Workers, Families Can Secure Compensation
It’s true. Workers who were exposed to asbestos and developed a range of medical conditions may be entitled to receive compensation, money that can go towards cancer treatments, make up for lost wages and reimburse patients for the pain and suffering they have experienced.
Hundreds of employers consciously exposed their employees to asbestos, a deadly substance known to cause severe forms of cancer. Now, these companies are paying the price, establishing asbestos trust funds to compensate the victims of wrongdoing and harmful corporate practices. Thousands of current mesothelioma patients are entitled to secure valuable settlements from these trust funds or by filing an asbestos injury lawsuit.
Employees who were exposed to asbestos fibers in the workplace may be eligible for cash payments, along with family members who lived with exposed workers. Likewise, families who have lost loved ones are also eligible to receive reimbursement for their financial losses.
Get The Resources Your Family Needs
You’ll find all of this information – and more – in one of the many meso books advertised on TV, but the truth is, you don’t need to wait for an asbestos information packet to arrive in your mailbox to get the information your family needs. Just contact the mesothelioma attorneys at Banville Law now to secure a free legal consultation. Our experienced asbestos lawyers don’t produce meso book commercials, but we are committed to providing mesothelioma patients and their loved ones with the latest information on their legal rights and options.
Call today and our lawyers will walk you through the ins and outs of asbestos litigation, without any legalese. There’s no charge and no obligation – just the answers you and your family need.
How Mesothelioma Works
Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that starts growing in the layers of tissue that surround vital organs and body cavities – layers technically known as “mesothelium.” Almost every case of mesothelioma is caused directly by long-term exposure to asbestos, a fibrous mineral that was used for centuries in thousands of industrial applications.
Most mesothelioma patients will be diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, which begins in the tissues lining our lungs. Somewhere between 20% and 30% of patients are told they have peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of the cancer that starts in the layer of tissue that lines the abdominal cavity. A smaller subset of patients, less than 1%, are diagnosed with a form of the disease that starts in the lining of the heart, known as pericardial mesothelioma. Even less common is testicular mesothelioma, which begins in the lining of the testicles. Only around 100 cases of testicular mesothelioma have ever been documented in the medical literature.
The disease is about four times as common in men than women, although some studies suggest that the rate of mesothelioma diagnosis among women has risen in recent years. In contrast to this development, mesothelioma cases are likely declining in male patients. Even so, mesothelioma has always been a rare cancer. Today, about 3,000 American patients are diagnosed with the disease every year, according to the American Cancer Society. The average (or median) age at diagnosis for cases of mesothelioma that begin in the lungs is 69 years old.
The Challenge Of Diagnosis
Mesothelioma can be extremely difficult to diagnose, because the cancer is characterized by a long latency period. Many patients won’t begin to experience symptoms until decades after their exposure to asbestos has ended. Some patients won’t even learn they have mesothelioma until between 20 and 50 years after asbestos exposure.
The length of the cancer’s latency period also complicates treatment, because so many patients are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease. The condition’s symptoms are often “non-specific,” overlapping with numerous other conditions, scores of which are benign but far more common than mesothelioma:
Symptoms Of Asbestos-Related Cancer
Here’s a rundown of the most common symptoms caused by each form of mesothelioma. Experience more than one of these symptoms at the same time? Speak to a trusted medical professional as soon as possible, especially if you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos fibers.
- Chest pain
- Pleural effusion – a build-up of fluid around the lungs
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry cough
- Abdominal bloating
- Excessive gas
- Abdominal pain
- Ascites – fluid buildup in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Seizures (uncommon)
- Arrhythmia – irregular heartbeat
- Heart palpitation
- Heart murmur – abnormal sound between heartbeats
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing and cough
- Shortness of breath
- Hydrocele – fluid buildup in the scrotum
- Pain and / or swelling in the testicles
- Irregular growth or lump in the scrotum
Again, these symptoms, though characteristic of mesothelioma, are more likely to be caused by benign conditions. All this makes catching the disease at an early stage very hard and explains why mesothelioma patients live at a high risk of being misdiagnosed.
Like all forms of cancer, mesothelioma cells can spread from their site of origin to colonize other organs and body tissues. This process is known as “metastasis.”
In most cases, mesothelioma is only identified after the cancer has already become aggressive and metastasized to secondary regions of the body. Few patients are diagnosed early, when the disease can be handled with relative ease. As a result, most patients will receive a “multimodal” form of treatment, which incorporates two or more of the traditional cancer therapies used to destroy mesothelioma cells: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
These therapies can be painful, even traumatic, as well as costly. Some patients find themselves saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, all while attempting to recover from strenuous treatments.
Finding Compensation After Diagnosis
However, many mesothelioma patients aren’t forced to bear these burdens alone.
We believe that companies who allowed their employees to be exposed to asbestos – one of the only known causes of mesothelioma – should be held responsible for their actions.
Employers Knew About The Risks Of Asbestos
Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, employers and manufacturers valued asbestos for its unique physical properties – heat-resistance and high tensile strength. Eventually, the mineral had made its way into heavy machinery, automobiles, textiles and construction projects. Tobacco producer Kent even made a cigarette filter out of asbestos.
The mineral’s use was highest, however, in military applications, lining hundreds of ships built in the United States during World War II. The Navy used so much asbestos, even after the substance’s dangers were conclusively proven, that nearly 30% of all victims who succumb to mesothelioma are veterans, despite comprising only 8% of the US population.
Thankfully, thousands of mesothelioma patients have already sued their employers for financial compensation, filing thousands of asbestos lawsuits against more than 10,000 manufacturers. The path to compensation after a mesothelioma diagnosis is clear, having been blazed by over 700,000 patients and families over the last four decades.
Asbestos Trust Funds & Settlements
The asbestos litigation is truly unprecedented in its scope. Billions of dollars have been paid out to mesothelioma patients, both workers exposed to asbestos and loved ones who spent time living with asbestos workers. Filing wrongful death lawsuits, thousands of families whose loved ones were tragically killed by mesothelioma have also secured valuable compensation.
From its beginning in the late-1970s, the filing of asbestos lawsuits has now forced around 100 companies into bankruptcy. Their work in compensating victims, though, isn’t over. Most of these now-defunct businesses have set up mesothelioma trust funds, piping billions of dollars into third-party accounts designed exclusively to pay claims to patients and families. Government statistics suggest that these trust funds still hold about $37 billion in outstanding assets. Many patients will be able to secure the necessary compensation solely by making a claim against one of these funds. Filing a civil lawsuit may not even be required.
Find More Information
If you saw a mesothelioma TV ad and want to learn more, contact the experienced lawyers at Banville Law today. We provide case evaluations and informational consultations for free, so you can find more information on pursuing compensation without any risk to you. Call now to speak with a compassionate legal representative.