If you have been exposed to asbestos in your workplace and contracted mesothelioma, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages that were caused. Unfortunately, with laws varying between each state, it can be difficult to have a firm grasp on what your rights are. By understanding your rights, you will be able to hold someone responsible for your injuries.
Using Workers' Compensation For Employer Related Injuries
There are many states where an asbestos related injury can be settled through workers' compensation rather than a personal injury lawsuit. State laws allow mesothelioma to be treated in the same way as a broken arm while working on the job, giving you options for how you want to handle it.
If you decide to file a worker's compensation claim for a settlement, you lose the ability to sue your employer in a personal injury lawsuit. You must go through the process of applying for workers compensation, which is not handled in court, but through interviews and filing forms. It is possible for your workers' compensation claim to be denied, but you can always have it appealed in court.
Seeking workers' compensation does not protect contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers. You can still sue them in addition to receiving workers' compensation, since they were also responsible for the injury you sustained.
Identifying Your Employer
In order to successfully apply for workers' compensation, the responsible employer will need to be identified. This can be tricky because asbestos exposure typically occurs in different industrial settings, with contractors working for other companies.
For example, you may have worked for a specific plant for 25 years when exposed to asbestos, but you were actually working as a contractor for a different company that owned the plant. It would be a good idea to start by looking into the company that signed your paychecks, as they are most likely the employer that your workers' compensation claim would be through.
This would also apply if you worked at multiple locations while employed as a contractor. The location that contained the asbestos would not be responsible, but the employer that assigned your job to work at the location with asbestos.
Compensating Secondary Exposure
Even if you were not directly exposed to asbestos, secondary exposure to the material is a real possibility. Those that have been affected with mesothelioma due to secondary exposure can still receive compensation for their own medical bills, lost income, and other related expenses.
If you have suffered from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you can get compensated for the damage it has caused you or a loved one. Work with a personal injury attorney so that you can file the proper claim against those responsible.