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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Trust Claims

By on 04:29

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Trust Claims

Mesothelioma patients and others who have been injured by asbestos may be eligible to receive compensation by suing those responsible for their injuries. But what happens if a negligent company has filed for bankruptcy?
Companies that successfully file for bankruptcy reorganization are protected from lawsuits. But fortunately, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code allows for the creation of asbestos bankruptcy trusts. Asbestos defendants who have been approved for bankruptcy reorganization under section 524(g) of the code are required to fund these trusts with enough money to pay current and future asbestos claims.
asbestos lawsuits case processclick to view the process

How to File an Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Claim

As with lawsuits, filing an asbestos bankruptcy trust claim requires showing evidence of an asbestos-related injury. Most trusts identify categories and levels of diseases that are eligible for various amounts of compensation. Trusts also may require claimants to satisfy certain medical criteria to file claims.
In addition to filing a claim form or some other written statement concerning an asbestos-related injury, claimants also may be required to provide other evidence.

Evidence required to file a trust claim usually includes:

  1. Medical documentation (e.g., pathology reports) showing that the claimant has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.
  2. Medical documentation describing to what extent asbestos contributed to the claimant’s disease.
  3. A statement from a qualified physician regarding the diagnosis.
  4. Evidence that the claimant was exposed to asbestos at the company’s facilities or from the company’s product(s) (e.g., witness affidavits, employment records, invoices).

How Trust Claims Are Decided

Bankruptcy trusts are set up on behalf of companies with asbestos liabilities, but the companies do not operate the trusts. In fact, these companies do not review claims or make any determinations based on the evidence submitted by claimants. The decision to pay a claim is made by the trust, which is a separate organization from the company.
Trustees manage asbestos trusts for the benefit of present and future claimants. The claims are processed and decided under preset trust distribution procedures. Representatives of current and future claimants must consent to any significant changes to these procedures.
Trusts often publish additional information about their rules, guidelines and qualifications. Among the information they can publish is a list of confirmed exposure sites.

Filing a Trust Claim and a Lawsuit?

Claimants sometimes file both asbestos trust claims and asbestos lawsuits. It is important to remember that filing a trust claim can affect the amount of compensation received from a lawsuit. State laws vary greatly on when trust claims must be made and how trust compensation affects the determination of lawsuit awards. A qualified mesothelioma attorney can help claimants understand the process.
For instance, states treat information sharing, setoffs, indirect trust claims and limitations on trust payments differently:
  • Information Sharing: State courts have different rules about sharing trust claim information with lawsuit defendants. Some courts require plaintiffs to disclose any claim forms they have submitted to trusts during the discovery phase of litigation. This requirement does not necessarily mean that the plaintiffs must file their trust claims before trial. It just applies to any claims that have already been filed. A few courts, such as New York City and Montgomery County, Penn., courts may require filing certain trust claims before trial.
  • Setoffs: Some states - Illinois, New York, Texas and West Virginia among them - may permit "setoffs" for trust payments. In other words, if a claimant has already received a trust payment, any defendant he or she sues may be able to deduct the amount of that payment from a court award. Other states do not allow or sometimes limit the use of setoffs. For example, some courts may apply setoffs differently depending on whether the compensation is for economic damages (e.g., medical expenses) or non-economic damages (e.g., pain and suffering).
However, these laws shouldn't dissuade asbestos victims from filing a trust claim. A single asbestos injury may be caused my several companies' negligence. Some companies can be sued in court, while others who have filed for bankruptcy protection can only be held responsible through the trust system. These laws are intended to establish procedures for filing claims against all negligent parties.
It is best to consult a mesothelioma attorney about whether you can file an asbestos trust claim, an asbestos lawsuit or both. They are knowledgeable about the litigation and trust claim processes. They can also let you know how filing one type of claim may affect the amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive through the other type of claim.
It is also important to remember that statutes of limitation only allow a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit. If your time to file a lawsuit has expired, you may be able to file an asbestos trust claim. Again, it is best to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer to determine the options for your individual case.

How Much Can Someone Receive from an Asbestos Trust?

The amount someone can receive from a trust depends on the type of injury and the payment schedule established by the trust. Each asbestos bankruptcy trust develops its own schedule that assigns values to various types of asbestos injuries. Certain types of diseases and levels of severity are eligible for more compensation. The values are based on the compensation payments made by the company before reorganization.
Since most trusts do not have enough money to fully pay all present and future claims, they offer asbestos victims a set percentage of their claims. The 26 largest trusts offer to pay anywhere from 1.1 percent to 100 percent of a claim amount. As of 2010, the median percentage they offered to pay was 25 percent of a claim. The amount of compensation is limited to ensure that there is enough money to pay future claimants who will be diagnosed years from now.

