Everything You Need to Know About Asbestos & Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Asbestos is a toxic mineral commonly used in many consumer products due to its strength and insulation properties. It wasn’t until the late 1980’s that the health concerns of using asbestos in consumer products were brought up. Asbestos can cause great harm to people and often results in mesothelioma, an entirely preventable form of cancer caused by inhaling asbestos. Many companies that produce products using asbestos were aware of the potential dangers and didn’t warm employees or end users. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit. Even if you aren’t sick it’s a good idea to learn about asbestos and mesothelioma so that you can stay healthy. Even though the government has stepped in to regulate the use of asbestos, asbestos-related lawsuits are still filed frequently.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a durable, fibrous toxic mineral that can end up deposited in your lungs when inhaled. Over time, this build-up of toxic dust in your lungs can lead to serious illness, including asbestosis. Asbestosis is a chronic lung condition that is caused by prolonged exposure to high levels of asbestos fibers in the air. In most cases, the exposure took place before the 1970s, prior to government regulation, but some construction workers can still be at risk. Symptoms of asbestosis include:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent, dry cough
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
Since asbestos is considered dangerous and toxic, it’s important to know how to identify asbestos. Where should you look? How will you recognize it? Well, asbestos is usually infused into products and it’s not easy to tell by just looking with the naked eye. Here are some examples of products that could contain asbestos:
- Roofing felt & coatings
- Insulation systems
- Vinyl floor tiles and backing on vinyl sheet flooring
- Pipeline wrapping (hot water and steam)
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Cement products including shingles
- Brake pads and other car parts
Who is At Risk?
The most common people at risk are construction workers and other manual labor workers surrounded by asbestos dust such as: construction workers, building renovators, demolition workers, brake repair, asbestos miners, drywall removers, insulation workers, firefighters, etc. When working in an environment that exposes you to toxic minerals can lead to occupational exposure of asbestos. Like mentioned earlier, illnesses related to asbestos usually require repeat exposure. Most people will be exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives without developing serious illnesses. The amount of asbestos that a person is exposed to will vary based on:
- The concentration of fibers in the air
- Breathing rate
If you were exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with an asbestos related illness such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, you can file a lawsuit against your employer.
Mesothelioma is the most dangerous form of illness caused by asbestos. There is no cure for mesothelioma as it can’t be removed due to its presence in hard to reach places such as the lining in the lungs, abdomen and/or heart. Most mesothelioma patients are treated with pain management and breathing assistance. Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer, yet approximately 3,000 new cases are presented each year. In many cases, the actual exposure to asbestos that caused the cancer took place decades ago and by the time the person is diagnosed, the cancer has already reached an advanced stage. Therefore, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma. Symptoms may include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Abdominal pain, bloating, or lumps
- Unexplained weight loss
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illness symptoms can take many many years to develop. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Once you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness, you have two years from the date of the diagnosis to file a personal injury claim in the state of Illinois.
Filing A Claim
Although asbestos exposure has been an acknowledged occupational hazard for almost a century, exposure to asbestos continues to be especially wide scale among manufacturers, builders and other industries. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, the first thing to do is to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you recover damages. As mentioned earlier, mesothelioma is a life-long, irreversible illness with no cure. You deserve compensation for the damages that you will have to endure for the rest of your life. Even if you don’t know where exactly your asbestos exposure took place, a good lawyer will be able to help you determine which companies to file a claim against. Don’t delay, take action right away.
Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.
Whiteside and Goldberg have over 50 years of experience in Chicago personal injury law. They know how to deal with tough cases in the greater Chicago area and have a wealth of experience handling cases involving mesothelioma and lung cancer. They and have secured millions of dollars in settlements and awards for those suffering from the effects of asbestos exposure. As a victim of asbestos exposure, you are entitled to receive the best representation possible so that you can live the rest of your life without financial worry.
Whiteside & Goldberg Law Group always offers a free consultation before you make the decision to proceed. You do not have to worry about paying anything upfront to work with an experienced attorney. You never make a payment until they win a settlement for you. As a construction worker, you are more vulnerable to injury than most workers. For expert legal advice, call 312-334-6875 to speak to an attorney. Get the professional legal help that you need.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.