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Seattle Mesothelioma Legal Issues Blog

What to do if you think you’ve been exposed to asbestos

Asbestos exposure is a main concern in many industries, as it has the potential to cause serious health issues such as lung cancer, pleural disease, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

It's important to do your best to avoid asbestos exposure at all costs. This holds true both at work and at home. If you know you'll be in close proximity to asbestos, perhaps when demolishing an old structure, it's critical to wear the appropriate gear to protect yourself.

Can spouses be affected by asbestos exposure?

Asbestos is a highly toxic material that has a high resistance to heat. It was a very popular material that was used widely in the construction industry in the United States for decades. It wasn't until the material was discovered to be very dangerous in the 1960s when its use was stopped.

The wide usage of asbestos in buildings in the first half of the 20th century has meant that many construction workers were exposed to the material. Since it can still exist in buildings today, it is possible for workers to be exposed if they are not using adequate protection.

Asbestos violations result in almost $800,000 in fines

Two companies, Northlake Capital & Development and 3917 Densmore LLC, are facing thousands of dollars in fines after the Washington Department of Labor and Industries cited improper and unsafe asbestos handling at a Seattle home-flipping site.

The Department of Labor and Industries initially receive complaints from neighbors near the residential project. Neighbors noticed employees improperly removing exterior asbestos titles from the house during the weekend. Residents approached the leaders on the site, but the inappropriate actions continued.

Living with a mesothelioma diagnosis

A mesothelioma diagnosis is very serious and life changing. From the moment you are told you have this terminal condition, your life is likely going to revolve around treatments to try to do away with the cancer and help extend your life expectancy. It is important that you remember to live your best life despite this horrible diagnosis.

One of the most important things to do when you are told you have mesothelioma is to ask questions. Find out what treatments you need and how those might impact you. There are three common options that doctors usually turn to in these cases – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

How do doctors diagnose mesothelioma?

Asbestos-caused diseases are commonly the result of working for many years in environments like brake shops, shipyards and the construction industry – where there's a chance of asbestos particles contaminating the airspace. The cancer mesothelioma is one of the most common types of these asbestos-related illnesses.

Patients usually don't discover they have mesothelioma until after they have difficulty breathing. These patients may end up in the doctor's office for a routine exam, only to discover after various tests that they are suffering from this life-threatening cancer.

Does your parent suffer from mesothelioma?

If your parent suffers from mesothelioma, there is a very good chance that he or she developed the condition because of exposure to asbestos, a substance used in numerous industrial and household products for decades before the public learned that it led to high rates of cancer. In many cases, previous generations endured years upon years of regular exposure to asbestos without realizing the risks associated with it, often leading to severe illness later in life.

Of course, just like any other injury, if a person develops mesothelioma because of the negligence or direct action of another party, it is usually worth considering a personal injury claim to compensate the victim fairly and relive the weight of lost income and medical expenses. If your parent developed mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure, then the party that exposed your parent may still hold legal liability for the illness.

How do I determine where asbestos exposure occurred?

Asbestos exposure is a very serious experience that may lead to a serious, life-threatening illness -- mesothelioma. Its victims face a a very difficult road ahead, and certainly deserve full, fair compensation for their suffering and medical expenses. But it is not always simple to determine where asbestos exposure occurred to help identify a liable party.

If you or someone you love recently received a diagnosis of mesothelioma caused by asbestos, you are probably very concerned with finding the source of the asbestos in order to hold the responsible party liable. In some cases, it is not always possible to know with certainty where asbestos exposure occurred, or to collect sufficient evidence to build a strong claim. However, asbestos does not usually cause mesothelioma with only an instance or two of casual exposure. If you can narrow down the source of asbestos you interacted with regularly, you are well on your way to building a strong claim.

Mesothelioma treatment: There are options

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, a membrane that lines many of the body's most important organs. While not always the case, this disease typically occurs in the lining of the lungs.

While there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are a variety of treatment options that have been proven effective over the years. Generally speaking, there are three types of treatment to discuss with your medical team:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery

If you lost a loved one to mesothelioma, it may be wrongful death

Losing a loved one to cancer is a traumatic experience. In some cases, the battle is protracted, with months of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatment and waiting. Other times, the progression is so rapid that your family barely has time to accept the diagnosis before you have to start planning a funeral. As far as cancers go, mesothelioma is a highly aggressive form of cancer that is currently considered treatable but incurable.

The tragic truth is that almost all cases of mesothelioma are preventable. The vast majority of people who develop this cancer had workplace exposure to asbestos on a regular basis. Others may have encountered it at home.

You must fight for your rights to an asbestos settlement

Workers diagnosed with mesothelioma from on-the-job exposure to asbestos as many as five decades ago face uncertain futures. Following your oncologist's advice and treatment plan can help you maximize time spent with family and friends.

But if you are concerned about the financial instability your wife and children may face once you are no longer there for them as a husband, father and breadwinner, you must pursue justice.

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