Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals that were once used in a variety of production and manufacturing operations. Asbestos first started being used as heat insulation in the United States in the 1860s, and quickly became a popular material for use in insulation, fireproofing, sound absorption, roofing materials, cement, gaskets, boilers, automotive brakes, and much more.
While asbestos has properties that made it attractive for use in a myriad of industries, this substance is also extremely dangerous. As such, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented a partial ban on the manufacture, import, and distribution of some asbestos-containing products in 1989. However, workers in some industries were exposed or continued to be exposed to asbestos for many years before and after the ban, and the risk of exposure even exists today.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation through a legal action against the responsible party. Reach out to our asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers at The Masters Law Firm today to learn more.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that forms in the mesothelium – the thin layer of tissue that covers the internal organs. The most common type of mesothelium is pleural mesothelium, which is a cancer of the tissue surrounding the lungs. While rare, it is also possible to develop mesothelioma in the tissues of the abdomen, testicles, and heart.
Mesothelioma is a painful type of cancer, as well as one that has a very low survival rate. Early symptoms of the cancer can mimic those of a variety of other conditions, and include coughing, chest pain, and weight loss for pleural mesothelioma. As such, the cancer often goes undiagnosed for too long, allowing it to spread and develop. Once the cancer spreads, it is nearly impossible to treat. Treatment may focus on pain reduction and quality of life rather than curing the cancer at this point.
The Link Between Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Experts agree that the primary risk factor for developing mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, typically through working in an industry where exposure to asbestos fibers was common. This includes shipyard workers, construction workers, asbestos miners, electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, brake mechanics, demolition specialists, insulators, and some military members. Note that in some cases family members of these workers may have been exposed to asbestos as a result of the fibers being transported into the family’s home on the worker’s clothes. Those who live in homes where asbestos fibers are present and are disturbed may also be at risk.
Asbestos fibers cause cancer by being inhaled into the lungs or stomach, where they embed themselves in the surrounding tissues of organs and cause inflammation. One of the most challenging parts of linking asbestos to mesothelioma is the fact that it can take decades after exposure occurs for the fibers to cause cancer and to metastasize. As such, an individual who worked with asbestos fibers in their early 20s may not be diagnosed with mesothelioma until their 60s or later.
Your Rights if You Are Diagnosed with Mesothelioma
Receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma from your doctor can be a heartbreaking experience, and one that will most likely mean thousands of dollars in treatment to follow, as well as much pain, suffering, and emotional anguish for you and your family.
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is very probable that the cancer developed as a result of exposure to asbestos fibers at some point in your life, either through work or in your home. The party who is responsible for this exposure, such as the employer for whom you worked or the party that manufactured or distributed (or installed) asbestos-containing products, may be held liable for your harm.
Bringing forth an asbestos-related claim against a former employer or other parties can be difficult, in large part because it is likely that many years or decades have passed between the initial date of exposure and your harm. Nonetheless, our lawyers have handled cases of a similar nature before, and know how to investigate your case, collect evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf.
By filing a claim for damages, you may be able to hold the responsible party liable for your harm, which can provide you with a sense of justice. What’s more, you may also recover financial damages necessary to pay for your medical bills and compensate you for the non-economic losses you’ve suffered as well. Our lawyers also represent family members of deceased persons who want to bring forth a wrongful death claim for damages due to mesothelioma.
Choose The Masters Law Firm
Understanding your rights and options if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or if you have recently lost a loved one to this terrible cancer type can be confusing, and may feel overwhelming and hopeless. At The Masters Law Firm, our experienced attorneys are here to advocate for you.
We have over three decades of experience working on personal injury and workplace exposure cases, including claims involving asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. Additionally, we have received numerous recognitions for our excellent legal work, including recognition from Super Lawyers 2018, U.S. News – Best Law Firms 2018, and the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Our lawyers understand what you’re going through, empathize with you, and will treat you with the respect, sensitivity, and treat your claim with the seriousness that you deserve.
Being diagnosed with a serious condition like mesothelioma is devastating news, especially when you learn that the disease could have been prevented but for asbestos exposure. If you have been diagnosed and have questions about your rights, or if you are someone who has recently lost a loved one to mesothelioma, our lawyers can start working on your case today. Please reach out to our law firm directly by visiting our Charleston office in person, sending us a message, or calling 304-342-3106 or toll free 1-800-342-3106 today. We offer free consultations, and we structure our fees on a contingency basis, so you only pay if we win your case.