Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals, many of which are used in construction and building due to their resistance to chemicals and heat. While asbestos was once found in myriad building materials and industries, today, the use of asbestos has been prohibited due to the serious adverse health effects that are related to asbestos exposure. One such condition is asbestosis, which is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers.
What Is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a very serious lung disease, and can be fatal. The condition is characterized by scarring of the lungs caused by asbestos fibers. The scarring can range from mild to severe, and may result in complications such as shortness of breath, a persistent cough, weight loss, clubbing of fingers, and chest pain. Having asbestosis also puts an individual at an increased risk of developing lung cancer.
Sadly, there is no treatment to reverse the effects of asbestos once the fibers have caused scarring of the lungs and asbestosis. While the disease can be slowed down in terms of progression, and symptoms can be treated, there is no cure. Types of treatment that a patient may pursue range from the use of pain medications to lung transplant surgery to oxygen therapy. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are hundreds of asbestosis-related deaths every year.
Who Is Liable for Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a tragic condition, and one that can severely impair a person’s quality of life, lead to pain and suffering, result in death, and leave surviving family members unsure of how they will move forward emotionally and financially. Because most asbestos exposure occurs in an employment setting – i.e. boilermakers, electricians, railroad workers, shipyard workers, boiler operators, asbestos miners, building construction workers, and workers removing insulation in old buildings – an affected person’s previous employer, or a manufacturer or distributor of asbestos-containing products, may be held liable.
Proving that asbestos exposure occurred in a workplace setting, and that this exposure was the direct cause of asbestosis, can be difficult to do. For this reason, it is essential to work with an experienced asbestosis attorney who can collect evidence and develop a strong case. If your claim is successful, you may be able to recover compensation for economic and noneconomic losses, including lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In some cases, even punitive damages may be available.
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If you or a loved one is suffering from asbestosis, and if you believe that your disease was caused by continued exposure to asbestos in your place of work – or, in some cases, in your home through asbestos-containing building materials – please contact our attorneys today. Your case consultation is completely free, and we will never charge you until your case is won.
We understand how devastating asbestosis is, and want to help you seek justice. Call us now directly, or contact our experienced asbestos attorneys online via our online contact form.