Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawyer in Landover, MD and Rockville, MD
Though the use of asbestos in the construction industry and for certain materials has been heavily regulated and restricted in the United States since the early 1980s, every day there are more people learning that they’re suffering from mesothelioma cancer or asbestos-related diseases due to exposure to the toxic fibers. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed by an oncologist and you’ve been exposed to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses.
Many of the companies and manufacturers who used asbestos in their work prior to the 1980s have set up trust funds for victims who come forward with an asbestos claim. Even if you weren’t in the construction or manufacturing industry in the 80s, if you have come into contact with asbestos when you’ve repaired, renovated, or demolished a historic building while on the job, then you can still file a claim against your employer if you’ve since fallen ill. Reach out to an asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer at Ashcraft & Gerel today to discuss your options for filing a claim. Our attorneys have years of experience representing the hard-working residents of Landover, MD and Rockville, MD. Let them put that knowledge to work for you.
Whether you want to file a claim, settle outside of court, or seek compensation from a trust fund, a knowledgeable mesothelioma attorney will be able to help increase your chances of receiving a financial award for your:
- Medical Diagnosis
- Medical Treatment
- Loss Wages
- Pain & Suffering
What is asbestos and how does it cause mesothelioma cancer?
Asbestos is a single term used to refer to a total of 6 fibers that had a variety of uses following the Industrial Revolution. As a material that is flame retardant and can withstand an electrical electrical charge, it was common for those in the manufacturing and construction industries to integrate these fibers into different products to make them stronger. Asbestos was used for building insulation, roofing shingles, cement, and more.
Years later, medical professionals began to notice that patients who worked most closely with asbestos and who had regular exposure to it were developing what would be known as mesothelioma cancer. These professional included those in the construction industry and even those in the navy, as asbestos was often used on war vessels and navy ships.
Exposure to asbestos often leads to cancer because the body has a hard time getting rid of the fibers once they have been inhaled. This causes a thin layer of tissue to develop over the lungs, abdomen, and heart. As the body rejects these foreign fibers, victims of asbestos exposure can suffer from a number of illnesses, including:
- Lung Cancer
- Laryngeal Cancer
- Pleural Plaques
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma cancer?
For many, the symptoms of mesothelioma are mild. You may have been exposed to asbestos years ago, but were unaware of the negative affects on your health until now. As the cancer progresses, the symptoms become much more noticeable and include any of the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain near the site of the tumor
- Bowel obstruction
- Weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough
If any of the symptoms above sound similar to your health situation, then reach out to a medical professional as soon as possible. You won’t know what steps you need to take to improve your health until you receive a proper diagnosis from an oncologist. Further, you can’t begin the process of filing a claim or lawsuit until you know for sure which asbestos-related condition you may have.
An oncologist will want to know your history of asbestos exposure and may perform certain medical procedures in order to diagnose you. These could an image scan like an x-ray to get a better idea of what your internal condition is. If they’re still not sure, they may perform a biopsy to examine any potential cancer cells.
Once you have been diagnosed, your doctor can suggest treatment options. There currently is not a cure for mesothelioma, but there are treatments available that are designed to improve your condition and overall well-being.
The moments following your diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer can be overwhelming. You may not know how you and your family can handle this new financial burden. Fortunately, you don’t have to do so alone. Those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos disease may be entitled to compensation from their employer or one of the many companies that used asbestos in their products prior to the 1980s.
How can I file an asbestos claim?
As with most states, there is a statute of limitations for when you can file a personal injury claim. In the state of Maryland, that limitation is set for within 3 years of when the “cause of action” occurs. Even if it has been years since you were first exposed to asbestos, that doesn’t mean you’re unable to file a claim just because more than 3 years have passed. If you’ve only recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease, then you can file an asbestos claim within 3 years of the date of discovery.
Due to the limitations for when a claim can be filed, you’ll want to hire an asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible to start the process of building your case. It takes time to gather the evidence needed to prove you were exposed to asbestos as a result of another person or company’s negligence. And if you or your loved one was exposed to asbestos years ago, it could take even longer to gather details about a contaminated product, job site, navy vessel, or underground tunnel that you used or worked on years ago. As such, you’ll want to give your legal representative as much time as possible in order to perform a full investigation into your case.
