The American Cancer Society reports that mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused primarily by breathing asbestos particles. Malignant mesothelioma is diagnosed through a combination of biopsies, imaging scans, and blood tests.
What You Need to Know About Asbestos
The only known cause of mesothelioma is breathing asbestos particles. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was initially used in the composition of building materials because it is highly resistant to both corrosion and fire. The Agency for Toxic Substances and & Disease Registry (ATSDR) reports that asbestos was also found to be the cause of serious health conditions if the particles are inhaled. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these conditions are:
- Other forms of cancer, especially in the lungs
- Asbestosis, a lung condition caused by breathing asbestos
These conditions can be fatal, and segments of the population that are exposed directly to asbestos may of greater risk. Because the mineral is found in construction materials and some auto parts, some at-risk demographics according to the ATSDR include:
- Construction workers
- Demolition crews
- Automobile mechanics
Though these populations are typically exposed to asbestos at an abnormally high rate, anyone who spends substantial time in a building where asbestos is exposed or was otherwise improperly installed may be at great risk of developing serious health conditions. This is why it’s important to test for mesothelioma.
Know Where Asbestos Could Be Located in Your Home
Keep in mind that asbestos’ primary benefits are heat resistance and strength, and that these purposes determine where asbestos may be located in your home. If you think that the dangers of asbestos have led to the removal and banning of asbestos from homes, think again. As many as 30 million homes in America may contain asbestos, according to PBS.
The EPA states that some common places you may find asbestos in your home include:
- Within insulation, which may lie in the walls, attic, and around heat-emitting devices such as furnaces and stoves
- Around pipes, especially those that contain hot water or steam
- In certain types of shingles and roofing
- In heat-resistant fabric
- In vinyl materials, such as vinyl laminate flooring
- Textured paint and patching material for walls
Any amount of asbestos is considered unsafe, and it can become particularly dangerous if it is exposed, and especially if the asbestos-containing material becomes ripped or torn.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or another form of lung cancer—and especially if the one diagnosed is a non-smoker—consider that exposure to asbestos may be the cause. There are a variety of tests, including blood tests, for diagnosing mesothelioma.
A Lawyer May Be Able to Help With Your Asbestos Exposure Case
If you find that you or a loved one was likely exposed to asbestos, the first step will be figuring out the most likely time and location of exposure. Often exposure at cancer-causing levels occurs in the home or workplace, and for this reason, some common types of defendants in asbestos exposure cases are:
- Building owners
- Building managers
There are others that can be the defendant in an asbestos exposure case, but these categories generally encompass those who may be in charge of others’ safety when it comes to asbestos exposure.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Once you identify the liable party in your case, a lawyer can proceed with formulating your case plan. They will:
- Meet with you in person or over the phone to document your account of how you believe that you were exposed to asbestos. This could include tests for mesothelioma.
- Initiate legal action immediately to ensure that your case falls within any relevant statutes of limitations.
- Collect all the available evidence that suggests the defendant was negligent in exposing you to asbestos either knowingly or unknowingly.
- Speaking with your attending medical professionals and obtaining documentation of your illness for use at trial or in settlement negotiations.
- Handling all legal responsibilities necessary to complete your case, whether that conclusion comes via judgement or settlement.
- Ensuring the protection of your rights throughout the legal process.
If the court finds that the defendant in your case is at least partially responsible for exposing you or your loved one to asbestos, they could be responsible for paying you a financial award.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Possible Damages in an Asbestos Exposure Case
Each case is unique, but victims of asbestos exposure may be awarded compensation for:
- Diagnostic tests, scans, and other procedures
- Any treatment required for your cancer
- Any lost wages or diminished earning capacity that you have endured because of your cancer
- Pain and suffering
The circumstances of your case could entitle you to collect further damages, especially if you are bringing forth a wrongful death claim.
Call Our Team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Our clients pay nothing up front, nothing out of pocket, and we only collect a fee if we secure a judgement or settlement for you. Do not wait, call us today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case.