Asbestos Lawsuit Settlement
Individuals seeking an asbestos lawsuit settlement hope to receive financial retribution for illness caused as a direct result of exposure to this cancer-causing fiber. Every year, thousands of people are diagnosed with cancers of the lungs, larynx, pancreas, esophagus, kidneys and colon, as well as other illnesses caused by asbestos build up in the lungs. Since irritation can remain dormant for 15 to 30 years, most do not receive the right diagnosis until it is too late. Many die from advanced complications. Those who survive are permanently disabled. Prolonged exposure also exclusively causes mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer. An asbestos lawsuit settlement can be initiated by the injured person, a surviving family member, or executor of the deceased person's estate.
A natural, strong fiber, asbestos has been used in clothing and other materials for centuries. It's resistance to heat has made it a popular source for insulation in many residential and commercial buildings. Almost nearly everyone has been exposed to the material, most don't suffer any severe effect. However, for the millions of people who work for factories, shipyards, railroads, mining companies, and other manufacturing and construction corporations, prolonged exposure is dangerous and often deadly. In the early 1920s, most companies were aware of the potential dangers but few informed employees nor the public. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, medical evidence linked the material to the increase of various cancers. Still, companies remained silent. This negligence served as the bases of asbestos lawsuit settlements filed throughout the remaining of the 20th century - more than 700,000 total cases.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), founded in 1970, implemented strict regulations limiting the amount of asbestos to which workers could be exposed. Companies that violated restrictions not only risked the health of employees, but their families as well. Since the material was light and floated easily, it was often carried home on employee's clothing and became a hazard to every person in the household. OSHA's regulations held employers and manufacturers responsible in an asbestos lawsuit settlement and required them to compensate victims of negligent action or inaction. Compensation includes reimbursing victims for lost wages, medical bills, group support, funeral expenses, travel expenses for treatments, and other expenses not covered by health insurance. Defendants in asbestos lawsuit settlements often argue that they should not be held liable for laws that were no in place when the exposure occurred and was not considered illegal at the time. Yet litigations have continued to increase as well as the amount of the settlements.
Individuals wishing to file an asbestos lawsuit settlement carry the burden of proof. They must demonstrate that illness was caused by undue, prolonged exposure to asbestos at a specific workplace, the defendant was negligent and that negligence caused the illness. Cases usually begin with an initial information interview to determine which company and products were responsible and the extent of the damage done. Written inquiries or depositions are also usually required to exchange information between parties. Victims should obtain a lawyer who specializes in such cases and is knowledgeable about how to negotiate a settlement in and out of court with the defendant's insurance agency. Usually, these types of lawyers will accept cases on a contingency basis and won't require payment unless the case wins. Payment is generally 40% of the settlement. By the time lawyers and court fees are paid, the victim pockets an average of 20% or even less. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, class action suits, where one suit is filed on behalf of a large number of people, have grown in popularity. In most cases, a lawyer will notify a victim of the case, but have minimum contact until the case is settled. A majority of class action suits are settled out of court, but victims have little control on the direction of the case and often have to agree not to take any further action against the company upon settlement.
However, an asbestos lawsuit settlement can take months or years to settle, and the cost can be great. For someone still trying to pay for treatment or families who have already lost someone, time is critical. Bills need to be paid. Salaries have been lost. Many have little or no money to live on, let alone pay for court costs. Financial constraints often force victims to settle lawsuits out-of-court quickly and for much less compensation. Large companies have the funds to hire expensive counsel that sometimes drag out a case simply to put pressure on the victim to settle early for a lower amount of money. "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." (Hebrews 6:12) Lawsuit funding for asbestos can help. Otherwise known as pre-settlement lawsuit funding, this non-recourse funding is not a loan. If the case does not settle or win, the loan does not have to be repaid. In the meantime, it gives individuals and families the ability to pay bills and continue with the case until a complete settlement or victory has been made.
Of course, treatment of an illness should be anyone's first and foremost concern even in the midst of an asbestos lawsuit settlement. With the first diagnosis, victims should know about the financial aspects of a lawsuit and prepare accordingly in case settlement or the verdict is delayed for an extended amount of time. If time does extend beyond expectation and the victim passes away during the litigation, his or her lawyer will have to officially change the personal injury claim to a wrongful death case before proceeding any further. All contingencies, even death, must be prepared for when the case is first filed. Any hang-ups will create further delays in settlement and peace for the entire family and all involved.
