Why You Need an Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyer for Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos exposure should be a thing of the past.

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, experienced asbestos injury lawyers like those at D’Amico Law Offices may be able to help. Our personal injury law firm helps people pursue compensation for asbestos-related illnesses and the damages (physical, financial, and emotional) that these preventable conditions can cause.

Read on to learn about asbestos diseases, potential exposure points, and how a mesothelioma attorney can help you seek justice.

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Middle-aged man in grey shirt clutching chest in pain while at the gym

What Is Asbestos Cancer, aka Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the tissue covering most of your internal organs (called your mesothelium, hence the name of the condition). Though there are treatments you can pursue, the wide-spread nature of mesothelioma means that life expectancy from the time of diagnosis is at best “only 11 years for males and 15 for females” according to a 2017 study published by the Lung Cancer Institute.

What causes mesothelioma? It occurs almost exclusively when a person inhales asbestos fibers that embed themselves into the lining of the lungs. The resulting inflammation and tissue damage can lead to a progressive and often fatal disease. And all of it could have been avoided if there wasn’t exposure to asbestos.

The Symptoms of Different Mesotheliomas (4 Types)

There are different types of mesothelioma based on what part of the body is most affected. Here are the different types, as well as the corresponding symptoms people may notice first:

  • Pleural mesothelioma (lungs): If the mesothelium surrounding the lungs are impacted by asbestos, symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath, painful coughing, lumps under the skin of your chest, or unexplained weight loss.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen): In cases where mesothelioma targets the abdominal lining, symptoms could arise such as nausea, unexplained weight loss, or abdominal pain and swelling.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma (heart): For rarer cases of mesothelioma such as this, the symptoms are even harder to identify. If the surrounding tissues of the heart are impacted, symptoms may include chest pains or difficulty breathing.
  • Testicular mesothelioma (testicles): Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis (the pouch holding a serum-like membrane around the testicles) could show symptoms of swelling or the development of an unusual mass on the testicle.

If you have any of these symptoms or suspect you’ve been exposed to asbestos, please seek professional medical help immediately. If you have already received your diagnosis, the following sections seek to explain how asbestos is linked to this disease, and provide you with helpful information about mesothelioma attorneys.

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Why Is Asbestos Cancer-Causing? What Are Other Asbestos-Related Diseases?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of strong, heat-resistant fibers. It was once widely in use to insulate floors and walls, to make shingles, and to pad brakes. Asbestos-related health problems result more frequently during the mining and cutting of the mineral, but anyone who comes into contact with asbestos at any time could be in danger. This is because once asbestos fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled or swallowed. The fibers then affix themselves onto the membranes of the lungs or stomach, and lead directly to mesothelioma cancer over the course of many years (in some instances, as long as 60 years).

For example, a former construction worker may be 72 years old, enjoying their hard-earned retirement, and looking forward to seeing their grandchildren graduate. Then they receive a diagnosis of cancer due to repeated exposure to asbestos particles shed by insulation they installed on the job. After a lifetime of honest work, this person is about to be robbed of their golden years.

While many people who interact with asbestos never develop mesothelioma, those who do may be looking at a severe loss of vitality and possibly death. There are multiple potentially asbestos-related conditions, such as:

  • Mesothelioma of the lungs, abdomen, heart, or testicles
  • Lung cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer (relating to the larynx, aka the “voice box”)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pharyngeal cancer (relating to the pharynx, aka the membranous cavity behind the nose and mouth)
  • Stomach cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Pleural effusion (fluid buildup around the lungs, aka “water on the lungs”)
  • Asbestosis (non-cancerous, long-term asbestos damage to the lungs)

Each of these conditions harms and/or threatens the lives of those who are afflicted, and may also impact the people around them. However, though the damage is real and clear, because asbestos poisoning can take so long to surface, it’s not always an easy case to prove against those who should be held liable. This is why you need an experienced asbestos injury attorney.

Yellow Tape reading “Danger Asbestos Dust Hazard” blocking off an area

Who Can Receive Compensation for Asbestos Injuries?

Sometimes the law is clear: if someone sells you a car with faulty brakes and you’re injured due to brake failure, that is likely going to be a relatively straight-forward case. In cases of asbestos exposure, it can be more complicated. You not only need proof that your injuries are asbestos-related, you also need to identify the exact source of the exposure and the party responsible for allowing you to be placed in harm’s way.

Workers who may come into contact with asbestos fibers include:

  • Asbestos miners
  • Insulators
  • Plumbers
  • Pipefitters
  • Electricians 
  • Demolition or general construction workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Steel mill employees
  • Home remodelers
  • Certain military personnel
  • Brake mechanics

How Asbestos Can Harm Family Members and Others Near the Worker

Because asbestos tends to cling where it lands (inside and outside of the body), those who live with workers exposed to the fibers may suffer from asbestos exposure as well. Family members, roommates, and even pets are vulnerable, as are those who may inadvertently encounter asbestos at their office job (if it’s in an old, substandard building) or while doing urban exploring (touring an abandoned structure, for example).

