Lawyers for mesothelioma - If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to work with a reputable mesothelioma lawyer who can help you seek compensation for the costs of your treatment and other expenses related to your diagnosis. When searching for a mesothelioma lawyer or law firm, you should look for one with a strong track record of securing high jury awards and settlements in mesothelioma cases, as this indicates their familiarity with asbestos laws and litigation in your state.
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer is essential in helping you get the compensation you deserve. The ideal lawyer should be driven, dedicated, and determined to fight for the best possible financial outcome for you, while also demonstrating compassion and understanding for you and your family throughout the legal process.
Dangers of Asbestos
Asbestos, a fibrous mineral known for its heat resistance and durability, was once widely used in the manufacture of products like flooring materials, ceiling tiles, brake pads, and insulation. However, it was later discovered that asbestos exposure can cause serious health problems, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other illnesses. Today, safety measures are in place to protect individuals, particularly those working in factories and on construction sites, from coming into contact with this toxic substance. However, these precautions cannot help those who were exposed to asbestos in the past and are now suffering from its harmful effects. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), asbestos is carcinogenic to humans. When asbestos fibers are released into the air and inhaled, they can cause inflammation and tissue damage in the body, leading to the formation of scar tissue and potentially cancerous tumors.
Most Common Groups Diagnosed with Mesothelioma
Individuals who are exposed to asbestos on a regular basis and over long periods of time are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma. This is because frequent and prolonged contact with asbestos, whether through inhaling airborne fibers or handling the toxic substance at work, increases the chances of developing this and other asbestos-related illnesses. It is important to protect oneself from asbestos exposure in order to reduce the risk of developing these serious health problems.
The groups most at risk of asbestos exposure include:
- Oil rig workers
- Railroad workers
- Auto repair employees
- Factory workers
- Construction and demolition workers
- Navy personnel
- Lumber and paper mill workers
- Boiler technicians
- Shipyard workers
While those who are frequently and heavily exposed to asbestos are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma, it is also possible for others to come into contact with the toxic substance and be affected. For example, individuals who live near areas where asbestos is present may be at risk of inhaling particles that have been released into the air, or consuming contaminated water or food. It is important to be aware of the potential sources of asbestos exposure and take steps to protect oneself and others from coming into contact with this harmful substance.
Types and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that begins in the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that surrounds many of the body's internal organs. It is an aggressive cancer that can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated early. The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the type of the disease. There are two main types of mesothelioma: one that affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) and another that affects the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).
1. Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma forms in the tissue around the lungs. The most common symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Lumps of tissue underneath the skin in the chest area
- Painful coughing
- Chest pain
If it spreads to a person’s chest, pleural mesothelioma can cause complications, such as:
- Trouble swallowing
- Pain resulting from pressure on the nerves and spinal cord
- Difficulty breathing and chest pain
- A build-up of fluid in the chest causing compression of the lungs
2. Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the peritoneum, the thin layer of tissue lining the abdomen. When someone inhales or ingests asbestos fibers, they become embedded in the abdominal lining, leading to inflammation and tumor formation.
The most common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
- Swollen abdomen
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma. This aggressive cancer is often not diagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage, making it difficult to treat effectively. If mesothelioma is caught early, however, a person may be able to undergo surgery to remove the tumors and receive chemotherapy to help manage the disease. While these treatments may not completely cure mesothelioma, they can help to control the symptoms and potentially extend a person's life.
Compensation Available for Asbestos Exposure
Mesothelioma patients and their families often file mass tort lawsuits and wrongful death cases. In a mass tort lawsuit, a group of plaintiffs with similar symptoms stemming from asbestos exposure come together to take legal action against the same defendant. These cases are consolidated in order to streamline the process, with each plaintiff working on the unique aspects of their individual lawsuit but all with the shared goal of seeking compensation from the same defendant.
In mass tort lawsuits, plaintiffs are not typically awarded the same amount of money. Instead, the courts will determine the amount of compensation based on the specific circumstances of each individual case. This compensation may cover losses such as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Reduced quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Physical disabilities or disfigurements
- Lost wages or earning potential
If a loved one has died due to mesothelioma caused by another party's negligent exposure to asbestos, the surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Compensation in such a case may be awarded to cover losses such as:
- The loss of the deceased's companionship, love, and affection
- Lost financial support that the deceased would have provided if still alive
- Funeral and burial costs
- Medical bills related to the deceased's final illness
- The value of household services that the deceased would have provided if still alive
Who is at Risk?
Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos may be at risk of developing an asbestos-related illness, but those who have been exposed to large amounts over long periods of time are at the greatest risk. Those who work directly with asbestos on a daily basis, such as steel mill workers, electrical workers, plumbers, miners, shipbuilders, Navy veterans, demolition workers, firefighters, drywall removers, and auto mechanics, are particularly vulnerable.
To protect workers, federal and state governments have implemented regulations on asbestos exposure in the workplace. These laws require workers in high-risk occupations to wear protective clothing and respiratory equipment when handling asbestos, and require employers to provide this equipment and adequate training for safe handling.
It is important to note that asbestos illnesses can take up to 50 years to develop, so even if you were exposed to asbestos in the past, you may still be at risk. If you are experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, sudden weight loss, persistent nausea or vomiting, chest pain, heart palpitations, persistent cough, fever, or fatigue, it is important to seek medical attention and inform your doctor of your history of asbestos exposure.
How an Asbestos Lawyer Can Help
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma or lung cancer, an asbestos attorney may be able to help you obtain financial compensation to cover costly medical treatments, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This compensation can help you receive the best medical care and maintain the highest quality of life possible, as well as provide financial support for your family.
An asbestos lawyer can help individuals diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma or lung cancer in a number of ways:
- Determining liability: An asbestos lawyer can help you identify the party or parties responsible for your exposure to asbestos and hold them accountable for your illness.
- Gathering evidence: An asbestos lawyer will collect and review medical records, witness statements, and other evidence to support your claim.
- Negotiating with defendants: An asbestos lawyer will negotiate with the defendant or defendants on your behalf to try to reach a settlement or award of damages.
- Filing a lawsuit: If a settlement cannot be reached, an asbestos lawyer can represent you in court and advocate for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
- Handling paperwork and legal proceedings: An asbestos lawyer will handle all of the legal paperwork and proceedings related to your case, allowing you to focus on your health and recovery.