Most cases of lung cancer result from cigarette smoking, according to the American Cancer Society. However, many people do not know that exposure to certain substances, particularly asbestos and radon, can lead to lung cancer, as well. Many of those diagnosed with the disease worked in industries that regularly exposed them to radon or asbestos and failed to be warned of the potential dangers.
If you worked in an environment that exposed you to asbestos and your doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer, you may qualify for compensation. A North Carolina lung cancer lawyer can investigate your case, assess your damages, and help you seek restitution for the financial losses you suffered as a result of your illness. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 217-6099 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Exposure to Asbestos and Radon in the Workplace
Both asbestos and radon gas occur naturally, but they can have devastating effects on human health. Although doctors knew that asbestos led to the scarring of the lungs as early as the beginning of the twentieth century, the government and industries that exposed their workers to the toxic substance did little to control it. Once asbestos cancers became more well-known during the 1970s, the United States made some efforts to regulate its usage but has yet to ban it completely.
Similarly, skepticism about the dangers of radon gas, which can also cause lung cancer, remained even through the 1990s. However, more recent comprehensive studies have removed any question as to its danger. Mining and milling industry workers have an especially high risk of radon exposure, which ranks second behind cigarette smoking among the leading causes of lung cancer.
How Radon Affects the Body
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon exposure leads to approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year, and nearly 3,000 of the affected victims never smoked. Radon in the air breaks down into tiny elements that can lodge in the lungs and give off radiation, causing gradual damage over time. This damage to the cells in the lungs can eventually cause cancer.
Everyone has some level of environmental exposure to radon during their lives, but the risk of developing cancer increases with prolonged exposure. This can occur in houses and apartment buildings where landlords do not thoroughly test for and mitigate radon in the home, as well as in certain workplaces. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) lists the many factors that influence the risk of radon-related lung cancer development, which include:
- Age during exposure
- Length of time you were exposed
- Whether or not you smoke
- The concentration of radon levels
- Source of drinking water
- Time since exposure
If a doctor diagnosed you with lung cancer or someone you love lost their battle with the disease due to occupational exposure to radon, a North Carolina lung cancer lawyer can help you pursue financial awards.
Asbestos Causes Lung Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) all classify asbestos as a known human carcinogen. When contained, asbestos does not pose a threat. However, during the manufacturing or disruption of products containing asbestos, tiny fibers release into the air. When inhaled, these fibers can become trapped in the lungs and cause inflammation and scarring that can lead to cancer over time.
All types of asbestos can cause cancer, and certain jobs and industries have a higher prevalence of workers who develop the disease. They include:
- Ship repair
- Building construction
- Maintenance and repair
- Electrical applications
- Boiler-related work
It often takes years or decades for lung cancer to develop after exposure to asbestos. If you worked with or around asbestos and received a lung cancer diagnosis, an attorney can help you seek financial recovery. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm online at any time with more information about your case, and a representative from our legal team will respond as soon as possible to discuss your options with you.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Because lung cancer has a broad range of symptoms that can mimic other illnesses, doctors often cannot diagnose lung cancer until its later stages, which can limit the patient’s treatment options and affect their long-term prognosis. Signs of lung cancer may include:
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- A cough that does not go away and gets worse over time
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain or tightness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
Individuals who have a high risk of developing lung cancer may qualify for lung cancer screenings, which often allow doctors to catch the disease early before it can spread.
A North Carolina Lung Cancer Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Financial Recovery
A lung cancer diagnosis can have devastating effects on both the patient and their family members, and the related expenses often lead to financial instability. A North Carolina lung cancer lawyer may be able to help you assess your damages and seek fair financial awards, which may include compensation for:
- Lost wages if you missed work for your treatments
- Loss of earning potential if your lung cancer kept you from returning to work or if a loved one who provided you with financial support lost their life to the disease as a result of occupational exposure
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Medical bills and ongoing healthcare expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost someone you love to the disease
- Pain and suffering for your physical and emotional trauma
If your lung cancer developed as a result of exposure to asbestos, you might also have the option to seek financial recovery from an asbestos trust fund instead of filing a claim against your former North Carolina employer.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our lawyers understand the lasting impact that a lung cancer diagnosis can have on you and your family, and we believe in holding the liable party accountable for the radon or asbestos exposure that led to your diagnosis. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not owe us anything unless we achieve financial awards in your favor. Call us today at (800) 217-6099 to speak with our legal team about your free case evaluation.