Will Asbestos Trusts Have Enough Money to Pay Future Claims?

Given the long latency period of asbestos-related diseases, new claims are expected to emerge for several more decades. As of 2011, asbestos trust funds have combined assets of $36.8 billion. Not surprisingly, there are concerns that asbestos trust fund assets will not be enough to compensate all future claimants.
Trusts are established after rigorous estimation proceedings to determine how much money should be set aside for current and future asbestos claims. They are also managed under procedures to make the money last long enough to compensate future claimants. This means that claimants typically receive a percentage of what they actually claim. But it also means that reorganized companies that are responsible for asbestos injuries can't avoid paying future claimants.
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, speak with a mesothelioma attorney today about your options for compensation. Although there are no guarantees that you will obtain a specific amount of compensation, a mesothelioma attorney can explain the procedures and possible limitations on what you can recover under a trust claim.

Financial Assistance

By on 04:27

Financial Assistance

Living with mesothelioma cancer means confronting your financial situation and realizing you probably will need assistance to pay your normal bills. The disease of mesothelioma cancer can drastically change your finances. You will be responsible for new, unexpected costs, and if you are still working you likely will need to find ways to live without the full income from your job.
The biggest expense coming your way will be a share of medical bills. Even with good medical insurance, some expenses will not be covered.
Mesothelioma Compensation Value
The number and amounts of these new costs can come as a surprise. They can also add up quickly. To help get as much financial assistance as you can, it's a good idea to track your new expenses. That allows you to document the help you will want.
Financial assistance, however, is only available to you for a limited time after receiving your cancer diagnosis. It is important to decide early which types of assistance you are interested in pursuing. A qualified mesothelioma attorney can help. Your attorney will discuss your options and aid you in seeking compensation from any resource available.

Two Categories of Financial Assistance

Your financial assistance options can be separated into two categories: general assistance and specific assistance. Here are the guidelines for each category:
  General Assistance Specific Assistance
Who is eligible? Anyone with a serious illness Mesothelioma patients
What are some examples? Insurance, workers compensation Mesothelioma trust funds, lawsuit settlements, lawsuit verdicts
How long does it take to receive compensation? May take up to several months May take years
How much compensation can I expect? Generally determined by amount of medical expenses Generally determined by amount of medical and other expenses. Can be significantly more than general assistance.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit

By on 04:26

Mesothelioma Lawsuit

mesothelioma lawsuit
If you have an asbestos-induced disease, seriously consider contacting a qualified mesothelioma lawyer immediately. These types of cases are time sensitive, and only a lawyer trained in asbestos litigation should help you decide if and when to pursue a lawsuit against a company who may be responsible for exposing you to asbestos.
Each state limits the time you have to file a lawsuit after you are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires.
In a mesothelioma lawsuit, the attorney will deal with actual filing of the case and then all aspects of it after that. You should expect a routine that consists of the response to the lawsuit; discovery, depositions, settlement discussions, a possible trial, a verdict and a possible appeal. Most asbestos lawsuits never go to trial because they are settled out of court before a trail can take place.

Filing A Mesothelioma Lawsuit

By on 04:26


Filing A Mesothelioma Lawsuit

A mesothelioma case only starts when someone formally files a lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you should decide as soon as possible whether you want to take legal action.
Putting off the decision to file a lawsuit can mean the difference between getting financial assistance for medical bills and other expenses and not having any additional help with income. One reason for the fast time period is that each state puts limits the amount of time a patient (or a patient's family) can file a claim after a diagnosis is given. This is an issue a qualified mesothelioma lawyer can decide quickly. The attorney can also help with many of the other questions that come up with a lawsuit is being considered.

How do you file a lawsuit?

The first step in a successful filing process is choosing an attorney. If you decide to file a claim, your attorney will prepare and file the necessary documents to start your lawsuit.
Your case will proceed more efficiently and you may have the greatest chance for compensation if you work with an experienced asbestos and mesothelioma attorney. When you talk to the attorney, be prepared to discuss past employment, health history and current health status. For this reason, it is very important to hire a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable communicating.

Where should you file?

The location where you file can affect the length of the case process. Your attorney will help you choose the most favorable court for your case. It may be necessary to file outside the state where you live. You will not need to travel, however, because your mesothelioma attorney will handle the entire case process and travel to you when necessary.

