Prior to the 1970s, many companies that manufactured or sold asbestos products were aware of the potential risk of asbestos exposure but neglected to inform their employees and the public. After the dangers became widely known and victims of asbestos-related illnesses came forward, several of these companies, unable to pay judgements against them, filed for bankruptcy protection. As a result, they were ordered to set up Asbestos Trust Funds, also known as Bankruptcy Trust Funds, to financially compensate mesothelioma patients and their families.
Creation of Funds
The creation of Asbestos Trust Funds, as well as the amount set aside for current and future claims, is determined by a bankruptcy court. These trusts are not operated by the negligent companies; they are only created on behalf of them. Appointed trustees manage the funds for present and future claimants.
Evidence Needed for Filing a Trust Claim
Due to the wide range of industries affected by asbestos as well as the long latency period of the deadly illness, much research is involved when submitting a claim. An experienced mesothelioma attorney will not only help you through the trust fund process, but will assist in the gathering of evidence. Items needs to file a claim include:
- Diagnosis Details – such as first signs of symptoms (type and when they began), names of doctors and specialists visited, diagnostics tests performed and results, and diagnosis confirmation
- Origin of Exposure – occupational or non-occupational, including bystander exposure
- Time Frame of Exposure – critical to pinpoint, as most symptoms do not appear for 20-50 years after exposure
Having records of these critical details will help expedite the process by adding validity to your claim.
Filing a Claim with the Asbestos Trust Fund
If you or a loved have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, it is important to contact an attorney specializing in asbestos-related cases immediately. Due to states’ varying laws regarding statute of limitations, time is of the essence when determining eligibility. Those afflicted may not experience symptoms for 20-50 years after exposure, or the illness may not have been discovered until the cause of death was determined. These factors will play into your case’s statute of limitations. These specialized lawyers have the experience and years of researched cases to help those impacted by asbestos.
A mesothelioma attorney will guide you through the legal process, explaining how asbestos trust funds work and providing the best avenues for you or loved one to receive compensation. Additionally, mesothelioma attorneys will ensure that your claims are handled in a time sensitive manner to maximize potential compensation.