If you received a cancer diagnosis after exposure to asbestos, contact the environmental and toxic harm mass tort lawyers of Wallace Miller immediately. We might be able to represent you in a mass tort case against the negligent party responsible for placing you in harm’s way. You could recover compensation to pay for your medical treatment and associated expenses.
At one point, asbestos was a hidden danger. Many companies use it to manufacture a range of products, including roofs, insulation, vehicle brake pads, floor tiles, and paints. It is a durable mineral that can withstand damage when exposed to fire, electrical charges, and extreme heat.
No one understood the health problems that could result from long-term exposure to the substance. Unfortunately, asbestos is a known human carcinogen and can cause various forms of cancer. Anyone could inhale the tiny fibers in the air or accidentally ingest asbestos if it contaminates drinking water or food products.
At Wallace Miller, we know the lifelong consequences of asbestos exposure. You could develop mesothelioma or another serious respiratory disease. You could face significant financial strain if you require ongoing treatment to manage your symptoms. Many people can’t afford their medical bills and suffer massive debt.
Our asbestos exposure and cancer mass tort lawyers are ready to help you in the fight for justice. We can investigate the incident and determine who we can hold liable for your exposure to asbestos. If you’re eligible to join a mass tort lawsuit, we can provide the guidance and representation you need to navigate the complicated process. You can depend on us to be your advocate and protect your rights until the end.
Products that Could Expose You to Asbestos
A range of everyday products can lead to asbestos exposure. Many manufacturers still use the toxic material in their products despite the risk of cancer and other health problems.
The most common products on the market that could lead to asbestos exposure include:
- Textured paint
- Building insulation
- Talcum powder
- Roofing materials
- Paper products
- Floor and ceiling tiles
- Brake pads and clutches in vehicles
- Heat-resistant fabric
Individuals at High Risk of Asbestos Exposure
Employees in construction, auto repair, demolition, and similar job industries encounter asbestos while on the job. Specific groups of people are at a significantly higher risk of exposure to asbestos than others. That’s because they handle the substance regularly and work in areas where particles have contaminated the air.
The most common high-risk individuals include:
- Demolition workers
- Shipyard crews
- Power plant workers
- Construction workers
Despite the dangers of working around and with asbestos, many companies still use it to manufacture consumer products. Employees should have the necessary safety gear, such as gloves and masks, to protect them while they perform their job-related tasks. Unfortunately, exposure can occur anyway and cause medical complications.
Common Side Effects of Asbestos Exposure
Exposure to asbestos can cause debilitating symptoms, damage internal organs, and lead to different types of cancer. Mesothelioma is the most common type of cancer that develops from accidentally inhaling or ingesting the toxic material.
It is common knowledge that asbestos exposure is the primary risk factor for mesothelioma. However, various other medical conditions can develop, including:
- Pleural plaque
- Laryngeal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Ovarian cancer
The most common symptoms of an asbestos-related disease include:
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- New cough or change in cough patterns
- Trouble swallowing or prolonged hoarseness
- Significant weight loss
- Blood in fluid coughed up from the lungs
- Face or neck swelling
If you experience any of these symptoms and believe you came into contact with asbestos, you should go to the hospital. A doctor can perform a physical exam and determine whether you have an asbestos-related disease so you can begin treatment.
Common Signs of Mesothelioma
Asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma. Different types of mesothelioma cause varying symptoms depending on the severity and affected part of the body. The most common warning signs of mesothelioma are below.
Pleural mesothelioma starts in the thin membrane that lines the chest and lung cavity. Asbestos fibers can become lodged in the membrane and lead to inflammation. Chronic inflammation and scarring from consistent or long-term exposure to asbestos can cause tumors to form.
Common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lumps of tissue in the chest area beneath the skin
- Pain while coughing
A range of complications can arise if pleural mesothelioma spreads to the chest. Pleural mesothelioma in the chest can lead to symptoms such as:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain
- Pain from pressure on the spinal cord and nerves
- Lung compression from fluid building up in the chest
- Trouble breathing
Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs when a person ingests asbestos fibers. This form of mesothelioma begins in the thin layer of tissue lining the abdomen called the peritoneum.
The most common symptoms include:
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen abdomen
- Abdominal pain
Since signs of mesothelioma typically don’t appear until years after asbestos exposure, most people don’t receive a diagnosis until the disease is at an advanced stage. It is an aggressive cancer with no known cure. However, treatments are available to manage symptoms and potentially slow cancer progression.
Understanding the Elements of Mass Tort Litigation
A tort is an omission or act that causes a person’s injury. If someone’s negligence harms someone else, they could be liable for the injury and the injured person’s resulting expenses.
A mass tort refers to an act or omission that injures a group of people. When you pursue a mass tort lawsuit, you combine your case with other plaintiffs in a single legal action against the same defendant.
However, you don’t split the monetary award equally. Each plaintiff receives compensation based on the unique circumstances of their case. Someone with mild, non-cancerous symptoms isn’t entitled to the same amount of money as another person suffering from cancer.
Compensation for Cancer from Asbestos Exposure
Whether you file an individual lawsuit or participate in mass tort litigation, you can seek compensation from the at-fault party. The compensation you receive might compensate you for losses, such as:
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You might also recover exemplary or punitive damages. This is a type of compensation you can pursue to punish the defendant for their actions. State laws vary but often require clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s misconduct, such as gross negligence or disregard for the safety of others, for plaintiffs to receive this financial award. Some states don’t allow for the recovery of punitive or exemplary damages.
You could file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one died from asbestos exposure. It’s vital to determine whether you can pursue the case yourself. Depending on where you live, the law might only allow specific surviving family members or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file the lawsuit.
The available compensation also depends on state laws. Some states allow the recovery of compensation for medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs. Others only allow a monetary award to compensate for emotional pain and loss of companionship from the deceased.
Wallace Miller will review the laws in your state to determine your available options. We can file the lawsuit on your behalf and pursue the maximum possible compensation.
Statute of Limitations to File a Lawsuit
You must file your lawsuit within a specific timeframe to seek compensation from the at-fault party. This timeframe is dictated by a statute of limitations. Laws vary for each state but typically require people to initiate their lawsuit within one to five years from the date of the incident.
For example, if your state has a two-year statutory period for filing a lawsuit, you must file suit within two years from the date of the asbestos exposure or when you discovered your cancer diagnosis resulted from the exposure.
The asbestos exposure and cancer mass tort lawyers of Wallace Miller are familiar with the statutes of limitation for cases like yours. We will prepare the necessary legal documents and file your lawsuit before time runs out.
Wallace Miller provides personalized attention and services to every client who hires us. You will be our top priority while we’re handling your case. We will take care of every legal aspect of your lawsuit so you can focus on treating your mesothelioma or other asbestos-related cancer. You can count on us to remain by your side until the end of your case.
Most people choose not to seek legal representation. It’s often because many can’t afford the additional cost of hiring a lawyer while treating their medical condition. Wallace Miller takes cases on contingency, so you don’t face the burden of upfront fees or costs. We won’t expect you to pay our legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Call Wallace Miller at (312) 261-6193 immediately if you developed cancer from asbestos exposure. We will speak with you for a free consultation to discuss your case and determine what we can do to help. If you prefer, you can also fill out our online questionnaire for a case assessment in minutes.