When considering whether or not to consult an attorney to discuss your asbestos-related illness, you'll probably wonder whether or not you really "have a case." That question varies from lawsuit to lawsuit. What you should know, however, is that for decades, employers have been allowing their employees to work with dangerous asbestos despite the fact that they were aware of the toxicity of the material.
Asbestos has long been dubbed a "miracle" mineral, thanks to its tremendous heat-insulating properties. However, there's always been a dark side to asbestos. Indeed, one can find documented references from centuries long past that attest to the dangers of asbestos. Back in the first century, Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) noted a penchant for "sickness in the lungs" among those who worked with the material. Medical professionals began writing about their concerns in the early 20th century and urged industries to discontinue the use of asbestos, but business owners discarded the information or kept it a secret, refusing to replace the mineral with a safer substitute.
Thus, chances are you were employed by a company that knew of the dangers of asbestos but still allowed you to be exposed to it on a regular basis without any regard for your health. Because of this, you have a legal right to compensation for your illness. As a matter of fact, anyone who has been injured or sickened as a result of exposure to asbestos - whether on-the-job or elsewhere - has the right to sue the manufacturers of the asbestos products that caused the illness.
Why file a suit? The reasons are many. First of all, the medical expenses involved in mesothelioma treatment or any asbestos-related disease can be exorbitant and may not be covered by your existing medical insurance. Secondly, such diseases often result in an inability to work which, in turn, results in a loss of income. Bank accounts are drained and little or nothing is left for your surviving spouse or heirs. A successful lawsuit can provide the money needed to spend the remainder of your life in relative comfort and will help provide for those left behind.
Do not hesitate to seek legal advice and/or take action if you've been sickened by asbestos. A competent attorney can advise you as to all your legal rights and will inform you as to whether or not he/she believes you should proceed with a claim.
Last modified: December 27, 2010.