During the twentieth century, up until the late 1970s, a mineral was used for a vast range of purposes, and it soon became known as a wonderful, cost effective material that could be used by many professions. This mineral was asbestos, and it was used in a wide range of goods, from insulation in building, to piping, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, auto brakes, and even household goods such as toasters. The cost effectiveness and fire retardant properties of asbestos made it into a hugely popular material used by a number of difference professions.
However, by the 1980s the bubble burst, as many people realized that this wasn’t a wonderful, perfect material at all, but a hazardous substance that could cause a range of dangerous health effects and could even lead to death. One of the most dangerous and notable diseases that can result from long term or frequent exposure to asbestos fibers is mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that is on the rise in many countries around the world.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that can affect the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), or the heart (pericardial mesothelioma). The unique thing about this form of cancer is the latency period – it can take several decades or more for symptoms of the cancer to manifest from the exposure to asbestos, which means that people that have contracted this cancer do not find out that they actually have the disease for 20, 30, even 50 years. Once the symptoms have developed, the patient’s life span can be shortened to a matter of months. The long latency period and non-specific symptoms associated with mesothelioma can make it very difficult to diagnose, thus causing additional delays. To date there is no long-term treatment or cure for this cancer.
Many people that are now discovering that they have mesothelioma are just starting to enjoy their retirement, many of them having worked with asbestos in their younger years. This cancer tends to affect a high number of men in their 60's and 70's, because these are the people that worked with asbestos on a daily basis 30 or 40 years ago.
The concerning thing about asbestos – apart from the obvious ill health effects – is that it is thought that many manufacturers and companies that produced and used asbestos were well aware of the deadly effects since the 1920s. However, they continued to use asbestos widely in all sorts of industries, and moreover did not warn nor protect employees that were working with this substance. By making employees work obliviously with asbestos on a daily basis, these companies had effectively signed the death warrant of many of them.
It was not just those working with asbestos without protection that were at risk. Their families could also find themselves exposed to asbestos through the clothes, hair and skin of their loved ones. In some cases, the wives of asbestos workers contracted mesothelioma simply by breathing in asbestos fibers from washing the clothes of their husbands.
These days, asbestos litigation has become a big business, and many people have sued manufacturers and irresponsible companies for millions of dollars. Of course, the money does not make up for the shortened life span or the pain and suffering, but this compensation is to cover medical expenses incurred as a result of contracting mesothelioma, as well as to provide a secure financial future for the family of the sufferer after he or she has passed on.
There are now many lawyers in operation that specialize in mesothelioma cases, and these mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers offer expertise and skills that will help you to get the compensation you deserve from those responsible for your illness. An experienced lawyer will be able to take the necessary action to determine which manufacturers or companies should be help responsible for your illness, and can put together a solid lawsuit to increase your chances of a successful claim. If you are the relative of someone that has already passed away from mesothelioma, you should still contact a specialist lawyer in order to get compensation for pain and suffering of your loved one.
Most mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency fee, which means that you won’t have to pay a cent up front. You will only pay if and when you receive a settlement, at which point the mesothelioma lawyer will take a percentage of the settlement as a fee for his services. It is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible, as most states have statutes of limitation, which means that you have to file your claim within a certain time period. You should find out what the statutes of limitation are within your state, and contact a mesothelioma lawyer as early on as possible in the event that you are diagnosed with this disease.
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