Once you hire a Landover or Rockville, Maryland attorney, they will be able to advise you on what information you should include as part of your mesothelioma claim. This includes your personal information, as well as the details of your case such as how you became exposed to asbestos, the length of time you were exposed, as well as how the exposure affected your current health condition. If you had contact with asbestos while on the job, your claim will include information about the job site, the nature of the task at hand, as well as the date and year you were exposed. Similarly, if you believe you were exposed due to a product containing asbestos, your mesothelioma lawyer can help you narrow down which company or manufacturer was responsible for producing it.
How can I receive compensation for my mesothelioma case?
After you’ve filed your asbestos claim, there are many options available to you for seeking compensation for the company, manufacturer, or government entity responsible for your injuries. In order to find out which method is right for your case, contact a local asbestos and mesothelioma attorney in Maryland. By consulting with a mesothelioma lawyer, you’ll learn what steps you need to take in order to receive the largest award possible to cover the full extent of your medical expenses.
Asbestos & Mesothelioma Settlement
When it comes to businesses and government entities, if given the option to reach a negotiated settlement instead of taking a case to court, most will opt to settle. Settling outside of court can help the company or organization avoid negative publicity that a hearing could bring and this option is often cheaper for all parties involved. This option have many benefits for the plaintiffs of a case, as well. You get to avoid the stress of a lengthy hearing, which means you can get the compensation you deserve sooner.
Using the evidence gathered for your case, your asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer will negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company in an effort to ensure you receive as much compensation as possible. Similar to more traditional personal injury cases, for a mesothelioma settlement, if you’re able to prove that your injuries happened as a direct result of the company’s negligence, then you increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Unfortunately, just because you present the evidence to support your case does not mean that they will agree to your terms. If the company’s insurance provider doesn’t believe your evidence is substantial enough, they may fight back against your claim and suggest a reduced settlement amount that won’t cover the full cost of your medical diagnosis and treatment. If this happens, your asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer will let you know whether you should accept the smaller settlement or if it’s time to consider a traditional lawsuit.
Asbestos & Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Unlike with a settlement, the defendant’s insurance company does not have a say in how much compensation should be awarded to the plaintiff for their damages. While they can certainly argue their case in court, if a jury decides that you’re owed an award for your personal injuries, then how much compensation you’ll receive will be based on your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages. Using their legal resources, your mesothelioma lawyer will present the Maryland court with the following information to increase your chances of a positive outcome:
- Medical documentation that confirms your mesothelioma or asbestos-related diagnosis
- Record of your medical expenses, including the costs associated with your diagnosis, treatments, and any procedures you may need in the future
- Proof of past income if you are no longer able to work and are seeking wage reimbursement
- Occupational records that prove you’ve worked at a construction site, navy vessel, or underground tunnel contaminated with asbestos
- List of products or construction materials you used on the job that were contaminated by asbestos
Asbestos & Mesothelioma Trust Funds
Did you know that there is more than $30 billion sitting in various trust funds for victims of mesothelioma and asbestos-related illnesses? After it was discovered that exposure to asbestos lead to various illnesses and cancer, many families began to sue the companies and manufacturers that sent their workers to contaminated job sites or who produced asbestos-based products. As a result, many of these companies declared bankruptcy or had to shut down. Several of them also develop trust funds for victims of asbestos exposure and their families.
While not everyone who has mesothelioma will be entitled to a share of this trust fund, you may be able to receive compensation if you meet the right qualifications. Reach out to your mesothelioma attorney to discover the criteria for accessing the asbestos trust fund.
Mesothelioma Compensation for Veterans
In addition to construction and maintenance workers in Landover or Rockville, MD, one of the professions most at risk for asbestos exposure are veterans who worked on warships or navy vessels. Asbestos was commonly used in the military prior to the 1980s, so there may be several veterans who are just discovering that they have an asbestos-related disease due to inhaling these dangerous fibers. If so, they may be able to receive compensation as part of their regular disability benefits.
Reach Out to an Asbestos and Mesothelioma Lawyer to Discuss Your Claim
Whether your goal is to file a claim for your asbestos cancer or discuss your options for reaching a settlement, your first step should be hiring a lawyer with experience working asbestos and mesothelioma cases. The Ashcraft & Gerel law firm is home to a number of lawyers with years of experience representing families in Landover, Rockville, and Baltimore, Maryland for their personal injury cases. They know how to represent those who have fallen ill due to exposure to dangerous chemicals and substances like asbestos, lead paint, or Roundup weed killer. They’ll use this knowledge to help you build a strong case and increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.