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Asbestos Attorneys

Asbestos is a dangerous substance that can cause life-threatening illnesses in people who have been exposed. People who work with asbestos and their families are at a much higher risk of serious illnesses than others. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, directly or indirectly, our asbestos lawyers can help you understand your options and stand up for your rights.

At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we proudly help those who have been harmed by asbestos exposure. Whether you developed an asbestos-related disease through your work or through second-hand exposure, we can help. Our work for injury victims has been recognized by America’s Top 100 Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and organizations such as BestLawyers. We’re proud of our record and proud of the skill and dedication we bring to every case.

If asbestos has harmed you or someone you love, we’re ready to fight for you. We offer a free case evaluation where we can answer your questions and help you understand your best legal options for pursuing compensation. Call us today or use our online form to get in touch.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral that was used in many commercial and industrial products throughout the United States until the late 1980s. Asbestos has powerful insulating and fire-resistant properties which made it a very attractive material for use in a variety of products, including building materials, insulation, and others. Asbestos is still mined in many parts of the world, though in the United States, manufacturers are prohibited from using it in many products. However, asbestos remains widespread in many products that were made before the ban.

Asbestos was commonly used in construction, shipbuilding, automotive parts, and many other industries. Workers who inhaled or accidentally consumed asbestos fibers frequently develop significant health problems including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other cancers.

While experts acknowledged that asbestos could lead to health problems, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that a widespread consensus arose around the dangers of asbestos. Many asbestos-related illnesses take decades to develop. People who were exposed years ago are just now developing life-threatening illnesses.

Diseases Caused by Asbestos

Experts have linked asbestos to a variety of illnesses, including asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers throughout the body.

  1. Asbestosis is a type of lung disease that can develop in those who were exposed to asbestos. This disease results from asbestos fibers being trapped in the lungs, entering the lung tissue, and permanently scarring the lungs. Those who are affected may suffer breathing problems, painful coughs, and other respiratory problems, such as fluid buildup, that may increase over the years.
  2. Lung cancer is a common problem for those who have worked with asbestos. Populations who worked with asbestos have a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer, and those who were exposed to asbestos and also smoked have an exceptionally high risk of developing lung cancer. However, this cancer may take years or even decades to develop, so victims may not know they have it.
  3. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer whose only known cause is asbestos exposure, and it can take decades to manifest. Mesothelioma can affect the lungs, the abdomen, the reproductive organs, and other parts of the body. Workers who were exposed to asbestos have a significantly higher risk of developing mesothelioma than others, and even their family members may be at risk for this disease due to their second-hand exposure to asbestos dust.

How People Were Exposed to Asbestos

People were exposed, and continue to be exposed through two main activities: inhaling asbestos dust, and accidentally consuming it via water contamination and other sources.

Asbestos inhalation is the most common way that people are exposed to asbestos. Asbestos can break down into a fine dust that can easily make its way into workers’ airways and cause a variety of problems. Workers who handled asbestos or asbestos products frequently inhaled the dangerous dust, and even today, it’s easy for workers to accidentally be exposed to asbestos. Old buildings, especially those from earlier in the 20th century, frequently contain asbestos that can pass into the air during renovations and remodeling.

It’s also important to note that if someone worked in a job that involved asbestos, their family members and friends may also have been exposed to this dangerous substance.

Asbestos dust can easily attach itself to clothing, and workers often unknowingly transported this dust to their homes. Family members who were exposed to asbestos on a regular basis have been shown to be at higher risk for asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related illnesses.

Another way people can be exposed to asbestos is through accidental consumption. Asbestos was used in pipes and a variety of underground projects that can potentially send asbestos into the drinking water. Asbestos is also naturally occurring, and there are cases where the substance can enter the water supply, leading to long-term health problems for those affected.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma and Asbestos Disease

Mesothelioma and asbestos disease can be challenging to spot early on, particularly if the patient is suffering from other related health problems. If you experience any of the symptoms below, and you believe you were exposed to asbestos, speak with a doctor as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Common symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Chest pain
  • Painful coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Unexpected weight loss

  • Shortness of breath
  • Growths in the chest or abdomen
  • Heart problems including arrhythmia

Common symptoms of asbestosis include:

  • Painful and persistent coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain and discomfort

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Widening of fingertips and toes

Every case is unique, and symptoms vary from person to person. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and you may have been exposed to asbestos, seek the medical care you need.

Treatment for Asbestos Diseases

Treatment for asbestos diseases depends on the nature of the illness and any unique circumstances surrounding the patient. That said, there are some treatments that are common for lung cancer and mesothelioma, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and medication. Although medical sciences are advancing, there are still no guaranteed ways of fighting these diseases.

