Second only to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men, lung cancer accounts for the most cancer deaths in the United States. The American Cancer Society notes that, while lung cancer accounts for nearly a quarter of all deaths from cancer, cases continue to decrease due to a decline in tobacco use. But while cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers, some people have a higher risk simply because of their occupation.
People who worked in certain industries often experienced a higher rate of exposure to known carcinogens, particularly asbestos and radon, that can lead to lung cancer. Despite the fact that experts had serious concerns over the long-term effects of these substances, many companies overlooked the data for years until regulations forced them to prevent their employees from further exposure.
If you worked in an environment that exposed you to radon or asbestos and later developed lung cancer as a result, an Ohio lung cancer lawyer can help you seek financial recovery. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 217-6099 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Occupational Exposure That Can Lead to Lung Cancer
As early as the beginning of the twentieth century, scientists knew to some extent of the potential dangers of asbestos. In some countries, companies even took steps to prevent increased exposure. However, starting with the increased need for shipbuilders during World War II, the government and its contractors put the dangers of exposure to asbestos on the back burner to focus on the war effort. Companies continued to push the issue aside long after the war, and the U.S. suddenly saw a massive increase in cases of asbestos-related lung cancer.
The dangers of asbestos became more well-known in the 1970s and 1980s, and the U.S. eventually adopted regulations restricting the use of asbestos and the production of asbestos-containing products. It has yet to join the European Union, though, which banned the substance entirely in 2005.
Even after the regulation of asbestos, another substance riding its heels still presented a danger to those who experienced exposure to it at home and at work. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, many people in the 1980s and 1990s knew that underground miners had exposure to high levels of radon, which could present health risks. However, they questioned the risks to the average person in their homes and workplaces. While solid research eliminated those questions in the early 2000s, many workers had already had exposure to radon for an extended period of time.
Today, doctors know without a doubt that asbestos and radon can cause lung cancer. If you received a diagnosis as a result of your occupational exposure to one of these toxic substances, an Ohio lung cancer lawyer can help you seek financial awards.
How Radon and Asbestos Affect the Body
While radon and asbestos both occur naturally, their devastating effects on the human body can linger for extended periods of time before potentially leading to lung cancer. It often takes years or even decades for the physiological changes caused by these substances to develop into lung cancer, which doctors often find difficult to diagnose in its earlier stages.
Radon forms when radioactive elements such as uranium decay, leaving behind the colorless, odorless gas. Radon then breaks down further into tiny particles called radioactive progeny, which can attach to particles in the air. When consumed through inhalation, these particles enter the lungs and give off radioactive energy, which can cause the lung cells to change over time, leading to cancer. Unlike other radioactive materials, which can infiltrate into the bones, radon only affects the lungs.
Asbestos refers generally to a group of minerals that have crystal-like fibers made up primarily of oxygen and silicon. Because of their resistance to heat and inability to conduct electricity, they seemed at one time the ideal substance for many applications, particularly as a form of insulation. In its contained state, it does not present a danger to humans. However, when disturbed, its particles can enter the airway and settle into the lungs, where they create inflammation, scarring, and sometimes lung cancer.
When studies began to demonstrate the dangers of radon and asbestos, many companies failed to take steps to prevent their workers from exposure and brushed the concern under the rug. By the time regulations forced them to take steps to improve the safety of their working environments, many workers had already suffered extensive exposure. If you or a family member received a lung cancer diagnosis as a result of workplace exposure to these dangerous substances, our attorneys can help you hold the Ohio company that failed to protect you responsible for the harm they caused.
An Ohio Lung Cancer Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Financial Recovery
Victims of asbestos-related lung cancer often have the opportunity to request financial awards from an asbestos trust fund, which many companies set up in the late 1980s as part of their bankruptcy proceedings to benefit former employees who developed the disease as a result of their occupational exposure.
If your lung cancer resulted from radon exposure or the company you worked for did not establish a trust fund, you may qualify for compensation for:
- Medical bills and related healthcare expenses, such as transportation to and from appointments and medical equipment
- Lost wages for the time you had to take off work for treatments
- Loss of earning capacity if you cannot return to a work or if you lost a loved one who provided you with financial support
- Pain and suffering, such as loss of consortium or mental anguish
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one to lung cancer
A lawyer can help you assess your damages and pursue fair financial recovery.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Your employer had a responsibility to protect your safety. If you received a lung cancer diagnosis due to occupational exposure to radon or asbestos, we can help you hold them accountable for the harm they caused you.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not owe us any fees unless we achieve financial awards in your favor. Contact us today at (800) 217-6099 to discuss your free case evaluation with our legal team.