Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Asbestos & Mesothelioma Lawyer
As one of the United States’ most prominent historical cities, Baltimore, Maryland is home to a number of historic landmarks and structures that were built prior to the ban of asbestos use in the early 1980s. As such, many US residents who worked in the construction, railroad, military, or maintenance industries may have been exposed to this toxic substance. Even if you’ve only recently gotten into the construction industry, if your job involves the repair or demolition of old buildings, then you may have already been exposed.
Asbestos is a substance that’s toxic to humans if inhaled or ingested. Even if you’ve only been exposed for a brief amount of time, you still run the risk of serious medical issues, including asbestos and mesothelioma cancer. If you’ve been recently diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, then you don’t have to face these unexpected medical bills on your own. The mesothelioma lawyers at Ashcraft & Gerel are ready to help families in Baltimore, Maryland recover the compensation they deserve for their illnesses.
You shouldn’t have to pay for the damages caused by the negligence or defective products created by manufacturers of the past. Let a lawyer who is experienced in fighting for mesothelioma victims review your case to see if you are entitled to the maximum reward for your damages. Through a asbestos or mesothelioma settlement, you may be able to receive compensation for your:
- Medical diagnosis
- Medical treatment
- Loss wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
What is asbestos and how does it cause cancer?
Asbestos is a term used to refer to six different fibers that were often used for construction materials staring during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. These fibers were popular amongst manufacturers because they were impervious to damage from fires or electricity. They were used for making everything from building insulation and roofing shingles to cement and fabric.
Following a series of lawsuits that linked exposure to this substance with mesothelioma cancer, the use of asbestos was banned in the United States in the 1980s. However, by this time, it had already affected a number of construction workers, military professionals, and maintenance workers who had the most exposure to these toxic fibers. Beyond that, new cases are being opened every day as those who are currently working in any of the aforementioned professions can still be exposed if they are working on old buildings that were constructed pre-1980s or if they work in the underground tunnels of their historic city.
Since the body has a hard time getting rid of asbestos once it is inhaled, it can form a thin layer of tissue over the lungs, heart, and abdomen, causing a negative reaction in the body. Symptoms are mild at first, and many people don’t even realize they’ve been effected for 20 or more years after they’ve been exposed. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Bowel obstruction
- Fluid buildup
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough
- Pain near the site of the tumor (for mesothelioma cancer)
In addition to these symptoms, those who have been exposed to asbestos while on the job also have an increased for developing a rare form of cancer – mesothelioma. This cancer is considered asbestos-related due to the number of individuals who are diagnosed that have also been been exposed to the toxic fibers.
What should I do if I’ve been exposed to asbestos while on the job?
If you or a loved one has had experience working at a job site contaminated by asbestos, the first thing you should do is reach out to a medical care provider right away. Your health and safety should be your top priority, and the only way to start receiving treatment is with an official diagnosis. The doctor can then perform certain tests and even a biopsy to determine if you have mesothelioma cancer. If the results come back that you do have mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Consult with a Baltimore attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options for a mesothelioma settlement or lawsuit.
There is currently no cure for mesothelioma cancer, but doctors have made a series of advancements to ensure the quality of life for their patients and to develop treatment options to ease their conditions. These treatments include chemotherapy, radiation exposure, or even surgery.
At Ashcraft & Gerel, we don’t believe hard-working Baltimore, Maryland residents should have to pay for the negligence of someone else’s actions. You shouldn’t have to carry the financial burden of your medical bills on your own, so let us help. A seasoned mesothelioma lawyer can walk you through the steps of filing a claim, gathering evidence of your situation, and negotiating a settlement for full and fair compensation.
How can I receive compensation for my mesothelioma or asbestos-related disease?
Once diagnosed, there are a number of ways for you to receive the compensation you deserve for your medical diagnosis, treatment, and loss wages. The first step for most cases is to file a claim for your damages.
In all states, there is a statue of limitations for when you can file a claim. The length of time varies from state to state, but in Baltimore, Maryland, the deadline to file an asbestos claim is 3 years from when the “cause of action” occurs. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t file a claim if you were exposed to asbestos more than 3 years ago. As with most states, Maryland has a “discovery clause”. So if you’ve only recently discovered your have mesothelioma cancer, you can file your claim within 3 years of the date your were diagnosed by an oncologist.
