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Pulmonary Fibrosis Lawyers

with over 50 years of experience

The causal relationship between asbestos exposure and pulmonary fibrosis has not been recognized yet. Nevertheless, a series of reliable medical studies found this disease highly prevalent among individuals with a history of occupational asbestos exposure. If you are a former asbestos worker suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, our attorneys will offer you quality legal assistance and help you recover the compensation you are eligible for.

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Survival Rate for Pulmonary Fibrosis is Less than 5 Years

Pulmonary fibrosis is a type of interstitial lung disease in which severe scarring affects the space between the air sacs of the lungs, medically known as interstitium. While pulmonary fibrosis is most often caused by factors such as respiratory infections, heart failure or adverse drug reaction, it may also occur as a consequence of asbestos exposure. Because it is very similar to asbestosis in terms of symptoms and lung appearance, pulmonary fibrosis is frequently misdiagnosed among asbestos victims, which takes a heavy toll on their prognosis.

Our respiratory system is designed to immediately expel foreign matter which was inhaled so as to prevent it from causing inflammation within the lungs. However, asbestos fibers are highly irritating and also have a rough texture, which makes it very difficult for our lungs to eliminate them once they attach themselves to tissue. Thus, the asbestos fibers embedded in lung tissue will cause severe inflammation over the years. Subsequently, scarring ensues as a result of the body's attempt to repair the damage. With scarring, lung tissue becomes thicker and consequently, people who suffer from pulmonary fibrosis experience breathing difficulty.

Because it is a progressive disease, pulmonary fibrosis typically occurs in 10 to 30 years from the first asbestos exposure. As the disease advances, less and less oxygen is delivered to internal organs, which may bring about a series of other health issues, such as pulmonary hypertension. When it can no longer be kept under control with treatment, pulmonary fibrosis will eventually lead to respiratory failure.

The most common symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis include:

  • a dry cough
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • nail clubbing
  • unintentional weight loss

Despite their similar mechanism of development, pulmonary fibrosis is more aggressive than asbestosis, which translates to a poor prognosis for the vast majority of patients. On average, people who struggle with this illness will lose between 150 and 200 milliliters of lung capacity every year. While the life expectancy for pulmonary fibrosis is approximately 5 years, early detection can prolong survival to a great extent. Unfortunately, there is no cure for pulmonary fibrosis. Scarring is irreversible and will continue to worsen over time. However, benefiting from effective treatment, as well as operating a series of lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation and adopting a healthier diet, can slow down the progress of the disease tremendously.

Pulmonary Fibrosis Misdiagnosis and Asbestos Exposure Work History

The rate of misdiagnosis among asbestos victims is alarmingly high. For this reason, if you have a history of asbestos exposure and were told you have pulmonary fibrosis, we strongly advise you to seek a second opinion from a specialist in asbestos-related diseases. Not only will a wrong diagnosis affect your prognosis, but it will also hinder your chances of recovering proper financial compensation for your injury. Due to their common symptoms and low prevalence, illnesses caused by asbestos exposure are extremely challenging to diagnose by regular oncologists. Accordingly, only specialized medical professionals will be able to offer you a reliable opinion, so please see at least two experts before taking legal action.

Are You Suffering from Pulmonary Fibrosis as a Result of Occupational Asbestos Exposure?

If you were exposed to asbestos in the workplace and subsequently developed pulmonary fibrosis, you are eligible for financial compensation from asbestos trust funds. With over 25 years of experience in pursuing asbestos cases, our diligent attorneys will provide you with quality legal services. By filing a claim with asbestos trust funds on your behalf, which requires no litigation, we are bound to recover significant compensation for your pulmonary fibrosis. Your employment history and written evidence of your illness are the only documents we need to start working on your case. We encourage you to take legal action immediately, as time is a limited resource when it comes to asbestos claims. Depending on where you live, you have between 1 and 6 years to seek compensation due to the statute of limitations, after which you are no longer eligible.

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Secondary Asbestos Exposure Victims Diagnosed With Pulmonary Fibrosis

The family members of former asbestos workers may develop or be diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, too. Secondary asbestos exposure was very common throughout the past century, as adequate workplace safety regulations were not effective and employees who handled asbestos were thus not required to change their clothes upon returning home. As a result, they would bring asbestos dust – which was lingering on their work clothes, as well as on their skin and hair – in the house, unknowingly exposing their loved ones to this toxic mineral.

If you have a family member whose job involved working with asbestos, you are at high risk for developing cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. It is also crucial to know that if you lived under the same roof with someone who had been handling asbestos in the workplace for 3 years or longer and were later diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, your illness is most likely the consequence of secondary asbestos exposure. However, pulmonary fibrosis is often misdiagnosed and many asbestos victims who were initially told they were suffering from it had, in fact, another disease – asbestosis, lung cancer or even mesothelioma. To ensure your pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis is correct, we strongly advise you to seek the opinion of at least two different medical specialists who can confirm your initial pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis. This is also extremely important when it comes to taking legal action, as the amount of compensation you are eligible for depends primarily on your diagnosis.

How Do We Carry Out Pulmonary Fibrosis Cases?

Since asbestos exposure is not officially a cause of pulmonary fibrosis, recovering financial compensation as a former asbestos worker diagnosed with this disease can be quite challenging. However, Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. is a law firm specialized in asbestos cases and our skilful attorneys have been successfully assisting victims of exposure since 1990. So far, over 25,000 individuals have benefited from our legal services, several hundreds of whom were struggling with pulmonary fibrosis.

With the help of our highly experienced lawyers, recovering compensation for pulmonary fibrosis is definitely possible. Although each case is unique, the legal process generally goes as follows:

  • you provide us with your work history and some medical documents stating your pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis, such as X-ray results or a pathology report, after which our legal team will conduct additional research to build your case
  • we file a claim with one or multiple asbestos trust funds – a very simple process which requires no trial – and submit it along with your work history and medical evidence
  • within 3 to 6 months, we find out whether your asbestos claim was approved by the board of trustees, which is bound to happen when you work with a specialized legal team
  • following claim approval, you will receive your compensation in monthly installments from each asbestos trust fund

OUR LEGAL PROCESS IN A PULMONARY FIBROSIS CASE

Correlations between this pulmonary fibrosis and prolonged exposure to asbestos has been determined by our attorneys and they will help you fight your case.