The relationship between exposure to asbestos and the cancer known as mesothelioma has never been more certain. No level of asbestos exposure is considered to be safe for individuals and it is by far, the leading cause of mesothelioma in the U.S. In fact, even those who may have had secondary exposure to asbestos, (e.g. through the clothing of a loved one) are at risk.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of this disease may not manifest themselves until 20 - 50 years after the initial exposure. This long latency period makes it difficult to diagnose as well as to determine where and when the asbestos exposure occurred.
Yet, despite the obvious facts, many individuals still do not understand that exposure to asbestos (and hence, mesothelioma) is the result of negligence on the part of those responsible for the commercial use of asbestos who knew full well the dangers that exposure to their materials posed.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma occurs when the cells of the mesothelium (protective lining around internal organs) become abnormal, divide and metastasize. There are three types of mesothelioma each of which effects a different internal organ: Pleural (lungs), Peritoneal (abdominal cavity) and Pericardium (heart).
What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Symptoms of mesothelioma vary by type, as follows:
- Pleural - cough, shortness of breath, chest pains
- Peritoneal - weight loss, abdominal pains/swelling, bowel obstruction, blood clotting, anemia, fever
- Pericardium - irregular heartbeat, chest pain, loss of appetite, hypertension, fatigue
What Should You Do if You Believe You Have Been Exposed to Asbestos or Believe You May Have Mesothelioma?
If you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos, either directly, or through another, it is important that you seek a medical evaluation immediately. Your health and well-being are paramount.
Should you receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may want to consider contacting an attorney with experience in handling mesothelioma-related cases. Mesothelioma is a very serious illness with variable prognoses. Fortunately, there are treatment protocols that can potentially extend and/or improve the individual's life. But these treatments are extremely expensive. Qualified mesothelioma attorneys can help you make sure you receive all appropriate insurance benefits, determine who is responsible for your exposure to asbestos, prove your case, and advocate for your financial compensation.
What is the Process Involved in Filing a Complaint?
When you meet with a qualified mesothelioma lawyer, you will be asked to provide information regarding both your employment as well as medical history. This will help to determine who may be at fault in exposing you to asbestos, the extent of your illness and suffering, and the relationship between the two.
Your attorney may advise you to file a lawsuit against those who were negligent. If you file on behalf of someone who is deceased as a result of exposure to asbestos, the claim will be that of wrongful death.
Once a claim is filed with the court, your lawyer may attempt to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of love and companionship, pain and suffering, expenses for travel for medical treatment, funeral expenses, as well as other expenses not covered by health insurance.
This may be achieved through a negotiated settlement or through trial.
Why Wilson Kehoe Winingham?
All lawyers are not the same and different attorneys have different levels of experience when it comes to cases involving mesothelioma.
At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, we pride ourselves on the experience our firm has in assisting those who have been exposed to asbestos obtain the justice they deserve. We co-counsel with firms known nationally for their specific experience in asbestos litigation. The interdisciplinary approach we take in advocating for our clients involves not just attorneys, but also medical experts and investigators.
If you have been exposed to asbestos or believe you may have mesothelioma, contact the Indiana law firm of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. Put our resources to work for you.