Thousands of veterans who served in the army between the 1930's, up until the mid-70's were diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. In fact, veterans represent a third of the total number of people who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. Many of these veterans lost their life because of the fatal diseases caused by this toxic substance. But those who have been recently diagnosed can benefit from a compensation. Find out more about how you can access this award by filing a claim with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
How You Were Exposed to Asbestos
Asbestos diseases are so frequent nowadays among Navy veterans because working in the army posed major exposure risks. This toxic substance was present everywhere in the military because it was a great insulator. Whether you were stationed in land bases or you worked aboard of a Navy ship, the chances of inhaling asbestos were equal. This mineral was extensively used in the military equipment carried aboard and also in the construction materials required for building the vessels. Whether you worked in the shipyard or aboard the vessel, you most likely entered in contact with asbestos. Your chances of developing an asbestos disease are significantly higher if you were involved in the ship's maintenance or repair works because these operations released massive quantities of asbestos. If your exposure has been confirmed by a medical diagnosis, you should start preparing your claim for compensation.
What Qualifies You for a Compensation
The first thing you should be aware of if you are thinking about filing a claim with the VA is that not everybody is eligible for the benefits even if they were exposed to asbestos. Basically, you are not claiming a compensation because you have been exposed to asbestos, but because you developed a disease due to this toxic mineral.
There are several benefits available for veterans who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. They can access the VA Disability compensation or the VA Health Care for example and what these victims basically receive is financial and medical support. In order to file a claim with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. You can claim your right to a compensation if:
- you were diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease
- you were honorably discharged from service
- your exposure occurred while you were in the military
What Steps You Should Take to Bring Your Claim
To bring your claim, you have to gather the necessary proof. First and foremost, a certified medical practitioner must ascertain your disease. You will need a diagnosis which will be part of the medical records you have to submit as evidence.
Secondly, you must be able to prove that there is a connection between your disease and the years you've spent serving in the military. You will give an account of how you believe you developed the disease in what is called an exposure summary. This is often the most difficult step in proving an asbestos claim and many claimants turn to an experienced lawyer at this point.
How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Successful Claim
To maximize your chances of success, you need to have a strong case. In other words, you have to convince the VA that your exposure occurred in the military and, therefore, you are entitled to access the veterans' benefits. You are more likely to succeed at it if you get help from a lawyer who specializes in asbestos claims. A legal expert can help you collect your work-related documents faster and establish a connection between your job and how the exposure occurred. If you are seeking a lawyer, we recommend you talk to the specialists at Environmental Litigation Group. They are our trustworthy support for legal matters and they have a vast experience in asbestos litigation.
Have you been diagnosed with an asbestos disease after serving in the Navy? We're here to help veterans like you find out more about their exposure. Contact us at 760.621.6147 and we will gladly assist you.