Chicago Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
Asbestos exposure can occur when someone is involved in demolition, janitorial cleanup of asbestos-containing debris, construction, and mining activities, just to name a few activities.
Asbestos was used as a fire-resistant insulator in buildings until the late 1970s. You can find asbestos in old buildings within the drywall, joint compound, plaster, roofing tar, shingles, and fireproofing materials. If you have an older home with popcorn ceilings it might contain asbestos. Other places in the home that may contain asbestos include any floor and ceiling tiles, insulation, and your home duct system. Additionally, brakes in older cars could have asbestos in them. Exposure to these areas even today can cause damage many years from now.
If you have been in prolonged, direct contact with asbestos, especially at work, you may become aware of problems with your breathing. Asbestos contains fibers that are too small for you to see. When you breathe these fibers in over a long period of time, the fibers irritate lung cells and interfere with cell replication. This leads to inflammation and mesothelioma which is a form of lung cancer. Sometimes signs of mesothelioma won’t begin until 10 to 30 years after sustained exposure. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, due to asbestos exposure, you may be eligible for compensation from asbestos manufacturers.
The Basics About Asbestos Exposure
The World Health Organization reported that in 2004 exposure to asbestos lead to 107,000 deaths from lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 8 out of 10 people who are diagnoses with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is most dangerous when it becomes disturbed and the mineral fibers become airborne. When one inhales these fibers, serious illness can result. Asbestos fibers can inflame and irritate mesothelial cells which over decades can lead to cancer.
Exposure to asbestos could cause a number of very serious illnesses such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is cancer that attacks the lining of the chest and abdomen. Asbestos is so dangerous that in the late 1980s, the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of most asbestos products. Fortunately, the new use of asbestos is infrequent in the United States.
As a result of the widespread use of asbestos many years ago, many people are suffering from illness due to its rampant use. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 100,000 people die each year due to asbestos-caused diseases.
Chicago Asbestos Exposure Lawyer
Workplace exposure to asbestos can result in many different occupational illnesses, including malignant mesothelioma – a severe cancerous disease.
Asbestos was commonly used in many workplaces for most of the 20th century. Many people who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos many years before they were diagnosed with any illness, and unfortunately, new victims are constantly being diagnosed. We expect it will be another twenty or thirty years before we see the end of the damage done by asbestos. The civil justice system is the most effective way for workers who have become ill due to exposure to asbestos to get proper and just compensation for their illness.
Workplace Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos was a prized material for its combination of characteristics: durability, flexibility, and heat resistance. As a result, it was used in many workplaces and led to significant exposure for:
- Railroad workers
- Auto mechanics
- Construction and demolition workers
- Aircraft manufacturers
- HVAC mechanics
- Boiler workers
- Oil refinery and platform workers
- Chemical plant workers
- Textile workers who worked with asbestos fiber
- Asbestos abatement workers
Today, construction workers and anyone who might work in an older building are at the most risk for asbestos exposure. It is important to let your doctor know if you are frequently exposed to asbestos rather than waiting for symptoms decades from now.
Most people only learn about asbestos exposure after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Unfortunately, it is often decades later when symptoms present from asbestos exposure. To make sure someone is looking out for your legal rights, it makes sense to reach out to an attorney who can sift through the facts with you and advise you on whether or not you have a case.
It is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as you are aware that you or a loved one is suffering from an asbestos-related illness. Illinois’ statute of limitations for a mesothelioma case is 2 years. Additionally, if your loved one has passed away as a result of mesothelioma, there is a 2-year limitation for you to file a wrongful death case. Unfortunately, lawyers do not have any control over the limitations period, so it is crucial to contact a lawyer well in advance of the limitation running.
Compensation for Asbestos Exposure
There are many possible sources of compensation for asbestos exposure. Compensation may be available from any and all workplaces where you were exposed to asbestos. Even when companies have gone out of business, there are often trusts set aside to compensate asbestos exposure victims. We will discuss your exposure to asbestos with you and your doctors and help you identify the best sources of workers’ compensation for you. You and your family may very well be entitled to financial compensation for the costs associated with past and future medical care and rehabilitation; lost past and future wages; loss of enjoyment of life (sometimes referred to as disability); past and future pain and suffering; and more. Any pay stubs from your past employer, documentation of your exposure, or documentation of your asbestos-related illness will help with getting you the fairest amount of compensation.
Willens & Baez
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need a professional lawyer with the experience necessary to guide you through a complicated legal process. That is where Willens & Baez can help. Our team of award-winning lawyers is dedicated to representing you. Contact us for a free consultation on your case. We will review your case with you, discuss potential compensation, and answer any questions about the legal process you may have. We focus on you. We want to make sure you receive the amount of compensation you and your family need and deserve. We will fight your legal battle so you can fight for your health. We’ll do the best we can to ease your burdens, including reducing the stress of the legal process.