legal claims against negligent asbestos-producing companies regardless of any other current or future claims for VA benefits, worker’s compensation, disability or other 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.

Find an Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyer

Health Insurance

Can I Still Claim Benefits on My Employer Health Plan if I Work Fewer Hours, Quit My Job or Was Fired?

Yes. The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows you to retain your health insurance with a previous company after quitting, being fired or laid off, or having a reduction in hours and losing full-time employment status and health care eligibility. This program was created to assure workers can maintain their current health coverage in the case of a life-changing event.

What Is My Option if I Cannot Get Health Care Coverage?

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most people can get health care coverage. For those who cannot because they are unable to afford coverage, there are public options such as Medicare (for senior citizens) and Medicaid (for low-income citizens). These public options have limitations, and anyone considering these options should consult with their doctor. You can visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for more information about these programs.

Can the Type of Coverage I Have Limit My Ability to Choose a Specialist?

The answer depends on the health insurance you have. Some insurance plans may limit the in-network specialists and procedures available to you. The high cost of mesothelioma treatment leads many patients to file a legal claim, which helps pay for treatment. Find the best available specialist for help.

Can I Be Dropped by My Insurance Company After Diagnosis?

No, in most cases. As a patient, you cannot be removed from your insurance carrier after diagnosis, except in rare circumstances. However, your insurance premium payments may increase in some specific scenarios. Each insurance provider is different and may vary in how they react to news of a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Can I Still Claim Benefits on My Employer Health Plan if I Work Fewer Hours, Quit My Job or Was Fired?

Yes. The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows you to retain your health insurance with a previous company after quitting, being fired or laid off, or having a reduction in hours and losing full-time employment status and health care eligibility. This program was created to assure workers can maintain their current health coverage in the case of a life-changing event.

What Is My Option if I Cannot Get Health Care Coverage?

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most people can get health care coverage. For those who cannot because they are unable to afford coverage, there are public options such as Medicare (for senior citizens) and Medicaid (for low-income citizens). These public options have limitations, and anyone considering these options should consult with their doctor. You can visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid for more information about these programs.

Can the Type of Coverage I Have Limit My Ability to Choose a Specialist?

The answer depends on the health insurance you have. Some insurance plans may limit the in-network specialists and procedures available to you. The high cost of mesothelioma treatment leads many patients to file a legal claim, which helps pay for treatment. Find the best available specialist for help.

Can I Be Dropped by My Insurance Company After Diagnosis?

No, in most cases. As a patient, you cannot be removed from your insurance carrier after diagnosis, except in rare circumstances. However, your insurance premium payments may increase in some specific scenarios. Each insurance provider is different and may vary in how they react to news of a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Last Edited: June 27, 2019.

Free Mesothelioma Guide Flyout Picture Learn More
FREE Mesothelioma Guide