In 2018, a New Jersey state court ordered two famous companies to disburse a person with $117 million who developed cancer after using their talc-based products. Thousands of claimants argue that these products have asbestos that may also cause ovarian cancer. And consumers aren’t the only victims here. Even employees working for several establishments are exposed to asbestos and contract cancer that’s at times diagnosed after several decades.
Experts believe that asbestos constitutes the “number one” cause of occupational fatalities globally. For instance, some 5,000 deaths/year are attributed in the UK to asbestos-containing products. Therefore, what to do when your workplace gives you cancer?
How does asbestos harm you?
In 2021, several individuals realized that their workplace somehow exposed them to asbestos back when people didn’t know much about its dangers. However, there are indications that companies were well-aware of asbestos’ harmful effect on humans.
Asbestos is a heat-resistant fibrous material used primarily for insulation in the construction industry. So, how does asbestos damage your body? It scars the lung tissues, stiffens your lungs badly, and prevents you from breathing easily. Additionally, it increases the chances of colon cancer and leads to diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and pleural disease.
How do you claim compensation?
A critical question to ask is, can you claim compensation if you were exposed to asbestos at the workplace? Yes, you can always bring lawsuits against your employers and demand justice. You can even contact an asbestos and mesothelioma attorney for a free consultation and learn about your options. These expert lawyers have helped several families that were affected by asbestos-related cancer. Approaching them is a viable option since they possess expertise in handling such cases.
Moving on, let’s shed light on the ways you can claim your rights:
- Qualification for compensation
You must fulfill your state’s workers’ compensation eligibility requirements to receive any monetary benefits from employers. In usual cases, the employee must inform the employer about the injury in writing. Experts have stated three fundamental requirements for claimants exposed to asbestos:
- They must work for that company.
- Their injury should be work-related.
- They need to have compensation insurance.
- Eligibility for compensation
What if someone’s loved one has died due to workplace asbestos exposure? In 2017, a UK laborer named Dave Pearson died from lung cancer he’d developed because of asbestos. He worked at a fabrication establishment for forty years. In 2018, his family received £475,000 in compensation as they had filed a claim against the company. So, family members can fight on a person’s behalf if they represent their estate. On the other hand, construction site accidents in Fresno, California, USA have raised to a great number. You can find more here about the personal injury claim if you have been injured at the workplace.
- Types of lawsuits you can file
Among asbestos-related victims, many patients develop mesothelioma. Some 3,000 people in the US are diagnosed with this disease every year. In 2019, almost 4,000 plaintiffs filed lawsuits to claim compensation against asbestos-related injuries. There are two types of cases you can file:
- Personal Injury Claims are filed by people diagnosed with mesothelioma.
- Wrongful Death Claims are filed by people whose loved ones died from asbestos exposure.
- Endure the discovery period
Your lawyer is now unearthing everything they can about your workplace asbestos exposure history. So, you should endure this discovery period with patience. In the meantime, the attorney will build your case and make it strong enough to fight the defendant. This discovery will identify some valued resources:
- Accessing your employment records to prove you’ve worked there
- Identifying the asbestos-containing products you were in contact with
- Digging out eyewitnesses to testify and experts to verify that you’re right
- Accepting/rejecting the offer
The defendant might offer you to settle for a lesser amount of money a few months after you’ve sued them. When they realize your lawsuit’s too strong for them to refute, they’ll try to convince you to settle it outside the legal system. For this purpose, you can consult your lawyer about accepting/rejecting a settlement offer from the defendant. Nonetheless, we advise weighing your options carefully. This compensation will cover the expenses necessary for your treatment and medications. So, prioritize and decide vigilantly.
- Wait to receive the money
These lawsuits often take years to complete, after which a jury eventually concludes the matter. Therefore, claimants must show patience while engaged in asbestos-related proceedings. Your attorney can review your case and accurately estimate how long it’ll take for you to receive compensation. What’s more, your employer might reach out to you for a settlement within a few months. After the verdict, it takes a few months before the money arrives. So, stay steadfast and don’t rush yourself.
- Consider other options
Fortunately, there are additional sources of financial assistance available as well. Today, we have programs designed to help people suffering from health-related problems. You can receive some compensation in weeks/months from these programs. So, here are some options you must try:
- Medicaid/Medicare are excellent options for people who don’t earn enough to afford medical facilities. These government-funded programs pay for your mesothelioma treatment.
- Military Veteran Claims are filed by former soldiers exposed to asbestos (e.g., working in shipyards). You should contact claim agents who can handle VA-accredited appeals.
- Long-term Disability Insurance Claims help people with a long-term handicap, providing you with a portion of your salary. It’s estimated that these claims start paying you in four months.
Previously, people didn’t know much about asbestos and its adverse effects. Nowadays, given the rise in workplace safety, many workers are aware of its danger to their health. As a result, they’re boycotting employers who expose them to this hazardous material while also informing the general public. Consumers have also become well aware of the potential dangers of using asbestos-containing products and are limiting their use. However, if you’ve been exposed to asbestos at the workplace, then you can claim financial compensation. You can claim your rights and get monetarily compensated through some simple methods. You can always bring a lawsuit against your former/current employer for exposing you to asbestos.
However, lawyers will also want you to file trust fund claims to improve your chances of getting higher compensation. Moreover, you can also get compensation from Medicaid/Medicare, military veteran claims, and long-term disability insurances. So, weigh your options carefully and consult with expert attorneys regularly.