Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Lawyer
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Throughout most of the twentieth century, in efforts to reduce accidental fires, particularly in factories, buildings were commonly built with insulation comprised of asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, seen as a miracle substance because of its ability to withstand heat. Houses, factories, built before 1970 are likely to have some form of asbestos. Roofing shingles, insulation, electrical systems, plumbing materials, and paint have all been known to contain the lethal substance. Until products begin to deteriorate with age, high levels of the mineral remain undetected and thousands of individuals may be unknowingly exposed to high doses of the toxic substance everyday.
However, when breathed in or ingested, especially over long periods of time, the mineral creates life-threatening complications. Prolonged exposure to asbestos is directly linked to the onset of mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the tissues that line internal organs. These flat-celled sacs serve to protect body cavities and organs, and allow for the mobility of certain internal organs. Most cases of mesothelioma occur in the pleural cavity, but a smaller percentage occur in the mesothelium that surrounds the heart or the mesothelium of the stomach cavity. Regardless of its location, mesothelioma is a serious, life-threatening disease.
Mesothelioma is considered an occupational cancer because it most likely develops after regular exposure, which usually occurs at the workplace. Some patients are not diagnosed until 20 years after initial exposure to the mineral.
While symptoms vary from patient to patient, you may not recognize problems rights away. Mesothelioma that targets the lungs causes respiratory complications, including shortness of breath, abnormal coughing, bouts of infections, pain in the infected area, loss of voice, and weight loss. Since the disease is not likely to develop until decades after initial exposure, it can be difficult to link back to a specific workplace. Therefore, it is important to do your research before taking a job, and be sure to keep records of all work history if you know that you are working at an at-risk job site. This is likely to be useful years down the road. Even though the federal government has implemented strict regulations regarding the substance, not all businesses are abiding by these new guidelines.
Mesothelioma is a dangerous, usually fatal disease. Once symptoms are detected, it is difficult to benefit from treatments because the disease has already progressed to an advanced age. Sadly, once diagnosis has occurred, patients typically only have two years to live. For some, it is as short as four months. Many employers were aware of the connection between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma early on, but chose to ignore federal regulations. Consequently, businesses are facing lawsuits, as workers seek compensation for their injuries. If you have been exposed to asbestos and were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to contact a lawyer who can fight for your rights. Even though it can be years before the cancer manifests itself, most states are now enforcing statute of limitations laws, which have placed time limits on mesothelioma claims.
Unfortunately, the state of Pennsylvania has had high counts of mesothelioma patients because the state was particularly known for its steel industry. Workers were required to wear protective clothing at these factories. Little did they know, however, that the clothing contained traces of asbestos. If you worked at a steel mill before 1980, you may have been exposed to mesothelioma and should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
If you decide to take legal action, you have a few options. You are likely to have a successful case if you file a class action lawsuit. This type of claim involves a group of victims, rather than one individual. There are some advantages to this method. First, this type of lawsuit provides you with power in numbers. If others at your workplace have been diagnosed with the disease or have even experienced symptoms, this provides you with evidence for your case. Second, a class action lawsuit provides you with emotional support during this trying time. Others are experiencing the same problems as you and are likely to help guide you through litigation processes. Between the years 1980 and 2000, it is estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 individuals lost their lives as a result of mesothelioma cancer in the state of Pennsylvania alone. Although it is a rare cancer, it is also one of the most deadly. Contacting an attorney to help you build a case can ensure that your family is taken care of financially.
Legal•Info State Mesothelioma Information
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