Multiple studies conducted over the last four decades have shown a connection between long-term asbestos exposure and various lung diseases. With the number of factory workers and veterans continuing to be diagnosed with pulmonary asbestos diseases, asbestos lawsuits are on the rise in the United States.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous, naturally occurring substance that has been used for decades in several industries and occupations. Asbestos was connected to health issues long before it became prevalent in industry. Thousands of former employees in industries using asbestos have developed mesothelioma, a deadly asbestos-related disease. Asbestos has been identified as a carcinogen, meaning it is a source of cancer.
If you or someone you love have been exposed to asbestos and thus harmed by the product manufacturers, you may be able to file an injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages. Taking help from an experienced product liability lawyer can help you find answers to all your questions. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the necessary steps following a tragic asbestos exposure.
Who Can File An Asbestos Claim?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other workplace safety organizations regulate and track workplace safety in the United States. This oversight includes limiting asbestos exposure on jobsites. As a result, almost all employers in the United States are required by law to take some precautions to protect you and your employees from any asbestos-related health hazards.
If you or your family have been exposed to asbestos, you may be eligible for asbestos screenings at no cost. Following your screening, a Workers compensation lawyer may be able to assist you in filing an asbestos trust fund claim, if:
- In the last three years, you obtained a medical diagnosis for lung disease, cancer, or a disease caused by direct asbestos exposure.
- You were a veteran or a former factory worker who worked in a profession at high-risk of asbestos exposure.
As a retired factory worker or a veteran who was exposed to asbestos on the job, the risk of developing an asbestos-related disease is high even if you have not yet developed symptoms. Following an appropriate diagnosis, our attorneys will file an asbestos lawsuit with the applicable trust funds so that you are duly paid for your illness and suffering.
A lawyer is also able to assist qualifying veterans with obtaining Department of Veterans Affairs disability compensation and other benefits through the federal process, in addition to an asbestos trust fund claim.
Asbestos in the Workplace
Even short-term exposure to high levels of asbestos can cause respiratory issues like coughing and shortness of breath when asbestos fibers are inhaled. It should come as no surprise that long-term asbestos exposure on the job poses the most severe health risks.
In many instances, older people may have spent decades in the workplace before protective measures were implemented to protect workers from asbestos contamination. These people are at an even greater risk of developing a fatal asbestos-related disease.
Asbestos exposure causes a variety of severe health issues, including:
- Lung cancer
- Gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers
- Disorders in the lining of the chest cavity
Jobs With a Higher Asbestos Exposure Risk
Asbestos exposure is also wider spread in some occupations than in others. Here is a rundown of jobs and sectors where employees have historically been exposed to high levels of asbestos:
- Paper mills
- Automotive repair
- Heating and cooling equipment repair
- Manufacture of products containing asbestos
Safety Measures Provided To Prevent From Asbestos Contamination
You may be legally entitled to the following protections from asbestos contamination while on the job, depending on the sector you work in and the details of your job:
- Employees working in or around asbestos should undergo safety training
- Workplaces should be well ventilated
- In areas where asbestos-related work is undertaken, there should be warning signs and guidance
- Coveralls, gloves, foot coverings, face masks, and goggles are examples of protective gear that should be required when working with or around asbestos
- Respirators and other safety gear
- Showers and other post-exposure measures should be implemented
- Certain employees who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos should undergo regular medical exams
- Employee asbestos exposure should be monitored and tracked
Who is Legally Liable?
If you have worked in jobs that required you to work with or around large quantities of asbestos, you might be eligible to participate in asbestos-related litigation. In general, if an employee develops health issues as a result of asbestos exposure at work, a lawsuit may be brought against one or more of the following parties:
- The company that manufactured the asbestos or other safety equipment that failed to operate properly
- Owners of the property on which the work was being undertaken
- Contractors and subcontractors that are involved in the work
Workers’ compensation cases are complex. You will need an attorney who knows how to navigate the system and is able to keep you updated on the status of your case at all times.
Our worker’s compensation attorneys know that representing workers’ compensation claims related to asbestos requires experience and an understanding of your rights as an employee. We examine every argument to advocate for our clients vigorously and zealously and achieve the best possible outcomes. Contact us today.