Asbestos is a deadly substance that is unfortunately found in many places people frequent; homes, offices, and sites of public construction. As a mass tort lawyer from a firm like the Law Office of Daniel J. Stuart, P.A. can explain, since the size of this material is too small to be seen by the human eye, it is very easy for people to ingest asbestos without even knowing it.
Long-term asbestos exposure can cause a host of serious health defects, including mesothelioma. If you have been unwillingly exposed to asbestos, here we answer some frequently asked questions about asbestos law and how to file a claim.
What exactly is asbestos?
Asbestos is a mineral that is both a fire retardant and insulator, and when crushed, it breaks up into fine fibers.
How will I know I’ve been exposed to asbestos?
Some symptoms of asbestos exposure include:
- Shortness of breath
- A cough that doesn’t go away
- Trouble swallowing
- Tightness of the chest
- Pain when coughing
- Coughing up blood
That being said, if you are experiencing any other unusual symptoms dealing with your chest and respiratory system, it is wise to consult a doctor.
Is asbestos still being used today?
Asbestos was used primarily to insulate steam engines between World War II and the 1970s. The United States regulated asbestos use in the 1970s, but you may still be exposed if you come into contact with old material without knowing it, or are working in a space that is not properly following OSHA procedures.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor that lines the heart, lungs, and stomach. This specific type of cancer is frequently caused by asbestos exposure.
How long after being exposed should I contact a lawyer?
As soon as you have been properly diagnosed with an asbestos related disease by your doctor, make sure to contact a lawyer. This is because simply being exposed to asbestos is not grounds for a proper lawsuit, whereas suffering from a medical problem is.
What kind of claim can I file?
When it comes to asbestos exposure, there are two options when it comes to filing a claim. You can:
- File a product liability (also known as tort) case which will bring a claim against the manufacturers and/or providers of the asbestos that caused the injury. These are considered third-party cases, as they will be brought against the people responsible for the asbestos exposure in the first place.
- File a workers compensation claim. This will hold your employer responsible for your exposure and is typically used if an employer knows that there is the threat for asbestos exposure and doesn’t do anything to mend the situation.
What kind of damages can I win when filing a lawsuit?
It is almost impossible to predict the specific damages you may be able to win as they depend on the specifics of your case. However, victims of asbestos exposure can expect to win compensation to cover their pain and suffering, medical and insurance bills, and loss of wages due to the illness.
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, you do not have to face filing a lawsuit alone. Do not hesitate to contact a law firm today to set up a consultation.