How a Mesothelioma Lawyer Can Help You and Your Family
November 6, 2019
Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer with no known cure. The most common victims are those who have been exposed to asbestos. Sadly, because its early symptoms can resemble less serious conditions, many patients are diagnosed after the disease has already spread. Victims and their families are usually entitled to significant compensation from those responsible for exposing them to toxic conditions. Therefore, it’s important to contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer if you or a loved one has developed the disease.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about mesothelioma.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a fatal form of cancer that attacks the lining, or mesothelium, of certain parts of the body. There are four main categories of the disease:
- Pleural mesothelioma, which starts in the chest and/or lungs, is the most common type
- Peritoneal mesothelioma, which starts in the abdomen, comprises most of the other cases
- Pericardial mesothelioma, which is very rare, starts in the lining around the heart
- Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis is an extremely rare form that starts in the layer covering the testicles
Regardless of where the disease starts, it often spreads to other parts of the body by the time the patient receives a diagnosis.
Statistics show mesothelioma patients have an average life expectancy of 12 – 21 months after being diagnosed. However, those whose cancer is detected before it has spread have higher survival rates.
What causes mesothelioma?
The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a heat-resistant material used extensively in construction and manufacturing before its dangers became known.
An individual can develop mesothelioma from inhaling airborne microscopic asbestos fibers. These needle-like fibers penetrate the lung tissue and the lining that holds the lung in place (pleura). In addition, when the fibers are swallowed, they can travel to the abdominal lining.
Who is at risk for mesothelioma?
Before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared asbestos a hazardous material in 1971, it was widely used in a multitude of fireproofing and insulation applications. Today, asbestos is found in many places where children and adults spend time. These include schools, offices, homes, automobiles, construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and office buildings. Because of its heat-resistant properties, asbestos is also used in small appliances such as toasters and hair dryers.
People in a wide variety of environments and situations could be in danger of developing an asbestos-related illness. While any amount of asbestos can cause harm, those with prolonged exposure have an increased risk.
Here are some examples:
- Construction workers, especially those who perform demolition of older buildings
- Insulation installers
- Auto mechanics
- Sailors and shipyard workers
- Utility workers
- Contractors, residential and commercial
- Veterans who spent time in military vehicles, ships, and buildings
- Chemical plant workers
- Steel mill employees
- Manufacturing plant workers
In addition, those who work with asbestos can carry the toxic fibers home in their hair or clothing, exposing family members.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Symptoms can vary depending on the type of mesothelioma. Furthermore, some patients do not develop mesothelioma until 10 – 50 years after their initial exposure.
Here are some of the more common symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Chest pain
- Persistent cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever or night sweats
- Muscle weakness
How can a mesothelioma lawyer help my family?
There are many reasons to hire a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer if you or a family member has the disease. Even if your loved one has passed away as a result of mesothelioma, a skilled attorney can still help you.
Here are some of the ways an attorney who specializes in mesothelioma cases can help your family recover the compensation you deserve:
- Determining which kind of lawsuit to file
Some plaintiffs may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company responsible for the asbestos exposure.
When the victim has died from the disease, the survivors may be able to file a wrongful death claim for medical expenses and lost income.
Other plaintiffs recover damages from an asbestos trust fund that reimburses victims of now-bankrupt companies.
- Preparing your case
These cases are extremely complex, with strict filing requirements and deadlines. A qualified attorney will file the necessary forms, acquire medical records, and obtain expert witness testimony.
- Representing you in court
While many of these cases are settled out of court, some do proceed to trial. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer knows how to present a winning case and achieve the most favorable outcome.
Mesothelioma cases are complicated, but finding the right lawyer is simple.
Call 1-800-CALL-SAM today for a free no-obligation consultation.