Mesothelioma lawyers hold negligent parties accountable for asbestos exposure to workers and others. A knowledgeable attorney can assess whether your case qualifies for compensation from an asbestos victims’ trust fund, which was established to compensate victims of mesothelioma and asbestos-related legal claims.
Mesothelioma is a malignancy that develops in the lining of the lungs, chest, and abdomen. Asbestos exposure, which could have occurred in someone’s home, workplace, or community, causes this cancer. Between 1999 and 2015, malignant mesothelioma claimed the lives of nearly 45,000 people.
Despite restrictions aimed at reducing asbestos exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the number of deaths from malignant mesothelioma is on the rise. You can bring a lawsuit if you have mesothelioma.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is classified as a human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) and refers to six minerals that naturally occur in the environment.
These minerals break down into fibers that can be separated into durable threads used in industrial and commercial applications and products. Because of how resistant the fibers are to heat, asbestos has been used across various industries, from construction projects to automotive manufacturing.
The Dangers Of Asbestos Exposure
If any product containing asbestos is disturbed, tiny fibers can be released into the air and breathed in by humans. Once you breathe in asbestos fibers, they remain in your lungs for long periods of time.
Once these asbestos fibers accumulate, they can cause:
- scarring and inflammation
- breathing issues
- lung cancer
- larynx cancer
- ovary cancer
- other serious health issues
Occupations At Risk Of Asbestos Exposure
The majority of people who develop mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos on the job. If you had one of the following occupations and were exposed to asbestos fibers, you may be at risk for developing mesothelioma.
Workers at risk of asbestos exposure may include:
- brake mechanics
- some military personnel
- asbestos miners
- home remodelers
- shipyard workers
- demolition workers
Mesothelioma Signs And Symptoms
Mesothelioma is the most common asbestos-related cancer, despite its rarity. The tissue that lines your stomach, lungs, heart, and other essential organs is known as mesothelioma. This cancer usually begins in the lungs and can take 10 to 40 years to manifest following asbestos exposure.
Because the illness begins in the lungs, distinguishing between mesothelioma and lung cancer can be challenging. Unfortunately, malignant mesothelioma is rarely discovered until it has progressed.
Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- chest pain
- painful coughing fits
- pain under the rib cage
- lumps, swelling, or pain in the abdomen
- weight loss that can’t be explained
- breathing problems
How To Choose A Mesothelioma Lawyer
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, you likely have cause to file a legal claim. Since asbestos-related lawsuits can be lucrative for plaintiffs, it’s important to hire a skilled and qualified lawyer.
Mesothelioma cases are complicated. A lawyer can help identify who should be held liable to give you the best chances of winning your case. This could be the company responsible for installing or manufacturing asbestos. It could also be a claim to collect damages from a trust fund.
Mesothelioma Settlements And Verdicts
The majority of mesothelioma cases never go to trial. Instead, a legal agreement or settlement provides compensation for the victim’s development of cancer.
The average settlement for a mesothelioma case is around $1 million, but can be more. If the case goes to trial and your lawyer is victorious, you could potentially collect much more. The highest asbestos-related settlement was $250 million.
However, the settlement you receive will depend on the specific details of your case.
Asbestos-related settlements may be determined by:
- medical expenses
- cancer diagnosis
- lost wages
- overall pain and suffering
- history of asbestos exposure
- other factors
Understanding Asbestos Trust Funds
Asbestos or mesothelioma trust funds were created when multiple asbestos manufacturers and other companies filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to a 2011 report by the U.S. Government Accountability office, several companies have set aside over $30 billion to settle mesothelioma claims since the 1980s.
More than 100 companies have filed for bankruptcy to fund money for compensating relevant claims. Instead of suing the manufacturing company, you may have the option to file a claim with the trust fund. The trust fund may ultimately be the one to pay out your settlement or verdict.