Being diagnosed with an asbestos disease comes as quite a shock. Sadly, thousands of people are confronted with this reality every year when they learn that they suffer from asbestos illnesses such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
Mesothelioma and lung cancer victims are entitled to compensation from asbestos manufacturers that wrongfully failed to warn them of the dangers of their products. At Belluck & Fox, our top-rated asbestos lawyers can identify what type(s) of compensation that you may receive. In some cases, asbestos victims can recover money from more than one source.
Our team can explain all of your options in a free consultation.
CONTACT US TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS TO COMPENSATION TODAY
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Our Trusted Attorneys Fight for Full and Fair Compensation Every Time
Belluck & Fox is a leader in asbestos and mesothelioma litigation nationwide. For more than 25 years, our legal team has worked tirelessly to recover compensation for clients suffering from asbestos diseases. Our experienced New York mesothelioma attorneys at Belluck & Fox have obtained more than $1 billion in compensation for asbestos victims and their families. Those funds have come through top-dollar verdicts and settlements, as well as from asbestos trust funds and other types of compensation for asbestos victims.
Our track record of success includes:
- $32 million for a Navy veteran who got sick after asbestos exposure aboard several ships
- $22 million for a construction worker who was diagnosed after being exposed to asbestos on the job
- $19.5 million for an employee who became ill after coming into contact with asbestos while working on a high-rise building
- $7 million for a maintenance worker in Buffalo, New York
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with an asbestos disease, please contact our skilled lawyers now to learn what types of compensation are right for you. Although money cannot possibly make up for a life cut short by an asbestos illness, it can be a vital asset to help with medical expenses and other burdens resulting from the diagnosis.
Sources of Asbestos Compensation
There are several avenues of compensation for patients and their families. Asbestos companies knew that asbestos was toxic for many years. Their failure to warn consumers has resulted in the deaths of millions of innocent victims, who were either exposed to asbestos directly, at home or as bystanders.
Our asbestos attorneys at Belluck & fox can evaluate your case to see whether compensation is possible through an asbestos bankruptcy trust fund, lawsuit, veterans’ disability benefits, Social Security benefits or workers’ compensation insurance. It’s important to explore all options so that you can make the decision that is best for you and your family.
Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds
Many asbestos companies have filed for bankruptcy. As part of the bankruptcy process, these companies were forced to establish trust funds to compensate future victims of asbestos diseases. To date, there is approximately $30 billion in trust funds set up by hundreds of corporations nationwide.
Obtaining money from an asbestos trust fund is not a simple task. Each claim is analyzed carefully so that money is saved for payouts to as many future claimants as possible.
Our knowledgeable attorneys can help you build a strong claim for compensation from a trust fund. We know what kind of evidence is necessary to recover the maximum amount possible.
In addition, our lawyers will investigate whether you are eligible for payouts from more than one asbestos trust fund. Many people may not realize that several companies are liable for their asbestos exposure.
Lawsuits and Settlements
The main source of compensation for asbestos victims and their families is through a lawsuit.
If you are suffering from an asbestos disease, you can file a lawsuit against the companies who exposed you to asbestos. Family members of victims who have already died from mesothelioma or lung cancer can obtain compensation through a wrongful death claim.
When it comes to asbestos lawsuits, it is essential to hire an attorney who has handled asbestos claims before. Our law firm is comprised of battle-tested attorneys who excel at asbestos litigation. We know what to anticipate from companies who resist giving asbestos victims the money that they deserve and are always prepared to fight back.
Most asbestos cases result in out-of-court settlements. Our lawyers are skilled negotiators during settlement talks to help victims get full and fair compensation. Many claims can be settled within 30 days.
It’s important to note that settlement negotiations can break down. Some asbestos companies may refuse to offer a sufficient amount of compensation to victims. In those situations, our lawyers will sit down for a candid conversation with you about whether to take the case to trial.
It’s true that trials carry risk. But they can also result in larger verdicts than what asbestos victims usually receive in settlements. In addition, settlement talks can continue up until a verdict is read. Our attorneys will explain what to expect in court. Ultimately, it will be your decision whether to accept a settlement or push for a verdict.
VA Benefits Claims
Military veterans make up a large proportion of victims who suffer from asbestos diseases. In fact, one-third of all mesothelioma patients are veterans.
Veterans who were exposed to asbestos during service can receive disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To be eligible for payments, veterans must provide documentation of their diagnosis and have not been discharged dishonorably.
In addition to monthly benefits payments, veterans can also receive VA health care benefits. Some VA health care centers are staffed with mesothelioma specialists and other experts who understand the complexities of asbestos diseases.
A lawyer is not required to apply for benefits, but can be a valuable asset in getting the claim processed as quickly as possible. The VA has a considerable backlog of veterans seeking disability benefits, and a lawyer can help ensure that your claim is complete so you are less likely to be denied.
