Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of soft and flexible fibers that are resistant to heat, electricity and corrosion. Because asbestos is such an effective insulator it has been used widely across America as a building material and it can also be found frequently in many other materials such as cloth, paper, cement, and plastic as a strengthening agent.
Today asbestos is a well-known health and safety hazard. It has been scientifically proven to be highly toxic. Exposure to asbestos dust can damage lung tissues, resulting in severe breathing problems, progressive lung diseases and can lead to the development of Mesothelioma cancer.
The dangers of asbestos dust and fibers have been discussed in medical journals going back almost 100 years, although the risks weren’t fully understood. However, in the last 50 years, the risk of asbestos cancers and other serious lung diseases became more apparent. Many corporations and governments have been accused of negligence and inaction even when the dangers were known.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare form of cancer that is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma mainly affects the lining of the lungs. However, tumors can develop in the lining of the abdominal cavity or heart.
While mesothelioma is rare, it’s also important to note that it is a cancer with a long latency period. In short, it can show up many years after the exposure to asbestos.
Workers in industries that use (or have used) asbestos should not panic, as it still remains statistically unlikely that they will be diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma.
Even the most common symptoms of mesothelioma are more likely to be another, less serious, health ailment. However, it’s still advisable to consult a mesothelioma guide, clinic or family doctor should you feel unwell.
The most common symptoms of mesothelioma are chest pain and shortness of breath. But other symptoms can include:
If you believe you were exposed to asbestos and have some of these symptoms please get checked out by a doctor.
Asbestos fibers are the only known cause of mesothelioma. While we should be clear that a mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, it is also a very aggressive one. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that the median survival time after a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is one year.
Again, even if you have been exposed to asbestos, mesothelioma is very uncommon, so you should not panic. However, because the links between asbestos and cancer are well known, there is a duty of care placed upon employers to ensure that employees are never exposed to asbestos.
But, as pointed out by the CDC, the number of mesothelioma cases in the United States have remained steady; meaning, people are still being exposed to asbestos.
One of the most aggressive – but thankfully rare – forms of asbestos cancer is pericardial mesothelioma. It forms about 1-2% of mesothelioma diagnoses and has an extremely low survival rate.
While a lot of asbestos-related diseases tend to impact the lungs, pericardial mesothelioma forms in the lining of the heart. A lack of discernible symptoms mean it is often difficult to catch early, and many identifications only come after an autopsy. Treatment options are limited for pericardial mesothelioma.
Occupational exposure is the number one cause of asbestos related diseases. No level of asbestos exposure is considered safe. However, most health problems arise only after years of repeated and long-term exposure to the carcinogen.
Therefore many workers could have been heavily exposed to it over their career and will not realize they have sustained injury or harm until decades later.
Due to the asbestos mesothelioma link, many countries have banned the use of asbestos as a building material. Notably, the United States has yet to follow suit in banning its use, a fact that has drawn a lot of criticism from experts.
Although, there have been restrictions in place since the first asbestos cancer links were discovered in the 1970s. Despite many studies, it’s still not fully understood how asbestos exposure leads to mesothelioma. Asbestos can be found in some of the following products:
Many people with either a confirmed diagnosis of mesothelioma or those who suspect other injuries due to asbestos exposure are rightly concerned with finding answers and holding those responsible accountable. We can help bring you justice, compensation and peace of mind.
Most mesothelioma cancer cases from asbestos exposure are the result of employer negligence or of a manufacturing company’s failure to warn of possible exposure risks to the product it made. If you believe that you or someone you love have been harmed due to asbestos exposure there are a few options available to you to take legal action and seek compensation from the people that exposed you.
Like many work related injuries workers compensation is always an option however these systems can be difficult to navigate, and many workers’ comp claims result in minimal amounts of financial help. Also, because most people receive late in life diagnoses regarding mesothelioma cancer the time frame to collect workers comp may have passed as well.
Personal Injury Claims
A Mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit gives you the opportunity to hold employers accountable for the harm and injury caused to you from negligent asbestos exposure. Compensation from these claims could you help you recover money for medical treatments, lost income, travel expenses, and other related costs.
