Asbestos & Mesothelioma FAQ
What is asbestos?
Asbestos describes a special group of 6 fibrous silicate minerals that occur naturally throughout the world. In the past, asbestos was widely used for its heat-resistant properties in addition to its ability to absorb sound and maintain its integrity in the face of electrical or chemical damages, such as in house or other building fires. Now known to cause illnesses such as lung cancer and mesothelioma, the use of asbestos is strictly prohibited in many parts of the world.
What is mesothelioma?
It is a form of cancer that develops in the lining found around many of the internal organs. This may be in the abdomen, in the pleura of the lungs, in the heart or in a number of other locations. There are different forms of the disease and this will be important in treatment options. The different forms of mesothelioma are divided up depending on the location where the mesothelioma is affected. This cancer can lead to a number of symptoms including abdomen pain, chest pain, shortness of breath, fluid buildup in the chest, and other effects. It spreads rapidly and can be difficult to catch early on.
How does asbestos cause mesothelioma?
Asbestos can be ingested into the lungs where the thin, fibrous crystals may come into contact with and transform cells from the mesothelium which is a layer of the lining that protects the body's organs from a variety of dangers. While it may not be clear exactly how these cells are made cancerous by asbestos, there is no question that the correlation between asbestos exposure and this rare form of cancer is real, and the potential for serious personal injury is great.
How can mesothelioma be treated?
There are a number of treatment options that are available, but for many people, there is no cure. Chemotherapy can be an option and through it, chemicals can be used to target the cancer cells. Radiation is another potential option that focuses high-energy beams to a certain area to reduce symptoms or prevent the mesothelioma from spreading further. Surgical procedures can be used in some situations to remove the surrounding tissue, reduce fluid buildup in the chest, or to debulk cancer from an area.
Clinical trials are also another option for some people, as studies are taking place to continually advance the treatment for this illness. Mesothelioma cannot always be cured and often the treatment is to find a way to improve the quality of life while dealing with the illness. Treatment options can be costly and the current and future expenses should all be calculated when seeking compensation. This may include any hospital stays, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, check-ups, and necessary modifications to a home or car, amongst other potentially needed changes.
Where does asbestos exposure most commonly occur?
The highest levels of exposure and eventual mesothelioma occur in asbestos miners who have ingested the toxic silicate over prolonged periods of time. Asbestos was also commonly used in buildings and materials for its heat-resistant properties and while there have been vast efforts to remove asbestos, there are still many areas where it has not been properly disposed of or discovered and continues to pose a threat.
Who should be held liable for the cause of my mesothelioma?
If you have contracted mesothelioma as a result of your exposure to asbestos, you can expect to face potentially excessive medical costs associated with the treatment of your disease. Many asbestos exposure victims enlist the support of a West Virginia injury lawyer to seek compensation for these costs from employers or builders who were responsible for using the asbestos or may have been tasked with its removal. When the parties responsible for the presence of asbestos demonstrate their negligence by failing to dispose of it, they can be held accountable for medical costs and more.
Can I recover damages for my mesothelioma injuries?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have a valid eligibility for compensation. The crucial part of a case is establishing that a company or individual was responsible for the injury and their negligence or failure to act left your suffering the consequences. In some cases, a settlement can be made out of court but it is important in these circumstances to not settle for less than you deserve. Depending on the extent of harm you faced, the medical attention required and the hindrance that is now placed on your life there is a certain standard of compensation you deserve. A case may be brought to court and evidence will need to establish you have suffered and it was at the hands of another. If this can be proven, you may be granted any amount of compensation.