West Virginia Mesothelioma lawyers are an important resource for victims of asbestos exposure – they are your go-to legal team.
Mesothelioma is a unique and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the chest and sometimes the lining of the gut. The most common way people develop mesothelioma in North America is by having been exposed to asbestos dust at their place of work.
Workers from all walks of life, pipe fitters, boiler makers, millwrights, tin knockers, carpenters, roofers, electrical workers, bricklayers, steelworkers, ironworkers, miners, mechanics and anyone who worked as a laborer in any job in a powerhouse, chemical plant, coal mines, steel mill or facility with furnaces and high heat systems is at risk for developing mesothelioma
Places of employment where asbestos exposure is possible are construction sites, mines, manufacturing factories, oil refineries, and shipyards. Also, older homes often had asbestos used in their construction. Even people who worked around these industrial facilities such as secretaries and office workers have been known to develop mesothelioma, years after leaving their jobs. Even young children who hugged their parents when they came home from work have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, due to inhaling the dust and asbestos fibers that were on their parents’ clothing.
Because mesothelioma can take 10 to 50 years to develop, anyone exposed to asbestos should seek advice from their doctors. In the U.S., asbestos use has dropped, but it is still imported and used in various industries, and coal mining still poses a risk to miners.
In 2021, West Virginia still had 135 active coal mines, with Pennsylvania at 120, and Kentucky with 101 coal mines. Additional states that still have operating, active coal mines are Virginia, Alabama, Wyoming, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, and Ohio.
The Facts of Cancer
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that can enter the lungs or be ingested just by breathing in around a live site. Today, the link between exposure and mesothelioma is a proven fact.
Mesothelioma is not the only disease caused by asbestos. Asbestos fibers that are trapped in the lungs can cause several other severe lung issues, including:
- Lung cancer: The risk of lung cancer increases with the amount of exposure to asbestos.
- Asbestosis: This lung disease develops from long-term exposure to asbestos fibers and causes scar tissue on the lungs, limiting lung function.
- Pleural plaques and pleural disease: Asbestos can cause fibrous tissue deposits in the chest cavity, and these can eventually limit lung function.
The sad truth is that, as far back as the 1930s, scientists had already linked asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. While the use of asbestos has dropped dramatically, the U.S. has not banned asbestos, and some companies still use it in their products. These products are found throughout schools, commercial buildings, and even the homes you may live in.
For decades, asbestos-related companies put profits before the health of employees. That’s a century of ignoring science and disregarding the health of their employees.
West Virginia Mesothelioma Lawyers
Many West Virginians have developed mesothelioma due to the coal mining and manufacturing sectors. Receiving this diagnosis can turn your world completely upside down. If you or a family member has lost a loved one to mesothelioma, your grief creates its own set of challenges. In either case, you should contact West Virginia mesothelioma lawyers. An initial consultation, most likely for free, will help you determine if you have a case and learn what your rights are as a victim.
A mesothelioma lawyer is someone who specializes in these types of cases and will be your best advocate when it comes to investigating your case to determine the facts for possible litigation.
- What company is responsible for the asbestos exposure?
- Did the employer take proper precautions to protect their employees and the public against exposure?
- Have there been prior cases against the employer that resulted in a court order to establish a trust fund? If so, these funds are held to pay damages to individuals such as yourself for future mesothelioma lawsuits. At this point, you may decide to file a claim with the trust fund directly.
Once all the facts are determined, the lawyer will outline the strategy to gain compensation for the damages caused.
If no trust fund exists, it is time to consider litigation. Normally, the attorney will start court proceedings with your approval, or they will attempt to negotiate a settlement if that is your choice. Many times, it depends on the severity of the illness and the employee’s current health situation. If there is no resolution through settlement means, the lawyer will take your case to court and represent you. It is always possible to settle before the end of the trial.
Resources for Victims and Families
Mesothelioma lawyers protect the rights of their clients. These lawyers are familiar with the emotional and social needs of clients. They will advise and refer clients to various resources.
Mesothelioma Hope is a non-profit that provides resources and various support opportunities for victims and their families nationwide. The Mesothelioma Legal Alliance is another national organization providing information and some legal advice. Another national non-profit is the Mesothelioma Action Network, which provides advocacy, information, and resources.
The West Virginia Department of Health also has several resources and offers financial support for patients. The West Virginia Cancer Institute provides patients with several services, treatment options, and support.
You Are Not Alone
Your first line of support is friends and family. Those people who care are a resource for advice and comfort. Your doctors can provide information about your specific conditions. The Internet is a great resource for information – make sure you search for “authority sites” (Mayo Clinic, Harvard, and the like).
If you have not yet contacted a mesothelioma law firm, there is no better time than now – you need to know your options for the compensation you and your family need and deserve.