What is Asbestos, and What How is it Harmful?
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that is often used in many materials, buildings, and fabrics due to its desirable physical properties. It is made of long, separable fibers that are strong, flexible, and resistant to heat. These fibers, while very beneficial for industrial purposes, can be extremely dangerous to humans. When the tiny fibers become separated, they can be inhaled or ingested and can become lodged inside individuals' inner organ tissues—for decades thereafter. In many cases, the inhalation of asbestos fibers can result in various health issues, the most severe of which being a form of cancer called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer that originates in the mesothilium, the protective lining that surrounds many internal organs in the body.
Asbestos Exposure Can Result in Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma most often develops in individuals who have undergone long or frequent exposure to high concentrations of asbestos. While most cases of mesothelioma occur in those who are occupationally exposed to asbestos, such as asbestos miners or industrial workers who use asbestos in their materials often, mesothelioma can also affect people who are secondarily exposed to asbestos or who work in buildings constructed using asbestos. For example, asbestos miners' family members may unknowingly inhale asbestos fibers that reside in miners' work clothing. Mesothelioma may be difficult to detect because it has a long latency period, meaning that it may take up to 15-30 years for it to manifest itself in those who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos. Thus, an employee who spent years working in a building constructed using asbestos materials may contract mesothelioma long after he or she moved on to a new job.
Legal Issues Surrounding Mesothelioma: Victims May Seek Compensation
Due to the health risks asbestos poses, the mineral has largely been banned from use in everyday materials and products. Any products that do contain asbestos must have clear warning labels notifying individuals of the dangers of frequent exposure to asbestos. However, there are some older products or buildings that may still contain asbestos, such as in their paint or pipe insulation. Furthermore, many individuals who have been exposed to asbestos in the past are now beginning to experience the symptoms of the mesothelioma that had been latent in their bodies for years but is now manifesting itself. Many of these mesothelioma victims may have grounds to take legal action against manufacturers, contractors, or employers for exposure to dangerous concentrations of asbestos.
Los Angeles Attorneys Can Help Mesothelioma Victims Seek Compensation
Anyone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma should consult with a Los Angeles mesothelioma attorney who can help them determine whether or not he or she may be eligible to seek compensation from the parties responsible for asbestos exposure. Not only will professional injury lawyers help victims gather evidence and documentation necessary to prove liability, they will also litigate on victims' behalves with at-fault parties' lawyers and insurance companies to ensure that victims have the best possible chance of receiving the financial compensation they deserve. This compensation can help victims cope with the various medical costs, injuries and pain, and losses of income or quality of life associated with the onset and treatment of mesothelioma. Families who have lost a loved one due to asbestos-related mesothelioma may also recover compensation to help them deal with the loss of companionship and any income the loved one would have provided if he or she had survived.
If you or a loved one are suffering from mesothelioma that you believe may have been caused by long-term exposure to asbestos, contact the Pacific Attorney Group today to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles mesothelioma lawyer about your legal options.