When you’re working at one of Texas’ many oil refineries, shipyards, military bases, or chemical plants, the last thing on your mind is cancer. However, while you were focused on your job, you might have been inhaling countless, microscopic asbestos fibers. Over time, these fibers can lead to mesothelioma.
While filing a lawsuit may not be a top priority for mesothelioma patients and their loved ones, you need to protect your legal rights. Your focus should be on medical treatments and dealing with this cancer; we respect and recognize this. Crosley Law’s injury lawyers simplify the legal process, letting our clients decide their level of involvement in the case. Our goal is to hold negligent parties accountable and provide support to mesothelioma victims, their families, and their loved ones from initial consultation to settlement.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the protective lining called the mesothelium that surrounds our 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, but it can also develop in your abdomen and other locations.
Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma
This disease’s initial signs and symptoms can include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. However, early mesothelioma often goes undiagnosed. By the time people start to notice significant symptoms and call a doctor, the disease typically has progressed to a later and more dangerous stage.
Signs and symptoms as the disease progresses can include:
- Appetite and weight loss
- Abdominal pain (depending on the type of mesothelioma)
- Chest pain (depending on the type of mesothelioma)
- Fluid in the chest cavity
- Constant fatigue
More than 2,000 people die every year from mesothelioma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Once diagnosed, the average mesothelioma patient lives for less than 24 months.
What Causes Mesothelioma or Increases Your Risk?
The most common cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is remarkably heat and chemical resistant, making it a popular building and construction material. You can find asbestos in insulation and fire-retardant products.
When asbestos fibers break loose from a product, they become a dangerous carcinogen. While asbestos-based products began to decline in the 1970s, the substance is still in use today. Scientists say that there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.
When you inhale or swallow asbestos fibers, they can get lodged into your organs, especially the lungs. The fibers damage the lung’s lining and cause inflammation or swelling. Over time, the damaged cells in your mesothelium can become cancerous, and tumors can develop in your lungs.
Typically, asbestos exposure occurs in the workplace. The most common occupations that can lead to asbestos exposure include:
- Oil refinery workers
- Railroad workers
- Construction workers
- Power plant workers
- Chemical plant employees
- Building demolition workers
- Auto mechanics
- Military personnel
People who work with asbestos can also unintentionally bring the fibers home on their skin and clothing. Family members can then inhale or ingest the fibers and increase their own risk of mesothelioma.
Workers Can Also Get Other Asbestos-Related Diseases
Asbestos exposure doesn’t just put you at risk of mesothelioma. Exposure to asbestos has also been linked to other serious medical conditions:
- Asbestosis, where your lung tissues become scarred
- Other lung cancers
- Pleural effusion, where liquid builds up between layers of your lung’s tissues
- Pleural plaques, or hard structures that build up on your lungs and diaphragm
- Thickening of your lung tissues, which makes it harder to breathe
Smoking and Mesothelioma
It also appears that people who smoke in addition to having asbestos exposure have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma. While insurance companies often try to blame victims’ smoking for their lung cancer, you can fight back. Our asbestos injury lawyers frequently consult with respected pulmonologists, other medical providers, occupational safety experts, researchers, and others, aiming to identify the precise causes of our clients’ cancer or illness.
Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
There are two types of asbestos lawsuits: personal injury and wrongful death cases.
- Personal injury: Brought by the mesothelioma victim and must be filed within four years of initial diagnosis. You may have a personal injury claim if you have mesothelioma and had either direct contact with asbestos (primary asbestos exposure) or had a loved one who
- Wrongful death: Filed by a family member of a deceased mesothelioma victim. Again, there is a limited window of time to file a wrongful death claim, so contact an attorney as soon as possible.
You need to consult a lawyer long before your statute of limitations or filing deadline expires, so it’s best to act as quickly as possible. Asbestos lawsuits require time, skill, and attention to detail along with a thorough understanding of the law and science associated with these claims. You’ll need a detailed history of your asbestos exposure, which becomes all the more difficult since many companies try their best to avoid financial responsibility by relocating or changing names.
When you meet with a mesothelioma lawyer at Crosley Law, we’ll help you understand your legal rights and your case’s unique strengths and challenges. Then, our team will suggest next steps that may help you get the compensation you deserve.
What’s My Mesothelioma Case Worth?
At Crosley Law, we understand that a mesothelioma diagnosis is very difficult emotionally as well as financially. However, you may be entitled to compensation, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Additional expenses not covered by insurance
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
Every asbestos lawsuit is different and deserves its own analysis. Your claim’s value will depend on many factors, including the extent of your asbestos exposure, the number of defendants, and the severity of your condition.
Crosley Law: Fighting for Mesothelioma Victims Throughout Texas
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. Someone from Crosley Law will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
If you have been diagnosed with or lost a loved one due to mesothelioma, contact our law firm immediately for a free case evaluation. You can easily contact us by calling 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or completing our online contact form.
Mazurek, J.M., Syamlal, G., Wood, J.M., Hendricks, S.A., & Weston, A. Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality — United States, 1999–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017, 66:214–218. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6608a3
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
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