At Crosley Law Firm, we understand that coping with a diagnosis of mesothelioma is very difficult emotionally as well as financially. There is a statute of limitations for filing a claim for compensation, so it’s very important to take action as soon as possible. Filing this, or any kind of lawsuit, requires a great amount of time, skill, and attention to detail, along with a thorough understanding of the specific type of law the case involves. Mesothelioma cases have the added complication of requiring a detailed history of the asbestos exposure, which becomes all the more difficult since many companies try their best to avoid financial responsibility by relocating or changing names.
While filing a lawsuit may not be a top priority for mesothelioma patients and their loved ones, we strive to simplify the legal process and allow our clients to decide their level of involvement in the case. Your focus should be on medical treatments and dealing with the effects of this cancer; we respect and recognize this. Our goal is to provide support to mesothelioma victims, their families, and their loved ones from initial consultation to the resolution of the case and to ensure that negligent parties are held accountable.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many internal organs. Mesothelioma usually affects the lungs, abdominal organs, or heart. The most common site of the cancer is the pleura, the outer lining of the lungs, which is why it is often referred to as a lung cancer.
The most common cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was (and still is) used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. It is a known carcinogen and enters the body through particles that are inhaled. Most often, exposure to asbestos occurs in the workplace.
The most common occupations for asbestos exposure include:
Another common risk factor is living in a household with someone who works with asbestos and then carries the fibers into the house on their skin and clothing. Family members can inhale or ingest the fibers this way. It also appears that those who smoke in addition to having asbestos exposure have a higher risk of contracting mesothelioma.
Many people who experience asbestos exposure do not contract mesothelioma in the long term; however, some who have had even a relatively small amount of exposure will end up with this deadly form of cancer. And although there are extremely low levels of asbestos that do occur naturally, the overwhelming majority of evidence suggests that there are no safe levels of asbestos exposure. Because of the delay between exposure and complications to this hazardous material, sometimes between 25 and 50 years, companies have often been able to hide the harmful side effects of asbestos exposure.
What’s unfortunate is that usually by the time people notice symptoms significant enough to call a doctor, the disease has progressed to a later and more dangerous stage.
However, the initial signs and symptoms of this disease can include the following:
General signs and symptoms as the disease progresses can include:
Contacting your doctor and/or finding the right doctor for you are the first steps. Conventional methods of treating mesothelioma are often surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Which treatment is best for you depends largely on the stage of the cancer. Pain management and home care are alternatives in the later stages of the disease.
There are two types: personal injury and wrongful death cases
A personal injury case is brought by the victim and must be filed within four years of initial diagnosis. These cases deal with (1) primary asbestos exposure, which involves direct contact with asbestos, and (2) secondary asbestos exposure, which involves contact with an individual who was exposed to asbestos.
A wrongful death case is filed by a family member of the deceased. Again, there is a limited window of time in which a suit may be filed, so contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Plaintiffs in a mesothelioma case may be able to recover compensation for:
Where do I go from here?
For legal advice regarding mesothelioma or other asbestos related cancers, contact us right away. To submit your case online for a free evaluation, please provide your contact information. A Crosley Law Firm member will get in touch with as soon as possible.