Treating asbestos-related diseases is extremely taxing, not only for the victim but also for victims’ loved ones. However, the sooner you seek out legal help, the better chance you have of making a claim. The claim could provide compensation for lost wages and medical bills if it succeeds—it can be a valuable use of your time and energy.
Find out more about filing a claim for asbestos-related illness and injury.
When to Seek Legal Advice
When you are diagnosed with asbestos lung cancer or any other asbestos-related disease, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to assess if you have a valid claim to sue your employer, the manufacturer of the asbestos product you worked around, and/or the state.
There are specialist asbestos lawyers in every state available to analyze your claim and work to get you the most compensation for your illness.
How Your Claim is Validated
If it’s determined that your asbestos-related disease was caused by negligence and/or improper safety precautions by your employer, you’re likely to receive some compensation for your illness.
Laws vary by state, of course, so it’s important to research how your state deals with such claims and be certain that your lawyer is indeed well-versed in such claims.
Types of Occupational Claims
State Workers’ Compensation
Those with asbestos-related diseases caused by workplace exposure may be able to file workers’ compensation claims. Each state has different guidelines for filing for recompense, so be sure to read up on the topic and/or seek legal advice before pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.
Federal Workers’ Compensation
The Federal Employees’ Compensation Program handles injury claims for those working for federal agencies. If your claim is approved, you’re eligible for wage compensation for lost time, coverage of your medical payments, and sometimes rehabilitation to prepare you for your return to work. In the event of the inured party’s death, benefits are extended to the deceased’s family.
Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation
For those coming in contact with asbestos during a maritime job, a separate compensatory program is available.
The Department of Veteran Affairs has licensed medical centers where veterans who were exposed to asbestos either in the line of duty or outside of it can be cared for. Contact the VA to discuss your eligibility for such treatment.
There is no federal legislation related to asbestos at this time. A bill called the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act, or the FAIR Act, would establish a fund for those affected by asbestos diseases. They would apply through the Department of Licensing to receive compensation, rather than filing claims in the court system. In fact, it would no longer be possible to file lawsuits for asbestos.
Amount of Compensation
This varies too greatly to estimate a number. It depends on a variety of factors, such as the extent of your medical bills, the severity of your disease, your wages and the number of lost hours, etc. Once again, laws are quite different from state to state, so your lawyer will have the best estimate for you.
Again, though dealing with an asbestos-related disease is quite difficult and upsetting, filing a claim for compensation might still be the right choice for you. Speak to a legal professional in your state to find out if you are eligible to be compensated.