Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Lawyers in Alexandria, Virginia
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can be separated into a set of fibers which were once used for everything from roofing shingles and building insulation to mixing cement and creating floor tiles. These fibers were flame retardant and could withstand electric shocks, making it a valuable material for use on construction sites and naval ships, as well. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that it was announced that exposure to asbestos could lead to a host of medical problems, including mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Despite the great reduction in the use of asbestos for certain occupations and products, symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases can often be mild for many years until the cancer begins to worsen. This means that even now, there are still many residents of Alexandria, Virginia, who were recently diagnosed by an oncologist and are now seeking the assistance of experienced mesothelioma lawyers. The attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel have years of experience serving the needs of families who are facing new medical expenses because they handled contaminated products or worked at a contaminated jobsite.
If this sounds similar to your situation, then reach out to an asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you file a claim for your occupational or nonoccupational asbestos exposure and start the process of requesting an asbestos settlement.
How does asbestos exposure lead to cancer?
Every single year, there are thousands of hard-working Americans that are diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestos-related illnesses like asbestosis. Those most at risk for contracting an illness due to asbestos exposure are often those who work in the military or the construction or industrial industries. Virginia is home to a number of shipyards, power plants, oil refineries, mills, and automotive plants, which is why so many laborers, engineers, and construction workers are now suffering from illnesses due to occupational exposure to asbestos. Their pain and suffering could have been avoided if the companies or manufacturers they worked for had ensured their employees were properly protected from the asbestos.
It doesn’t take long for exposure to take effect. There are cases where someone has only been around asbestos for 1-2 months and they still develop a disease or cancer.
The reason why asbestos is so dangerous is because of the stubborn nature of the fibers. They’re very small and once inhaled or accidentally ingested, the body has a hard time getting rid of them. This causes a thin layer of tissue to develop over the lungs, heart, and abdomen. As the body rejects these foreign fibers, victims of asbestos exposure run the risk of any of the following:
- Pleural Plaques
- Lung or Laryngeal Cancer
You should know that it can take years for one to realize that they may have health problems as a result of asbestos exposure. Sometimes symptoms of serious conditions like mesothelioma cancer don’t become too severe or noticeable for years after you were once exposed. Some symptoms could include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain near the site of the tumor
- Bowel obstruction
- Weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough
If you’ve experienced any of the symptoms mentioned above, then visit your local health care provider as soon as possible. They may perform certain tests, complete an image scan, or do a biopsy in order to determine if you have mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Unfortunately, there currently isn’t a cure for mesothelioma and the resulting diagnosis can be devastating to a family. In addition to the pain and suffering from battling an illness, you may now be faced with the high cost of diagnosing and treating your condition. This could result in you exhausting your family’s savings – especially if your mesothelioma or asbestos-related disease prevents you from being able to go back to work.
You shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden of your treatments and lost wages – especially if your illness was caused due to the negligence of companies and government entities who exposed their workers to asbestos. You deserve to be compensated for your damages, and a mesothelioma attorney can help. With years of experience supporting cancer patients as they file asbestos claims, the mesothelioma lawyers at Ashcraft & Gerel can help you hold the companies that caused your illness accountable and increase your chances of recovering compensation for your diagnosis, medical treatments, procedures, and prescriptions.
Who is at risk of being exposed to asbestos and developing mesothelioma?
There are many occasions in which construction maintenance, and factory workers in Alexandria, Virginia, may have come into contact with asbestos while on the job. Even if you weren’t working in your current profession in the 80s, if you’ve since participated in a historic building demolition or repaired an old property, then you may have been exposed to the dangerous fibers. While your mesothelioma lawyers can give you a clear idea of which Virginia worksites are commonly known for containing asbestos, here are just a few locations where you may have experienced occupational exposure:
Asbestos Contaminated Shipyards in Virginia
As a coastal state, Virginia has made a name for itself as the leader in the United States shipbuilding industry. Local shipyards and ship buildings like the Newport News and Norfolk Naval have employed thousands of Virginians over the years who built, repaired, and maintained a number of vessels for the U.S. Navy.
Unfortunately, this also means that employees who have worked at these locations have a high chance of being exposed to a high level of asbestos dust as they worked with vessels and equipment that was regular loaded or insulated with asbestos.
Asbestos Contaminated Auto & Power Plants in Virginia
Brimming with a strong history if industry, Virginia is also home to a number of power plants and automobile plants, both of which are worksites where employees would have regularly had exposure to asbestos. The materials and products often uses at these plants contained asbestos and the employees working there often inhaled asbestos dust while on the job.
