Unfortunately, a person that has worked in an environment where asbestos is present is likely to develop mesothelioma at some point in their life. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the protective lining which covers many internal organs – the primary cause of this type of cancer is linked to exposure to asbestos. The disease develops because a company did not sufficiently protect their worker by providing a safe environment while they were on the job instead they allowed their workers to be exposed to asbestos or asbestos dust/particles. In order for an individual with this disease to be compensated, they should contact a mesothelioma law firm to discuss their rights and get advice on possible compensation.
Asbestos has been widely used in the production of many industrial products since the early 1940s when this product was mined and used commercially. Initially the dangers of asbestos to the human body was not known, today the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets acceptable exposure limits and specifies the level of personal protection that should be worn to reduce the risk of exposure – it is up the company to adhere to the specifications of OSHA and provide a safe working environment for their employees.
Asbestos dust/particles tend to be inhaled or swallowed, mesothelioma is usually found on the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, the sac that surrounds the heart, the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the sac that surrounds the testis. Symptoms of this disease may be shortness of breath, pain, or unexplained weight loss. This disease may be diagnosed by chest x ray, CT scan, and confirmed with a biopsy. This disease is treated with radiation, chemotherapy, and perhaps surgery. Even with treatment, this disease has a poor prognosis.
The incidences of mesothelioma have increased in the U.S. in the past 20 years but it is still a relatively rare form of cancer with about 2,000 new cases diagnosed yearly. Current statistics indicate that this disease occurs more frequently in men than women.
Before you visit a lawyer, you should gather the necessary paperwork such as work history, doctor’s and test reports. It is best to choose an attorney that specializes in representing individuals that are affected by this horrible disease and have individuals with the medical knowledge on staff as well as attorneys and paralegals on staff that have years of experience in dealing with this specific type of lawsuit. It is best to approach a law firm with this specialty on a “no win no fee” basis. With this type of arrangement, you do not have to pay the law firm an upfront fee. The attorney takes a percentage of the settlement only if they win the settlement on your behalf; therefore, you will not be held liable for any fees if the lawyers do not win your case. Obviously, it is also best to look at the history of the law firm as to how many such cases they have won.