Mesothelioma asbestos personal injury claims can be a complicated process and it is important, that should you choose to move forward with legal action, you find yourself an attorney with an expertise in this field (asbestos-related lawsuits)
Many companies accused of negligently using asbestos products in the past will have filed for Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is a common tactic used by companies facing a large number of individual lawsuits as it limits their exposure in the courts.
However, the companies must still set up an asbestos trust fund to compensate victims of negligence. As it stands in 2020, there is about $30 billion set aside for compensation in these trusts.
Some of the notable corporations to have set up personal injury asbestos funds include:
Claimants have already received billions of dollars from trust funds over the last couple of decades. Trust funds are designed to cover both current and future claims, and the amounts paid out vary depending on individual circumstances.
Payouts can reach over $125,000 per claimant, but we would recommend that you speak to an experienced asbestos injury lawyer to discuss compensation before making decisions related to claiming compensation. Of course, you can also pursue other avenues to get the compensation you deserve, including joining a mesothelioma asbestos lawsuit.
Estimated at $2.4 million (2016 figures), the average payout from a successful asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit is generally much higher than compensation from a trust fund. There are two main types of lawsuits for asbestos claims – personal injury and wrongful death.
With the former, mesothelioma patients can take cases against companies whose negligence with asbestos may have contributed to the claimant’s cancer. For wrongful death, families of the deceased can pursue claims against the same companies to get compensation for mesothelioma treatment bills, funeral costs, loss of income, etc.
It is both recognized and accepted that many companies made serious mistakes when it came to ignoring or diminishing asbestos risks. As such, some companies can be keen to settle the case, i.e., agree an asbestos payout to the claimant before it goes to trial.
These payouts – ranging from $1-$1.4 million on average – are lower than what a claimant receives on average from a successful lawsuit.
Asbestos is not fully banned in the United States, but its use is limited through various state and federal laws. Asbestos lawsuits now form the longest-running and most expensive mass tort cases in US legal history, and the cost for companies has been predicted to reach almost $300 billion.
It’s a vastly complex legal issue, ranging from cities and counties suing asbestos companies for industrial cleanups to individuals bringing lawsuits after developing asbestos injuries.
As mentioned above, asbestos-related lawsuits form one of the biggest and most complex legal battles in history. As such, many expert asbestos lawyers and specialist mesothelioma law firms have emerged across the United States.
However, it’s also important to recognize that getting the best asbestos lawsuit attorneys is paramount, and not all lawyers will have the experience and capacity they claim. That’s where Select Justice can help by pointing you towards the best and most experienced mesothelioma lawyers.
In the last few years, several thousand asbestos lawsuits have been filed in the United States. There is not yet a class action lawsuit for mesothelioma and asbestos-related injuries. For most claimants, this will be viewed as positive as the range of injuries and impact can vary.
Moreover, mesothelioma has a long latency period, i.e., the cancer might not show up for decades after asbestos exposure, so a single class action lawsuit does not seem suitable to cover future plaintiffs.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer for asbestos is the right thing to do if you or your loved ones have been impacted by exposure. But we should reiterate that not all lawyers will be as proficient in securing compensation as they claim.
To be sure you are getting the best asbestos legal representation, follow the steps in the next section and let us point you towards expert asbestos injury lawyers.
Before taking action it is important to be aware that every state in America has its own time frame (statute of limitations) for filing a mesothelioma personal injury claim. That is why it is best to begin the lawsuit process soon after a mesothelioma diagnosis before this deadline expires. The statute of limitations on asbestos claims starts on the date of diagnosis for a personal injury lawsuit. Time frames vary by state but typically range from one to three years or more.
To take action contact us today by filling out this short form. We can get your started quickly and easily. We will provide you with a free consultation answering any questions you may have and tell you the best way to move forward in seeking justice and gaining compensation.
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After receiving this information our team members will reach out to you to review all relevant information with you. We will then be able to refer you to a specialized legal team with expertise in the needs of your specific case that will help you receive justice and compensation.
We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.