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For years, individuals have worked in various industries in which they were forced to work with different materials—many at the time were considered normal and perfectly safe. As these individuals got older, they started to develop many problems with their health.
In certain situations, the problem often turned out to be mesothelioma.
Fast forward to today and people are still dealing with this serious condition. This condition has impacted thousands of people and far too often, it usually late in the stages and is not something that can be treated.
For many of these individuals, there isn’t much time after the condition is diagnosed. However, each person experiences various impacts of the condition. Knowing what legal options may be available to them can help sufferers move forward.
Before you move forward, it’s important to know what mesothelioma is, what causes it, the potential impact that a victim may experience, and the legal options available to you and your family depending on the situation.
Table of Contents
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is one of the most serious types of cancer, often categorized as aggressive and terminal because there are treatments available to help the individual cope, but there is no cure for the condition. It impacts the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organics.
Depending on the part of the body that is affected, mesothelioma is categorized in different types. For instance, if the tissue around the lung is impacted, it would be considered pleural mesothelioma. Around the abdomen, it would be labeled peritoneal mesothelioma.
There is also pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the individual’s heart. Finally, there may be mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis. This is when the tissue surrounding the testicles may be affected.
The Cause of Mesothelioma
Asbestos is a fiber found in many of the materials used in various industries such as construction, shipyards, plumbing, and more. When this fiber is disturbed, it becomes dangerous to anyone who inhales it. The fibers enter the system and can cause mesothelioma over a long period of time.
In some cases, it can take decades before symptoms even begin to show in the individual. This latency period means the individuals often think something more recent contributed to the condition when in reality, it was most likely something with which they worked with years prior. For instance, an individual who worked in a shipyard may have inhaled asbestos 20 years ago, but the condition just started causing problems now.
The Impact of This Serious Condition
The individual may experience a number of different symptoms based on the type of mesothelioma that the person may have. In most cases, some of the symptoms that are experienced are similar between the type of cancer.
Some of the most common symptoms experienced include the following:
- Dry coughing and wheezing
- Muscle weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid surrounding the lungs
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
Mesothelioma is most often diagnosed by accident when the individual is having an X-ray or a random blood test. Typically, once the condition is identified, it may be too late and the cancer may have spread, which makes it difficult to treat by the doctors.
For many who don’t know about mesothelioma, they may be unaware that informing their doctor of exposure to asbestos may help identify the potential of mesothelioma easier because the doctor would know what to look for in the patient.
The Legal Options Available to Individuals Affected By Mesothelioma
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is most often a fatal condition, so understanding what legal options are available can help victims understand why action is needed quickly. Also, families of those affected should know what options they have.
Determining the cause of the mesothelioma may increase the chances of the affected individual seeking compensation for the damages they have sustained. If individuals were exposed in a manner where their safety wasn’t considered, the party, company or product manufacturer who exposed the worker may be responsible.
For instance, if the workers were not warned of the presence of asbestos, or if safety masks were not provided, this would be considered negligent and if the person ends up developing mesothelioma, there may be legal action available.
It can be complex for individuals to understand what comes next, but having a skilled Florida mesothelioma attorney can be a very helpful step to take. At The Ferraro Law Firm, we take these matters very serious and believe that those who put workers at risk should be held accountable.
Our firm works tirelessly to prove that you have rights to file legal action and seek the compensation you are owed.
Frequently Asked Questions: Mesothelioma & Asbestos
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic, naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Known for its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has historically been used in insulation, construction materials, automotive parts, and shipbuilding materials.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of small shard-like fibers that can easily become airborne when disturbed. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers can embed within the lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, or testes where they can cause cancer to form years or decades later.
What are asbestos-related diseases?
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Three of the most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
What are common mesothelioma symptoms?
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include difficulty breathing and chest pains. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, may cause abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a preventable form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military or while working in construction, mechanics, or a similar field, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Ferraro Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, patients can receive treatments for mesothelioma that may extend their initial prognosis with proper treatment. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma usually have a life expectancy that is greater than three years, though a large part of this depends on the stage the patient is diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the longer the life expectancy and chance of long-term survival.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek long-term medical treatment. After that, you should contact our firm to examine your legal rights. Since 1985, The Ferraro Law Firm has represented individuals with asbestos-related diseases and pursued fair compensation on their behalf. Our firm is one of the top five law firms in the U.S. handling mesothelioma and asbestos cases.