Mesothelioma Claims in Big Pine Key, Florida: What You Need to Know

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Big Pine Key, FL 33043
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Mesothelioma Claims in Big Pine Key, Florida - Caution Hazard Tape over space with Asbestos

Mesothelioma Claims in Big Pine Key, Florida

If you enjoy living in Big Pine Key, Florida, you may love that it's a low-key community. While there isn't a lot of commerce in the area, residents are still served by one of the largest law firms in the U.S. When it comes to the mesothelioma claims in Big Pine Key, FL, what you need to know is that our personal injury lawyers can provide legal counsel on how to receive compensation.

Billions of dollars have been set aside to help victims of mesothelioma, and you don't necessarily have to sue to get it. Your diagnosis may qualify you to receive money from the Asbestos Disease Compensation Fund or VA claims and Social Security Disability Insurance. Our mesothelioma lawyers can provide the help you need during this difficult time.

What is mesothelioma cancer?

People who have been exposed to asbestos may develop mesothelioma cancer years after having come into contact with the fibers. Malignant tumors may form in the thin layer of tissues called the mesothelium, which lines most of our internal organs. Tumors most commonly grow in the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Tragically, this form of cancer is highly aggressive, and there is no known cure. Most patients who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis have about 12 months to live. Still, some treatments can extend life expectancy and quality of life. 

Doctors assign different types of mesothelioma based on where it forms in the mesothelium. If it occurs in the lungs, which is most common, it's called pleural mesothelioma. More rarely, if tumors form around the abdomen, heart, or testicles, this is known as peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • What are the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer?

    Symptoms will vary depending on what organs are affected. Often, people will assume their symptoms are related to something else and won't get diagnosed for months after the symptoms start to show up. Additionally, since the symptoms are common in many illnesses, initial misdiagnosis is not uncommon if your doctor is unaware of your history with asbestos.

    Pleural mesothelioma is related to the lungs and can result in the following symptoms:

    • Shortness of breath
    • Painful cough
    • Chest pain
    • Lumps of tissue under the skin of the chest area
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Trouble swallowing food
    • Hoarseness
    • Swelling of the face and arms
    • Pain in the side of the chest or lower back

    Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms can include:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Constipation
    • Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen

    Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms can include:

    • Irregular heart rhythm
    • Pain in the chest
    • Heart murmur
    • Shortness of breath

    Overall mesothelioma symptoms can include:

    • Excessive sweating
    • Fatigue
    • Blood clots
    • Loss of appetite
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Fever

    These symptoms are treatable, and a mesothelioma claim can provide you with the funds to get medical care and provide support for your family. Generally, symptoms don't develop until 20-50 years after asbestos exposure. Most people who are diagnosed are around 60 years old, with 3,000 to 4,000 cases diagnosed every year in the United States.

  • How does mesothelioma develop?

    The most common cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. The fiber has fireproofing properties, making it a crucial component in many industries such as construction, automobile, manufacturing, and chemical and power industries. It's commonly used in every branch of the military to prevent fires as well. Asbestos is also resistant to chemicals, water, electricity, and heat, making it useful for insulation. 

    Asbestos was and still is used in the U.S. despite medical evidence that the fiber is linked to mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. It takes time for the asbestos fiber to cause damage to organs, which leads to cancer. This is the process:

    • An individual inhales or swallows airborne asbestos fibers
    • The fibers lodge in the lining of the mesothelium, lungs, heart, or abdomen
    • Lodged fibers start to damage mesothelial cells, causing scarring and inflammation
    • Over a period of time, tumors begin to form on the damaged mesothelium resulting in mesothelioma
  • Who is most at risk for developing mesothelioma?

    Individuals who have handled asbestos or been exposed to asbestos for a long period of time are most at risk. Secondhand exposure can occur when a person who works with asbestos comes home to their family with asbestos fibers in their hair, body, and work clothes. A disproportionate number of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces develop this type of cancer. Here is a list of those most at risk:

    • Veterans
    • Construction workers
    • Textile mill workers
    • Electricians
    • Firefighters
    • Miners
    • Drillmen
    • Railway workers
    • Plumbers
    • Merchant marines
    • Building inspectors
    • Welders
    • Sandblasters
    • Sheet metal workers
    • Chimney sweeps
    • Auto mechanics
    • HVAC technicians
    • Shipyard workers
    • Power plant workers
    • Insulators
    • Boiler workers
    • Chemical plant workers
    • Family Members
  • How is mesothelioma diagnosed?

