People who have served in the military often have to cope with injuries and illnesses related to their service long after they have left active duty. The physical, emotional and psychological toll of serving the country can be a battle that veterans and their families have to fight indefinitely.
However, there are resources available to veterans, their spouses, children and other family members in the event that a military-related injury or illness is serious. While the benefits are not going to truly compensate people for the damages that have been suffered as a result of military service, especially if the damages involve the loss of life, they can be crucial in helping people cope financially and alleviate at least some of that anxiety.
For example, if a veteran passes away shortly after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, family members may still be able to collect benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In some cases, money may also be available through a claim of wrongful death against a third party.
However, this money is not guaranteed. Surviving family members of veterans must take steps to pursue it. In terms of veterans benefits, a surviving parent, spouse or child must first meet eligibility requirements and then submit an application. This application will be considered based on the evidence that is presented and may be denied if the evidence is insufficient or incorrect.
In terms of filing a wrongful death claim, surviving family members must first identify the negligent party, which cannot be the federal government. If there is a product manufacturer or other outside party that may be responsible for toxic exposure, it can be possible to file a claim against that party. Many of these cases are resolved before they go to trial, which can result in people getting compensation much more quickly, but others will be resolved in the courtroom by a judge or jury.
Having an attorney can be crucial whether you are interested in seeking benefits from the VA or compensation from a personal injury claim, or, in some cases, both. Both systems can be enormously complicated, and surviving family members can feel overwhelmed by the legal, medical and military requirements that are necessary when pursuing financial relief. An attorney can guide people through the complex systems which can help people feel better and more confident.