When filing your mesothelioma claim, you should consult with your Baltimore attorney first to discuss the information you’ll want to include. In addition to your personal information, your legal representative may advise that you include details about how you became exposed to the asbestos (whether that was at a job site or due to contact with a product containing asbestos); the length of time you were exposed to the substance, as well as what health-related problems you’ve suffered as a result of asbestos exposure.
After your claim is filed, there are many ways to seek compensation for your medical expenses, the most common being through an asbestos or mesothelioma settlement.
Asbestos & Mesothelioma Settlements in Baltimore, Maryland
In a settlement, you’re requesting the company, manufacturer, or government entity responsible for your asbestos exposure to provide compensation for your medical diagnosis, cancer treatment, and loss wages if you are no longer able to work due to the condition of your health. Most business owners and their insurance companies are more than happy to settle outside of court. Traditional hearings can be lengthy and expensive, and in addition, they can bring a lot of negative publicity that they would rather avoid. As such, most asbestos-related cases are settled outside of the court once both parties come to an agreement for compensation.
You may have heard that you don’t need a lawyer if you are settling outside of court, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A lawyer has years of experience in personal injury law and a Baltimore mesothelioma lawyer will have additional knowledge of cases that are similar to yours. They can use this information to ensure you get a fair settlement that covers your current medical expenses as well as any expenses you may have for future treatments. Remember, the company or manufacturer that exposed you to asbestos does not have your best interest at heart. Odds are, yours is one of many asbestos or mesothelioma settlements that they are negotiating at the time. This means they have an interest in ensuring they don’t have to pay out thousands of dollars to each individual who files a claim.
You need a legal advocate on your side to ensure you receive exactly what you deserve for your asbestos case. In addition to advising you on whether you’re getting a fair settlement offer from the company’s insurance company, your mesothelioma attorney can help you find evidence to bolster your case and prove to them that you require additional compensation. Using their professional resources, your attorney can present the company’s insurer with the following information to increase your chances of a successful settlement:
- Medical documentation that confirms your mesothelioma diagnosis
- Record of your medical expenses, from diagnosis to treatment
- Occupational records that prove you’ve worked at a job site contaminated with asbestos
- List of products or construction materials you used on the job that contained asbestos
While most mesothelioma cases end with a settlement, there are times when an agreement cannot be made between the injured party and the business’s insurance company. In these cases, their lawyer may advise them to file a lawsuit instead to seek the compensation they deserve.
Settlements are handled outside of court, where your mesothelioma attorney will present the evidence you have to the company’s insurer as proof of their negligence. Then, the insurer will offer compensation based on the record of your medical expenses as well as any documentation that shows what treatments you may need in the future. But, if the insurer doesn’t believe you have substantial evidence to prove that they are at fault for your asbestos exposure, they may become difficult to negotiate with.
During a hearing, the evidence of your case is presented before a jury and they will decide on whether compensation should be required based on the strength of your case. If you decide that a lawsuit is the best way to settle your case, then reach out to your lawyer as soon as possible. Investigating a claim and gathering evidence for the court can take several weeks, or even months, so you’ll want to give your attorney enough time to build a strong case.
Mesothelioma Trust Funds
There were a number of profitable businesses in the late 1970s and prior who made money from selling or distributing products that contained asbestos. Once it was revealed that asbestos exposure was directly linked to the rare mesothelioma cancer, then many of these companies went bankrupt due to the number of lawsuits and settlements that came their way. As such, a trust fund was created by a number of these corporations for families that have suffered from asbestos-related diseases due to their products.
There is currently over $30 billion dollars available to families and individuals who used these products or construction materials and are now suffering from mesothelioma. You may be entitled to some of that money, which you can use to cover the cost of your cancer treatment. To learn more about your options for accessing this mesothelioma trust fund money, reach out to your attorney in Baltimore, MD. They’ll be able to give you a clear idea of which companies have trust funds and whether or not you meet the criteria required to request a settlement.
Contact a Baltimore, Maryland, Mesothelioma Lawyer to Discuss Your Settlement or Lawsuit
No matter if you choose a traditional lawsuit, an asbestos settlement, or to seek compensation from a mesothelioma trust fund, you’ll want an experienced attorney at your side to provide legal guidance every step of the way. The moments after learning you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or an asbestos-related disease can leave you wondering where to turn next to get justice for you and your family. Let a professional mesothelioma attorney from Ashcraft & Gerel fight for you in court while you focus on your recovery. Consult with one of our attorneys today to discuss the details of your case so you can take the first step toward receiving compensation.