Veterans and Asbestos Exposure

Veterans fought bravely for our country, but many of them now face a new fight: mesothelioma. There is an elevated risk of mesothelioma in the veteran population since asbestos was used in all branches of the U.S. military.

Get a Free Case Review

It takes as little as 5 minutes on the phone.

Secure Submission

Recognition & Affiliation

National Trial Lawyer - Top 100 Trial LawyersNAMTLA - Top 10US News Best Lawyers
1/3 of mesothelioma cases are veterans

In fact, approximately 1/3 of mesothelioma cases have been shown to involve U.S. Navy or shipyard exposures. Veterans with mesothelioma may receive VA benefits and health care in addition to potentially filing a lawsuit.

All military branches were at risk of asbestos exposure


U.S. Air Force
U.S. Army
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. Marines
U.S. Navy
proud soldier

Asbestos was used in every ship built by the U.S. military for much of the 20th century. Trucks, tanks, and barracks were also built with asbestos-containing products — exposing thousands of service members in the process. Veterans harmed by asbestos and their families may be able to receive financial compensation with the help of our experienced mesothelioma law firm.

Rest assured, Sokolove Law will not file claims against the U.S. government, but rather the manufacturers that supplied asbestos-containing products to the U.S. military.

Your Compensation Options

Veterans can choose one or both paths to compensation for mesothelioma:

Path 1: VA Benefits

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs may accept mesothelioma and asbestos claims if the asbestos exposure was service-related. Veterans should seek out a Veterans Service Officer to help navigate service-related benefits and help ensure a successful outcome when filing a claim.

Path 2: File a Lawsuit

Veterans or their immediate family members can also file a separate mesothelioma lawsuit directly against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products — not the U.S. government. These manufacturers, in some cases, supplied these deadly products to the military. Filing an asbestos legal claim does not impact VA benefits and often these rights can be enforced without ever having to go to court.

Let us help you with your claim.
Contact us today for a free legal case review.

Meet Walter

In the U.S. Navy, Walter worked as a boiler tender aboard seven ships during his service, where he regularly encountered products containing asbestos. As a result of this exposure, Walter was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma decades later.

Listen to Walter’s story and how Sokolove Law was able to help him win his case.

Video Summary: In this video Walter, a Sokolove client talks about his experience working with Sokolove Law. View Transcript.

He said, “you have all your paperwork in order?” I said, “Yes I do.” He said, “Well, Keep it there” Nobody ever said anything, about it being dangerous. The powers of being new, I said, “Well, heck with this noise, they’re gonna hear from me.” I wasn’t suing the government, I wasn’t suing the U.S. Navy, I was suing the manufacturer. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlements

By filing a legal claim, veterans may seek additional compensation from the asbestos companies that are responsible for their exposure and the disease that it caused.

Some recent mesothelioma settlements for veterans Sokolove Law has helped include:

notable lawsuit veteran

$9.9 Million Settlement

A former U.S. Navy boiler man who sailed out of San Diego, Boston, and Norfolk

notable lawsuit veteran

$423,000 Settlement

A U.S. Navy veteran who worked as a heavy equipment operator

notable lawsuit veteran

$419,000 Settlement

A veteran U.S. Navy boilermaker from Missouri

Do You or a Loved One Have Mesothelioma?

The team at Sokolove Law is made up of mesothelioma lawyers who have helped thousands of veterans. We will be able to guide you to the best decision to maximize the compensation you may receive.

Get a Free Case Review

Frequently Asked Questions

How many veterans have mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma affects around 3,000 Americans each year, according to the American Cancer Society. U.S. military veterans make up roughly one-third of these cases.

Sadly, because it can take 20-50 years for symptoms of mesothelioma to appear, many additional veterans may be living with the disease without realizing it.

Which U.S. service branch had the highest risk of asbestos exposure?

The U.S. Navy had the highest rate of asbestos use, which is why U.S. Navy veterans are among the most impacted by asbestos in the United States.

That said, asbestos was used in every branch of the military from the 1930s until the early 1980s, which puts nearly 20 million former soldiers at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.

How do I know if I am eligible for mesothelioma veterans benefits?

In order to receive mesothelioma disability benefits, veterans must show they were:

  • Diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease (like asbestosis or lung cancer)
  • Exposed to asbestos during their service to our country
  • Honorably discharged

Get a free case review today for help determining if you’re eligible for mesothelioma veterans benefits and proving your asbestos exposure history.

What can a lawyer do for veterans exposed to asbestos?

VA-accredited lawyers like Sokolove Law’s managing attorney Ricky LeBlanc can handle every step of the legal process for veterans with mesothelioma while helping to prepare, present, and prosecute claims for mesothelioma veterans benefits.

How can I access veterans health care and financial benefits?

To get disability VA benefits, you have to be a veteran and file a claim for disability compensation through the VA. Veterans with mesothelioma can apply for benefits online or in person at a local VA office.

Your claim should include the following documents, all of which your legal team can help you get:

  • Medical records proving mesothelioma diagnosis and probable cause
  • Service records indicating the veteran’s job, specialty, and time served
  • A doctor’s statement identifying a link between a veteran’s exposure to asbestos and the development of a disease

Working with a VA-accredited lawyer can make this process much easier for you. Get a free case review today to see if we can help you.

Can I file a lawsuit in addition to receiving VA benefits?

In certain cases, veterans (or their surviving family members) can file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the asbestos companies responsible for their disease. Pursuing compensation through a lawsuit does not affect a veteran’s ability to collect mesothelioma VA benefits.

Can I file a claim with asbestos trust funds?

Asbestos trust funds have been established by manufacturers of asbestos-containing products to compensate victims after the company has gone bankrupt.

Mesothelioma patients who have become sick by working directly with asbestos or were exposed to asbestos-containing products may be able to access these trust funds.

Receiving compensation from asbestos trust funds does not affect your ability to collect mesothelioma VA benefits.

Will I have to sue the military or government?

No. When you file a mesothelioma lawsuit, you won’t be suing the military — you’ll be suing the manufacturer of the asbestos-containing products you were exposed to, even if the asbestos exposure occurred during your service.

Not finding what you’re looking for?

Call us at (855) 642-4131