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Posted on April 01st, 2020
The dangers of asbestos exposure have been known for over a half century. An overwhelming amount of evidence has linked the ingestion or inhalation of microscopic fibers to severe diseases. All of the asbestos diseases are difficult to treat and some are impossible to cure. It is essential for asbestos victims to know that they may be eligible for compensation or financial assistance based on their exposure history and medical evidence.
Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers can cause fibrotic lung disease and changes in the lining of the chest cavity or pleura. Lung cancer occurs when asbestos fibers cause enough irritation, inflammation and mutations in the cells of the lung tissue. Asbestos-related lung cancer accounts for about 4% of all lung cancer cases.
Although repeated exposure to asbestos on the job puts workers at risk of developing lung cancer, not all lung cancers are caused by asbestos. Exposure to certain hazardous materials such as uranium, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel, and some petroleum products is also especially dangerous. Other risk factors of chronic respiratory diseases include tobacco use, cigarette smoking, air pollution, indoor smoke from solid fuels. Studies have demonstrated that genetic factors also may play a role in one's chances of developing lung cancer.
Your doctor will diagnose an asbestos-related lung disease based on your past exposure to asbestos, your symptoms, and results of tests such as a chest X-ray or chest CT scan. While evaluating imaging scans, the doctor can also check the pleural lining around the lungs for signs of asbestos exposure. Patients must discuss all sources of asbestos exposure in order to identify the circumstances, duration and intensity under which the exposure occurred.
In handling your asbestos claim, Environmental Litigation Group will carefully examine your job history and other potential points of exposure in order to prove the source of asbestos exposure that led to your condition. It could be that your former employer knew of the risks of asbestos exposure at your workplace, but failed to take safety measures, or your exposure may be due to the negligence of a product manufacturer.
A successful asbestos claimant must prove 5 years of exposure to asbestos prior to 1980. The best proof of exposure is work experience at one or more of the thousands of worksites or Naval shipyards known to have exposed workers to asbestos. Certain legal options and other forms of financial compensation very much depend on the specifics of the individual case, however, there are key factors that need to be considered for a claim to be successful:
Environmental Litigation Group can explain how to document your exposure history in order to file a successful asbestos claim. These records help us to build the strongest case possible to get you the compensation you deserve.
An estimated 27 million Americans had direct asbestos exposure in their workplace between 1940 and 1980: shipbuilders, miners, insulators, construction workers and other blue-collar workers are at particularly high risk. Major suppliers of asbestos-containing products entered into bankruptcy proceedings through which asbestos trust funds were established to pay the full scheduled value of all present and future claims. The occupations within these industrial settings often required workers to directly handle asbestos-containing products, thus as a result, thousands of workers are now developing asbestos-related diseases. In providing the required connection to a particular asbestos-containing product, a potential victim must provide and document as much evidence as possible of the details of his exposure history.
Asbestos trust funds may also require proof regarding the length of asbestos exposure. This is because the subsequent risks of developing diseases due to inhalation of asbestos fibers are directly related to the amount of asbestos and length of exposure. However, asbestos exposure is cumulative, so short-term exposures can add up. To file a claim with an asbestos trust fund, you have to prove that you were exposed at a particular worksite or that exposure resulted from a particular product.
Once you know which companies are liable for the asbestos exposure that caused your condition, it is helpful to determine when the exposure occurred. While it may be implausible to pinpoint an exact date and time in some case, it is helpful to understand that it generally takes between 10 and 40 years for victims of asbestos exposure to develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain and dry cough. If you have pay records, awards, or other documents related to your employment that will be extremely helpful. When it comes to proving exposure to asbestos in the workplace, another thing you can do is to contact coworkers from that time period.
Asbestos claims are likely to be denied if:
Exposure is not enough for any asbestos claim. Claimants must present proof of asbestos-related conditions diagnosed by a doctor, and many trusts will have certain medical criteria beyond the diagnosis. Consequently, to be eligible for compensation, you must have medical documentation that you were diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.
Our legal staff will perform a free and confidential evaluation of your case in order to determine how strong your case is. If based on our evaluation, we determine that your case is strong enough to support your claim we will ask you to provide us with access to your medical records, work history, and other necessary information. Despite the complexity of the process, the attorneys at Environmental Litigation Group continue to push even harder to obtain fair compensation for their clients suffering from asbestos-related illnesses.