You may know if you have asbestos in your body if you worked in a field that used asbestos and if you recently received a cancer diagnosis or other adverse health effects related to asbestos.
Getting a lung cancer diagnosis can be a traumatic experience. It may come when a doctor takes a chest X-ray of a person complaining about chronic pain in the chest and lung area. A doctor may ask many questions about the patient’s work history and try to find out about asbestos exposure.
Maybe the person had worked decades ago in a manufacturing facility that created products that were made with asbestos, or they were a family member of someone who did. They could have possibly been exposed by a consumer product. Once a doctor can confirm asbestos in a patient’s lungs, then medical treatment options can be identified with greater certainty.
After the medical treatments, an asbestos cancer patient has the option of seeking out an attorney that handles liability and negligence cases. Where the asbestos entered the patient’s life is the first part of possibly filing a lawsuit against the company or insurer that exposed the patient.
Getting exposed to asbestos is a potentially life-threatening development in anyone’s life. There are no safe levels when it comes to being exposed to asbestos. A person might not even know that they were exposed to asbestos, as asbestos fibers can stay in a person’s body for years before any symptoms arise.
Working around Asbestos
For many years, asbestos was commonly used in products like insulation, roof shingles, vinyl, paint, heat-resistant fabrics, and many other products, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
When people worked on home construction, they worked with some of these products. The workers in those environments were very likely breathing in asbestos fibers. Family members suffered too when the worker came home full of asbestos dust on clothes, hats, shoes, and elsewhere, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How Asbestos Leads to Lung Cancer
Lung cancer begins forming when a person ingests tiny asbestos fibers. Over time, breathing, coughing, and laughing can become very painful. When symptoms begin appearing, the person may already be in the later stages of cancer.
The reason behind not seeing symptoms earlier is due to the long latency period for asbestos to turn into cancer. It starts when the person was first exposed to asbestos and grows into cancer 10, 15, even 20 years later in some cases.
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Protect Yourself Against Asbestos
Federal safety laws protect workers from working in conditions around asbestos. There are safety training steps to be followed, face coverings that need to be worn, and operational procedures workers must follow to minimize any asbestos.
If you are a worker that may potentially be exposed to asbestos, it’s crucial to follow the recommended guidelines put into place by the employer or insurer. If you should ever file a lawsuit, you could show that you were following the recommended guidelines.
Elements of an Asbestos Lawsuit
A person who is seeking damages in a lawsuit alleging asbestos exposure must have the right kind of evidence for a court of law. The first element would be to show a doctor’s diagnosis that is clear and implicit of a cancer condition brought on by years of prolonged asbestos exposure. This proof of exposure could be displayed in several ways. It could show that a person worked at a particular job site and did a certain job every day that exposed the person to asbestos.
Deeper forms of evidence are necessary for someone suing a company for negligence in a civil suit. For example, the plaintiff must have ample evidence for a claim of negligence. The worker is trying to show the court that their employer was negligent in exercising reasonable care in the producing, distributing, and selling of the products with asbestos.
If the employer gave no warnings about working around asbestos, they are likely negligent.
Giving sworn testimony in court is another element that can help an asbestos-related lawsuit. If other workers suffered similar exposure to asbestos, and they can prove the company was negligent in its warnings and processes, then all of the workers may be able to receive substantial monetary compensation for the damages caused by the employer.
Work with an Attorney
An attorney can help you learn more about asbestos-related negligence, and can consult with your doctor to know if you have asbestos in your body and whether that caused your illness.
Lung cancer is a serious illness that can lead to death. If your lung cancer came from prolonged exposure to asbestos, you could look into filing a claim of negligence against your employer. You could be eligible for a large financial settlement. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case evaluation at (800) 794-0444.