What is required to file?

You must file a complaint, also known as a petition, to start your lawsuit. Your mesothelioma attorney can prepare and file the complaint on your behalf. Your attorney will also send the document to the corporation(s) you are suing, known as the defendant(s).
The defendant has a set amount of time to respond to your claim. In some cases, the defendant will offer you a settlement right away. However, the defendant will most likely deny responsibility for your claim. If your complaint does not clearly state your claim or does not satisfy the court's rules, the defendant may convince the judge to dismiss your case. This is much less likely to happen if you hire an experienced mesothelioma attorney to prepare and file your complaint.

Can any attorney file your case?

There are many competent attorneys, but it is wise to contact one who has experience with asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits. Filing an asbestos case can vary from a typical filing process. An experienced mesothelioma attorney will have the most knowledge about your options.
For example, if you worked for a large corporation that has since closed or gone bankrupt, funds may have been set aside to help pay medical and related expenses for mesothelioma patients. A mesothelioma attorney is knowledgeable about these funds and can help you file a claim. In addition, a mesothelioma attorney is familiar with asbestos manufacturers and can help you determine who is responsible for your suffering.

Asbestos Exposure and Lawsuits

By on 04:25

Asbestos Exposure and Lawsuits

For almost a century, asbestos was one of the most commonly used construction, manufacturing and shipbuilding materials. It was also used in thousands of products and can still be found in houses, apartments buildings and other facilities built before the 1980s. Many members of the public and workers in a variety of jobs were exposed to asbestos.
Timeline of Initial Asbestos Exposure to First Symptoms of Mesothelioma Another reason for the high number of new cases: It can take up to 50 years after an exposure for patients to start showing symptoms of mesothelioma. That is why a construction worker, shipbuilder or plant employee exposed to asbestos in the 1960s or 1970s may only now be diagnosed with the disease. That is also why many companies were able to hide the fact they exposed employees and others to this toxic mineral.

Mesothelioma & Asbestos Lawyers

By on 04:25

Although U.S. regulations on asbestos and asbestos exposure began in the 1970s, more than three decades later people are coming to the conclusion they need a mesothelioma lawyer. One result of the long latency period of asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma cancer is continued legal claims by patients who were made sick through no fault of their own. Companies and contractors for branches of the military that exposed workers to the toxic mineral are being held accountable.
As early as the 1930s, medical evidence linked asbestos exposure to lung disease and mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers, diseases that severely limit someone’s life expectancy. Although many companies that made or used asbestos knew about these health hazards, they continued to expose their workers and the public to them for several decades.
Many veterans are in need of a mesothelioma attorney because so many of them, especially Navy veterans, had a high risk of asbestos exposure in the U.S. military. All together, up to 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. If a doctor has diagnosed you or a loved one with an asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma or lung cancer, you may have legal options to get help with medical bills and other related expenses..

Mesothelioma Law Firm

By on 04:23

Many millions of homes across the United States contain the construction material, asbestos. This is because, the majority of the 20th century, asbestos was highly regarded for its fire-proofing qualities. Therefore the material can be found in the average American home: the walls, the roofs, chimneys, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation material, ducting and heating systems.

When left undisturbed asbestos is perfectly safe and there is no need to be alarmed. However, if there is any damage or disturbance to asbestos, it can cause asbestos fibers to become airborne. These fibers may be come lodged within an individual’s lungs. Once lodged these hazardous fibers can cause a number of life-threatening illnesses. Such fibers are identified with difficulty as they do not show up in conventional x-rays.

The dangers of asbestos have been known for a considerable period of time. However many manufacturers of construction materials and employers continued to expose homeowners and employees to the material.

The illnesses that are most likely to affect those exposed to asbestos are asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These illnesses and, in particular, mesothelioma is life-threatening as they can take many years to diagnose. Diagnosis is only real possible once the symptoms become apparent. It is a feature of asbestos exposure that symptoms can take many years to manifest themselves. By the time symptoms do become apparent, it is often too late for the doctors to successfully treat the sufferer. That is not to say sufferers cannot be treated but treatment is difficult.

If you or anyone you know have been exposed to asbestos, or have worked in the construction industry, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the person or party responsible for your exposure. A mesothelioma law firm will be able to help you in this case. Filing a lawsuit can be a technical exercise and therefore you should only consider appointing a firm of lawyers who have experience in bringing such cases. A court may award you compensation for the exposure, there could be an award of medical bills, as well as further treatment costs.