Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds
If you have malignant mesothelioma, you've probably heard that there are Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds that have approximately $30 billion remaining to be paid to victims of asbestos exposure. But you may not know exactly what that means, whether you are eligible for any of those funds, or how to go about getting any money you may be entitled to.
What is an Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Fund?
Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds are trusts that bankruptcy courts required asbestos companies filing for bankruptcy to establish on behalf of victims of asbestos. Companies whose products exposed workers to asbestos during the 20th century generally did so with full knowledge that the mineral was carcinogenic, but chose to continue using it because it was so inexpensive: they put profits over people.
Once the public became aware of both the dangers of asbestos and the reckless attitude the companies had taken about people's health, those who were harmed by their negligence came forward and filed mesothelioma lawsuits, and juries hearing their stories awarded them millions of dollars. In the face of hundreds of thousands of claims, many of these asbestos companies filed for bankruptcy in hopes that they could evade having to compensate any more plaintiffs. However, the courts refused to grant the asbestos companies' filings unless they established trust funds for people who developed mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis. Even though the companies cannot be sued once they've filed for bankruptcy, their victims can still collect from the trusts.
Am I Eligible to Apply for Money from an Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Fund?
There are more than 60 of these funds that have been set up by asbestos product manufacturers, and to qualify for compensation from any of them, you will need to demonstrate that you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and that you were exposed to the trust fund company's product.
Though you may not be familiar with the company names of products you worked with or were exposed to, the Client Support Managers at Danziger & De Llano can help based on your work history. With the answers to a few questions about work sites and job responsibilities, we can match your background to an immense database of previous mesothelioma claims, pinpointing the products that you worked with or around. There's a good chance that your exposure spanned multiple products. There are no limits to how many trust funds you can submit claims to, but there are time limits for submitting a claim — usually two to three years after your mesothelioma was diagnosed.
The amount of money you can expect to be paid from an asbestos bankruptcy trust fund will vary depending upon several factors.
- Your age when you were diagnosed
- Which asbestos-related illness you were diagnosed with
- How much your medical expenses come to
- Which company’s products you were exposed to
- How many trust funds you apply to
- What your occupation was when you were exposed to the asbestos-contaminated product
In most cases, the highest payout amounts are paid to people diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. It's also important to know that family members of individuals who have died of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease are eligible to file wrongful death trust fund claims, and if the victim has submitted a claim and died before receipt of compensation, their family members can continue their claims. Family members are also able to continue receiving any monthly payments that are being paid to a mesothelioma victim who dies.
The funds paid by an asbestos bankruptcy trust fund are generally tax-free.
How Do I File a Claim to an Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Fund?
Though filing a claim with an Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Fund is a much less complicated process than pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit, it still requires a significant amount of experience and knowledge of the law and of the companies that have set up the funds. Additionally, there are specific requirements regarding the evidence that you submit in support of your claim, and failure to meet the individual trust fund's criteria will result in your application being denied.
The easiest and most effective way to maximize the amount of compensation that you receive and expedite the process is to ask Danziger & De Llano's experienced attorneys to prepare and submit your claim. We will identify the companies responsible for your asbestos exposure, collect all of the necessary evidence and prepare it in the format required by the companies, and submit them in a way that will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available for your particular situation.
Our process starts with a comprehensive interview that helps us identify the companies that exposed you to asbestos. Once we have compiled our list, we'll determine which ones have set up asbestos bankruptcy trust funds and which haven't. We may recommend filing a mesothelioma lawsuit against any of those companies that have not filed for bankruptcy.
We'll help you gather evidence that establishes both your diagnosis and your exposure to each company's products, then assist you with filing either an expedited claim or setting up an individual review. While expedited claims will put money into your hands in a shorter amount of time, they only provide fixed awards to those who qualify, and the amount you receive may be lower than what you will get if you go through the individual review process. This decision will be up to you and will be based on your needs and goals, but our attorneys can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Once you have submitted your completed claim, you may be asked to provide additional documentation such as an update of your medical status. If that happens, we will do whatever needs to be done to speed up the process and facilitate receipt of your compensation from each trust fund you’ve applied to.
Call Us Today to Learn More About Filing A Claim Against the Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds
Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds were specifically set up to benefit victims of asbestos exposure. The application process is faster and simpler than filing a mesothelioma lawsuit and can provide you with significant compensation to help pay your expenses and provide financial security for your family. Contact us today to learn whether you are eligible to file a claim and how the compassionate team at Danziger & De Llano can make the process easy for you.