Often people will know exactly where they were exposed to asbestos, but others may not. For those who do know where they were injured, it still must be proven to a high legal standard, and that is why a seasoned lawyer is important, to do the heavy lifting and compile the necessary evidence so you can focus on recovery.

This is why attorneys like those at D’Amico Law Offices are vital: you need a lawyer who can be a detective, documentarian, and advocate all in one.

Attorneys like those at D’Amico Law Offices are vital: you need a lawyer who can be a detective, documentarian, and advocate all in one to win essential compensation for mesothelioma and asbestos cancer.

What Compensation for Asbestos Exposure Can Mean For You

Asbestos has been classified as a carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer for years. That knowledge necessitates a certain level of responsibility for those who leave asbestos unchecked. When safety standards are not met, compensation may be due from the company that installed or created asbestos-contaminated insulation, a victims’ compensation fund, or an insurance company.

If you or a loved one are injured due to irresponsible negligence or even reckless endangerment, being awarded monetary damages won’t make up for all of your losses, but here’s what financial reparations from the appropriate parties can do for you.

  • Provide for multiple kinds of treatment: The costs associated with chronic conditions like cancer and organ damage can be astronomical. Diagnoses, hospitalizations, surgeries, recovery care, medical equipment costs and maintenance, preventative care, and holistic aspects of treatment (like emotional support and counseling for you and your loved ones), etc. Each of these treatments costs money, and insurance will most likely not cover all of them.
  • Compensate for lost wages: When you’ve gained the skills, knowledge, and experience in your line of work to be well-paid, you don’t deserve to be demoted to lesser-paying work due to injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.
  • Account for loss of earning capacity: If you’re injured during the prime years of your career, you lose out on the ability to gain the expertise that could have improved your entire family’s lives, and this loss deserves to be compensated.
  • Make up for a diminished quality of life: Should asbestos or cancer damage parts of your body beyond full recovery, a lot is sacrificed—world travel, dancing at your child’s wedding, being strong enough to care for your own loved ones in their times of need, the feeling of vitality and health. These are difficult concepts to calculate a monetary amount for, which is why you need a proven attorney to help identify and make a case for compensation.
  • Address a loss of consortium: In legalese, “consortium” is the right of association and companionship with one’s spouse. Should you lose the spark of libido, should you become too physically diminished for marital congress, should the stress of an avoidable chronic disease alienate one’s affections, should your marriage fall apart, should a divorce impact the well-being of your children, all of this may be considered in a legal setting to recognize your pain and suffering with financial restitution.
  • Allow a death with dignity: In the worst case scenario where a life is lost, the grief sustained is hard enough without having to worry about the cost of hospice care, funeral and burial expenses, and legal fees associated with settling a person’s property, their debts, and their overall estate. An accomplished attorney can make these final tasks a lot easier to bear, and can help you file a wrongful death claim if necessary.

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Reach Out Now: Asbestos Injury Lawyer and Mesothelioma Attorney Info

D’Amico Law Offices, LLC is a family-run firm that proudly serves clients located in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. We specialize in the groundwork and nuance required for mesothelioma and asbestos cases, and we have a proven track record of winning essential compensation for our clients.

We are confident in what we can do for you, so now it’s up to you to act. Review our list of job sites and locations where workers may have been exposed to asbestos, call us with your specific questions at (412) 652-9300, or fill out our contact form to arrange a convenient time for your free consultation.

The sooner you contact the experienced asbestos injury and mesothelioma cancer lawyers at D’Amico Law Offices, the sooner we can start to seek the compensation you need.

Asbestos Cancer FAQs

Does asbestos cause mesothelioma?

Almost exclusively. Mesothelioma is an aggressive, pervasive cancer almost entirely caused by exposure to the fibrous mineral asbestos. The extremely rare instances of non-asbestos related mesotheliomas include a volcanic mineral (erionite) geographically limited to the central region of Turkey.

Do I need a mesothelioma lawyer?

Yes. Since mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure, your diagnosis can be proof of negligence. An experienced lawyer can help identify the responsible party and get you potentially life-saving compensation.

Do I need a lawyer with a background in asbestos injury?

Most likely. Asbestos injuries take a long time (sometimes decades) to impact your health, and you’ll likely need a lawyer who is familiar with the territory to prove the source of asbestos to a high legal standard.

Is it worth it to sue over asbestos exposure?

With a dedicated attorney to help you through the court process, the compensation you’re owed could help save your life, secure the financial safety of your family, and potentially stop other people from being injured by holding the negligent parties responsible.