Mesothelioma is cancer that affects the lining covering internal organs called mesothelium. According to the American Cancer Society, over 75 percent of mesotheliomas are pleural mesotheliomas, which develop in the chest and impact the lungs. The Mayo Clinic describes symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, and painful coughing that mimic other respiratory conditions, making it challenging to diagnose early. As a result, treatments become less effective, particularly at its advanced stages.
Nearly 80 percent of mesothelioma cases involve exposure to asbestos, a material widely used in industrial applications for its resistance to corrosion, fire, and heat. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enacted a partial ban on asbestos use in 1989 due to its toxicity to humans.
If you believe that you developed mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you could seek compensation. You can consult a Pennsylvania mesothelioma lawyer to determine how to move forward with a personal injury claim. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444 to speak to someone from our team about your case.
Mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure is a “toxic tort,” wherein contact with a harmful substance unknowingly put the exposed person at risk.
Because of the known hazards of asbestos, many companies established an asbestos trust fund to help those affected by prolonged exposure to the substance. Companies that used asbestos can contribute to the trust, even if they are no longer in business or have declared bankruptcy. The trust fund assumes the liability of shuttered firms for injuries. Mesothelioma patients may draw on these trusts for compensation if they can prove that their medical condition resulted from contact with asbestos through inhalation or ingestion.
If the liable company is still in business, you may pursue a personal injury claim against them. If you are currently an employee for the company that caused your illness, you may have coverage under workers’ compensation, depending on the available benefits. You can work with a Pennsylvania mesothelioma lawyer to determine if a lawsuit would be the best recourse for recovering compensatory damages.
How to Estimate Damages Owed
In personal injury claims, one of the essential elements that the victim must prove is the presence of damages. As the victim, you will need to prove that you spent money on mesothelioma treatments or lost your capacity to work because of your condition. Furthermore, you will need to show that these financial losses would not have happened but for your exposure to asbestos.
Patients may receive a reasonable amount of compensation for damages owed for mesothelioma, although it varies for every case. It will likely include the costs of your cancer treatment, which can be expensive. Effective procedures for slowing down mesothelioma’s progression include chemotherapy, radiology therapy, targeted therapy, and surgery.
Part of the compensatory damages may cover lost earning opportunities because of the disease. For instance, you could not work while having your condition diagnosed and treated, losing your income source. A mesothelioma patient will also need palliative care, especially if the disease becomes untreatable. If mesothelioma has caused you emotional distress and physical pain, you may have the right to recover noneconomic damages for your pain and suffering. Pennsylvania does not place a cap on noneconomic damage awards unless it comes from a government agency.
A Pennsylvania mesothelioma lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can determine the full value of your damages, using one of several formulas to calculate your pain and suffering. They will consider several factors to develop a fair compensation request, including looking at other cases with similar circumstances. Call us today to get started.
Proving the Link Between Asbestos and Mesothelioma
When pursuing a mesothelioma claim, you must establish the connection between your disease and asbestos exposure. Prolonged exposure to the hazardous substance is the primary risk factor for mesothelioma, meaning you need to show that you came into direct contact with it at significant enough levels to cause cancer.
As with other toxic torts, you will have to determine who you can hold responsible for your medical condition and have them pay for civil damages. To prove fault, a mesothelioma lawyer might use negligence as the basis for the injury claim. Medical experts are also necessary in establishing the correlation and validity of your case. Their testimony will explain how exposure to asbestos materials led to potentially fatal illnesses like mesothelioma.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
Mesothelioma lawsuits are like other personal injury cases—they are subject to the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, 42 Pa. CSA § 5524(8) gives mesothelioma patients two years from when they receive their diagnosis to file a claim; otherwise, recovery might no longer be possible from liable parties.
Unlike other injuries, mesothelioma often takes decades to develop. Symptoms can take up to 60 years to appear following exposure to asbestos. Fortunately, the statute of limitations takes this latency into account.
Once you receive your diagnosis, you might want to consult a Pennsylvania mesothelioma lawyer to discuss your situation and determine if the filing deadline has passed. They can begin researching who might have liability for your asbestos exposure and negotiate for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Why Seek Legal Support
If you decide to pursue compensation for damages owed, you might want to contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Our Pennsylvania mesothelioma lawyers recognize the many pitfalls that could undermine your claim and prevent you from getting compensation vital to your recovery. With the help of one of our lawyers, we can file your claim and help you navigate the legal system. Get started today by calling us at (800) 794-0444 for your free case review with a team member.