Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that has been linked primarily to asbestos exposure. It derives its name from mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue that covers internal organs. Mesothelioma can affect different organs but is most often found in the lungs. Understanding the causes of this disease is the first step to seeking the compensation you need and deserve. Speaking with a mass tort lawyer who specializes in mesothelioma cases can be a great first step for potential victims.
A number of factors, such as smoking, can increase the risk of developing the disease. But the most definitive risk factor is exposure to asbestos. A naturally occurring mineral, asbestos can be turned into strong, heat-resistant fibers. This, in turn, makes asbestos a particularly durable form of insulation, shingles, and other products.
The widespread use of asbestos contributed to innumerable instances of exposure at home and in the workplace. Breaking up asbestos, through mining, insulation removal, or other activities, can create dust. If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, tiny fibers can irritate the lungs or stomach. How exactly this process results in mesothelioma is still unknown. But scientists do know that symptoms can take anywhere from 10 to 60 years to manifest. If you think you may be have been exposed or are showing symptoms of mesothelioma, call the mass tort lawyers at Gacovino Lake today to speak with an expert risk-free.
How Did I Get Mesothelioma and What are the Symptoms?
Most people who develop mesothelioma do so through their workplaces. Those most at risk work in the following areas:
- Asbestos mining
- Demolition and construction
- Auto shops and car dealerships
- Oil refineries
- Power plants
Because mesothelioma can affect several organs, there are a variety of potential symptoms, including:
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
Corporations and manufacturers knew of the dangers of asbestos decades ago. However, they chose to not use safer alternatives and did not warn workers of the risks. This negligence and outright disregard for safety caused countless Americans to contract mesothelioma. Tragically, the prognosis of this aggressive and deadly disease is not good. Less than 10 percent of mesothelioma victims live for more than five years.
There are generally two types of mesothelioma lawsuits: personal injury and wrongful death. In a personal injury claim, the individual who directly experiences the disease is the one who files suit. A personal injury victim will usually seek financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost income.
On the other hand, a survivor of a mesothelioma victim may file a wrongful death lawsuit. These claims seek compensation for medical costs incurred to treat the deceased. Other expenses that may be covered are pain and suffering, funeral costs, and lost income due to an untimely death.
Mass tort lawsuits are sometimes confused with class action suits. This is due in part to the similarities between the two. Both involve large numbers of victims claiming similar damages. Typically, the same defendants are to blame for the injury or death. However, in a mass tort, individual plaintiffs must describe their exposure to asbestos and how it caused mesothelioma. The claims are often handled through multidistrict litigation, which helps ensure consistent and efficient handling of cases.
Your attorney can walk you through the process of demonstrating liability. Mesothelioma cases are very complex. These are the elements that must be established to hold a defendant responsible:
- The defendant failed to use ordinary care and negligently caused exposure to asbestos;
- This exposure caused the mesothelioma;
- The plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of the mesothelioma
How a New York Mass Tort Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, don’t hesitate to take legal action, contact our offices today. It will take a substantial amount of time and research to assemble your case. Medical bills, witness statements, manufacturing and construction records, and other evidence must be gathered. This is where an experienced mass tort attorney is invaluable. The team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help. Give us a call today for a risk-free consultation with an experienced attorney who is dedicated to helping victims.