Through a qualified asbestos attorney, those who have been afflicted with mesothelioma or other related illnesses, after exposure to asbestos, can explore their options for legal recourse. To date, well over half a million victims of asbestos exposure have received settlements, and that number is expected to continue increasing over the coming decades.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, harvested from soil or rock. Both exceptionally strong and resistant to heat, it was a popular choice, throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries, for the manufacturing of many consumer goods. The most common products made from asbestos were building materials and auto parts, but even fabric used in flame-resistant clothing routinely contained asbestos.
The use of asbestos was officially banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1989, after it was discovered to be a toxic carcinogen or cancer-causing agent. This federal action occurred after those who had experienced repeat exposure—most often in an occupational setting—had begun falling ill, usually decades after contact with asbestos.
Annually, more than 10,000 people die each year of asbestos-related illnesses. Some of the occupations that routinely put workers in contact with asbestos include firefighting, automotive repair and construction.
With the help of an asbestos attorney, victims of asbestos-related illnesses—including asbestosis, malignant mesothelioma and other cancers—have brought suit against manufacturers of asbestos-containing products and other entities responsible for its widespread use. Asbestos litigation makes up the longest running tort in U.S. history, with more than 700,000 claimants.
Because there is such a significant lag between the time of exposure and the development of asbestos-related illnesses, many workers who fall ill are long-since retired. With a fixed and limited income, the exorbitant medical costs of treatment for mesothelioma and other serious and often life-threatening conditions are frequently considered too heavy a burden for these victims and their families. In cases such as these, an asbestos attorney can help navigate legal routes for financial recourse.
In addition to the cost of medical treatment, non-retired victims of asbestos-related illnesses experience loss of wages while they are unable to work. The cost of transportation to and from medical facilities and other related expenses are also incurred by these individuals and their families.
Finding an experienced asbestos attorney is the first step in pursuing a personal injury claim. Cumulatively, these professionals have successfully litigated more than $70 billion in settlements and helped thousands of victims gain compensation. In the coming years, those numbers are expected to grow significantly, with new cases of asbestos-related disease occurring at a consistent rate, affecting thousands of people each year.