Everything You Need To Know About
a Mesothelioma Trust Fund
Asbestos exposure increases the chances of developing asbestosis, lung cancer, and malignant mesothelioma. When common symptoms like dry cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, and weight loss start manifesting, the patient's health rapidly deteriorates. Rare cancer, mesothelioma, has the worst prognosis and is often diagnosed decades after the initial exposure.
Although there's no cure for mesothelioma, available treatment methods can improve prognosis and extend the patient's life expectancy. However, the cumulative medical costs for surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, medications and palliative care are substantial, leaving many patients unable to afford treatment. Even after the patient's death, loved ones often have a lump sum of bills to pay off. Since exposed individuals can no longer work and family members must stay back and care for the patient, there's also a considerable decline in steady income. Fortunately, mesothelioma patients have the right to receive compensation which they can use to relieve the financial burden that's associated with cancer.
Companies that would employ workers despite knowing the risk of asbestos are liable to pay a compensatory amount. But most of these businesses have long since gone bankrupt and can no longer provide support to their employees. Instead, these firms often have trust funds that can compensate exposed individuals.
What are mesothelioma trust funds?
A mesothelioma trust fund provides crucial compensation to patients exposed to asbestos while working in companies that have already filed for bankruptcy. These funds are also known as asbestos trust funds, and they contain money to help compensate such workers. Mesothelioma patients can even file claims with multiple trust funds simultaneously.
Cancer therapy is a multi-step process, and since it uses advanced technology and medical expertise, it's pretty expensive. Besides mesothelioma, victims of other asbestos-related diseases can also file a claim to receive compensation that can help them recover the costs of medical treatment. Patients may also apply for financial aid to procure durable medical equipment and devices they can keep at home during the period of care. These trust funds can also cover transportation expenses incurred from traveling back and forth to healthcare facilities.
In addition to paying for treatment, mesothelioma trusts funds also offer patients punitive damages to recover lost wages. Due to ill-health, patients may suffer from shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue-- making it difficult to work. Treatment sessions also take a toll on the patient, and taking several days off work can quickly lead to loss of job and hence a steady income. Most times, a loved one must also stay back and care for the sick, because of which another source of revenue is lost.
Who is eligible to file a mesothelioma trust fund claim?
Victims of asbestos exposure who later develop mesothelioma must record of the circumstances behind their medical diagnosis. To become eligible to file a claim, they must connect the disease to asbestos or an asbestos-containing product. Companies that manufacture asbestos products are greatly responsible for their exposure and liable to pay compensation.
After getting diagnosed, patients must quickly act since there's often a time limit to mesothelioma claims. Three main criteria can determine a patient's eligibility for a trust fund claim:
- Proof of disease
First and foremost, for a mesothelioma claim to be considered valid, medical records must show proof of this cancer as primary cancer. A board-certified physician must sign pathology reports with a detailed description of cancerous tissues and cells. Other medical evidence like X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and blood reports must also support a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Proof of exposure
A mesothelioma patient's connection to the responsible company is difficult to prove, but it's an essential step in filing a mesothelioma trust fund claim. This step is especially complicated because asbestos-associated cancers appear decades after exposure, making it difficult to track down the relevant organization.
- Proof of asbestos product
There must be substantial information on the type of asbestos product the patient came in contact with. It can't be something the victim may think they got in touch with, but it has to be hard, tangible evidence backed up in court.
Factors affecting mesothelioma trust fund compensation
Several factors can impact the successful processing of a mesothelioma trust fund claim. By understanding these limitations, patients can better comprehend how their choices may affect compensation and alter the financial outcome of their claim. It’s therefore essential to consider the following factors that can influence a patient’s compensation:
- Statute of limitations
Each mesothelioma trust fund has an established time limit during which the patient can file a claim. Although these statutes of limitations may vary, most commonly, they are two or years after mesothelioma diagnosis or other asbestos-related illness or after dying from these diseases. Patients with multiple diagnoses must first identify the statute of limitation to file a successful claim.
Some mesothelioma victims are eligible to receive compensation from several different trusts. However, in these cases, each trust may deduct the trust payment received previously from the amount they pay. The laws for setoffs vary in each state, so patients must understand if their local laws allow setoffs and see how it may impact the compensation offered.
- Filing claims and lawsuits
A claimant may be qualified to file for both mesothelioma lawsuits and trust funds. But, even if an individual is eligible for both, they must realize that filing a trust fund claim may alter the compensatory amount they'll receive from a lawsuit. Some states may ask the victim to disclose their trust fund claim during a lawsuit proceeding.
- State laws
Each state differs in its own set of laws when it comes to governing the compensation of trust fund claims. It’s therefore crucial to first understand the relevant state laws and see how they may alter the compensation received from filing a claim.
Mesothelioma trust fund claim process
Patients must meet the eligibility criteria set by each specific mesothelioma trust fund to file a successful claim.
Next, they must gather all the relevant evidence to support their claim. Examples include diagnosis reports, physician statements, exposure sites, and asbestos involvement.
After gathering all the evidence, it's submitted per the protocols and procedures set by the pertinent trust fund.
Lastly, the submitted claim is reviewed for approval typically in one of two ways—expedited or individual reviews.
Mesothelioma trust fund claims generally differ from other legal options for victims of asbestos exposure. Although they don’t involve filing lawsuits in court, they can still pay substantial compensation to the injured party. They can help mesothelioma patients recover what they lost—at least financially.
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