Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral having various beneficial qualities. These qualities make it a valuable mineral for its use in different industries. However, its exposure can also be highly toxic to humans. Several countries banned its use in construction and other manufacturing industries after its harmful effects were known. However, it is still used virtually everywhere in America, and its regulated use is allowed to date.
Some manufacturers now rely on safer substitutes like cellulose fiber, silica fabric and have tried to phase out the use of asbestos. However, it might take years for its use to get banned altogether.
Intact asbestos doesn’t pose any risk. But if it is damaged or disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers can be released into the air. You can get exposed to asbestos fibers in shifty old buildings or if you live with someone who has been exposed to asbestos at work. They may have carried asbestos fibers home on their clothing where you could have breathed them in. In America, you are most at risk of getting exposed to asbestos fibers if you’re in or nearby an ongoing demolition or renovation project of an old building.
Asbestos exposure can lead to many serious ailments. Seeking immediate medical help for any such health condition is recommended once the diagnosis is confirmed. If you suspect workplace exposure, it may also lead to a legal battle.
This article will guide you on how to ask for legal and medical help after either short or long-term exposure to asbestos.
Seeking Legal Help after Asbestos Exposure
Getting diagnosed with asbestos-related health issues due to workplace negligence and working conditions may make you entitled to monetary assistance and compensation for medical bills. Some of the most competent mesothelioma lawyers work at the nation’s leading mesothelioma law firm, namely Simmons Hanly Conroy. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can assist you and your family through the entire legal process. With offices located in several cities in the US, Simmons Hanly Conroy’s asbestos attorneys have helped thousands of families across the US.
Asbestos exposure can be confirmed by getting a lung biopsy. It is advised to seek legal help as soon as you get diagnosed. Your lawyer can guide you about the different types of financial support and compensation you are eligible for. The timeframe for this settlement can be affected by;
- The state the lawsuit is filed in
- The date of the trial
- Defendants who agree to settle the case
- Statute of limitations
Considering the above factors, the lawsuit can last for around 12 months, and compensation can be awarded within 90 days. The asbestos claim payout is around $1 million to $1.4 million. The steps involved in getting a payout are;
- Your case is reviewed
- A meeting is set between you and your legal team
- Your legal team helps you file a lawsuit after assessing your case
- Facts and figures are studied carefully
- A decision is made on whether to ask for settlement or go for trial
- You receive your compensation
The compensation that you receive can help you pay for medical bills, lost income, any form of physical therapy, funeral costs, fees involved in travel to and from the hospital, and financial security for your family. Your attorney will also guide you about the other sources of help and support available to you.
Impact of Asbestos Exposure
If you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos, it is understandable to be worried about its health effects. You can incur major health and financial losses due to significant asbestos exposure. Depending on the duration of exposure, it can affect your health in mild to severe degrees.
Short-Term Impact of Asbestos Exposure
Getting exposed to a low quantity of asbestos fibers for only a few days in your life is considered short-term asbestos exposure. Short-term asbestos exposure has low effects on health and rarely results in disease.
Asbestos is not radioactive, and fortunately, you can’t get sick by just being around it. Only if you inhale or swallow asbestos dust, you develop serious ailments.
Long-Term Impact of Asbestos Exposure
No amount of asbestos exposure is safe. Being exposed to even small quantities of asbestos dust over a long period can result in asbestos-related conditions later in life. A high quantity of exposure over a short period can also result in disease.
Microscopic asbestos particles can get attached to the linings of organs in the respiratory and digestive systems. These particles can stay latent for years and can cause DNA damage. The accumulation of cellular changes brought about by DNA miscoding can lead to cancer and other inflammatory diseases.
Most types of asbestos-related cancers diagnosed today in America developed because of exposure to asbestos dust decades ago when its use was not regulated in the US. Asbestos exposure increases your chances of developing cancer five times more than the average population. Long term exposure to asbestos particles can result in the following diseases;
· Pleural disease
· Chronic Obtrusive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
· Lung cancer
· Ovarian cancer
The financial troubles caused by long-term exposure to asbestos can be a lot. The treatment of asbestos-related diseases without compensation can be heavy on the pockets. Some asbestos-related conditions might never show any symptoms. However, other diseases might show signs similar to various other ailments. These symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, and chronic cough.
Seeking Medical Help after Asbestos Exposure
Once you suspect exposure or develop symptoms, it is wise to seek medical help immediately. Your doctor will carry out some tests and then will diagnose whether your symptoms are because of asbestos exposure or any other illness. After initial diagnosis, your doctor can refer you to a specialist depending on the type and severity of the disease.
After diagnosis, get an incident report made by your employer. This report is essential for any legal proceedings. Your specialist will develop a treatment plan for you according to the stage of your disease. These treatment plans might not cure you completely, but they can alleviate symptoms and prolong your life span. You can consult more than one physician and carry out your research to choose the best and satisfactory treatment option for yourself.
Understanding the complex laws might be difficult for you with limited legal knowledge. That is why numerous law firms across the US are ready to assist you in this legal struggle that can be emotionally and financially taxing. The health toll of asbestos exposure can also be huge. Being aware of the impact of asbestos exposure and knowing which legal and medical route to follow after diagnosis can make your journey through this difficult time somewhat easier. We hope that this article proves to be a helpful guide.
Published by John