Photo of mesothelioma X-ray

Photo of a mesothelioma x-ray

Are You or a Loved One Suffering From Mesothelioma?

Ask a Mesothelioma Law What to Do

Asbestos used to be a common, cost-effective product used in everything from insulation to car brakes to piping. Because it is inexpensive to produce and is fire resistant, many companies used asbestos extensively in their products. However, in more recent years, medical professionals have realized the real danger that asbestos presents, particularly that frequent exposure to asbestos has led to one of the most deadly cancers in existence: Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer that is nearly always fatal; it is very painful, both for the victim and for the victim’s family to watch. Mesothelioma is caused by inhaling or swallowing asbestos, often in a place where the victim lived or worked. When the victim breathes in the asbestos fibers or dust, that dust settles in the victim’s lungs. Though the cancer forms quickly in the chest and/or abdomen, it is difficult to detect and it may be years or even decades before the victim develops symptoms. Many older people are now being diagnosed with mesothelioma due to working with asbestos in their younger years.

What are the Statistics on Mesothelioma?

Regrettably, it seems many companies were aware their workers were being exposed to asbestos, and were at the same time aware of the dangers presented by being exposed to it. At the time, many companies decided it was cheaper in the short-run to do nothing. Now, however, these companies have to pay for this fatal mistake.

Victims of asbestos exposure include construction workers, mechanics, insulation workers, US military personnel, and demolition workers. Additionally, family members of these workers are also being diagnosed due to secondhand exposure to a family member’s clothing, skin, and hair.

Let’s go over some important mesothelioma-related statistics:

  • Around 3,000 new cases of asbestos-related disease are diagnosed every year in the United States, with the average life expectancy ranging from 12-22 months.
  • Symptoms of mesothelioma may not surface until 20-50 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.
  • The four types of mesothelioma are pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular, of which pleural is the most common type by far.
  • From 1999 to 2015, a total of 45,221 Americans died from mesothelioma.

Some fields of occupation where workers may be or might have been commonly exposed to asbestos include construction, manufacturing, military service, firefighting, mining, chemical refining, shipbuilding, and power generation.

Men are more likely than women to develop mesothelioma, but this could be due to the fields in which asbestos exposure generally occurs, which are traditionally male-dominated fields of labor.

Who is Responsible for Asbestos Poisoning?

Most cases of asbestos exposure resulting in mesothelioma arise from occupational exposure, meaning the toxic mineral made its way into the victim’s lungs while working. People suffering from mesothelioma may also have been poisoned by asbestos due to secondhand exposure, possibly off the clothes, hair, or possessions of a family member who was exposed to asbestos or from a consumer product containing asbestos.

It’s usually a fairly straightforward process to follow the evidence back to the source of asbestos. However, proving the victim’s exposure to asbestos was due to negligence on the part of the defendant can pose a significant challenge.

Depending on the circumstances of you or your loved one’s exposure to asbestos, there are several parties who may be involved in your particular case. This may include:

  • Employer. Employers are required to provide safe working conditions and personal protective equipment. If an employer fails to do so, through intentional neglect or otherwise, they can be held liable for any resulting harm to their employees, including mesothelioma by asbestos exposure.
  • Asbestos manufacturer. Manufacturers who produced asbestos to sell for construction purposes, but failed to warn their clients about the inherent dangers of their product, may be liable for any harm to workers exposed to it, as well as resulting damages.
  • Manufacturers of products containing asbestos. Aside from the manufacturer itself, manufacturers who use asbestos in their products are required to inform their customers of the asbestos in their product and the severe health risk asbestos exposure creates. If a manufacturer using asbestos in any of their product fails to do so, they are liable for any harm to their customers as a result, as well as ensuing damages.
  • Owners of Asbestos-Contaminated Properties. Regardless of whether you work for the owner of a property containing asbestos, or are a non-employee exposed to asbestos on that property, the owner of the property is liable for any harm that comes to someone as a result of being exposed to asbestos on their property.
  • Mining Companies. Asbestos is a naturally occurring substance that used to be mined in the United States. This put the miners themselves, as well as anyone living nearby the mine at risk of being exposed to the airborne asbestos particles. If a mining company failed to provide their workers with proper protective gear and failed to inform the surrounding public of the risk posed by the asbestos they were mining, they could be held liable as well.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim for Mesothelioma?

Treatments for mesothelioma may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. New drugs are still being tested for their effectiveness in treating this cancer. Depending on the nature of you or your family member’s mesothelioma and circumstances surrounding your exposure, a personal injury lawyer may identify possible claims for:

  • Medical expenses. Victims of mesothelioma may experience trouble breathing; chest pain; abdominal swelling; significant weight loss; anemia; fever; fluid buildup; lumps under chest and abdominal skin; vomiting; and, in some cases, death.
  • Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) as a result of hospital stay-time, or, for the loved one of a mesothelioma victim, the necessity to temporarily or permanently extricate themselves from work in order to provide care. Workers’ compensation may also be claimed in these cases.
  • Lifecare expenses, such as life support or ongoing medical expenses for chronic illness.
  • Pain and suffering, for both emotional and physical distress.
  • Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship
  • Wrongful death.
  • Funeral expenses.

If you have mesothelioma cancer or if a loved one was killed by mesothelioma, you need a personal injury attorney that understands the emotional and physical toll this cancer takes, and understands the complexities of these types of cases. An experienced personal injury attorney will be aggressive in seeking the compensation that you deserve.

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