Mesothelioma and Asbestos Claims

Sickness from asbestos exposure and mesothelioma is a serious and time-sensitive topic that requires adept legal intervention. At Taylor, Warren, Weidner & Hancock, our Florida mesothelioma attorneys have helped clients navigate complex asbestos, mesothelioma and lung cancer cases. Our expert team is ready to help you and your family pursue the compensation you deserve.

 

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare, incurable cancer caused by asbestos exposure. The most common form of mesothelioma—pleural mesothelioma—affects the lungs. Mesothelioma cancer and tumors can be found in the lining of one's lung, heart, stomach, and testicles. This type of cancer is debilitating and often fatal.

While it's unclear what precisely causes mesothelioma. It has been widely accepted that asbestos exposure is a leading factor in the development and onset of cancer. What's particularly unsettling about mesothelioma is that it has a very long latency period of development and presenting itself. Mesothelioma has been known to show itself anywhere from 20 to 70 years after exposure to asbestos fibers.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Regardless of where cancer develops, mesothelioma causes pain, swelling, nausea, weight loss, lump tissue growth and localized organ dysfunction. In addition to the above symptoms, signs of mesothelioma in the lungs include chest pain, coughing and shortness of breath. Additionally, signs of mesothelioma in the stomach include abdominal pain. Due to the rarity of this type of cancer, signs of mesothelioma in one's heart or testicles are unfortunately difficult to distinguish from other ailments.

Quality of Life and Life Expectancy with Mesothelioma

You should seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you have mesothelioma or experience any of the above symptoms. Individuals diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma have a short life expectancy—about 12 months—and experience rapidly declining health. Individuals diagnosed with non-malignant mesothelioma will experience decreased organ function throughout their lives and will have to undergo ongoing treatment to alleviate the pain. 

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a name given to six naturally-occurring mineral fibers that resist heat and corrosion. Asbestos is found in products that insulate, reduce friction, and prevent corrosion. Popular occupations and projects include pipe laying, steel milling, brake repair, roofing, and flooring.

When intact, asbestos is harmless to humans. Asbestos becomes extremely hazardous when its fibers break, crumble, rip or chip. Damaged asbestos creates tiny particles that can be inhaled or ingested. Then, the asbestos embeds itself in the lungs. The accumulation of asbestos fibers in the lungs is damaging and creates scar tissue.

The scarring of the lung caused by asbestos is called asbestosis. The scar tissue weakens the lungs and causes lung dysfunction. Prolonged lung dysfunction can cause lung cancer, lung failure or mesothelioma, all of which can ultimately cause death. 

How Asbestos Causes Cancer and Illness

Asbestos exposure causes permanent damage, regardless if your asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma or not. Once inhaled, asbestos fibers embed themselves within the lungs and create scar tissue. Scarred lungs cannot function normally and cause breathing problems. Reduction in one's lung health and function creates a domino effect of declining health.

Asbestos Law for Employers, Realtors and Property Owners

There is no federal law that specifies how employers, realtors and landlords should handle asbestos within their industries. Instead, asbestos regulations are handled on a state-by-state basis.

Responsibilities for Employers

Depending on your industry, there are regulations in place that dictate acceptable limits for regulating asbestos exposure within your workplace. 

If you are an employer and know your facility comes into contact with asbestos, you must notify your employees. You must inform your employees of the known presence of asbestos, as well as inform them of the risks associated with its exposure. If you operate within an industry that works directly with asbestos, you must provide adequate education, protective equipment, facility ventilation, monitoring, and examinations to prevent or minimize your employees' exposure to asbestos.

If you are an employer and know your facility contains asbestos. You must request the property owner removes the asbestos. And you need to notify your employees of their workplace conditions immediately.

Responsibilities for Realtors

If you are a prospective home buyer, it is important to keep in mind that most states do not require selling agents to disclose asbestos exposure details for single-family homes. Instead, most states require selling agents to provide information about asbestos exposure.

Most residential construction projects abandoned asbestos as an insulator around 1975. But asbestos remained a common building material for residential products like vinyl floors and tile until about 1980. 

If your home was built before 1975, we recommend you test your potential home for asbestos. We also recommend you check your state laws regarding asbestos disclosures and single-family home transactions to ensure the selling agent is doing their due diligence to inform your family. 

Responsibilities for and Property Owners and Landlords

Like realtors of single-family home transactions, landlords are not legally required to make any specific asbestos-related disclosure. However, it is a landlord's legal responsibility to provide a habitable premise. If your landlord becomes aware of dangerous levels of asbestos in your building they are obligated to fix the dangerous conditions. As a tenant, if you suspect your place of residence has asbestos, your landlord has the obligation to remedy the situation to prevent injury to yourself and your family. 

If you are a private property owner and intend to remodel your building, check with your state's laws regarding asbestos due diligence. You may be required to perform an asbestos test and remove any contaminated material. Regardless of legal responsibility, we recommend you perform an asbestos test to avoid spreading harmful particles in the air. 

Furthermore, keep away from any crumbling or damaged building material that you suspect may have asbestos. Do not try to clean up the material yourself because you will spread microscopic asbestos particles in the air.

Have You Been Put At-Risk with Asbestos Exposure?

For much of the twentieth century, asbestos was widely used in American manufacturing, construction and industrial products and projects. Because asbestos fibers are extraordinarily durable, they were used as insulation and fire retardants in almost every industry. Many homes, industrial facilities and commercial buildings were also built with plaster, drywall, ceiling and floor tiles containing asbestos.

Since the 1980s, there have been great efforts to minimize and regulate the use of asbestos in residential, industrial and commercial settings. There has been a great effort to remove asbestos insulation from old private and commercial buildings. Still, asbestos exposure remains a risk in old buildings which are susceptible to damage and decay.

