Mesothelioma is a rare but very serious form of cancer known as one of the most aggressive and terminal medical conditions affecting Americans today. Tragically, it is also one of the most preventable. Mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by exposure to a known toxic carcinogen called asbestos that, despite stringent and overarching government regulation, remains a material used in some specific sectors of the American manufacturing industry today.
There is much information about mesothelioma and its relation to asbestos floating around today; and not all of that information is current, comprehensive or even entirely factual. Also, many of the resources out there are not designed for victims themselves, failing to answer the most pressing questions of those directly affected by the disease or presenting those answers in a convoluted or excessively technical context that is difficult for the average person to understand.
In response to these deficits, we have created this six-part guide with the informational needs of mesothelioma victims and their loved ones in mind. The following articles are designed to be both brief and comprehensive, as well as easily understood and targeted towards the most common inquiries made by victims of mesothelioma and asbestos.
For even more information and free legal guidance to understanding your rights after illegal or negligent asbestos exposure, contact the experienced and dedicated attorneys of Shrader Law and Associates, LLP.
For military veterans, mesothelioma has had a far greater impact than that experienced by the general population. Every branch of the U.S. military has been affected, but navy veterans are by far the most at risk for developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. Currently, navy vets alone comprise almost a third of total mesothelioma diagnoses in the U.S.
This disproportionately large number is attributed to decades of heavy asbestos usage by the navy, as well as to the unusually compact settings in which exposure occurred on navy ships. Further information regarding navy asbestos exposure will be covered in the next installment of our series.
VA Assistance for Veterans with Mesothelioma
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has several different benefit programs to serve those who have served. For veterans that were injured while in the service, special programs provide disability compensation and medical care; these programs extend to include those injured by exposure to military-utilized toxins, including asbestos.
Disability compensation is available to both victims directly and to spouses or other surviving dependent(s), after the event of the beneficiary’s death, through two separate benefit programs. Compensation is paid on a monthly basis in an amount determined by VA benefit coordinators, based on the level of disability incurred among other factors.
Medical care and treatment is also available to ill and injured vets through VA hospitals, located around the country. Some of the country’s most respected experts in mesothelioma and other cancers work through VA facilities to provide the best possible treatment for those affected by exposure to military asbestos and its devastating consequences.
Legal Rights of Veterans
Receiving compensation benefits through the VA does not disqualify veterans with asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma from also exercising their legal rights to compensation through the civil court system. Like any victim of negligent asbestos exposure, veterans can file a mesothelioma lawsuit to seek compensatory damages from the company or companies liable for manufacturing, distributing, and/or installing asbestos-made products on behalf of the military.
It should be noted that claims are not filed against the military directly. A qualified attorney can help potential claimants determine the liable party or parties, who will be named as a defendant(s) in any resultant legal action.