How to Know When It’s Time to Talk to an Asbestos Lawyer
August 28, 2018
Asbestos, a hazardous substance that was used in construction projects throughout most of the 1900s, is the leading cause of occupational cancer in the United States. Although numerous regulations and statutes limiting its use have been enacted over the past five decades, asbestos has not been completely banned for use in this country.
Frequently found in floor and ceiling tiles, insulation and small electrical appliances, asbestos is the name of a group of minerals known for their resistance to heat and corrosion. Before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared it a hazardous material in 1971, asbestos was used extensively in applications such as fireproofing and thermal and acoustical insulation. It is found in a variety of places, including schools, universities, offices, residential homes, industrial facilities and commercial buildings.
Why is Asbestos Harmful?
Asbestos breaks into microscopic needle-like fibers that become airborne and are easily inhaled. These fibers then penetrate the lung tissue and the lining that holds the lung in place (pleura), which can lead to serious and fatal illness. Although inhaling even a small amount of asbestos fibers can be dangerous, the risk of developing a life-threatening disease increases with prolonged exposure.
Second-hand exposure is also a risk for those living with individuals who work with asbestos, as the toxic fibers can be carried into the house via hair, shoes and clothing.
The three most common forms of asbestos-related disease are:
A scarring and malignant tumor of the lung lining, usually incurable and often fatal.
The more common form of mesothelioma cancer occurs in the chest cavity and involves the lungs.
Develops in the abdominal cavity and is a deadlier and more aggressive form of mesothelioma.
Also known as interstitial fibrosis, this condition develops when inhaled asbestos fibers cause scarring and hardening of the lung tissue, reducing lung capacity over time.
A malignant tumor growth of the lung tissue that is more common in smokers who are also exposed to asbestos. Other forms of cancer, such as gastrointestinal and esophageal, have also been linked to increased exposure to asbestos.
Who is at Risk for Mesothelioma and other Asbestos-related Diseases?
Workers in a wide variety of industries that use asbestos can be at risk for asbestos-related illnesses. Examples are auto mechanics, insulation workers, sailors, shipyard workers, engineers, firemen, power station operators, utility workers, plumbers, steel erectors, carpenters, electricians, pipe fitters, welders, painters and many more.
The risk exists for those who work in any of the numerous environments where asbestos is used. These can include chemical plants, power plants, refineries, steel mills, shipyards, manufacturing plants, commercial and residential construction sites, paper mills, oil fields, navy shipyards and military installations.
What an Experienced Asbestos Lawyer Can Do for You
Because some asbestos-related illnesses may not produce symptoms for a decade or more after exposure, it takes an experienced attorney to prepare a winning case.
- A good asbestos lawyer knows how to conduct a thorough investigation to determine when and where you were exposed, even if you are uncertain.
- Asbestos use in Michigan is regulated by several statutes and three different agencies; the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A qualified asbestos lawyer will be familiar with all of the rules, regulations, and agencies that play a role in asbestos lawsuits.
- Winning your case can provide the means to pay for medical expenses and treatments and ensure future financial security for you and your family.
- You may be eligible to apply for expedited Social Security Disability benefits and workers compensation benefits. An experienced asbestos lawyer can determine your eligibility and help you navigate the application process.
“Employers who continue to use asbestos when its dangers have been well-publicized are putting their workers and their families at great risk,” said Mark Bernstein of The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. “If you or a loved one has a disease you believe was caused by asbestos exposure, call us now. Our experienced asbestos lawyers will fight for the compensation you and your family deserve.”
Asbestos law is complicated, but finding the right attorney is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free, no-obligation consultation.