Funding Senior HousingFor many hopeful retirees, funding senior housing can be a major dilemma. This is partly because many of the traditional means of meeting living expenses during the retirement years may, in times of economic downturn, become more difficult to tap into. For example, a lifetime spent paying for a home once provided rewards that could be reaped during life's later years. But when house values drop, this once trustworthy asset falls under a shadow. Even the most finely tuned retirement plan can fall short if the anticipated selling price of the family home does not meet expectations. This dilemma is only complicated when a beloved family home does not sell. Younger families may be able to wait until conditions improve. But for older home owners, the need for funds may be much more urgent. In these cases, funding senior housing can be a real challenge. Investments such as stocks, bonds, 401Ks, and other traditional retirement savings sources can suffer greatly in tough economic times as well. Seniors who see all of these avenues of funding drying up before their eyes may feel understandably discouraged. If a retiree does not need to move out of the family home right away, there may be a viable alternative. Reverse mortgages allow a homeowner to borrow against their home in a way that does not add to the monthly bills. Most of these mortgage agreements allow the borrower to tap into a home's equity without making monthly payments. Any money that is owed to the lender will be paid back from the home owner's estate after the borrower has passed away.
However, for retirees who are in need of extra care, such options may not be the best choice for funding senior housing. If an assisted living situation is needed, or long term nursing home care, other financing options must be pursued. There are many long term care organizations that are willing to work with families in finding ways to finance a loved one's care. Life settlement plans can allow families to finance the retirement years or pay for long term care. A life settlement plan involves selling a life insurance policy before the policyholder's death. Many investors prefer these plans to more traditional methods of investing such as stocks or bonds. This is because the value of an asset like a life insurance policy will remain the same and will not vary with changes in the economy. The investor will purchase an individual's life insurance policy for a lump sum payment that is made to the original policyholder. All future premiums will be paid by the investor. When the original policyholder passes away, the investor will be regarded as the beneficiary of the life insurance policy and will receive the final pay out. Such plans can act as a very effective means of funding senior housing, particularly if a policyholder has already taken care of any final expenses. In addition, seniors who are not concerned about leaving an estate behind for survivors can obtain needed funds for the retirement years through these plans.
When seeking ways for funding senior housing, it can be helpful to understand the different types of housing that may be available. There are usually certain age requirements for any living accommodations that have been designated as senior housing. Among the options that may be available could include subsidized living quarters, private pay homes or apartments, and organized retirement communities. Subsidized housing will usually be built with funds from the federal government and will frequently be made available to tenants at a reduced rate of rent. Tenants will generally need to demonstrate financial need to qualify for this housing. Private pay living accommodations will have specific age requirements to qualify as senior living communities. There are also many retirement communities that offer a variety of activities and social opportunities for seniors. Frequently, living in these communities can be more expensive. The obstacles that are encountered when funding senior housing will depend upon the choices that the individual retiree has made. Some senior citizens opt to purchase long term health care insurance as a method of financing the costs of moving into a nursing home or assisted living situation. This option can go a long way toward deferring the cost of this expensive, but often necessary, living option.
One problem that many families face when funding senior housing can be a difficulty in selling property. Tapping into the equity that has been earned over a lifetime of home ownership was once a sure fire way to finance retirement years. This plan is not as easy to execute as it once was. While many seniors own their homes free and clear, these valuable assets are of little help when the property isn't selling. Reverse mortgages and home equity loans can provide answers in some cases. The Bible assures believers that God's plan for them will continue to unfold over the course of a lifetime. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)
Discovering methods for funding senior housing can sometimes be made easier through the help of professional organizations. These organizations may offer the services of financial planners and advisors. Clients who take advantage of these services may become acquainted with financing opportunities that they were not aware existed. In addition, these organizations may also help a family to come to terms with difficult care decisions for loved ones. Whatever choices a family might make, knowing that there are opportunities for help and advice can make a huge and positive difference.