A mesothelioma diagnosis can leave you worried about how to cover your medical bills and to secure your family’s financial future. Many people with mesothelioma face surgery and expensive chemotherapy treatments.
The law allows mesothelioma patients and their families to take legal action against the manufacturers of the products that caused this aggressive cancer. Individuals diagnosed with the disease can file a mesothelioma personal injury claim. Family members of those who have died from the disease may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. These claims can allow victims to recover compensation for medical bills and costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and wrongful death damages, including loss of companionship.
Mesothelioma cases are complicated because there is a long latency period between the time of the asbestos exposure and the appearance of the cancer. It can take anywhere from 15 to 50 years after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to be diagnosed.
Normally, it is difficult to bring a legal claim for something that happened many years ago. However, there are special rules that apply to mesothelioma cases. Claims in Kentucky and Indiana must be filed shortly after the diagnosis of mesothelioma. Family members who are bringing wrongful death lawsuits also must file a claim within a short window of time.
After you have filed your lawsuit, you will need to prove your claim and your right to compensation. The challenge in asbestos cases is to identify the company responsible for your exposure. You must prove a particular manufacturer or company is to blame for your medical problems. Many of the companies that installed or manufactured asbestos have gone bankrupt, merged with other companies, or have gone out of business long ago.
New Mexico has several naturally-occurring deposits of asbestos. Many of these are located in the southwestern region of New Mexico. Chrysotile has been identified near small cities such as Ruidoso. Erionite is also located throughout parts of New Mexico. Interacting with natural deposits of asbestos can increase the likelihood that a person may develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition. At least 16 different mining districts in New Mexico have reported the presence of asbestos. Miners are typically at one of the highest probabilities of being exposed to asbestos because they confront it in its natural state and asbestos fibers can easily become dislodged during the mining process. However, the end consumer who uses the product that included asbestos can also be exposed to asbestos in this manner.
Outside the mining industry, there are many other types of job types that could have exposed workers to asbestos in New Mexico. The state economy relies heavily on energy production and manufacturing. Asbestos was commonly used in power plants due to its insulating properties and resistant to heat, chemicals and electricity. Asbestos was often used as a protective layer on machinery, piping and wiring. Workers who are at risk for occupational exposure to asbestos in the state include electrical power linemen, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, industrial engineers and pipefitters.
Asbestos was also commonly used in military operations for some of the same properties, including in air force bases. Aircraft mechanics could have been exposed to asbestos because it is commonly included in brakes, as well as in other materials, such as sealants, piping and paint. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or related cancer, its imperative you speak with an attorney to learn about your legal rights to file a claim or lawsuit against negligent parties responsible.