Non-Occupational Asbestos Exposure
Even if you’ve never set foot on a Virginian worksite that is known for asbestos contamination, this doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk for developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. There are many cases where family members have developed an illness just by being exposed to the clothing their loved ones wear home from the job site. Citizens who have done home renovations on older Virginian homes may have been exposed to asbestos dust, as well.
How do I file a claim for an asbestos cancer settlement?
You can’t file an asbestos claim until you’re properly diagnosed by a doctor or oncologist if you have mesothelioma cancer, so the first step is to seek assistance from a medical professional. Not only will this ensure you receive the treatment you need in order to ease your pain and suffering, but you’ll also have a record of any medical expenses you may have faced in order to get diagnosed. In addition, you could also ask your doctor what medical procedures you may need in the future so you can an idea of what your future expenses will be.
Equipped with this information, you can hire professional mesothelioma lawyers who have experience serving residents of Alexandria, Virginia. Once you consult with an attorney, they’ll be able to tell you the strength of your case and what evidence you need in order to increase your chances of being awarded compensation. The information you may need includes:
- Work documentation to show which asbestos contaminated Virginia shipping yard, power plant, or automotive plant you’ve worked at
- A description of your job responsibilities, especially if you had to handle raw asbestos
- List of products, equipment, or materials you used on the job that may have been contaminated by asbestos
- Medical records that confirm your mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestos-related diagnosis
- Medical bills, including the cost of your diagnosis, treatments, and future procedures
- Proof of past income if you are seeking wage reimbursement because you’re no longer able to work
Don’t Delay Filing Your Asbestos Cancer Claim
The statute of limitations for filing a mesothelioma claim in the state of Virginia is 2 years from the date of your diagnosis. This may seem like plenty of time if you’ve been recently diagnosed, but keep in mind that building a proper case takes time – especially if you first came into contact with asbestos many years ago. You may not remember which job site or product was the culprit for you developing your illness. Your mesothelioma attorney will need time in order to investigate your claim fully and gather the evidence needed to ensure your case is as strong as possible.
What are my options for receiving compensation for my mesothelioma cancer?
There are many ways to seek compensation for an asbestos-related illness or cancer. One of the most common ways is through an asbestos settlement. Most companies, government entities, or manufacturers would rather avoid a lengthy, expensive public trial because it brings them a lot of negative attention. Rather than letting their fate be decided by a judge, by settling outside of court, the businesses’ insurance company can negotiate how much compensation they award to the asbestos exposure victims.
With that said, just because you file a claim against a particular company doesn’t mean that they’ll offer compensation that covers the complete cost of your medical expenses. It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to only offer partial payment to victims of asbestos exposure, especially if they feel you don’t have a strong enough case to file a lawsuit. That’s where a mesothelioma lawyer can help. In addition to advising you on what your case is actually worth, your Alexandria, Virginia, asbestos and mesothelioma attorney can present the defendant’s insurance company with substantial evidence to prove what your asbestos settlement should be worth.
If the insurance company isn’t willing to increase the amount of compensation they’ll offer, then your attorney may suggest a traditional lawsuit. This way, the evidence of your case will be presented before a judge and jury who will then decide if you’re owed compensation.
Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Trust Fund
You may have heard that there is a trust fund for families suffering from mesothelioma or asbestos-related diseases. After the US government announced the dangers of asbestos, many families and hard-working Virginians began to sue the companies responsible for putting them in those work conditions or for manufacturing products that had asbestos in them. Many of those businesses filed for bankruptcy and a trust fund was developed to ensure families could get the compensation they deserve.
There is now more than $30 billion available in these trust funds and you may qualify for access if you meet certain criteria. Reach out to your mesothelioma attorney for more information.
Consult with an Asbestos Cancer & Mesothelioma Lawyers in Alexandria, Virginia
The moments after discovering you have mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis can be overwhelming for you and your family. You shouldn’t have to shoulder the full financial burden of your medical expenses on your own. Let one of the seasoned attorneys at Ashcraft & Gerel provide you with aggressive legal representation for your asbestos cancer case. No matter if you’ve fallen ill after working at a shipyard, power plant, or during a recent historic building construction, a mesothelioma lawyer can help ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for any treatments, prescriptions, or loss wages you’re faced with as a result of your illness. Contact Ashcraft & Gerel today to discuss your options for receiving trust fund money or reaching an agreement as part of an asbestos cancer settlement.