Surgery is a common tool that doctors use to combat asbestos diseases. Doctors can remove cancerous growths and tumors, and may even need to remove lungs or portions of lungs in order to help patients. These surgeries can be extremely painful and invasive, and can leave the patient exhausted and unable to take care of day-to-day needs.

Chemotherapy is another key tool for fighting asbestos diseases. This therapy relies upon the administration of powerful drugs that attack fast-growing cells, including cancerous cells. Unfortunately, these drugs may attack normally functioning cells as well, leading to significant side-effects and risks for patients. Doctors frequently combine chemotherapy with other therapies, such as surgeries and radiation therapy, to fight asbestos-related diseases.

Another way of combatting asbestos diseases involves targeted radiation. Targeted radiation can damage and destroy the DNA of cancerous cells. Radiation treatment can have significant side-effects and may take a long time to complete, but it can help patients. Radiation is often combined with other treatments to help patients fight the disease.

Medicines may alleviate the symptoms of asbestosis, cancer, and other diseases related to asbestos exposure. In many cases, there is no effective treatment that can cure illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. Doctors may prescribe medication that reduces inflammation, eases symptoms, and tries to alleviate problems that these diseases cause.

Compensation for Asbestos Disease Claims

When you’re fighting a disease, you may incur significant expenses and suffer significant losses. An asbestos disease claim may include:

  • The cost of medical treatment related to your disease. Asbestos-related diseases may require significant treatments, including expensive surgeries, medications, and long-term treatments. In many cases, these treatments can drain your finances and leave you with a mountain of bills for medical care that you need. An asbestos disease claim may include the cost of past, present, and future treatment that you may need.
  • Lost wages and damage to your future earnings. An asbestos disease can leave you unable to work and earn income that you and your family need every day. A disease may also prevent you from working in the future or growing in your career as you planned. A claim may include compensation for the damage the disease does to your wages and your future income.
  • Physical pain and emotional anguish. Asbestos diseases can leave you in crippling pain that can change your life and take away the activities that you love. These diseases can also lead to significant mental anguish that can disrupt your life and lead to depression, anxiety, and a host of other problems. A claim may include compensation for these injuries.

Sadly, many people with a disease related to asbestos exposure die from the disease. In these situations, surviving family members may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim in order to recover compensation for their tragic loss.

About Asbestos Bankruptcy Trust Funds

In some cases, manufacturers and other organizations file for bankruptcy. This may be due to business circumstances or due to their responsibilities to those harmed by their products. In these cases, the government may require them to establish an asbestos bankruptcy trust fund to cover any asbestos claims they may be responsible for.

These trusts are overseen by independent trustees and can be an important source of recovery for asbestos exposure victims. Many of these trusts hold significant assets to be paid out to those who have been harmed by the company’s asbestos products. In each case, those who manage the trust will review the claim and make important decisions about how to resolve the claim.

If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and have suffered as a result, speak with an asbestos lawyer today. A lawyer can discuss your questions, build your claim, and work to find compensation from those responsible.

Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Claims

The statute of limitations on asbestos claims is usually two years from the date you knew or should have known about the disease. In most cases, this two year period begins to run when you receive a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease. In cases where a loved one passes away due to an asbestos-related disease, the period usually begins to run from the date of that person’s death.

There are very few exceptions to this rule, so if you think you may have a claim, it’s important to speak with a lawyer about your situation as soon as possible. A lawyer can advise you on how much time you may have to bring your claim and can begin developing your claim right away.

How an Asbestos Attorney Can Help

When you are dealing with an asbestos-related illness, you have enough on your mind. An asbestos attorney can help you and your family in many ways, including handling everything your claim needs and keeping you up-to-date about how it is proceeding.

Just a few examples of the many ways an asbestos lawyer can help include:

  • Building your claim and securing the evidence your claim needs.
  • Evaluating your injuries and helping you calculate the full extent of your losses.
  • Taking the burden of your claim off you while you focus on your health.
  • Handling any communications with the parties responsible for your illness.
  • Negotiating for the compensation that you deserve.
  • Litigating your case and fighting for the compensation you are entitled to.

If you are suffering from an asbestos-related disease, do not add the stress of a lawsuit to your plate. Let an attorney handle the fight for compensation while you focus on your health and recovery.

man and woman working at table

Experienced Asbestos Attorneys Fighting for You

At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, our asbestos attorneys know what goes into building a strong and persuasive claim for your recovery. We’ve handled many different types of asbestos illness claims, and we understand the unique challenges that you’re facing.

When you’re dealing with a disease caused by asbestos, our experienced lawyers are here to take the burden off you and fight for the compensation you deserve. If you have questions, schedule a free case evaluation with us today. Call us or use our online form to get in touch.