Our asbestos attorneys will handle your VA benefits claim for free while we are pursuing other types of compensation on your behalf.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Some victims of asbestos diseases may be eligible for payments from the Social Security Administration. The agency uses a manual nicknamed the “Blue Book” that outlines all types of qualifying impairments for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Mesothelioma is considered a qualifying impairment. It is also a disease that qualifies victims for the compassionate allowances program, which expedites the processing of claims for people with life-ending illnesses. Other asbestos diseases, such as asbestosis, will need to be documented thoroughly and are subject to a stricter review process. If you were diagnosed with an asbestos disease before retirement age, our lawyers will discuss whether you may be entitled to SSDI benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Asbestos diseases can take a long time to manifest. Victims with mesothelioma may not be diagnosed until 60 years after exposure, and the majority of patients are diagnosed after retirement. But diseases such as lung cancer and asbestosis have shorter latency periods, which means that some victims may still be working at the time of diagnosis.
If you are still employed and diagnosed with an asbestos disease, you may be able to request to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Each state has its own laws and statutes of limitations governing workers’ compensation insurance.
Our experienced attorneys will review your occupational history to see if workers’ compensation is the best route to take in order to recover money for you. One of the basic principles of workers’ compensation law is that by accepting payments from the employer, you give up the right to file a lawsuit against them for additional compensation. You also are unable to receive money for pain and suffering and certain other types of compensation. We can help you decide the best legal options given the unique circumstances of your case.
What Types of Losses Can I Be Compensated For?
In the legal world, compensation is known as damages. Asbestos victims and their families can recover damages for a wide variety of losses related to their diagnosis.
The three main types of damages include:
Getting treatment for asbestos diseases is expensive. Patients need highly specialized care. Economic damages account for monetary losses that you have suffered or will suffer because of your diagnosis.
Our lawyers fight so that patients are fully compensated for their financial losses. We will review your receipts and statements to make sure than you are repaid for your out-of-pocket expenses. You may be compensated for:
- Medical care: The costs of doctor’s visits, imaging tests, biopsies, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, prescription medications, assistive medical equipment, home health aides and other medical expenses can all be reimbursed.
- Travel expenses: Patients often need to travel to specialized medical facilities for treatment of asbestos diseases like mesothelioma. The cost of mileage, airfare, hotel stays and other travel costs are compensable.
- Lost wages: Asbestos diseases can be debilitating and worsen rapidly. Victims who are forced to stop working or take jobs that pay less than what they were earning before their diagnosis can be compensated for lost income.
- Diminished earning capacity: These damages compensate victims for what they could have earned if they never developed an asbestos disease. Our qualified lawyers work with economists and financial planners to determine how much of your earning potential has been curtailed by your illness.
- Future losses: Patients can also be compensated for anticipated future costs, not just what they are currently paying or have paid.
- Funeral and burial expenses: Family members can be reimbursed for expenses incurred after losing a loved one to an asbestos disease.
When someone is diagnosed with an asbestos disease, the financial cost is not the only devastating loss. The lost enjoyment of life, the shortened life expectancy and limited opportunities can all be compensated through noneconomic damages.
Noneconomic damages are the losses that are not easily quantified, such as:
- Pain and suffering: Over the past 25 years, our compassionate attorneys have seen the tremendous suffering that patients and their families endure as a result of an asbestos disease. We take that physical and emotional suffering to heart as we prepare your claim for compensation.
- Emotional distress: Physical pain is only one part of living with an asbestos illness. Coping with the disease and any complications can cause severe mental anguish for patients. We work hard to make sure that such distress is highlighted for every client, in every claim, every time.
- Loss of companionship: Often used in wrongful death claims, these damages account for the deceased’s inability to provide comfort, support, guidance and assistance to the loved ones left behind.
Punitive damages are awarded in asbestos cases to punish a company or companies for failing to warn victims of the dangers of their products. Punitive damages are intended to prevent other companies from being similarly negligent in the future.
Finding the Right Asbestos Attorney
It can be overwhelming to think about hiring an attorney. But it’s vital when it comes to asbestos cases. The law is incredibly complex, and the stakes are high. Getting a proper asbestos claim payout can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for you and your family.
Here are some tips for finding the right attorney for you:
- Find a lawyer with a background in asbestos litigation. A lawyer who has handled asbestos cases before will already have a wealth of legal research that can assist in the prompt preparation of your claim.
- Don’t feel pressured to go with the first attorney you meet. A qualified attorney is essential, but it is also important to have one that you feel comfortable with. Use your free consultation as an opportunity to see if the lawyer’s approach aligns with your own goals.
- Find a law firm that does all the legwork. Once you hire a lawyer, you should not have to track down your medical records or spend time gathering evidence to support your claim for compensation. Go with a firm that emphasizes that your job is to rest and recuperate ― and that’s all.
- Never pay any up-front costs. A reputable asbestos law firm will never ask you to pay any expenses at the start of your case. Firms like Belluck & Fox handle all asbestos and mesothelioma claims on a contingency-fee basis, which means that you pay nothing unless we recover money for you.
Contact Our Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawyers Today
At Belluck & Fox, our dedicated lawyers are witnesses to the life-changing consequences of being diagnosed with an asbestos disease. Our mission is to ensure that patients and family members who are diagnosed with asbestos diseases receive the justice they deserve.
Contact our experienced team of attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to learn about your eligibility for asbestos compensation.