Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is directly linked to asbestos exposure. The health hazards of asbestos have been known since the 1920s. Yet many manufacturers continued to use it in a variety of industrial settings and in numerous consumer products.
At Becker Law Office, our knowledgeable injury attorneys have decades of experience standing up for families devastated by a loved one’s mesothelioma diagnosis. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is nearly always fatal. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have only a 30 percent chance of surviving five years or longer after their diagnosis.
Manufacturers of asbestos or asbestos-containing products, and companies that installed asbestos in plants and factories, may be legally compelled to compensate victims who develop mesothelioma through exposure to their asbestos products. However, it is up to you to exercise your legal rights and to take the steps to seek compensation.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or a similar asbestos-related disease, seek the guidance of a trusted mesothelioma lawyer. An experienced mesothelioma attorney at Becker Law Office can help you seek full compensation. Our goal is to help you recover the most monetary damages available to you. Schedule a free consultation with us today.
Taking Legal Action After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
A mesothelioma diagnosis can leave you worried about how to cover your medical bills and to secure your family’s financial future. Many people with mesothelioma face surgery and expensive chemotherapy treatments.
The law allows mesothelioma patients and their families to take legal action against the manufacturers of the products that caused this aggressive cancer. Individuals diagnosed with the disease can file a mesothelioma personal injury claim. Family members of those who have died from the disease may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. These claims can allow victims to recover compensation for medical bills and costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and wrongful death damages, including loss of companionship.
Mesothelioma cases are complicated because there is a long latency period between the time of the asbestos exposure and the appearance of the cancer. It can take anywhere from 15 to 50 years after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to be diagnosed.
Normally, it is difficult to bring a legal claim for something that happened many years ago. However, there are special rules that apply to mesothelioma cases. Claims in Kentucky and Indiana must be filed shortly after the diagnosis of mesothelioma. Family members who are bringing wrongful death lawsuits also must file a claim within a short window of time.
After you have filed your lawsuit, you will need to prove your claim and your right to compensation. The challenge in asbestos cases is to identify the company responsible for your exposure. You must prove a particular manufacturer or company is to blame for your medical problems. Many of the companies that installed or manufactured asbestos have gone bankrupt, merged with other companies, or have gone out of business long ago.
Our Mesothelioma Lawyers at Becker Law Office Can Help
At Becker Law Office, our asbestos injury attorneys have the experience you need, and our firm has the resources required to see your claim through to conclusion. Because of our experience with mesothelioma claims, we have the records of many of the companies in Kentucky and Indiana that used asbestos in industrial processes and exposed workers to cancer-causing asbestos fibers.
Many people are uncertain how they came in contact with asbestos because the exposure occurred decades ago. Our attorneys will go over your employment history and your loved ones’ work history carefully and identify where the asbestos exposure likely occurred. Some people were exposed in a workplace or during military service. Others were exposed by a family member who brought asbestos fibers home on their clothing.
Many companies with a history of exposing people to asbestos through products they or their predecessors manufactured or used have funded trusts to compensate mesothelioma victims. A mesothelioma victim may be eligible to apply for compensation from an asbestos trust. However, these payment programs are established with detailed legalistic policies and procedures by which they review and pay claims according to varying levels of asbestos exposure and injury.
Where a mesothelioma settlement or asbestos trust exists that you are eligible for, we can do the legwork required to establish your eligibility, document your injury (mesothelioma diagnosis and cancer staging) and meet other requirements of applying for compensation. We can make sure your claim is complete to ensure it is processed without problems that cause delays.
Where a settlement does not yet exist, we can gather the evidence required to file a claim and negotiate aggressively on your behalf with the company responsible for exposing you to asbestos. Our lawyers focus on negotiation and reaching out-of-court settlements. A settlement helps our clients receive compensation as soon as possible.
If your case ends up in trial, you’ll be represented by a trial lawyer from Bubalo Law PLC. Their trial attorneys have been named among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Kentucky. They are prepared to go to the distance to prove your case to a jury and get you the compensation you deserve.
Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. Asbestos has strong but pliable fibers and is heat resistant, which made asbestos useful for many commercial and industrial purposes including insulation. Unfortunately, asbestos also breaks down into small fibers, and that makes it easy to inhale or swallow asbestos dust.
In 1964, a rare cancer called “mesothelioma” was conclusively linked to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer that in most cases is initially found in the lungs or abdomen, but can eventually spread to other vital organs and throughout the body.
Today, mesothelioma is considered a signal tumor because the link between this type of cancer and asbestos exposure is so strong. When a person develops mesothelioma, it is generally assumed that asbestos exposure is the reason that the cancer developed.
Occupations Associated with Asbestos Exposure
For a long time, the use of asbestos was widespread. Many workers encountered asbestos products or even raw asbestos in bulk at their workplaces or at other sites as a part of their job.
Asbestos was used in numerous products, including:
- Fire retardants and barriers
- Roofing shingles
- Ceiling and floor tiles
- Paper products
- Cement products
- Automotive friction products, including brakes, clutches and transmission parts
- Heat-resistant fabrics and protective clothing
- Boilers and furnaces
- Packaging, gaskets and coatings.
Mesothelioma typically takes decades to produce symptoms. Most people who suffer from mesothelioma can look back at their employment history and realize that they were directly exposed to asbestos fibers at a jobsite.
The types of tradesmen and workers most likely to have had workplace asbestos exposure include:
- Aircraft Mechanics
- Auto Mechanics
- Brake Mechanics
- Cement Finishers
- Chemical Plant Workers
- Crane Operators
- Foundry Workers
- Maintenance Workers
- Masonry Workers
- Merchant Marine Seamen
- Navy Yard Workers (“Yardbirds”)
- Paper Mill Workers
- Pipe Coverers
- Plant Workers
- Powerhouse Workers
- Railroad Workers
- Sheetmetal Workers
Some people who develop mesothelioma did not work around asbestos. Instead, they were exposed when their loved one carried asbestos fibers home on their skin, hair or clothing.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has estimated that around 11 million people were exposed to asbestos from 1940 to 1978. The length and extent of exposure, as well as genetics and general health, will affect how many of these people will ultimately develop mesothelioma. The number of annual mesothelioma cases is still on the rise and is expected to peak around 2020.
What Are the Types of Mesothelioma?
When you develop malignant mesothelioma, the cancer cells develop in the thin layers of tissue known as the mesothelium that lines the chest cavity.
Your or your loved one’s mesothelioma may have been described by doctors according to where the cancer originated:
Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis
Mesothelioma Prognosis and Treatment
When you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, doctors will classify your cancer based on how advanced the mesothelioma is and whether the cancer is localized or has spread.
On average, patients diagnosed with Stage I cancer can expect to live an average of 32 months after diagnosis. Those diagnosed with Stage II mesothelioma have an expected life span of 19 months, and those diagnosed with Stage III mesothelioma are expected to live around 13 months. When patients are diagnosed with Stage IV, the most advanced stage of cancer, the expected life span is just 6.5 months.
In many cases, mesothelioma is not diagnosed until the cancer has reached an advanced stage and the cancer cannot be removed from the body. After such a diagnosis, your doctors will provide palliative care to manage pain and make you more comfortable. Palliative procedures treat symptoms of the disease, such as reducing fluid around the lungs.
Possible treatments that you may undergo when diagnosed with mesothelioma include:
Surgical removal of the cancer
While there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are ongoing clinical trials throughout the United States. These trials attempt to improve the prognosis of mesothelioma patients. More than 50 percent of those diagnosed with mesothelioma can expect to be involved with a clinical trial.
Contact an Experienced Asbestos Cancer Lawyer
Mesothelioma is a devastating diagnosis. The companies responsible for causing this type of cancer should be held accountable for their disregard for safety. You deserve a team of legal professionals who can handle each step of your case, allowing you to focus on your health and family. The dedicated attorneys at Becker Law Office will pursue the full amount of money possible from the asbestos-using company that is responsible for your asbestos-related disease.
To learn more about how we can help with your case, give us a call or contact us online today.