Asbestos is a naturally-occurring material with six distinct types. Each type is comprised of fibers that are extremely durable, fine, and resistant to things like chemicals, heat, and fire. This is why asbestos was commonly used in construction materials for homes, businesses, and industrial sites.
However, experts discovered that when disturbed, asbestos dust becomes airborne and then if inhaled or swallowed, it can lead to various health-related conditions of the lungs. In worst-case scenarios, asbestos is deadly. Because of the dangers, specific uses of asbestos were banned in the United States in 1977. Then in 1989, the federal government banned the use and manufacturing of this material.
Although many home and business owners have since had popcorn ceilings, floor tiles, electrical insulation, drywall, spray-on fireproofing, insulation, and other building materials containing asbestos professionally removed, asbestos is still a problem. Especially before the dangers of asbestos were identified, many people were exposed without having any knowledge.
Of the different health-related risks from asbestos exposure, pleural mesothelioma, also known as malignant pleural mesothelioma, is by far the most dangerous. This type of cancer results from exposure, whether secondary, environmental, or occupational. Once exposed to asbestos, symptoms may not appear for 10 to 50 years. Annually, about 10,000 people in the United States alone die from an asbestos-related illness.
If diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer, or pleural mesothelioma, taking care of your health is the first priority, but in addition, this is the time to talk to a reputable attorney in seeking legal compensation.
Even with strict regulations on both state and federal levels regarding the use and abatement of asbestos, incidents of exposure are on the rise. While this is primarily due to environmental deposits, asbestos material also exists in homes and businesses built prior to the early 1980s.
Typically, as long as the material remains undisturbed, it poses no threat, but because it can be found in all types of building materials, most home and business owners would have no idea if they disturbed asbestos or not.
Because it takes so long for asbestos-related symptoms to reveal themselves, there is no legal limit for filing a claim. Even if you no longer work around asbestos, currently are or were a smoker, suffered only secondary exposure, or are fighting on behalf of someone you loved who passed away due to an asbestos-related illness, you have the legal right to file a claim.
By hiring a qualified attorney, a monetary value for your situation is determined. To accomplish this, your attorney will consider a number of factors, including expected loss of life, pain and suffering, cost of prescription medication and medical treatment, past and future lost earnings, past, current, and future medical expenses, and more.
Regarding the amount of compensation that your attorney will seek under common law, this depends on various factors, including another person being negligent. Each state also has differing laws for asbestos health-related claims. Because there are challenges, the best way to secure compensation is by working with an attorney who offers years of experience and expertise relating specifically to asbestos-related illnesses.