Almost everyone knows that asbestos is a harmful material that has led many people to develop lung cancer years after exposure. Because of a surge of cases of lung cancer, it became clear that asbestos was the cause of much suffering, and today it is a material that has a long list of rules and laws associated with its handling, dismantling, transportation, and so on. However, the ways in which it does harm to the human body are still being discovered and among the newest discoveries is the condition known as mesothelioma.
What It Is
While smoking tends to be the most common reason behind the development of lung cancer, people with mesothelioma come from all walks of life – including many non-smokers. What scientists know is that many people with the condition are also people who have been exposed to asbestos, though it is not exactly clear just why this is the case.
Some people with only short-term exposure to asbestos develop mesothelioma and some people with many decades of exposure do not develop it. Currently, there are studies underway seeking to determine precisely how and why people develop this lethal condition.
Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer, meaning it is harmful and going to spread. It appears often in the lungs, but is actually also prone to attacking the lining of other organs in the abdominal area, as well as the testes of males with the disease. Those with mesothelioma tend to experience pain in their chest, unexplained weight loss, and difficulty with breathing. These symptoms lead them to their doctors where x-rays and CT scans are done along with basic blood work. This usually leads to a biopsy, and it is then that the condition is confirmed.
What to Expect
Obviously, without any absolute evidence as to the cause of the condition, it might seem that you would be unable to pursue anyone for compensation or damages due to your injury. However, science has gone so far as to be able to prove that there is an irrefutable relationship between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, and it is this relationship that would allow you to pursue compensation if you are diagnosed with it.
One of the smartest steps to take when you have been diagnosed with the condition is to get in touch with a legal expert who has experience in dealing with mesothelioma cases. There are mesothelioma attorneys in almost all states, and they understand the nature of the lawsuits currently being built around this issue. Though there is now a history of lawsuits built around asbestos exposure and the development of cancer, the cases relating to mesothelioma are relatively new. Hiring an attorney who has a track record with such claims is going to ensure that you get the best outcome.
Why? Though there is more and more news about the links between exposure to such harmful substances as asbestos and the development of cancer, most people remained unaware of them for many decades. To establish liability, you need to prove that you were exposed to the substance without your knowledge or before you knew about the health risks that you were being exposed to. This has led to states enacting laws that allow you to file a claim for a long time after the exposure occurred.
For instance, you may have done work a few decades earlier without realizing the hazards of doing the work. You may then develop mesothelioma decades afterward and feel you cannot make the claim. Fortunately, mesothelioma attorneys are now winning cases and making such claims. The experts at Heavens Law can hear the details of your case and help you make the right choices for pursuing damages and compensation after being exposed to asbestos.
- FindLaw.com. Mesothelioma. 2014. http://injury.findlaw.com/product-liability/mesothelioma.html