If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other serious health conditions caused by asbestos exposure, you have several options to collect the compensation due to you. According to a Reuters report, about 2,000 people file asbestos-related lawsuits each year. Most of these lawsuits are individual cases, because the nature of their exposure, illness, and prognosis makes it difficult for any type of mass tort action.
Because of the long latency period of mesothelioma, which often appears decades after the initial asbestos exposure, it can be difficult to hold the right company accountable. In fact, dozens of asbestos manufacturers have filed for bankruptcy in the 40-plus years since the full dangers of asbestos exposure have been recognized. If the company liable for your exposure went out of business, you may be eligible to collect compensation from an asbestos fund set up for this purpose.
Pursuing an Individual Lawsuit
Most asbestos exposure claims stem from mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly type of cancer linked exclusively to asbestos. These cases are especially complex, because it is not uncommon for there to be 20 to 40 years between the time of exposure to asbestos and the mesothelioma diagnosis. Some of the companies who manufactured and worked with asbestos products in the 1960s and 1970s are still around, and we can pursue a claim against them if we can prove they caused your exposure to asbestos. Gacovino Lake is up for the task, collecting all available evidence in your case and linking your exposure to your current health.
Of course, it is also important that we act quickly. We only have a limited time to file a lawsuit or other claim for compensation after your diagnosis. The statute of limitations on this type of case is typically tolled between the date of your exposure and the date of your diagnosis. However, the clock begins ticking the day you receive your diagnosis, and some states give you as little as a year to act.
In addition to documenting your case and proving liability, we must also document your damages to ensure we recover enough money to pay your bills and illness-related losses. This may include collecting copies of your medical bills, pay stubs, and other information to prove how this diagnosis has affected you financially. We will also request compensation for pain and suffering and other emotional losses.
If your doctor diagnosed you with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition, you need to talk with one of our lawyer about your case as soon as possible. We can determine if you have a legal claim. If you do, we can find any and all evidence linking your cancer to asbestos exposure, and prove your former employer or another party caused your damages.
Filing a Claim with an Asbestos Trust Fund
Many of the companies who manufactured asbestos products and exposed their employees to this dangerous material filed for bankruptcy over the last few decades.
As a condition of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, the courts made these companies establish and fund a trust to cover future asbestos claims. These funds are still available for qualifying applicants who can prove that one of the companies that created the fund caused their asbestos-related illness or injury.
The best way to gain access to one of these funds is to discuss your situation with a mesothelioma lawyer who handles this type of application regularly and can ensure you meet all qualifications. Each of these funds have separate eligibility requirements, usually requiring that you worked for a specific company, on a specific jobsite, or with specific products during a set time period.
If we discover you qualify, we will begin building a case on your behalf. We will need to provide employment records and other documentation of your previous job and job duties. We will also collect your medical records and other materials to show the full range of your damages.
Each trust fund has its own filing procedures, but we will ensure your application gets to the right authority. Then, we wait while they evaluate your claim. Some funds may expedite your claim if we can show you suffer from life-threatening cancer.
Because asbestos funds are different from an individual lawsuit, we do not get an opportunity to participate in the process of putting a value on your claim. Instead, the trustees of the fund will liquidate your claim based on the list of expenses and related damages submitted.
Contacting an Asbestos Payout Attorney about Your Case
If you suffer from a serious health condition related to asbestos exposure, you need to talk to our attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. We can help you recover the compensation you need and deserve. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your free case review.