What is asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a group of fibrous minerals used by industries because it was strong, heat resistant, does not conduct electricity and was inexpensive. Asbestos fibers are tiny; not visible without the use of a microscope and can be inhaled when airborne. If the fibers are breathed into the lungs they cling to the lining of the lungs and other parts of the respiratory system. The fibers are not broken down by the body and are difficult to expel so they become lodged in the lung tissue and cause disease.
What products contained asbestos?
Since the latter part of the 1970s asbestos use has declined. It is now known that asbestos is a carcinogen. However, for many years there were many products that contained this deadly carcinogen. Some of the products that commonly contained asbestos included:
- Vinyl flooring and adhesives
- Roofing tars, siding, felts and shingles
- Popcorn ceilings
- Fire-resistant protective gear
- Industrial and marine gaskets
- Brake pads
- HVAC connectors
Who would have been at risk of contact with asbestos?
People who worked in the following occupations may have been exposed to airborne asbestos:
- Auto Mechanics
- Masons (brick or cement)
- Constructions workers
- Plasterers/Drywall hangers
- Foundry workers
- HVAC installers
- Sheet metal workers
- Ship and Shipyard workers
- Navy Seamen
What are the dangers of asbestos exposure?
When asbestos becomes airborne and the tiny particles are inhaled, they can damages the lungs. The two types of cancer that result of inhaling asbestos are:
- Lung cancer
The symptoms of mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer can take decades to reveal themselves. In many cases, people who have contracted these diseases from asbestos exposure do not receive a mesothelioma or lung cancer diagnosis until their condition has reached an advanced stage.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a particular type of cancer caused by asbestos. Exposure to asbestos can result in mesothelioma symptoms not being present for as long as 50 years.
There are three main types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma: This is the most common type and it involves the membranes around the lungs, called the pleura.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: This type affects the lining around the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum.
- Pericardial mesothelioma: This type affects the sac that surrounds the heart, called the pericardium.
How can someone receive compensation?
The main ways to receive compensation are through a lawsuit (settlement or verdict after a trial), a bankruptcy trust fund claim or a Veterans Administration claim. Whether you will have a successful lawsuit or claim depends upon the individual facts in your individual case.
What is a bankruptcy trust fund claim?
Some companies that manufactured products using asbestos successfully filed bankruptcy. However, as a condition of their bankruptcies, the companies were required to pay money into trust funds for current and future claims of people who were harmed by their products.
Is there still money available to pay future claims?
Since it can take decades before there are any symptoms or diagnoses made, there are likely to be new claims made for many years to come. Although there have been more than $17 billion in claims paid, there is still more than a collective $30 billion in trust funds.
What do I need to know when I call Attorney DiBartolo?
When you call attorney DiBartolo, please be prepared to discuss the following:
- Your prognosis and the stage of your particular cancer
- Your work history and/or military service
- Where and when you were exposed to asbestos and which products were involved
Your consultation is free and Attorney DiBartolo works on a contingent fee basis so there is never any hourly billing or retainer involved.