When you need to understand the connection between mesothelioma, asbestos and the law, help can best be found in the office of a qualified attorney—one who will be able to guide you through a personal injury claim and negotiate an adequate settlement on your behalf. But to familiarize yourself with the scientific and legal bases of a mesothelioma case, prior to your initial consultation with a knowledgeable asbestos attorney, read the following sections.
Asbestos as a Widely Recognized Toxin and Carcinogen
The most prominent risk factor for mesothelioma—a rare and terminal cancer that attacks the linings of a person’s internal organs—is contact with asbestos. Asbestos is a natural element found in rocks and soil that humans have been harvesting for commercial use for many, many years. It is used in building materials most extensively, but also in products ranging from hairdryers to cigarette filters.
During the 20th century, when asbestos use was in its peak, it was discovered that people who worked closely with it (including, or even especially, asbestos miners) often developed serious illnesses. By the 1970s and 80s, the dangers of asbestos contact were widely known, causing its use in manufacturing plants to all but vanish completely.
Tracking the Development of Mesothelioma, a Deadly but Unusual Cancer
When materials made from asbestos break into fragments, teeny fibers release into the atmosphere nearby and may then enter any bystander’s body via the nose or mouth. Once inside, the crystal-like particles embed themselves within the lining of the person’s internal organs—most often the lungs or stomach and sometimes both.
Once consumed, asbestos lies latent in the human body—usually for at least a decade and often up to 50 years or more—before signs of its damage are outwardly visible. Over that time, the asbestos fibers irritate the thin membrane in which they are contained and cause scarring. In some cases, this leads to the development of cancerous tumors—also known as malignant mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma from Asbestos and the Law: Help through a Specialized Attorney
Because the dangers associated with asbestos and human contact were known to manufacturers and other business entities involved in the propagation of its usage, these individuals can be found negligent in a court of law and forced to pay victims for the damage their products caused.
When you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma from asbestos, the law and help from an attorney may not be first on your list of priorities. It’s important, however, that you find and contact one immediately. You only have so much time after diagnosis to file a lawsuit, and it will prove highly beneficial to you and your family to do so. Settlements involving mesothelioma can easily reach a million dollars or more and are well-deserved compensation.