Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive cancer that many people develop after exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, thousands of workers are still exposed to asbestos every year without warning, the proper training, or personal protective equipment. Construction workers and firefighters are at a particularly high risk for working in buildings where asbestos was heavily used and never sealed or properly removed.
Mesothelioma claims have decreased in recent years, however, it is still a very real threat. Firefighters and other first responders to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, were all heavily exposed to asbestos and many are now have injuries as a result. If you are suffering from mesothelioma and believe you were exposed to asbestos or other carcinogens during your career, contact the Illinois mesothelioma lawyers of The Cates Law Firm, LLC at 618-277-3644.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring heat-resistant minerals. Because asbestos can withstand heat, many chemicals, and does not conduct electricity, it was often used to insulate walls, roofing, plumbing, and other systems through buildings. It was also added to adhesives, paints, and ceiling and floor tiles.
By the 1970s, the threat of asbestos was realized and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned its use in certain places in buildings like fireplaces. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned all new uses for the material in 1989 – but previously discovered uses were still in practice and allowed. Asbestos use is still not entirely illegal, but due to the hazards and federal regulations use has greatly declined.
While the use of asbestos is far less common today than it was a few decades ago, old construction still exists with asbestos. Whenever someone wants to renovate or tear down a building, construction and utility workers face the risk of asbestos exposure. Fires in older buildings with asbestos expose firefighters to the carcinogen.
Mesothelioma Caused by Asbestos Exposure
Mesothelioma is rare cancer that affects the mesothelium, which is the membrane lining parts of the body such as the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Prognosis for those suffering from mesothelioma is poor. Survival from mesothelioma is possible but rare. Stages 1 and 2 are more likely to be effectively treated with surgery and other cancer treatments. However, someone who has been diagnosed with a later stage of mesothelioma can only attempt to manage the disease, their pain, and their quality of life.
Most people will be exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives, but continuous and substantial exposure can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other diseases. Asbestos remains a leading cause of work-related cancer today and is related to approximately 10,000 deaths every year.
Workers in the 1960s began to realize that their employers exposed them to a dangerous, cancer-causing substance, which led to the first mass tort mesothelioma lawsuits filed against businesses. As awareness of the dangers of asbestos and its connection to mesothelioma grew, more people came forward. Over the next few decades, hundreds of thousands of people have been involved in asbestos-related mesothelioma cases. New lawsuits are still filed today. While mesothelioma is considered rare, there are approximately 3,000 new cases each year.
You Have Legal Options If You Have Asbestos-Related Mesothelioma
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma that was caused by asbestos exposure, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer, a manufacturer, or another entity that exposed you to the carcinogen. You should speak with an Illinois environmental exposure lawyer about pursuing a legal remedy as soon as possible. There is a statute of limitations on these types of claims, and you run the risk of waiting too long to benefit from the outcome of the case.
An asbestos attorney who has experience in mesothelioma cases will advise you on your legal options, including whether you can file a lawsuit against another party or if you may be able to recover from a trust fund set up to benefit people injured by asbestos. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can also explain your likelihood of success based on the facts of your case, including what amount of a settlement or jury verdict you might expect.
Most mesothelioma cases are settled out of court. However, some individuals who have gone through with a trial have received multi-million dollar verdicts. There is no guarantee that you will receive a similar verdict because each case depends on its own set of facts, but jury awards related to mesothelioma can be generous.
You can seek to recover:
- Funeral expenses
- Future medical care
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Travel costs for medical care
Illinois Environmental Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Secure Compensation for Victims of Asbestos Exposure
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos and now faces a difficult mesothelioma diagnosis, call the skilled asbestos attorneys of The Cates Law Firm, LLC. today. We have a track record of obtaining beneficial outcomes and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
We understand that a countless number of people throughout hundreds of professions were exposed to dangerous substances like asbestos and other chemicals. You and others then learned the hard way that your employers did not protect you. When you worked hard throughout your life, you do not deserve to learn that your profession hurt you. We believe in fighting to remedy this injustice as best we can. We are here to represent you in this battle.
For more information on your legal options in regard to mesothelioma, call The Cates Law Firm, LLC at 618-277-3644 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we represent clients across Southern Illinois and the Metro East region, from St. Louis to the Indiana border, including the communities of Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County.