Q: What is the law on Workers’ Compensation for mesothelioma victims?
A: While the laws dealing with employer responsibility for asbestos exposure vary from state to state, there is usually some way for an injured employee to recover for asbestos-related injuries sustained at a workplace. Please contact us today to have your individual worker’s compensation questions regarding asbestos by clicking here.
Q: I live in New Jersey, and years ago I filed an asbestos claim. Recenty I’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma. What are my rights and am I permitted to sue?
A: New Jersey is considered a two-disease state. This means that people with repeated exposure to asbestos have legal options open to them if they develop serious health problems such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. If someone develops an asbestos-related disease, that individual can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover monetary compensation for medical bills and lost wages. If, years later, that same individual develops another asbestos-related disease, he or she can file a second personal injury lawsuit, irrespective of the first.
Q: What is Mesothelioma?
A: Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer. The National Cancer Institute describes Mesothelioma as a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura), the lining of the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum), or the lining around the heart (the pericardium).
Q: How do you get Mesothelioma?
A: Mesothelioma usually results from asbestos exposure at work. Employees with prolonged exposure over an extended period of time face the highest risk, but cases of Mesothelioma have been documented after minimal exposure as well. Workplaces where shingles, flooring materials, cement, brake linings, textiles, and insulation-containing asbestos pose the greatest risk. Since they are almost invisible, asbestos particles may be inhaled or swallowed, causing serious health problems.
Q: How will I know if I have Mesothelioma?
A: Symptoms of Mesothelioma include pain and swelling, shortness of breath, coughing, weight loss, blood clots, anemia, and fever. While doctors may suspect Mesothelioma in a particular case, they need a tissue sample to give a final diagnosis. If you think you may have Mesothelioma, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Q: How long after exposure does Mesothelioma occur?
A: Mesothelioma can develop decades after exposure. Some workers exposed in the mid-20th century are just now being diagnosed with Mesothelioma. The disease takes a long time to develop, which can make it difficult to identify the source of the exposure.
Q: Does smoking increase my risk of developing Mesothelioma?
A: Although smoking does not appear to increase the risk of Mesothelioma, smoking does increase the risk of lung cancer in general.
Q: Am I still at risk if I work in a related industry?
A: Currently, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits on acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace, and employees who work with asbestos take safety precautions and wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.
Q: Is my family at risk?
A: There is some evidence that family members of asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing Mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos dust on the worker. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibers, asbestos workers are generally required to shower and change clothes before leaving work.
Q: What are my legal rights if I have developed Mesothelioma?
A: If you believe you have been injured as a result of asbestos exposure, either on the job or otherwise, an experienced attorney can advise you on whether you may be able to bring a lawsuit to recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, and other losses.
Q: How is Mesothelioma treated?
A: Treatment options depend on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, either alone or in combination. Non-conventional treatment options are also offered with a survival success rate. Clinical trials are underway to develop new and better methods of treatment. Click here to view Treatment Centers in your area.
Currently, the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits on acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace, and employees who work with asbestos take safety precautions and wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.