If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, call the mesothelioma lawyers at The Dominguez Firm right away for a free and confidential consultation at 800-818-1818 today. We are available to take your call 24/7.
When you choose The Dominguez Firm for your mesothelioma case, you receive the services of our experienced, award-winning attorneys. Among them is Lead Trial Attorney and Partner Scott Peebles. Attorney Peebles has successfully handled various types of mesothelioma lawsuits, including a verdict for over $30 million which was the top asbestos-related verdict in the state of California for 2018.
Below you’ll find more information on mesothelioma as well as what your options and rights are if you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos. Know that mesothelioma victims do have the right to seek compensation from the companies that compromised their health.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium, the tissue that surrounds most of your internal organs. Even though this type of cancer is rare, it has been diagnosed at a higher than average rate among workers in certain professions and the military. The common thread is exposure to asbestos.
Unfortunately, even minor exposure to asbestos dust can cause mesothelioma. It is dangerous enough that someone exposed to its fibers on another person’s clothes can also develop this kind of cancer. This is known as secondary asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer with no known cure. In recent years, however, new medical treatments have increased victims’ life expectancies and quality of life. To learn more, please click on the preceding link.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. When observed under a microscope, its sharp fibers are clearly visible. If someone is near asbestos and inhales these fibers, they lodge in the lining of the mesothelium, which causes inflammation and scarring in that area. That in turn, leads to the development of tumors over time.
Asbestos was commonly used in building materials and industrial products well into the 1990s. This low-cost mineral is resistant to heat, which makes it a top choice for insulating buildings and homes. Thousands of people worked near asbestos with no protection for decades. Today we know how deadly asbestos is, but its use has not been entirely banned in the United States.
The most prevalent type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which attacks the tissue around the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the tissue around the abdomen, heart and/or testicles.
Is mesothelioma the same as lung cancer?
Mesothelioma is not the same as lung cancer. Because the symptoms are similar, many people believe they are the same. While lung cancer attacks inside the lungs, mesothelioma attacks the tissue lining of the lungs which makes it a different type of cancer.
What are some of the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma display different symptoms. Here are some of the most common for each:
Pleural mesothelioma symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Fluid buildup
- Lumps beneath the skin in the area of the chest
- Persistent, dry cough
- Unusual weight loss
Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms:
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Chest pains (especially for those diagnosed with mesothelioma in the tissue surrounding the heart)
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual weight loss
Which jobs are most at risk for mesothelioma?
As previously noted, anyone working in close proximity to asbestos has a much higher risk of developing mesothelioma. Workers in certain jobs are particularly in danger:
- Construction workers, including those who regularly work with insulation and electricians
- Shipyard workers
- Textile factory workers, especially those who are around fire retardant and heat resistant materials
- Factory workers in certain sectors, such as manufacturers of automotive brake parts and pipes
- Military personnel
The military used asbestos for building and fireproofing across all branches of the military, but Navy personnel carry a greater risk of exposure to asbestos. Most Navy ships built before the 1980s have very large amounts of asbestos on board. The material was used extensively in the building of these vessels. For members of the Air Force, Army and Marines, asbestos can be found in tanks, trucks and even in their barracks. Several decades later, an alarming number of military veterans have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Why does it take so long for mesothelioma to develop?
Every person is different, but it’s common for mesothelioma to take years and even decades to develop. This can depend on several factors. One is how long the person was exposed to asbestos and the other is the amount of asbestos inhaled. Even short periods of exposure present dangers if the person was around large amounts of asbestos. Because of the long latency period, many mesothelioma patients are now between their 50s and 70s.
How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
Generally speaking, most patients with mesothelioma visit a doctor after they being to show symptoms of the disease. A doctor will usually perform a CT scan or MRI as well as a tissue biopsy of a tumor in the affected area before making a diagnosis. Because it takes so long to develop, many patients do not initially connect their diagnosis in say, 2019 or 2020 with their exposure to asbestos decades before.
Once mesothelioma is diagnosed, it’s important to seek the services of a doctor who specializes in mesothelioma cases. A trained professional has the experience and skill to pinpoint the location of the mesothelioma, which is so important to treating the patient. They are also aware of any current clinical trials and research being done.
What is the average settlement for mesothelioma?
A mesothelioma diagnosis completely changes a person’s life. Patients are suddenly confronted with expensive medical treatments and surgeries. This also takes a heavy emotional toll on the patient and their family as they realize that their exposure to asbestos was totally preventable.
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can calculate the worth of your case and will fight to get you every penny of the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Among the categories that will be taken into consideration when determining a settlement are:
- Medical bills related to treatment (including emotional well-being)
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
No attorney can give you an exact dollar amount estimate because no two cases are alike. However, they can compare your mesothelioma case to similar ones they have handled in the past. They can also look at your medical expenses, life expectancy and how the exposure occurred (for example, did a company or organization turn a blind eye to the dangers of asbestos or attempt to cover it up).
Veterans who developed mesothelioma during their military service, are not limited to filing claims through the Department of Veteran Affairs. They can also file a separate civil lawsuit against the companies that produced the asbestos-laden products that caused their mesothelioma diagnosis.
If you are a surviving family member that lost a loved one to mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, you too can file a wrongful death claim.
Sometimes, the companies or organizations being sued don’t offer fair settlements. When this happens, the mesothelioma lawyers at The Dominguez Firm are prepared to go to court to try and obtain the best outcome possible for our clients.
No matter the circumstances, if you or someone you love were exposed to asbestos and as a result developed mesothelioma, know that the law is on your side. Your first step should be to call the mesothelioma attorneys at The Dominguez Firm for a free and confidential consultation at 800-818-1818.
What are mesothelioma trust funds?
Due to the high amount of asbestos-related mesothelioma litigation in recent years, many companies that mined and used asbestos filed for bankruptcy protection. They then set up mesothelioma trust funds to pay out claims. While some companies filed for bankruptcy and created trust funds to reduce their liability, many others were forced to do so as settlements and verdicts drove them out of business.
On a national level, there have been at least 63 trust funds created since 2010. Despite all of the payouts to date, it is estimated that there are still billions of dollars still available for mesothelioma victims and their families in these trust funds.
Call the mesothelioma lawyers at The Dominguez Firm
The mesothelioma attorneys at The Dominguez Firm are here for you. Our personal injury law firm will fight for the fair and just compensation you deserve. Our in-house investigators can travel to you to help begin the process. And we have a team of almost 120 legal professionals who are ready to provide you with the outstanding customer service and support The Dominguez Firm is known for. Not all personal injury law firms have the resources to handle complex mesothelioma cases.
And if you’re concerned about the cost of hiring a mesothelioma lawyer from The Dominguez Firm, know that we work on a contingency basis. That means we only get paid if we obtain a settlement or verdict on your behalf. You pay no upfront or out of pocket expenses when you sign on with The Dominguez Firm. Our percentage will be clearly stated in the client agreement. And in the unlikely event that we are unable to obtain compensation for you, you owe us nothing. You win, or you don’t pay! So, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call the mesothelioma lawyers at The Dominguez Firm today for a free consultation at 800-818-1818.