Mesothelioma is an uncommon and complex form of cancer that is only contracted through exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma affects the mesothelium, a thin membrane that lines many of the cavities where a person’s internal organs are located. Although Mesothelioma typically develops in the mesothelium of the lungs and quickly spreads throughout the body, it has been known to originate in other parts of the body.
At Morgan & Morgan, we have seen just how devastating a mesothelioma diagnosis can be for a person and their loved ones. If you or someone you care about was diagnosed with mesothelioma in The Villages there may be compensation available. To learn more about how a mesothelioma attorney may be able to help, contact us today.
Asbestos: What Is It?
Asbestos is a set of six naturally-occurring fibrous minerals, mined and used commercially in North America starting in the later part of the 19th century. Because of its unique make up, asbestos is virtually fire retardant as well as resistant to most chemical reactions, which make it perfect for commercial and industrial use.
The use of asbestos rose dramatically during the Second World War. Since then, it has been used considerably in industries like construction, mining, plumbing, shipping, and manufacturing, among others. It also found its way into an array of products, such as floor tiles, roofing shingles, textile products, cement compounds, ceiling materials, and automotive parts.
In the later half of the 1970s the use of asbestos dramatically fell when serious health risks linked to it became evident. In 1971 The Occupational Safety and Health Administration began regulating the use of asbestos, and slowly decreased the permitted concentrations allowed in the workplace during the two decades that would follow.
What Makes Contact With Asbestos So Hazardous?
The unique durability of asbestos is what made it so widely used for so long, but that is precisely why it is harmful to humans. The six fibers that makes up asbestos are microscopic and easy for humans to inhale.
During the mining and process and later when it is used on construction sites, asbestos gets fragmented, which creates a dust that can nestle in the lungs when it is inhaled. Those fibers then attach themselves to the respiratory system making them difficult to break down or expel from the lungs.
However, the asbestos does not cause mesothelioma right away. It can take up to 40 years from a person’s initial exposure to asbestos until they develop mesothelioma, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Who Is Most Likely to be Exposed to Asbestos?
The prevalent use of asbestos for decades in numerous industries and thousands of commercial products exposed an untold number of people to asbestos. However, those in the military and those who worked in industries that used it most frequently run the highest risk of exposure.
Industries that used it most before 1980 were:
- Armed Forces
- Power plants
- Commercial product manufacturing
Workers with the greatest risk of being diagnosed with Mesothelioma are those who:
- Have personally been directly exposed to asbestos, at work or elsewhere; or
- Lived with a person who handled asbestos at work and brought the fibers home on their clothing and skin.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are usually brought against a previous employer that utilized asbestos in the workplace, or a company that made and advertised an asbestos product.
In a mesothelioma case, two types of lawsuits can be filed:
Personal Injury Lawsuits: A person that developed Mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos is able to file a personal injury claim, however it must be filed within four years of the Mesothelioma diagnosis.
Wrongful Death Claims: The family of a person who died from Mesothelioma could file a wrongful death lawsuit against those who are accountable. There is a time limit on how long the family has to file the lawsuit so it is important to speak with a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer shortly after your loved one passes away.
In order to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, the victim must prove that they were exposed to asbestos, something that likely happened decades ago. Our attorneys can review your employment history and find the source of your asbestos exposure, establishing a connection between your exposure and mesothelioma diagnosis.
Get Your Free Consultation Today
Our knowledgeable attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have witnessed first hand what a Mesothelioma diagnosis can have on the patient, and their loved ones. We are aware that bringing a lawsuit is likely not your number one concern at this moment. That being said, if you do decide to file a claim we will seek to make it as simple as possible.
We are capable of dealing with each step of the legal process, and allow for you to determine your level of involvement in the case. There is a finite amount of time which you have to bring a Mesothelioma claim so contact us for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.
If you opt to work with our attorneys to bring a lawsuit against the at fault parties, you will not pay us any fees until we recover compensation for you or your family. Contact us today for your free consultation.