The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) defines asbestos and details its widespread uses. Asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals, resists heat and corrosion, making it seemingly ideal for fireproofing and insulating products across many industries. Although initially assumed safe, scientists began to realize its hazardous nature and discouraged exposure to it over the years. Unfortunately, it took decades for their research to become accepted as fact, and many workers suffered illness and death in the process.
If a doctor diagnosed you with an asbestos-related illness or you lost a loved one to a condition caused by asbestos exposure, a Decatur asbestos lawyer could help you seek financial recovery for the harm you and your family have suffered. Call the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 217-6099 to discuss your options with us during a free consultation.
Types of Asbestos
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), asbestos forms as bundles of tiny fibers in soil and rocks. It contains mostly silicon and oxygen, and six different types form in various locations and conditions around the world. Scientists classify these types into two categories: serpentine and amphibole.
Serpentine asbestos includes only one type of fiber, chrysotile, which also occurs most often in commercial products. Known as white asbestos, it has a curly appearance under a microscope. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists some of the uses for chrysotile asbestos, which include:
- Roofing shingles
- Fire blankets
- Building insulation
- Automobile parts
While its use began to decline in the United States in the 1970s after mounting health concerns brought its production and manufacturing to a halt, the U.S. has yet to follow the European Union’s lead, which has banned its use altogether.
Unlike serpentine asbestos, amphibole fibers have a straight, needle-like shape that poses an even greater risk to human health than chrysotile fibers. Although manufactured in products such as building materials, more industries used chrysotile asbestos than amphibole asbestos, which consists of five types:
- Amosite (brown asbestos)
- Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) emphasizes that all types of asbestos carry health risks to those who have exposure to them.
Exposure to Asbestos Can Cause Lung Cancer
Asbestos fibers, while tiny, have the capacity to cause major damage to the human body, particularly the lungs. People can breathe in asbestos fibers without realizing it. The fibers can lodge in the lungs and cause irritation and scarring that could eventually lead to lung cancer. This typically occurs over years or decades. During this time, those who have had exposure typically do not experience symptoms.
Every year, more than 100,000 people around the world die from asbestos-related diseases. If you received a lung cancer diagnosis or lost a loved one to the disease after exposure to asbestos, contact the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today with more information about your case. You can schedule a free consultation with a team member today.
For a free legal consultation with a Asbestos Lawyer serving Decatur, call (800) 794-0444
Industries in Which Workers May Have Had Exposure to Asbestos
Experts have not determined a safe level of asbestos, but the type, dose, and frequency of exposure may increase a person’s risk for developing lung cancer, especially among smokers. Some of the occupations frequently associated with asbestos exposure include:
- Automotive mechanics
- Construction workers
- Sheet metal workers
- U.S. Navy personnel
In some cases, workers unknowingly exposed their families to asbestos, as well, as the fibers can stick to hair, skin, and clothing. A Decatur asbestos lawyer can help you hold your former employer accountable for your lung cancer diagnosis.
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Compensation in Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer Cases
Depending on the type of case you have, your goals for financial awards, and the source of your asbestos exposure, you may have more than one option for pursuing compensation for your losses.
Asbestos Trust Fund
After a surge of people who had worked with or around asbestos discovered they had lung cancer in the 1980s, many sued their former employers for allowing their exposure despite growing concerns about the substance. As a result, about 100 companies established asbestos trust funds as part of their Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, which allowed them to provide affected employees with compensation while remaining open for business. A lawyer can help you determine if the company you worked for established an asbestos trust fund that may benefit you.
Taking Your Case to Trial
If the company you worked for did not set up an asbestos trust fund or you wish to take a different approach to your case, you may have the opportunity to take your case to trial to seek financial awards. The amount you may receive varies based on your circumstances, but it may include compensation for:
- Medical bills and related medical equipment
- Lost wages and lost earning ability
- Pain and suffering, such as mental anguish or loss of consortium
- The cost of a loved one’s funeral and burial
Our attorneys can assess the value of your damages so that you can seek fair compensation in your case.
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How a Decatur Asbestos Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case
The process of seeking financial recovery for your asbestos-related lung cancer may feel confusing or overwhelming. Still, our lawyers can help you evaluate your options and take the next step in your case. We will provide you with guidance every step of the way, beginning with your initial consultation. Once we have gotten to know the details of your case, we can explore the choices you have and evaluate your damages so you can make an informed decision on a legal approach. Then, we will manage your case on your behalf to help you pursue the compensation you deserve.
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Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Legal Assistance
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our lawyers commit to advocating for our clients. Many victims of asbestos-related lung cancer worked hard for years to care for themselves and their families only to discover later that those companies put them in harm’s way. If a doctor diagnosed you or a family member with lung cancer because of asbestos exposure in the workplace, contact our legal team today at (800) 217-6099 to get started on your free case evaluation.