Asbestos is a mineral that has been used not just for decades but for centuries, and has been used for a variety of purposes and in many different applications. Asbestos became very popular over the years because of its cost effectiveness, its versatility, and its remarkable fire and heat resistant properties. It became widely used in the production of various household products, in building materials, and as insulation in everything from steel mills and factories to houses. In fact, asbestos was even used to make protective gear such as gloves, coats, and masks for those that worked in close proximity to intense heat and fire.
Until around the 1980s asbestos was considered a wonder material, and was very widely used in many different industries. However, in the 1980s it became widely known that asbestos was not only dangerous to the health but could even prove deadly. Apparently these facts had been known for some time by members of the asbestos industry, but had not been widely known. As a result of this many people that worked with asbestos and asbestos based products did so without protection, which put them at a hugely increased risk of developing an asbestos related disease.
It is now known that long term or high level exposure to asbestos dust and fibers can result in a variety of health problems, including respiratory problems and scarring of the lungs. However, the most serious health problem that can arise from this type of exposure to asbestos is a form of asbestos related cancer known as mesothelioma, which is a deadly form of cancer that can take decades to develop but can kill within a matter of months following diagnosis. This form of cancer has an extremely long latency period that averages around twenty to forty years, which means that those exposed to asbestos dust and fibers for long periods or at high levels may not even realize that they have contracted this cancer for many decades, which means that the chances of early diagnosis and effective treatment are slim. There is also no cure for this form of cancer at present.
The form of asbestos related cancer can affect the lining cavities around the abdomen, the heart, or the lungs, and diagnosis of this cancer can be made all the more difficult because of its non-specific symptoms. So, in addition to taking a long time to manifest, when the symptoms do appear they can often be mistaken for symptoms of a number of more common health problems. The lifespan of those diagnosed with this form of asbestos related cancer could be shortened to just a few months in many cases.
Those affected by the asbestos related cancer mesothelioma may be entitled to claim compensation for pain and suffering as well as for loss of income and medical expenses. Even if you are unsure as to where you were exposed to asbestos it is well worth pursuing a claim, as most specialist mesothelioma lawyers are able to conduct an independent investigation to try and determine where and when you were exposed to this deadly substance.
Sadly, in many cases it is too late for the victim of asbestos exposure to recover any compensation due to the vastly shortened lifespan associated with mesothelioma. However, it is worth remembering that the family of those that have died from asbestos related cancer may be able to claim compensation for wrongful death, and therefore should enlist the help of a specialist mesothelioma lawyer. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help those affected by asbestos related cancer – whether the victim of the family of a loved on that has passed away from this cancer – to get the compensation and damages to which they may be entitled.
You will not have to worry about finding money to pay for your mesothelioma legal services upfront, as most mesothelioma lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay for legal services only if and when you receive the compensation that you put in a claim for. Your lawyer will evaluate your situation at your initial consultation, and can then work on putting together a solid case in order to maximize your chances of making a successful claim.
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