Taking Legal Action After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis

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.

Occupations Associated with Asbestos Exposure

For a long time, the use of asbestos was widespread. Many workers encountered asbestos products or even raw asbestos in bulk at their workplaces or at other sites as a part of their job.

Asbestos was used in numerous products, including:

  • Insulation
  • Fire retardants and barriers
  • Roofing shingles
  • Ceiling and floor tiles
  • Paper products
  • Cement products
  • Automotive friction products, including brakes, clutches and transmission parts
  • Heat-resistant fabrics and protective clothing
  • Boilers and furnaces
  • Packaging, gaskets and coatings.

Mesothelioma typically takes decades to produce symptoms. Most people who suffer from mesothelioma can look back at their employment history and realize that they were directly exposed to asbestos fibers at a jobsite.

The types of tradesmen and workers most likely to have had workplace asbestos exposure include:

  • Aircraft Mechanics
  • Auto Mechanics
  • Boilermakers
  • Brake Mechanics
  • Bricklayers
  • Carpenters
  • Cement Finishers
  • Chemical Plant Workers
  • Crane Operators
  • Electricians
  • Engineers
  • Foundry Workers
  • Inspectors
  • Insulators
  • Laborers
  • Lathers
  • Longshoremen
  • Machinists
  • Maintenance Workers
  • Masonry Workers
  • Merchant Marine Seamen
  • Millwrights
  • Navy Yard Workers (“Yardbirds”)
  • Painters
  • Paper Mill Workers
  • Pipe Coverers
  • Pipefitters
  • Plant Workers
  • Plasterers
  • Plumbers
  • Powerhouse Workers
  • Railroad Workers
  • Roofers
  • Sailors
  • Sheetmetal Workers
  • Steamfitters
  • Tapers
  • Welders.

Some people who develop mesothelioma did not work around asbestos. Instead, they were exposed when their loved one carried asbestos fibers home on their skin, hair or clothing.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has estimated that around 11 million people were exposed to asbestos from 1940 to 1978. The length and extent of exposure, as well as genetics and general health, will affect how many of these people will ultimately develop mesothelioma. The number of annual mesothelioma cases is still on the rise and is expected to peak around 2020.

 

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