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Among the people at high risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses are veterans. This is because of the widespread use of asbestos in the military. Fortunately, veterans who later develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases may be eligible to recover VA benefits by filing a VA claim. In this article, we discuss the meaning of a VA claim, the eligibility criteria for VA benefits, and how to file a VA claim.

What Is a VA Claim?

A VA claim is a type of claim that veterans who develop an illness or disability as a result of their service in the military file. A VA claim enables sick or disabled veterans to recover monetary compensation. Veterans who develop health issues due to asbestos exposure during their military service can file a VA asbestos claim. VA claims are filed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). After a veteran files their claim, the claim is subjected to a rating system that assesses disease type, exposure history, and disease severity. This rating scale is used to determine compensation amounts.

In most cases, mesothelioma results from the negligence of other parties, such as employers, asbestos manufacturers, property owners, government agencies, and product suppliers. When negligence results in an individual developing mesothelioma, the victim or their family can hold the negligent party or parties liable. Mesothelioma victims and their families can file legal claims against negligent parties and seek justice and financial compensation.

When pursuing a mesothelioma claim, you are not legally required to hire an attorney, but working with an attorney is a good idea. To ensure you hire the right attorney, take time to interview potential attorneys. In a previous article with the same title, we shared five questions to ask a mesothelioma attorney before hiring them. This article shares five more questions to ask potential mesothelioma attorneys during the initial consultation.

  1. What are my options?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can pose significant health risks. Most people know this. Asbestos can cause illnesses such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. When someone is exposed to asbestos, it is understandable for them to get worried. Asbestos-related diseases can be fatal. It is estimated that mesothelioma alone kills approximately 2,500 people yearly in the United States of America. But is asbestos dangerous if exposure only happened once? In other words, can a one-time exposure to asbestos be harmful?

Should You Be Worried About a One-Time Exposure to Asbestos?

The truth is that even a one-time exposure to asbestos can be harmful. Researchers have for a long time warned that no amount of asbestos is safe for humans. Any amount of asbestos exposure can be potentially dangerous and even deadly. However, a one-time or short-term exposure to asbestos may pose a relatively low health risk compared to repeated exposure. The chances of developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease are said to be higher for those who have been exposed to asbestos repeatedly or for a long time as compared to those who have been exposed to asbestos once or for a short time. For example, a person who was exposed to asbestos daily in their line of work may be more at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses as compared to someone who suffered exposure once during a house demolition.

For purposes of this article, the victims in this case will be referred to as T.W. and J.W.

Vermiculite, a naturally occurring mineral with heat-resistant properties, and asbestos, also a naturally occurring mineral, form under the same conditions. Asbestos is a dangerous substance that can cause several fatal illnesses, including mesothelioma. In Libby, Montana, asbestos contaminated the city’s vermiculite deposit, so years of mining this mineral in the city exposed workers and residents to asbestos. Thousands of people got sick because of asbestos exposure, and over the years, victims and families of victims have filed countless legal claims. In April 2024, two Libby residents’ stories will be told by their surviving loved ones who filed a lawsuit against the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

T.W. ‘s family and J.W. ‘s family filed a mesothelioma wrongful death claim against the railway company and other defendants after their loved ones died of malignant mesothelioma. According to the two families, the companies named in the lawsuit are strictly liable for their loved one’s death. T.W.’s family and J.W.’s family are seeking to recover compensatory and punitive damages for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones.

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