Asbestos was one of the most widely used products from the 1890s until the 1970s because the six naturally occurring silicate minerals are resistant to heat, chemicals and fire. Asbestos was prevalent in automobile breaks, insulation, construction materials and in the shipbuilding industry and today asbestos is still found in many products although limits have been imposed on its use for decades as a result of environmental and safety concerns.
Unfortunately, because it was so widespread, many people were exposed to asbestos. By the time it became clear how dangerous the product was, thousands of people each year were dying as a result of complications due to asbestos exposure. Victims included not just those who worked with asbestos, but also those who shared a residence with people who were exposed and who brought home fibers on their clothing and skin. Everyone exposed to asbestos needs to understand the dangers of these products and needs to understand their legal rights. The Boston asbestos lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC can help.Frequently Asked Questions
To help you understand asbestos claims better, the following are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What complications are caused by asbestos exposure?
Asbestos exposure can result in a variety of health problems including asbestosis, COPD, lung disease, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
How does asbestos make you sick?
When asbestos fibers were breathed in or asbestos dust was inhaled, the fibers settled in the lungs or inside the stomach. The fibers caused irritation over time, leading to lung problems or cancers in the abdomen.
How long after exposure will I get sick?
Exposure to asbestos can cause complications over time. In many cases, you will not develop lung cancer, mesothelioma or other complications until decades after the initial exposure to asbestos.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of rare cancer that forms in the tissues surrounding internal organs. If the mesothelioma develops in the lungs, it is called pleural mesothelioma. The cancer can also develop in the abdomen, or in the tissues surrounding the heart or testicles. However, pleural mesothelioma is the most common complication associated with asbestos.
Why does asbestos sometimes cause lung cancer and sometimes cause pleural mesothelioma?
The size of the asbestos fibers that were inhaled determine where the fibers settled. Longer fibers (5 mm fibers) generally lodged in the tissue of the lungs and increased the chances of lung cancer. Shorter fibers (3 mm) were more likely to become lodged in the lung lining and cause mesothelioma.
How do I know if asbestos caused my cancer or illness?
Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma and cases of mesothelioma are usually assumed to be asbestos related. If you have developed other conditions including lung cancer or COPD, a complete history will be taken to determine if you may have been exposed to asbestos or if there are other risk factors such as smoking that could be the cause of your condition. Approximately 4 percent of fatalities resulting from lung cancer in the United States are attributed to asbestos exposure.
What should I do if I am sick because I was exposed to asbestos?
If you are sick because you have been exposed to asbestos, you may have a legal right to make a claim against the manufacturer for compensation. You may also be eligible to make a workers’ compensation claim if your exposure occurred in the workplace. An experienced asbestos attorney can help to determine what your best option is for obtaining monetary damages to cover your losses.
What if my family member died of asbestos exposure?
You may be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation or to file a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer of the asbestos. You should speak with an attorney to explore your options and learn about your legal rights.
What if the asbestos company has gone bankrupt?
Claims can be made against bankrupt asbestos companies through the bankruptcy court. In many cases, settlement trusts have been established to process and pay claims to asbestos victims. While you may receive only a portion of the total settlement you are entitled to, there is money available in most cases for victims.
Do I need a lawyer to obtain compensation for asbestos illnesses?
Asbestos cases can be complicated because there is such a long latency period between exposure and developing the illness. It is also important to understand who a claim should be filed against and how to best proceed to maximize your chances of full recovery for your losses. An experienced attorney understands the rules for asbestos claims and can help you to get the money you need.
Is it expensive to hire an asbestos lawyer?
You will not pay for legal representation unless compensation is recovered. Attorneys fees are generally collected as a small percentage of the money you are able to recover from the asbestos manufacturer.
How do I know if I have a case?
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman to schedule a free consultation with a Boston asbestos lawyer to determine if you have a case for an asbestos related illness.