    An early diagnosis of mesothelioma often increases the chances of treatment options. A doctor will use imaging scans, biopsies, and blood tests to diagnose and identify the current stage of this cancer. Staging helps a doctor come up with a treatment plan and enables physicians to deliver a prognosis on life expectancy. There are four stages of malignant mesothelioma tumor growth.

    Stage 1: The cancer is isolated to one area, and surgery to remove the tumors may be an option. Individuals diagnosed at this stage may have a longer life expectancy of about 22 months.

    Stage 2: Tumors have spread into other organ areas near the original site. Surgery is still an option; life expectancy is usually about 20 months.

    Stage 3: Cancer has moved into lymph nodes, and surgery may still be an option for some patients. Life expectancy at this stage is about 17.9 months.

    Stage 4: Tumors have spread into distant organs. Surgery is no longer an option, but chemotherapy and immunotherapy may help ease symptoms. The life expectancy for individuals diagnosed at this stage is about 14.9 months.

  • When should I make a mesothelioma claim?

    Suppose you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. In that case, it's crucial to make a claim as quickly as possible. Every state has statutes of limitation for making claims. They vary depending on whether you are the patient or a family member making a wrongful death claim. For Florida, the statute of limitations is four years after diagnosis or two years after death.

  • How much is a mesothelioma claim worth?

    On average, a mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million. Trial verdicts typically see a higher settlement, which averages $2.4 million. Settlements are usually more desirable than verdicts because of the victims' life expectancy. A settlement ensures compensation within a few months rather than a year or more, which is the length of many trials. Victims can use the money to get the medical care they need and make end-of-life plans for the benefit of their survivors.

  • What factors will impact my mesothelioma settlement amount?

    Our mesothelioma lawyers can explain which factors will impact your settlement amount, but it will depend on your specific details. Here are some factors that will impact how much compensation you may receive:

    Medical costs and lost wages - Settlements typically factor in how much will be needed to cover medical costs related to treatment, as well as covering lost income after a mesothelioma diagnosis.

    Company negligence - Businesses that knowingly expose workers to hazardous work environments face more substantial liability that usually results in higher settlements.

    Exposure history - The longer you were exposed to asbestos, the greater the liability of the company or business that was responsible for the exposure. 

    Diagnosis and medical history - The stage of your asbestosis disease and other medical factors can impact the amount of your settlement.

    The number of defendants - Often, with mesothelioma, the patient may have long-term exposure to asbestos from a variety of employers. It's possible that several of them will be defendants, and you may wish to pursue each of them individually.

    Jurisdiction - Different states have varying laws that can impact the amount of your settlement. For example, some states have award caps that limit the amount you can receive. States have their own statute of limitation for bringing a claim, and evidence requirements can vary. For Florida, the statute of limitations is four years after diagnosis or two years after death.

  • What kind of information will I need to pursue mesothelioma claims in Big Pine Key, Florida?

    Building a case will require information that our lawyers will help you to gather.

    Here are the standard pieces of information you will need to build a case:

    • Medical records with a diagnosis of mesothelioma
    • Comprehensive employment history
    • Medical bills and receipts for all expenses related to diagnosis and treatment of the disease
  • How can an asbestos lawyer help me with my mesothelioma claim?

    Our asbestos lawyers will work closely with you to identify how, where, and when you were exposed to asbestos so that we can find the correct entity(s) to assign financial liability. They will prepare legal documents and identify the right venue in which to pursue the claim. Typically, mesothelioma claims fall into two categories, personal injury or wrongful death. Depending on your individual needs, your lawyer will let you know which type of claim is the best to pursue.

    Once these details have been worked out, your lawyer will file your claim against the responsible entity(s), and they can choose to come up with a settlement or fight in court. If an offer is made, your lawyer will present it to you, and you can choose to accept or refuse the offer. 

    When an offer is made, your lawyer will discuss the pros and cons of accepting or refusing. Your lawyer's advice is based on their extensive experience with mesothelioma cases. Our asbestos lawyers are experts in what to expect and how to negotiate for the most compensation possible. 

    For mesothelioma claims in Big Pine Key, Florida, a Morgan & Morgan asbestos attorney can fight for you every step of the way. We never leave money on the table if we believe your claim is worth more. If we don't win, you don't pay. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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