Can I Bring a Lawsuit if I Have Been Exposed to Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral family that includes amphibole and serpentine forms. These minerals have been used for their heat and corrosion-resistant properties, but asbestos has also been found to be a carcinogen to people exposed to it.

Asbestos exposure can come with many negative consequences. These consequences can be economic, medical, and financial. In addition, it may be difficult for people who are subjected to asbestos to understand how they can recover. 

Asbestos exposure and subsequent complications can remove a person’s ability to work, reducing the number of hours that can be worked or permanently disabling the individual. Medically, people exposed to asbestos will have to undergo constant medical treatment and monitoring in order to limit the damage that asbestos causes. Finally, these consequences can be devastatingly expensive to resolve. For this reason, litigation can be useful in providing relief for victims of asbestos exposure.

Identifying Asbestos-Related Disease

Before you can consider whether you have a case, you will need to identify what harm has been caused to you. Asbestos exposure can manifest in many body regions, but most symptoms are concentrated in the lungs and abdomen. Due to the body’s inability to process asbestos, many of these conditions are permanent and can be mitigated but not cured.

The most benign category of asbestos-related diseases is asbestos pleural diseases. Asbestos pleural diseases include pleural effusions, plaques, and thickening. 

Pleural effusions are large quantities of fluid building up in the mesothelium between the lungs and lung cavity wall. Effusions exert pressure on the lungs and can cause difficulty breathing as well as chest pain.

Pleural plaques are a number of hardened or thickened areas in the lungs, while thickening is a buildup of scar tissue in the entire lung. These symptoms can increase difficulty breathing, cause chest pain, and increase the likelihood of developing additional asbestos-related health concerns.

Asbestosis is an asbestos-related type of fibrosis characterized by a buildup of scar tissue around the asbestos particles in the lungs. In addition to more typical symptoms of other asbestos pleural diseases, asbestosis has the troublesome symptom of crackling noises when inhaling.

The most important and deadly health complication caused by asbestos is mesothelioma. This aggressive cancer of the mesothelium is a severe condition that mainly manifests in the lungs, known as pleural mesothelioma, and the abdomen, known as peritoneal mesothelioma

Confirming The Diagnosis

Once an asbestos-related disease has manifested symptoms, confirming this condition is vital. Many of these issues, especially mesothelioma, only manifest after a long latency period. Due to the long period of dormancy, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related diseases, the health conditions can intensify without detection. 

Once an individual suspects that they may have an asbestos-related disease, they should go to a pulmonologist in order to confirm the diagnosis. For asbestos pleural diseases, aspiration may be helpful in identifying or even treating conditions like pleural effusions in a limited capacity.

Once an individual has had their asbestos-related condition confirmed by a third-party medical professional, treatments will be explored, and legal measures can begin to be explored.

Identifying The Source of Exposure

Once an asbestos-related disease has been identified, the next step in filing a lawsuit is finding out who is responsible for the exposure in question. Since asbestos-related conditions have an extensive latency period that can last for decades, the source of an asbestos exposure can be challenging to parse. 

Asbestos has seen use in manufacturing, mining, and construction industries. For this reason, people can be exposed to asbestos particles when asbestos-containing materials are damaged, disturbed, or moved. These damaged materials will release microscopic particles into the air, allowing the asbestos to be inhaled, where it can settle in the lungs and damage tissue. 

For residents who lived in buildings built before 1970, there may be asbestos in the drywall, ceiling, insulation, gaskets, or ductwork of the building. If the owner of the building, landlord, or realtor knew about the presence of asbestos and did not disclose that or recommend asbestos abatement to safely and professionally remove the asbestos, there may be a case for negligence or reckless endangerment for the residents.

There are also possible asbestos exposure avenues for workers. For example, manufacturers who work on ships or automobiles may be exposed to asbestos used in the parts for these vehicles. Similarly, construction workers using insulation or cement with asbestos may be exposed. If these workers are not adequately protected or provided personal protective equipment, their employer may be liable for their asbestos-related diseases. 

Finally, some individuals work in the mining industry extracting asbestos or talc. Because talc forms near asbestos in nature, talc miners may find themselves exposed to asbestos. If miners are not adequately protected or given protective gear, they may also have a legal case against their employer for failing to care for the workers properly.

Finding the Best Attorney For Your Needs

Finding out that you have been exposed to asbestos is devastating. It feels as though the world around you has fundamentally changed. When you are going through this experience, you don’t want to spend a lot of time considering whether you have a case or shopping around to find the right attorney to seek justice on your behalf. You want someone who knows what they’re doing, who cares about doing it right, and who won’t burden you with expensive retainer fees.

 

If you have been exposed to asbestos, and if you have subsequently developed an asbestos-related health condition like mesothelioma, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to cover your medical expenses and recover potential damages. In order to successfully file and prevail in your lawsuit, you will need the help of an asbestos attorney.

An experienced Personal Injury attorney can utilize legal expertise, trial tactics, and expert witnesses to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. By leveraging their experience with asbestos litigation and legal expertise, the right attorney can shave years off of litigation and get you your settlement or verdict that much faster. The best place to find a Personal Injury attorney is with Attorney at Law.

At AAL, our nationwide network of attorneys can connect you with the best Personal Injury attorney in your area. Not only can AAL find you a Personal Injury attorney to help you achieve justice that most closely fits your needs, but we can do so without costing you anything. AAL’s Personal Injury partners work on contingency. That means you pay nothing upfront, and if you don’t win, you never pay anything. 

Don’t wait. Contact AAL today for a complimentary consultation and begin your journey to justice.

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