Mesothelioma, as a result of asbestos exposure, is a devastating diagnosis for victims and their families. The outlook of mesothelioma can be bleak, with only 7-16% of mesothelioma patients surviving beyond five years from their diagnosis. Mesothelioma is caused by prolonged exposure to harmful asbestos, typically in an occupational setting.
In recent history, asbestos was used in many products, such as roofing and car parts. 70-80% of mesothelioma patients report exposure during their work, where they came into prolonged contact with asbestos and asbestos containing products.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases is a traumatic and distressing time for the patient and their family. The last thing you need to worry about at this time is how to pay for your medical care to improve your prognosis and manage your symptoms. A mesothelioma lawsuit can recover compensation for victims to reduce their financial burden at such an emotional time.
If you or a loved one has unfortunately received a mesothelioma diagnosis, contact our Kansas City personal injury attorneys and allow us to fight on your behalf for the compensation you are entitled to.
Approximately 2% – 10% of people exposed to asbestos over prolonged periods will develop pleural mesothelioma. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports that between 1999 and 2020, nearly 56,000 Americans died from mesothelioma.
Typically symptoms of mesothelioma don’t appear until at least 20 years after asbestos exposure occurred, once the tumors have grown and spread. The average life expectancy following diagnosis is 12 to 22 months.
Asbestos use was more commonplace in the mid-to-late 1900s, as such, the risk of developing mesothelioma is ten times higher for people older than 60 as opposed to those younger than 40. 80% of mesothelioma patients are male.
Who Is At Risk Of Mesothelioma?
Asbestos was used in a range of products and processes because of it’s ability to strengthen and fireproof materials. When undisturbed, asbestos is not harmful. However, if asbestos fibers are disturbed and inhaled, they become lodged in the linings of the heart, lungs, and abdomen and can’t be removed. With prolonged exposure, these fibers collect in the body and cause cellular damage that leads to mesothelioma.
Individuals most at risk of developing mesothelioma worked with asbestos regularly. Although any exposure to asbestos places you at risk, research links mesothelioma to prolonged exposure.
Veterans from the armed forces between 1930 and 1970 are most at risk of developing mesothelioma. During this period, the military used asbestos-containing materials to protect service people from fire. This unknowingly exposed individuals to large amounts of asbestos and subsequently increased the risk of mesothelioma. Approximately 30% of mesothelioma diagnoses in America are veterans.
Common Asbestos Exposure Sites
Asbestos is naturally occurring and natural deposits are found across the United States. Once asbestos is disturbed, usually through mining, it becomes harmful to human health. Typical asbestos sites include mines, apartments, manufacturing plants, offices, power plants, and public buildings. In the United States, asbestos was used in the construction of almost every building before 1980.
Specific occupations where workers may be at risk of asbestos exposure include power and chemical plant workers, automobile mechanics, airplane mechanics, shipbuilders, mill workers, drywall installers, and demolition specialists.
There is no safe limit for asbestos exposure. Individuals that experience secondary exposure due to the transport of fibers on a family member’s clothes or skin are still at risk of asbestos-related health problems.
Industries across the United States have historically used asbestos in their construction and manufacturing procedures. These industries are:
Automotive – Asbestos is used within the automotive industry, particularly in its products, such as gaskets and brake linings. Individuals working in this industry in the mid-to-late 1900s are particularly at risk.
Brewing – Various brewing companies utilized asbestos in their industry. Typically asbestos was used in the equipment and building materials.
Manufacturing – Manufacturing plants have used asbestos in a range of products, including roofing materials and cement pipes, particularly through the 1960s and 1970s.
Mining – The mining activity around the areas of natural asbestos deposits may have disturbed fibers and put miners and residents at risk of exposure.
Agriculture – Asbestos was often used in rice plants, sugar mills, and agricultural processing plants. It was used in agricultural machinery and vehicles in addition to the buildings themselves.
Impacts Of Asbestos Exposure
Exposure to asbestos fibers, particularly inhalation, can be severely detrimental to human health and cause illnesses and health complications. Asbestos-related diseases include a range of confirmed and suspected cancers, lung scarring, and diseases that cause the thickening of the lining of the lungs.
Mesothelioma occurs when asbestos fibers get stuck in the protective lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen, otherwise known as the mesothelium. It is a cancer of the membrane that covers the lungs and chest cavity (pleura), the membrane lining the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), or membranes surrounding other internal organs.
Signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 40 years after asbestos exposure. Treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Asbestos exposure greatly increases an individual’s chance of developing lung cancer. In most situations, symptoms of lung cancer will not appear until many years after exposure. Lung cancer causes tumors that appear within the air passages in the lungs.
