Monday, May 8, 2023

Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma: Seeking Legal Redress


Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma: Seeking Legal Redress

A mesothelioma diagnosis is nothing short of devastating. With no known cure, this rapidly progressing cancer is instantly life-altering. People quickly lose their ability to work and take care of other important responsibilities. Dealing with this terminal illness can also result in severe depression, loss of consortium, and a dramatic decrease in overall life quality. Fortunately, there are ways to seek legal redress.

The Short and Long-term Prognoses for Mesothelioma Patients

Five-year survival rates for mesothelioma are just 10%. Sadly, many people succumb to this illness within four to 18 months of diagnosis. This leaves limited time to prepare for after-death expenses, ensure the financial security of surviving loved ones, and make peace with all that's been suddenly stripped away.

Although mesothelioma cannot be cured, some treatments can control its symptoms and slow its spread. These include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery to remove larger growths
  • Surgery (pleurodesis) to inhibit the build-up of fluids within the heart

As mesothelioma progresses, many patients require assistance with even their most basic self-care. Given the sudden onset of severe symptoms, treatment frequently includes mental health evaluations and interventions for depression, anxiety, and grief.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is largely the result of tiny, foreign objects that have embedded themselves in the airways, lungs, oesophagus, heart, or stomach lining. Over 80% of all mesothelioma diagnoses can be attributed to asbestos exposure. Although asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, it can potentially cause tremendous harm when swallowed or breathed in. When asbestos is disturbed or as it ages and dries out, this mineral releases micro-fine fibres into the air.

Asbestos particulates can be released during the renovation of older buildings or during simple repair and replacement projects. The particulate release is also a common consequence of asbestos and talc mining operations. 

Who Is Accountable?

Asbestos has long been valued for its superior fire rating. Given its remarkably low flammability level, it was once used in ceilings, siding, and other building materials. Asbestos has also been used in designing and manufacturing gas-powered fireplaces and other home features for which flammability is a concern.

When the dangers of asbestos became widely known, its use was outlawed in many residential and commercial applications. However, this mineral is still sourced domestically and imported in large quantities each year. It remains a vital part of many industrial processes. Asbestos can still be found in traceable quantities in many talc-containing makeups, baby powders, body powders, and other beauty and self-care items. In short, the threat of asbestos exposure is significantly more limited than in times past, but it has never gone away.

If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, identifying the responsible party starts with determining where and how asbestos exposure occurred. For instance, you may have been exposed to asbestos in your workplace, when renting an apartment or home, or after remodelling an older house for which no pre-sale asbestos disclosures were made. 

Employers are obligated to inform and protect their workers too. No worker should be made to enter an environment with asbestos while lacking the proper protective gear. The appropriate mitigation strategies must also be employed, from air clearing to containment. All employees should receive asbestos training when relevant, and all employees should be made aware that the risk of exposure exists.

How Do Attorneys Assign Liability in Mesothelioma Claims?

The assignment of liability is another matter. Hiring a reputable Kentucky mesothelioma law firm is your best chance at drawing a clear line of causation between the point of your exposure and your illness. Mesothelioma attorneys do more than hold liable parties accountable. They also assist in collecting evidence by looking at similar cases, interviewing those with similar or identical points of exposure, working with expert witnesses, and carefully examining medical records.

Although the prognosis for mesothelioma is generally bleak, some patients have lived after diagnosis for two full decades and more. To ensure your best chance at long-term success and to ensure the financial well-being of your loved ones, you can seek legal help. Compensation for your illness and injuries will allow you to improve your quality of care and attain peace of mind.

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