Malignant Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Settlements, compensation and hiring a malignant mesothelioma lawyer
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the tissue of the lungs, abdomen and/or heart. This devastating disease is caused by exposure to asbestos and is presently incurable.
The proliferation of mesothelioma cancer cases over the past 20 years has been significant and in many cases, unnecessary. Many asbestos product manufacturers knew of the dangers associated with exposure to asbestos long before its hazards became common knowledge. Their failure to adequately inform employees and the public at large is considered a grievous error in judgment that is responsible for tens of thousands of asbestos deaths and countless more injuries.
In this section, you will find information on the symptoms of mesothelioma as well as the causes and current mesothelioma treatment strategies. You will also find information on your legal rights associated with asbestos exposure, including information on settlements, lawsuits and mesothelioma lawyers who can help determine if you are eligible for mesothelioma compensation to assist you with the costly medical expenses that are frequently incurred by those suffering from this disease.
The only known cause of malignant mesothelioma is exposure to a carcinogenic mineral group called asbestos. Airborne asbestos fibers are easily inhaled and can bypass the natural filtration system of the lungs and become lodged in the lung tissue. From the lungs, it is believed that asbestos fibers can access the bloodstream and be transported throughout the body.
There are several types of asbestos diseases, including asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma (also known as “asbestos lung cancer”), and there are three types of malignant mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs; peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen; and pericardial mesothelioma, which is found in the lining of the heart. Malignant mesothelioma can be further categorized by its cell type, of which there are three: epithelioid mesothelioma, sarcomatoid mesothelioma and biphasic mesothelioma.
The type of asbestos disease a person contracts depends on the level of asbestos exposure and the location in which asbestos fibers become lodged. Visit our affiliate publication, All About Malignant Mesothelioma, for information on symptoms of these diseases.
The onset of mesothelioma symptoms serves as the primary indicator for malignant mesothelioma; however, a biopsy is required to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis.
A number of tests are included in the diagnostic process, including X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans and positron emission tomography (PET) scans. These imaging tests are used to determine the location and size of a mesothelioma tumor so that a biopsy can be taken. The results of a biopsy can confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis, determine the type of mesothelioma, estimate survival time and help with the development of a treatment plan.
Thus far, malignant mesothelioma has proven to be an incurable disease. Following diagnosis of the condition, many mesothelioma sufferers don't live long. For example, just 30 percent of pleural mesothelioma patients live one year after diagnosis.* Traditional mesothelioma treatments are the same as those used to treat other types of cancer and include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Oftentimes, treatments are combined (multimodal therapy) to achieve the best results. When all three treatment types are used, it is referred to as tri-modal therapy.
Alternative malignant mesothelioma treatments are being developed with the hope that they can be more effective in treating malignant mesothelioma. Newly developed technologies are also used in treatment of malignant mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma sufferers may see improved survival rates with some of these new treatments. Mesothelioma specialists hope that continued research may some day yield a greater survival rate and potential cure.
Malignant mesothelioma lawsuits provide monetary compensation to those affected with this fatal disease. A mesothelioma settlement can help to defray the high costs associated with mesothelioma treatments and can provide financial relief from lost wages and diminished quality of life.
On a larger scale, malignant mesothelioma lawsuits provide recourse against manufacturers whose negligence is believed responsible for the vast majority of hazardous exposure. Because asbestos was so widely used for industrial and commercial purposes throughout the 20th Century, occupational exposure to asbestos was quite common. Much evidence has been discovered to prove that many asbestos product manufacturers were aware of the dangers but neglected to inform their employees or take steps to protect them. Some companies even conspired to hide information from their employees. As a result of this negligence and, in some cases, deceitful conduct, many mesothelioma victims and their families have benefited from mesothelioma settlements. Others have received compensation, including wrongful death compensation, from these companies by filing personal injury lawsuits or wrongful death lawsuits. Because of this, they are frequently able to persuade the responsible parties to come to a reasonable settlement; if this is not possible, they can represent you in court.
Mesothelioma lawyers specialize in tracing an asbestos disease to a source and finding those culpable for hazardous asbestos exposure. Because of this, they are frequently able to persuade the responsible parties to come to a reasonable settlement if this is not possible, they can represent you in court. Mesothelioma lawyers can also assist you with information regarding mesothelioma specialists and treatment centers around the country. In some cases, mesothelioma law firms are able to provide monetary assistance to help with medical expenses until a settlement is reached. If you or someone you know has been affected by exposure to asbestos, you should contact a personal injury attorney to help you determine your legal rights.
* British Thoracic Society
Mesothelioma affects men more often than women because more men worked in the industries where asbestos exposure was common.
Although it is considered a rare disease, cases of mesothelioma have been on the rise over the last 20 years. Approximately 2,000 new cases of malignant mesothelioma are documented each year in the United States.
Source: National Cancer Institute