Each year, thousands of Americans are diagnosed with this deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma is most commonly caused by direct exposure to asbestos, a fiber-like mineral used mostly as insulation.
When asbestos is disturbed by people working closely with the material, its microscopic fibers enter the air and are inhaled. Because mesothelioma symptoms can take years to surface, many of those who worked closely with asbestos during the peak of its popularity (the 1940s to the 1970s) are just now showing signs of illness. Those affected by mesothelioma often do not find out they have the illness until it is too late for sufficient treatment.
Asbestos attacks a layer of lining inside the abdominal cavity, lungs and heart called the mesothelium. The most common of the three types of mesothelioma is known as pleural mesothelioma, which is caused by a buildup of fluid inside the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma is less common and attacks the liver, spleen and bowels, and causes the abdominal cavity to enlarge. Pericardial mesothelioma, the rarest form of the cancer, happens when the asbestos fibers invade the lining of the heart. Asbestos exposure can also cause lung cancer.
➢ Who Is At Risk of Mesothelioma?
Anyone who worked with or around asbestos could develop one of the harmful forms of mesothelioma cancer, however, the following workers are more likely to have encountered asbestos in their careers:
- Construction workers
- Contract workers
- Factory employees
- Military personnel
- Railroad workers
Another set of individuals that may face a higher risk of mesothelioma development are veterans. Many military tools, vehicles, and ships used asbestos as a durable construction material and the dedicated men and women that came in contact with asbestos during their military careers may now be showing signs of mesothelioma development.
Besides mesothelioma, asbestos can cause other disorders such as lung cancer and asbestosis. People who develop these conditions have just as much right as mesothelioma victims to take legal action. If you or a loved one suspects that asbestos may have played a role in your condition, contact a mesothelioma attorney right away to discuss your options.
➢ Thousands of New Mesothelioma Cases Every Year
There are approximately 3,000 to 6,000 new cases of mesothelioma each year in the U.S., with the average age of diagnosis falling between 50 and 70. Treatment for mesothelioma does exist, albeit with a very low success rate. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but those affected can receive treatment including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
The sooner a mesothelioma diagnosis is reached and treatment is begun, the higher the success rate, but most cases are not discovered until the cancer is too far advanced.
Companies knew of the risks of asbestos for decades, but continued allowing their employees to be exposed to the cancer-causing agent. Roughly 27.5 million Americans were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1979, despite reports documenting the health hazard as early as the 1930s. Take a look at more statistics concerning mesothelioma and asbestos.
Thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits have since been filed against companies that failed to warn their employees of the risk, making asbestos cases the most expensive mass tort in the nation’s history.
➢ Mesothelioma or Asbestos Patients May Qualify to File a Lawsuit
Individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, asbestosis, lung cancer, or other diseases caused by exposure to asbestos may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their illness and medical expenses. Generally speaking, asbestos claims fall in to two general categories: lawsuits and asbestos trust claims.
Asbestos lawsuits entail taking legal action in court against manufacturers of asbestos products, or other companies that may have been responsible for a patient’s asbestos exposure. When an individual or their family files an asbestos lawsuit, these claims can either be a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit, depending on whether the individual who was diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness is living or deceased.
Many mesothelioma or asbestos claims are not lawsuits, but rather claims filed by the numerous asbestos trusts that have been established to compensate victims of asbestos exposure. Asbestos trusts are designed to make sure that when a company that manufactured, sold, or engaged in the use of asbestos products goes bankrupt, there is money available to compensate asbestos exposure victims and their families.
Click on the following link to learn more about the difference between mesothelioma lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims.
➢ Free Legal Consultation for Workers With Mesothelioma
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer due to asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to take legal action against the asbestos manufacturers whose products caused the illness. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a case.
The attorneys at Hissey Mulderig & Friend have represented thousands of clients who were diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other diseases resulting from exposure to asbestos-containing products. Our lawyers have achieved millions of dollars in settlements on behalf of our clients, including numerous cases involving mesothelioma and asbestos.
For more information about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Hissey Mulderig & Friend for a free legal consultation. You can contact us by calling toll-free at 1-866-806-8117 or by filling out the free case evaluation form to the right of this page.