Patients that receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma may feel unsure of their next steps. In many cases, these patients developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos or products that contained asbestos. In some cases, a person may not know how they received that exposure without first visiting with an attorney that can connect a mesothelioma diagnosis with prior exposure.
Most victims of asbestos exposure received their exposure decades prior to their mesothelioma diagnosis. Learn more about your legal right to pursue justice and compensation following your mesothelioma diagnosis by speaking with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call (800) 794-0444 today for your free case evaluation with a member of our team.
Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a type of aggressive cancer that often forms following exposure to asbestos or asbestos-containing products. When asbestos particles enter the lungs through inhalation or through the genital area through certain talc products that contain asbestos, these asbestos particles settle into different mesothelioma cells throughout the body. These cells produce a lining that protects different areas of the body. Asbestos can easily remain dormant for decades within a victim’s body, and only after several years begin to develop into cancerous cells. The different types of mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure according to Mayo Clinic include the development of cancer in the following areas of the body:
- The lining of the lungs and upper respiratory system
- The lining of the abdomen (peritoneum)
- The lining of the heart and chest area surrounding the heart (pericardium)
- The tunica vaginalis surrounding the testes
Understanding the Connection Between Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Asbestos is a known carcinogen. According to published research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, when the shard-like fibers of asbestos settle into the different linings throughout the body, they may remain dormant for decades. Scientists do not understand exactly why, but at some point, these cells may begin an inflammatory chain reaction that then develops into cancerous cells that results in mesothelioma.
Determining Where Asbestos Exposure Occurred
After receiving a diagnosis of mesothelioma, many victims wonder where they may have received any asbestos exposure. The following are different ways a person can receive exposure to asbestos resulting in their mesothelioma diagnosis:
Work-Related Asbestos Exposure
In some cases, the work that a person did could result in exposure to asbestos. Annals of Translational Medicine indicated that the following industries have workers unfortunately exposed to significant amounts of asbestos:
- Asbestos mines
- Asbestos processing plants
- Talc mines (located near asbestos mines in the Earth)
- Construction workers
- Shipyard workers
- Power plants
- Chemical plants
- Auto mechanics (prior to the 1980s)
- Boiler workers
- Home renovation companies (removal of asbestos-containing products)
- Firefighters (also due to the exposure of asbestos-containing products in homes)
- Insulation workers
- Military services
Exposure as a Family Member
In many cases of mesothelioma, the person never actually worked in an asbestos-related industry. However, someone in their family did work in one of the industries listed above. Due to the nature of asbestos and the ease with which it can be easily inhaled, many workers would come home with microscopic particles of asbestos on their clothing, skin, or hair. When they entered the home, had dinner with their family, or hugged loved ones, these family members also suffered unknowing exposure to asbestos. Having a family member with a connection to asbestos can increase the risk of the rest of the family developing mesothelioma as well.
Use of Talc-Containing Products
Research published in the National Library of Medicine indicates that scientists had knowledge of a connection between the mineral talc and certain types of cancer, specifically ovarian and peritoneal cancer. As early as 1971, scientists knew that there was some type of link between talc and ovarian cancer, and since that time, additional studies have continued to echo that conclusion.
Talc mines are often located near asbestos mines in the Earth. As a result, some talc contains asbestos fibers. When women used talc-containing products to absorb moisture, they inadvertently were also absorbing asbestos fibers. These asbestos fibers settled in the ovaries and peritoneal areas of women and resulted in the development of mesothelioma decades later. If you received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, a North Carolina mesothelioma lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Types of Compensation Available for Mesothelioma Victims
Every case of mesothelioma will have a different set of facts and circumstances. Depending on where you received your exposure and how egregious your case is, you will have different types of compensation available to you. Consider the following different types of compensation you may have the legal right to pursue given your specific case of mesothelioma.
You may have the legal right to pursue all of your medical expenses related to your mesothelioma diagnosis. This does not only include your doctor visits, but also any diagnostic testing, surgeries, ongoing therapy and medical treatments, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, clinical trials, medications, travel to medical appointments, assistance with home care, and more. If you remain in need of assistance at home, you may also have the ability to receive compensation for house cleaning and other daily activities you no longer are able to physically do as a result of your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Loss of Income
If you suffer from mesothelioma, you likely lost your ability to return to work and receive an income. As a result, you may have the ability to file a claim for lost wages, vacation time, sick leave, missed bonus opportunities, missed promotions, reduced employee benefits, lost retirement and pension benefits, and more.
Pain and Suffering
You also have the legal right to pursue pain and suffering that you experience as a result of your mesothelioma diagnosis. The calculations regarding pain and suffering remain complex and legally challenging. Consider visiting with a North Carolina mesothelioma attorney to help you understand the type of compensation you may receive regarding pain and suffering in your case.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Assist You
If you received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may not know exactly where your exposure to asbestos occurred. Consider reaching out to our legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444. You can learn how a North Carolina mesothelioma lawyer can help you determine where you received asbestos exposure and ultimately help you receive compensation for your diagnosis of mesothelioma.