Asbestos usage has greatly decreased in many industries as knowledge about the dangers of asbestos has grown. Nonetheless, thousands of workers and members of the military have experienced significant asbestos exposure over the years from products that contained asbestos. This exposure has directly led workers to develop lung cancer and other extremely serious diseases. If you or a loved one has received a lung cancer diagnosis after historical exposure to asbestos, you may want to consult a Maine lung cancer lawyer for advice.
Lung cancer victims who had exposure to asbestos in their workplaces or during their military service may have a claim for compensation related to their injuries. Contact the staff at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099 to learn more about any legal rights to compensation that you may have.
Asbestos Exposure and the Risk of Lung Cancer
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lung cancer is the third most common cause of cancer in the U.S. and more people die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer. Although smoking is the most typical cause of lung cancer, exposure to other carcinogens, including asbestos, is also a major risk factor for developing lung cancer. When individuals use products or work in environments where asbestos is present, they are at a higher risk for a lung cancer diagnosis, especially when people also have other risk factors, such as smoking or other lung or breathing issues.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) notes that despite the heightened risk of developing lung and other types of cancer due to exposure, asbestos still commonly exists in workplaces. Companies still can use asbestos in their products and workplaces, despite their ill effects, although under very strict state and federal regulations. Additionally, co-exposure to tobacco smoke greatly increases the risk of workers developing lung cancer, in particular.
The CDC explains that asbestos is the name given to six minerals that exist naturally. These fibrous materials are strong, flexible, and heat-resistant, which make them useful in manufacturing all types of products, including automotive brakes, cement board, and insulation. When workers handle asbestos, however, the fibers easily separate into microscopic airborne particles. As a result, workers tend to inhale and even swallow these fibers, thus leading to lung cancer and a host of other medical problems, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. In many situations, these diseases do not emerge until decades after asbestos exposure.
Claims for Compensation Based on Asbestos Exposure
Negligence and product liability laws form a basis for lung cancer claims in various cases. For example, many individuals worked with asbestos materials and products in their workplaces or were in contact with these products when serving in the military. As a result, employers, including government entities, may be liable for the costs of the illnesses that their employees suffered in the workplace as a result of asbestos exposure. Employers have a duty to protect their employees from harm in the workplace, such as by providing protective personal equipment for workers and taking other measures to limit their exposure to asbestos. When they fail to fulfill these responsibilities, they can be accountable or financially liable for the injuries that result to their workers from asbestos exposure.
Product liability law is another common source for claims based on asbestos exposure. Companies that manufactured and distributed products containing asbestos can face liability when people who used their products develop lung cancer or other diseases related to asbestos exposure. Products containing asbestos were widespread at one point in American history, explaining why so many of these claims exist. Companies are strictly liable for the injuries that their products cause. Strict liability means that injury victims do not have to prove that companies were negligent, reckless, or careless in manufacturing products that were dangerous to others. If the companies created defective products or failed to warn consumers of the dangers of asbestos-laden products, they are liable for any resulting injuries to individuals.
Lung Cancer Claims and the Statute of Limitations
Maine Revised Statutes (MRS) Title 14, §752 establishes the statute of limitations for injury victims who wish to file personal injury actions in court. A statute of limitations is a period of time in which you legally can file a specific type of lawsuit. As a result, most injury victims have six years from the date of their injuries to file suit. If the lung cancer becomes fatal, surviving family members may have a wrongful death claim. MRS Title 18-C, §807 requires that the personal representative of the estate of the deceased person file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date of death.
However, there are many exceptions to these general statutes of limitations, such as claims against government entities, which means that you may be facing shorter deadlines for filing your claim. Missing the statute of limitations in your case can cause you to lose out on any compensation for your claim. As a result, getting the advice of a Maine lung cancer lawyer as quickly as possible following your diagnosis can be crucial to protecting your rights to compensation.
Contact Us and See How We Can Help
When you and your family are facing a lung cancer diagnosis, you likely are experiencing stress over your health, your finances, and your future. Getting the help of a Maine lung cancer lawyer can go a long way toward easing some of these burdens and pursuing compensation for your injuries.
The attorneys of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm represent clients in lung cancer and other asbestos-related claims on a contingency fee basis. As a result, you will not be responsible for paying anything up front for us to take your case. You do not pay us until you get your settlement award for your claim. Call (800) 217-6099 to get more information about pursuing your lung cancer or related claim today.