Who is At Risk for Mesothelioma?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of J.D. Smith with Law Office of J.D. Smith, PLLC.
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of J.D. Smith, a Personal Injury attorney based in Washington.
Mesothelioma is a rare lung cancer that can take as many as 20 to 50 years to become symptomatic; it is typically very painful and eventually fatal. Although it can occur in children and young people, this is extremely uncommon and typically occurs in people over the age of 45. Mesothelioma and other related lung conditions are caused by inhaling or swallowing asbestos. Depending on a person’s living or working environment, they may be more or less at risk of developing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma victims and their families may be eligible for compensation in the event that the asbestos exposure occurred due to another party’s negligence, such as an employer or landlord that did not provide adequate protection.
The following parties may be at higher risk for developing mesothelioma:
- People who restore old houses/buildings
- Patients who previously received radiation therapy for lymphoma
- People who live or lived near an asbestos mine or exposed site
- Military servicemembers
- Construction workers
- Industrial workers
- HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) workers
- Railroad workers
- Shipyard workers
Coughing, chest pain, night sweats, and shortness of breath can all be symptoms of mesothelioma; if you suspect you were exposed to asbestos or otherwise may be suffering from mesothelioma, it’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible. In each of the above scenarios, there may be one or more parties responsible for the safety of the people or persons exposed to an asbestos-containing environment. Employers, manufacturers who use or used asbestos in their products, mining companies, and even asbestos manufacturers may all be liable depending on the circumstances of the claim.
Tracking when and how the exposure happened can be difficult.
One of the most difficult aspects of a mesothelioma case is figuring out when and how the asbestos exposure occurred. Due to the period of years between the initial exposure and the presentation of symptoms, it can be challenging to figure out at what point in a mesothelioma victim’s life the exposure occurred, as well as who was liable for the exposure and what actions the negligent party did or did not take resulting in eventual harm to the patient.
This is why it is particularly important to find an experienced attorney who specializes in mesothelioma; these attorneys know what kind of leads are likely to be available years after exposure, as well as how to follow those leads to the necessary evidence. Just as importantly, these attorneys know exactly what kind of damages a mesothelioma victim and their family will need to expect. It may help to note that most of these attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means clients don’t have to pay for their services unless and until their case is won.
Damages that can be pursued in a mesothelioma claim include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Past and future medical expenses for mesothelioma and related treatment
- Lost wages (or impairment of earning capacity) of the mesothelioma victim
- Lost wages for the loved one of a mesothelioma victim who has to temporarily or permanently stay home to care for their loved one
- Lifecare expenses, such as life support or in-home living accommodations
- Pain and suffering, for the emotional and physical distress that goes along with this type of cancer
- Loss of consortium (the services of a close family member) and loss of care and companionship when the loved one passes
- Loss of primary wage-earner’s income if applicable
- Wrongful death
- Funeral and burial expenses
To learn more about who is at risk for mesothelioma, or for help filing a claim, reach out to an experienced mesothelioma lawyer in your area.