The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ruled that the level of safe exposure to asbestos is practically zero: just one asbestos fiber per cubic centimeter at a rate of half an hour. Asbestos is a harmful compound that can cause mesothelioma, a serious form of cancer that cannot be cured.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, chances are high that you can receive compensation for ongoing medical bills, pain and suffering, and death when you work with a local mesothelioma attorney.
Common Causes of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is not always caused by exposure to asbestos. In about 70–80 percent of cases, asbestos exposure leads to mesothelioma, but other risk factors could cause this cancer as well.
Even though the United States quickly clamped down on the manufacturing of asbestos once it was proven to be a dangerous carcinogen, asbestos is still not an illegal substance. Workers who have been exposed to asbestos may not display symptoms for several decades after initial exposure because of the slow-acting damage the compound causes in the human body.
The types of jobs that experienced the greatest amount of exposure include construction work and firefighters. Asbestos originally worked well as an insulator and can still be found in old, un-renovated buildings to this day. Construction workers, contractors, and those who inhabited the buildings could all have been exposed to insulation manufactured with asbestos.
In addition, brake linings and other automotive parts relied on asbestos to create long-lasting seals. Because of this, automotive workers and mechanics also face an increased risk of asbestos exposure.
Types of Mesothelioma
Research shows that not all asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, and not all mesothelioma patients have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos fibers damage tissues in the lungs and/or digestive tract when they are inhaled or ingested, respectively. Sometimes this damage leads to mesothelioma, but in other cases it causes lung cancer or asbestosis.
Mesothelioma is generally a serious disease, but it comes in several different forms. The term mesothelioma refers to cancerous cells that form in the mesothelial tissue, which is a region of cells inside your chest that surround your lungs, heart, and digestive tract.
The two most common forms of mesothelioma are called pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. These are cancers that begin in your chest or abdomen, respectively.
This difference in diagnosis has a much greater effect on a patient’s medical treatment plan than on their ability to receive damages from asbestos manufacturers.
How to Seek Compensation
The reason mesothelioma patients are encouraged to file claims and lawsuits against the companies that manufactured this harmful compound is because the legal system leans heavily in favor of the patients. Prior court cases and a wealth of medical evidence points to the negligence and deception on manufacturers’ part to play down the risk of asbestos exposure.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with some form of mesothelioma or other disease due to asbestos exposure, you may be able to sue the manufacturer as well as file for Social Security disability benefits. In these cases, hiring an Indiana mesothelioma lawyer may help you receive compensation quickly and save you the hassle of filing a claim by yourself.
Suing Asbestos Manufacturers
Once a patient has been diagnosed with a form of mesothelioma, it’s important to get moving right away. Indiana’s statute of limitations on mesothelioma lawsuits is 2 years after diagnosis. This may seem like a long time, but it may fly by in the course of treatment and other concerns.
If you work with an attorney, they will gather the appropriate medical evidence and locate the appropriate source of liability for your particular case. In many mesothelioma lawsuits, the asbestos manufacturer has filed for bankruptcy, so the money will instead come from court-mandated trust funds.
Factors that influence the amount you can receive from a mesothelioma lawsuit include:
- The amount left in the asbestos-related injury fund that pays for illness settlements
- The severity of the negative impact on the patient’s wellbeing
- The dollar amount of lost wages and medical bills due to the illness
Since every case is different, it’s nearly impossible to predict the dollar amount a patient or their loved ones may receive from a mesothelioma lawsuit. The best way to determine what damages you may be entitled to is to contact a mesothelioma lawyer and discuss your case.
Social Security Disability
Mesothelioma falls under a specific category of Social Security disability programs called Compassionate Allowance. Assuming the patient (and/or their spouse) meets the income threshold and other non-medical criteria for receiving Social Security disability benefits, his or her disability application can be sped through the Social Security Administration (SSA) if they have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
This means mesothelioma patients with a poor prognosis can begin receiving their benefits much more quickly than they would if they had to wait for the notoriously slow-moving disability application process. An Indiana disability attorney can help you determine whether or not you may qualify for a Compassionate Allowance.
Get Help from an Indiana Mesothelioma Attorney
Mesothelioma is a terrible disease that can cause serious suffering for both the patient and their loved ones. If you’re facing treatment for mesothelioma, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether you can afford every option the doctor offers, and the companies responsible for producing the carcinogen should compensate you for their negligence.
Hensley Legal Group’s mesothelioma attorneys know how to handle cases like this and can help you get the compensation you deserve for your illness. Call or contact us today for a free conversation about your case.