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Mesothelioma is a very difficult disease for a person to live with. As a physiological condition, in the early stages of development, the symptoms of mesothelioma closely resemble symptoms of common ailments, like a cold or the flu. In other words, a person might have mesothelioma in its early stage and actually not be aware of it, mistaking the symptoms for those of a run-of-the-mill illness. When a person does go to the doctor, the doctor will do some tests and diagnostics and discover that the source of the problem is cancer. A challenge that often arises is that often the most serious symptoms of mesothelioma do not show up until a late stage of development of the cancer; at that late stage, it is often difficult for the disease to be treated successfully. Unfortunately, not all types of cancer respond well to aggressive treatments like chemotherapy and radiation; mesothelioma can be an example of this.
The leading cause of mesothelioma is prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is an insulating material that has been used in a number of building products and car parts, as well as in furnaces, boilers, and consumer products like hair dryers. Construction workers, shipyard workers, U.S. Navy veterans, firefighters, electricians, oil refinery workers, roofers, plumbers, machinists, iron workers, hair dressers, and even teachers, may be at risk for asbestos exposure.
Industries have been aware of the dangers of asbestos exposure for many years. While governmental agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have guidelines in place regarding how asbestos is handled and how it is used, as well as training specifications for workers, people who worked around the material before regulations were put in place may be at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma. In addition, there are still many individuals who may currently be exposed to asbestos. The development of mesothelioma can be especially difficult for people to grasp because it is most often connected with exposure to asbestos that they have experienced through their occupations. People typically expect, while there are risks associated with most jobs, that they will be relatively safe at work.
In cases of mesothelioma, after health related concerns, it is critical to give consideration to the value of a human life. In pursuit of the answer to this question, many victims, or families of victims, have turned to the law, specifically tort law. Torts are civil wrongs that are recognized by the law as being grounds for a lawsuit. The civil wrongs end up with an injury, or harm, that constitutes as a basis on which the injured party can make a claim. Typically, in tort cases, the goal is to obtain compensation for damages that were incurred as a result of a party\'s harm. Tort claims may be issued under the guise of negligence, products liability, premises liability, economic property loss, and workers\' compensation. In tort cases, it is feasible for the injured party to seek restitution for loss of earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and medical expenses incurred.
Upon making a decision to pursue a lawsuit and beginning the process, there are three ways that a settlement can be reached. A settlement is simply a payment made to you by your former employer or the manufacturer of an asbestos product as a result of a lawsuit that your lawyer has filed on your behalf. Settlements can range anywhere from a few hundred thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
Before the trial: The defendant and the plaintiff come together before the trial to discuss the various aspects of the case and if neither side is particularly interested in a trial, then a deal might be agreed upon before the case goes to court.
At the end of the trial: Assuming that the trial has gone through to its conclusion and both sides are satisfied with the process of the trial, the judge will retire and consider the information that has been given. Based on their interpretation of the law in this specific matter, the judge will then hand out the result as he or she sees fit.
As the result of an appeal: If the decision that the judge hands out is against you, then you and your lawyer have the chance to appeal the decision to a higher court. The higher court has the authority to overturn the decision of the previous court, and if this happens in your case, then the company will be required to pay you a settlement.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and it has been connected to long-term exposure to asbestos, speak with an attorney in your state who is familiar with tort law. He or she will guide you through the legal process and help you make a claim to receive compensation for your medical expenses, and for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of your illness.
Legal•Info State Mesothelioma Information
Legal•Info State Resources
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