How To File A Mesothelioma Claim

How To File A Mesothelioma Claim

Asbestos use has been proven to cause mesothelioma and resulted in many deaths in the United States and all over the world. Almost 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. Most substantial asbestos exposures occurred before the 1980s; however, some asbestos exposure continues to this day. While many of the companies responsible for employee exposure to asbestos have filed for bankruptcy, the court ordered trusts to be established to handle current and future claim compensation as a condition of granting the bankruptcy requests. This article discusses how to file a mesothelioma claim with those trusts.

1. Identify the Trust to File Your Claim

You can only file claims with trusts set up on behalf of a company that exposed you to asbestos. Trusts refer to these companies as debtors. Trusts have specific eligibility requirements designed to ensure that compensation is provided only for individuals who were injured due to exposure to asbestos from the debtor company.

2. Gather Proof

To receive compensation from a trust, there must be proof of injury due to exposure to asbestos-containing products manufactured by the company the trust represents. This proof may be found in medical records, evidence of asbestos exposure from the employer and their products, and a death certificate (if the claim is filed on behalf of a deceased individual)

3. Choose a Method of Review

Asbestos trust claimants can choose how their claims will be processed, either with an expedited or individualized review.

In an expedited review, claims are paid quickly at a set value. A fixed payout is assigned by the trust for each asbestos-related disease, with more severe conditions valued higher than others. Trusts typically publish each condition’s scheduled value in a document called the Trust Distribution Procedure (TDP).

If a claimant prefers to file for an individual review, it will take longer for the trust to process. An individual review allows claimants to receive separate consideration for their case. Your unique situation will determine your award from the trust, which may or may not result in a higher payment than the expedited review process’s fixed rates. An individual review is required when claimants fail to meet the expedited review process’s medical or exposure criteria.

4. Review of the Claim

Roughly six months before your claim enters review, the trust will request an update to your health status and asbestos exposure. The trust will then begin reviewing the evidence.For claims filed for expedited review, the trust ensures that the claimant’s medical and exposure evidence meets the requirements of the TDP.

5.  Liquidation

In an expedited review, your claim would be liquidated according to the value of your disease level outlined in the trust’s TDP, regardless of your circumstances.Individual review claims are assigned a value based on past awards from similar cases. Once the claim has been liquidated, the trust will give you an offer, which can either be accepted or denied.

6. Payment of the Claim

The date entered into the payment queue will determine when payment is received. To ensure there is enough compensation available for future claimants, the trusts discount awards by a predetermined payment percent. Payment percentages vary from trust to trust.

Despite the fact that mesothelioma’s only known cause is asbestos exposure, the burden of proof is placed on the injured party. Decades may have passed between your exposure and diagnosis, yet you’re being asked to remember seemingly insignificant details of your employment history.

At GPW, we make it easy. With nearly 40 years of experience, our attorneys have accumulated thousands of corporate documentation, a vast knowledge of asbestos products, hundreds of depositions, and an extensive knowledge of job sites nationwide to help protect your rights against manufacturers who produced, sold, and used asbestos product.

Contact us today for a free case review.

Sources:
“Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts, Rand Institute for Civil Justice”, RAND Corp., (2010) [link]
Dixon, L.S., McGovern, G., & Coober, A., “Asbestos Bankruptcy trusts: an overview of trust structure and activity with detailed reports on the largest trusts” (2010) [link]
Edwards, John., “Mesothelioma Trust Funds”, (2020) [link]
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