The only way to find out if you have been exposed to asbestos is to test your home or work facility. With asbestos testing, a professional technician will assess your home or facility by taking samples of various materials. 

If asbestos is found, you should remove it from the setting as soon as possible. To safely remove materials with asbestos, you must hire a professional asbestos demolition and cleaning crew. Be sure to hire an accredited, bonded and insured cleaning crew that will legally and responsibly dispose of your asbestos waste.

Call our Mesothelioma Attorneys Today!

All forms of asbestos are harmful to humans when ingested or breathed into the lungs. If you or your loved one has been exposed to asbestos, we urge you to seek medical attention and speak to one of our Pensacola mesothelioma attorneys right away.

Occupations with Asbestos Exposure

A large number of industrial and manufacturing jobs in the last century worked with or near asbestos. Countless employees—unaware of the long-term dangers—were exposed to asbestos. In addition to the workers who directly handled asbestos insulation and friction products, laborers from vastly different occupations have received significant exposure to asbestos fibers.

These occupations include sailors and shipyard crews, automotive repair technicians, paper mill workers, miners, heating and cooling technicians, construction workers, manufacturing workers and janitors. Asbestos removal experts—along with naval, construction and manufacturing workers—continue to be the groups with the highest likelihood for asbestos exposure. Today, the groups most at-risk for developing and battling mesothelioma are veterans and laborers ages 60 and up. Because of the unknown risks of asbestos exposure before the 1970s, these groups were likely exposed to high levels of fibers.

Unfortunately, families of these at-risk occupational groups are also at-risk for secondhand asbestos exposure. Families also living in untested homes built before 1975 also have an increased risk for asbestos exposure. 

What to Do If You Are Exposed to Asbestos or Develop Mesothelioma

Asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma are serious conditions that quickly deteriorate your health. In addition to impairing the lungs, these conditions cause complications with other bodily functions, like the heart, contributing to heart disease.

If you have been or suspect you have been exposed to asbestos, first seek medical attention. After your conditions have been documented, contact a personal injury lawyer specializing in asbestos and mesothelioma immediately.

Individuals with mesothelioma or lung cancer from asbestos are medically and legally sensitive to the passing of time. If you need to raise a claim against a landlord or employer who irresponsibly exposed you to asbestos, it is vital you speak with a legal professional as soon as possible. To qualify for compensation, asbestos and mesothelioma claims must be raised within their statute of limitation. 

Why You Should File an Asbestos or Mesothelioma Claim

You may feel hopeless if you have contracted mesothelioma or lung cancer from asbestos exposure. You may feel as if there is nothing you can do because your health is permanently damaged. While you cannot repair your health, you can rectify the damages incurred from your exposure with monetary compensations.

As an individual and employee, you have the right to live and work in safe conditions. If your conditions arose from the dangerous or negligent treatment of a property owner or landlord, you are entitled to receive financial compensation for their negligence. 

You may receive compensation for expenses related to your medical treatment, care for your family, consolation for wrongful death and funerals.

When it comes to medically treating your mesothelioma or lung cancer, insurance may not be enough. Another frequently overlooked medically-associated expense for treatment is travel. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma and lung cancer often have to travel to and from specialist facilities. You may need to pay for caregiving services if your condition is debilitating. 

If you do not need to seek compensation for your medical expenses, consider seeking compensation for your family. If you are the main provider of your household, you will have to stop working altogether, or at least for long periods, because your health will decline. Lastly, filing an asbestos or mesothelioma claim may help your family cover wrongful death and funeral costs. 

Compensation depends on a variety of factors, the most important being one's length of asbestos exposure. Other factors include occupation, age and area of residence. Depending on your unique case, you may need to file multiple claims against multiple entities. 

How A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Your Asbestos and Mesothelioma Claims

A personal injury lawyer can help you and your family throughout your battle with mesothelioma or lung cancer in numerous ways. Taking legal action may be the last thing you want to do. However, taking legal action may be the best thing you can do for your family and yourself in a situation like this.

If you or a loved one has mesothelioma or lung cancer, chances are you feel unwell and stressed. A personal injury lawyer can alleviate the stress of your claim by handling all of the organization and presentation of your evidence and documentation. Your personal injury lawyer may even be able to represent you in court entirely—meaning you may never have to be present in court for the duration of your case. This is a huge relief for many, considering mesothelioma and asbestos claims can last months or years.

With cancer, your livelihood and the security of your family are at stake. A personal injury lawyer can ease the overall process of creating a plan to financially care for you and your family despite the presence of cancer. Using specialty asbestos databases, your personal injury lawyer can help you win the maximum amount of compensation possible by helping you determine the most important factor for your case: the length of your exposure and the company you were exposed with.

Lastly, a personal injury lawyer specializing in asbestos and mesothelioma cases is highly aware of the time-sensitive nature of these cases. Your personal injury lawyer will serve as a wealth of information for you and your family regarding the types of claims and compensations you are eligible for. 

Have You Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma? 

Representing clients in mesothelioma cases is an extremely complicated endeavor and requires an attorney with deep knowledge and years of experience. When you schedule a free consultation with our team of Pensacola mesothelioma attorneys, we carefully go over the details of your diagnosis and discuss your available options.

Our lawyers will also ask you about other potential sources of exposure to asbestos and work to identify the responsible manufacturers, distributors, and sellers of asbestos products. With this information, details of your work history and current medical diagnoses,the attorneys at Taylor, Warren, Weidner & Barnes, P.A will help you seek compensation from all negligent parties.

Free Consultation

We never charge any fee or cost for an initial consultation to explain your rights. If you’ve been injured in a car accident or have question about an insurance claim, contact us.

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