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.
It is wise to carefully research the specifics of your parent’s experience to determine whether or not the evidence supports an injury claim. If it does justify a claim, your parent may need a great deal of help dealing with treatment and also filing and pursuing a claim to protect his or her rights and dignity.
When did asbestos use end?
As you may have guessed, asbestos is not commonly used in either industrial or consumer products in the United States these days. However, asbestos was heavily used in production and construction until the mid-1970s, meaning that buildings erected previously may still contain significant asbestos.
Asbestos is not a simple substance to contain, as its fibers may travel through air currents in certain forms. If your parent worked in or near a building or facility that contained asbestos, there is a very good chance that it affected them.
Identifying sources of exposure
It is not always easy to identify asbestos exposure in the body, and, in many cases, it is only possible to observe symptoms of mesothelioma rather than find asbestos itself. If your parent receives a mesothelioma diagnosis, it is time to figure out where they experienced exposure.
Most commonly, exposure happens one of three ways:
- Exposure on the job
- Secondhand exposure to asbestos through another person experiencing direct exposure
- Neighborhood exposure to those living and working near asbestos-rich locations
If you can identify periods of your parent’s life where he or she suffered significant exposure, or might have, this is a good place to start.
Pursuing a claim
Building this type of claim is akin to solving a murder mystery. You must collect as much information as you can and then assemble a narrative of exposure that justifies the claim while supporting that narrative with as many verifiable facts as you can. The more research and evidence that you provide, the stronger the claim and the greater chance you have of seeing justice for your parent.
Do not hesitate to use high quality legal resources and guidance to build a strong claim that protects your parent’s dignity and keeps his or her rights secure.