Legal Rights for Asbestos Injuries and Death
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue (mesothelium) surrounding internal organs. Treatments for this type of cancer are available, but for many people with the disease, a cure is not possible.
There are three main types of mesothelioma: pleura mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelium, and pericardial mesothelioma. Pleura mesothelioma is more common and affects the tissues surrounding the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a more rare form of cancer and it affects tissue in the abdomen. Pericardial mesothelioma is the most rare form of mesothelioma and it affects the tissues surrounding the heart.
The primary risk factor for all forms of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that is used in products like insulation, shingles, and flooring.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos, you may have a legal claim. Call today for a FREE Personal Injury Case Evaluation with Top 100 Trial Lawyer Christopher Dixon. Contact The Dixon Injury Firm by calling (312) 600-8054. There is NO FEE unless we will your case.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma depend on which form of the cancer is present.
Pleural (lungs) mesothelioma is diagnosed in 75 percent of mesothelioma cases. Symptoms include:
- Chest pain around the rib cage
- Painful coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
- Unexplained weight loss
The life expectancy given to pleural mesothelioma patients is typically less than 18 months; however, some patients beat the odds and live much longer.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is diagnosed in up to 20 percent of mesothelioma cases. Symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Unusual lumps of tissue in the abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss
The life expectancy given to peritoneal mesothelioma patients is one year, but new medical technology is helping to extend survival time. Up to 25 percent of those diagnosed with this form of mesothelioma live three years after initial diagnosis.
Pericardial mesothelioma is diagnosed in about 1 percent of all mesothelioma cases. Symptoms include:
- Irregular heart beat/palpitations
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Night sweats
- Overall difficulty with breathing
Pericardial mesothelioma patients are expected to survive about six months after initial diagnosis, although some live longer. Because pericardial mesothelioma does not cause many initial symptoms, early detection is important.
Risk Factors, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Mesothelioma
The primary risk factor for mesothelioma is exposer to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is made up of strong fibers. The fibers are resistant to heat, which make the substance useful in a wide variety of applications, including insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring, and many other building materials.
When asbestos is mined, or when products like insulation are removed, the process creates dust. If asbestos dust is inhaled or swallowed, the particles make their way into the lungs and stomach, where they settle. When inhaled or swallowed, the dust causes irritation that can cause mesothelioma. Researchers and doctors aren’t sure why this happens. In some cases, it can take 30 to 40 years for someone who has been exposed to asbestos to develop cancer. Still, some people who have been regularly exposed to asbestos never develop mesothelioma. Others might develop the disease after only brief exposure.
Other than direct exposure to asbestos, living with someone who has direct exposure is also a risk factor for developing mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers can be carried home on clothing or personal belongings. One way to prevent asbestos contamination in the home is for the worker to shower at work, before coming home.
Mesothelioma is diagnosed after a number of tests are run. Doctors will use imaging scans, such as X-rays and CT scans, in addition to tissue biopsy to determine if mesothelioma is present, and if so, what type. If mesothelioma is present, additional scans will be done to determine the extent, or stage, of the cancer. A stage of cancer can only be given for pleural mesothelioma because the other stages are too rare to have been studied enough to determine stage.
Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the stage of cancer. Treatment can include surgery to remove any tumors, radiation to shrink tumors, and chemotherapy.
Asbestos was a very popular substance used in construction and building materials for over 100 years, although it’s use today has been curbed. Asbestos kills up to 10,000 people in the United States per year, including 1 in every 125 men who die over the age of 50. Though the substance has not been completely banned in the United States, it was one of the first hazardous air pollutants registered under the Clean Air Act of 1970. Over 1 million construction workers are still exposed to asbestos every year.
Because of the extent of asbestos exposure to millions of workers over many decades, asbestos litigation has become the longest, most expensive tort in United State history. The total cost of asbestos litigation will eventually reach $275 billion. Many of the companies responsible for exposing their workers to asbestos have tried to file bankruptcy to avoid paying victims for their injuries. Other companies have voluntarily created funds to compensate workers when they are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or if a loved one has died from mesothelioma, there are two different types of lawsuits that can be filed to recover damages:
- Personal injury: You, as a victim of mesothelioma, can bring a lawsuit against a company on your own behalf. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit if you were secondarily exposed to asbestos because a family member works around the substance.
- Wrongful death: If your spouse or parent died from mesothelioma, you can file a lawsuit on their behalf.
In order to prove the case, the mesothelioma plaintiff must show:
- The plaintiff or decedent was injured;
- The injury was caused by the negligence of the defendant; and
- A loss was suffered due to the negligence of the defendant.
Illinois Mesothelioma Lawyer
In mesothelioma litigation, it’s important to prove exposure to the toxin, even if the exposure occurred over 30 years ago. A qualified Illinois asbestos attorney will review your case and all of your harms and losses to determine how much your case is worth. You deserve to be compensated for all of the pain and suffering, medical bills, medical treatments, doctors visits, lost wages, and lost time with family you’ve experience due to someone else’s negligence. Companies that knowingly expose their workers to asbestos must pay for putting profits over their employees.
Our firm offers a guarantee that THERE IS NO FEE UNLESS WE WIN YOUR CASE. In addition, we offer FREE INITIAL CONSULTATIONS to help you determine if you have a case by calling 855-402-7274. Our legal team is standing by to help 24/7.