Other Types Of Cancer
Exposure to asbestos can also cancer of the ovaries. Additionally, current data suggests that asbestos exposure may cause cancer of the larynx, stomach, and pharynx, and research is ongoing into other types of cancers that may be related to asbestos.
The scarring of the lungs as a result of inhaling asbestos fibers is referred to as asbestosis. Scarring makes the exchange of air in the lungs more difficult, in turn making breathing harder. Typically, those suffering from asbestosis were exposed to large amounts of asbestosis over long periods.
Pleural disease causes changes in the lining surrounding the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). It is a non-cancerous condition that may cause thickening in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity and fluid buildup. The condition may not always cause sufferers to have breathing problems, but it can reduce lung function.
What Should I Do If I Am Concerned About Asbestos Exposure?
If you are concerned that you have been exposed to asbestos, seek medical attention. A professional can advise you on the next steps to take based on your circumstances.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry advises individuals concerned about asbestos exposure to take precautions to minimize any further harm to their respiratory system to reduce the chances of disease or slow down an existing disease. Regular medical exams, quitting smoking, regular flu and pneumonia vaccinations, and avoiding further asbestos exposure can help you reduce the potential impacts.
If you are unfortunate enough to develop a serious health problem, including a mesothelioma diagnosis, consider contacting an attorney to begin legal recourse and recover compensation.
Am I Entitled To Compensation For Mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or you were exposed to asbestos, you may qualify for financial compensation. Family members that have experienced the wrongful death of a loved one due to mesothelioma may also be entitled to compensation.
In addition, individuals diagnosed with asbestosis or asbestos-related cancer may also be able to claim compensation for their illness. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can review your circumstances and advise the best course of action for you.
Previous mesothelioma settlements have included payments ranging between $1 – $5 million, the average settlement is approximately $1.5 million. Payments have been made directly to asbestos victims suffering from mesothelioma and to family members who have lost a loved one from mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Personal Injury Cases
Unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma, however, treatment is available to manage symptoms, improve the prognosis, and prolong survival. Mesothelioma can significantly decrease victims’ ability to work as their health deteriorates, and treatment can be costly.
A personal injury lawsuit with a mesothelioma attorney allows victims of asbestos exposure to seek compensation for their suffering and the impacts of asbestos on their lives. Mesothelioma lawsuits help victims to recover compensation to help with their loss of income and medical costs due to their illness. They also aim to compensate victims for their pain and suffering.
Additionally, a mesothelioma claim holds manufacturers and businesses accountable. Many businesses were aware of the dangers of asbestos and historically did not take the appropriate precautions to protect the public.
During a mesothelioma claim, your attorney negotiates a settlement with the manufacturer or responsible entity for the asbestos exposure. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will gather evidence to build a strong case and secure the best settlement possible in an efficient manner.
How Long Does A Mesothelioma Claim Take?
Typically a mesothelioma claim is completed and compensation is paid within one year. This can depend on how many businesses you are claiming against, whether the defendant agrees to the settlement, and how quickly the evidence is gathered and the case is filed.
Wendt Law attorneys understand the urgent nature of these cases, especially given the aggressive nature of mesothelioma. We will work tirelessly to complete your case as efficiently as possible while maintaining our high service standards for our clients.
Wendt Law Mesothelioma Lawyer
Wendt Law attorneys empathize with the hardships and physical and emotional stress that mesothelioma victims and their families experience. We are a compassionate law firm with a team of experienced mesothelioma lawyers dedicated to fighting for the rights of asbestos victims and securing the compensation they deserve.
Wendt Law mesothelioma lawyers are highly reputable and skilled in handling complex cases. We will fight your case to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible to support you and your family following a diagnosis of mesothelioma.
If you are suffering, or have lost a loved one, from mesothelioma or another asbestos related disease, contact Wendt Law mesothelioma lawyers to discuss your case.
Free Legal Consultation
Wendt Law is proud to offer free consultations and case evaluations to mesothelioma victims. We understand that a diagnosis of an asbestos related disease is not only extremely upsetting for victims, but it can also have substantial financial implications. We do not want to add to your financial worries at such a difficult time, as such our consultations are free with no obligations or hidden fees.
Contact Wendt Law Today
A diagnosis of mesothelioma can be overwhelming as victims come to terms with the prognosis of their disease. In addition to the emotional turmoil, mesothelioma patients encounter many hardships as a result of their illness. They often have large medical bills, alongside a reduced earning potential leading to financial stress. Additionally, mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases can seriously impact a victim’s quality of life.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, consider speaking to an attorney and filing a claim today. Although compensation will not cure your illness, it can go towards easing the stress that your diagnosis may cause you and your family and help you receive the best medical care possible.
We represent clients across Kansas City and nationwide.
Speak to our mesothelioma attorneys for free by calling Wendt Law at 816-542-6734.