Here’s how Ketterman Rowland & Westlund will get the compensation you deserve.
- Personalized attention to YOUR case
- Work fast to obtain evidence
- We know how to deal with insurance companies
- Settlement negotiating
- Backed with data and statistics
- Winning in the courtroom
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, we’re here to help mesothelioma victims and their families. We’ve helped mesothelioma and asbestos exposure victims fight for the compensation they deserve. We’re ready to fight for you. Leading publications including America’s Top 100 Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum have recognized our work, and BestLawyers has rated us as a top law firm. When people in Texas need legal help, they turn to us.
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and have developed mesothelioma, we’re here to help. We offer a free case evaluation, and we can answer any questions you may have. Call us or use our online form to get in touch today.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer inhabiting the lining of the lungs, or thoracic and abdominal cavities surrounding other organs. Mesothelioma can be linked to asbestos exposure in virtually all cases, and even minimal exposure can cause this terrible disease.
Several different types of mesothelioma may develop after an individual is exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma may develop in the lungs, the abdomen, the heart, and in other locations. Two of the most common types are pleural mesothelioma, which damages the lungs and surrounding tissues, and peritoneal mesothelioma, which can affect the lining of the abdomen and surrounding tissues. All types are life-threatening and can lead to severe complications.
If you contracted mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, it is common to hear stories where workers and residents were exposed to asbestos, even after the responsible parties knew of its dangers.
While it can take 15-50 years to start showing symptoms of mesothelioma, if you suspect you may have the disease, get the medical attention you need.
Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Asbestos was everywhere in the not-so-distant past. It was valued for its flame-retardant properties, durability, and low cost, and used in everything from automobiles to homes. Widespread use of asbestos was popularized in the 1950s, but by the 1980s some people began to notice problems.
While it remains unknown how asbestos causes lung cancer, the microscopic fibers are breathed into the lungs and then stick there for years, irritating the lung’s cells and causing them to mutate. Longer exposure to asbestos increases the risk of asbestos-related cancer.
On average, it takes about 20 years after being exposed to asbestos to develop asbestos-related lung cancer. Treatment may be lengthy, painful, and may or may not be successful. If you developed cancer after exposure to asbestos, you have the legal right to seek compensation. This is especially true if your employer or landlord was aware of the risks associated with asbestos, and allowed exposure to take place anyway.
Who Is at Risk for Mesothelioma?
Potential exposure to asbestos is more common than you may think. Asbestos was used in the manufacturing of insulation as early as 1879, and the first case of an asbestos-related disease was reported in 1899. Asbestos exposure has caused disease for thousands upon thousands of people in the United States.
Asbestos was used in many construction and industrial products for decades, and many people were exposed to its dangers. Those who work in construction and industrial settings are particularly likely to be exposed to asbestos and thus be at risk for mesothelioma. Sealants, insulation, pipe, and other materials are made with asbestos because of its strength, flexibility, and fire-retardant properties. When materials made from asbestos are cut, sawn, or broken, the tiny fibers are released into the air where they can be inhaled.
Anyone who works with materials made from asbestos is at risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma. Additionally, family members of these workers can be at risk when these fibers are transported on clothing and the skin, especially because mesothelioma requires minimal exposure to contract. For this reason, if one member of the family is diagnosed with mesothelioma, co-workers and the worker’s family should be tested for the disease.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
If you experience any of the symptoms below and you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos, speak with a doctor as soon as you can. Mesothelioma may present the symptoms listed below, or it may result in additional symptoms that aren’t listed. Mesothelioma can be a life-threatening condition, and it’s best to get the care you need as soon as you can.
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
- Unexpected weight loss
- Chest pain and pain when coughing
- Trouble breathing and getting your breath back
- Growths or lumps in the chest
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include:
- Growths or lumps in the abdomen
- Abdominal pain
- Unexpected weight loss
Pericardial mesothelioma may cause symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Heart irregularities such as abnormal rhythm
These and many other symptoms may arise from mesothelioma. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are exhibiting any symptoms, speak with a doctor as soon as you can. A doctor can diagnose your condition and help you get the treatment you need.
Treatment for Mesothelioma
Treatment for mesothelioma can take many forms, including chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and surgery. The treatment will depend on the facts of each case and the needs of the patient. Mesothelioma is a serious disease that may require in-depth treatment, so the sooner you can get a diagnosis and treatment, the better.
Chemotherapy is an important tool for treating many types of cancer, including mesothelioma. Chemotherapy targets cancerous cells and can halt the progress of the disease or reverse it. This type of therapy can have significant side effects, but it is a powerful tool in the fight against mesothelioma. Doctors may combine this therapy with other treatments aimed at fully treating the disease.
Radiation therapy is another way of targeting cancerous cells. Radiation can slow or stop cancer by destroying cancerous cells and preventing them from dividing. Doctors use radiation therapy to focus on specific regions and areas of cancerous growth within the body. It may take a significant amount of time to complete the therapy, but it can be highly effective. It may be used after surgery to destroy cancer cells that may remain after doctors surgically remove a cancerous growth.
Finally, doctors may use surgery to try and slow or stop the spread of the disease. Mesothelioma may cause the growth of tumors and other cancerous tissues. Surgeons may perform operations to remove the cancerous tissue, then follow up with other treatments to continue fighting the disease. Surgeries can be invasive, expensive, and painful for patients, but sometimes it’s the only way to treat the disease.
Legal Help for Mesothelioma
When you’re trying to find compensation for your illness, there are many options available. The suitability of each option depends on your exposure to asbestos, how you were exposed, what products were involved, and the nature of your illness. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can review your case, discuss your options, and help you find a legal solution that works for you.
Some of the key ways that you may seek compensation include:
- Filing a lawsuit. Many individuals who develop mesothelioma choose to file a lawsuit. This may include asbestos manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, employers, and others who may be responsible for your exposure to the substance. If an individual passes away due to mesothelioma, their family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of their loved one.
- Veterans Affairs claims. Individuals who served in the military and were exposed to asbestos while working on military projects may be eligible for benefits from the VA. These resources can be an important source of recovery for those who have developed mesothelioma.
- Bankruptcy trust funds. In some cases, companies that produced asbestos or who may be responsible for your illness go into bankruptcy. As part of this, they are often required to set up bankruptcy trusts to handle any current or potential future asbestos-related claims. These trusts hold significant amounts of money for mesothelioma and related claims, so they can be an important source of recovery for many individuals.
Compensation for a mesothelioma claim may include:
- Medical treatment related to your illness. Mesothelioma may require extensive treatment including surgeries, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The cost of these treatments can add up very quickly and rapidly drain your energy and your resources. A mesothelioma claim may help you recover the cost of treating the disease and help cover the cost of treatment in the future.
- Lost wages and income. Mesothelioma can put you out of work. A claim may include compensation for the wages and income you’ve lost. These resources can be vital to you and your family, so it’s important to pursue them.
- Damage done to your future earnings. When your earning potential and livelihood are damaged, a claim may include compensation for the income you won’t be able to earn in the future.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering. Mesothelioma is a serious disease that causes tremendous pain and emotional suffering. A claim may include damages for the physical and emotional pain that you have suffered because of your illness.
These and other options may be available depending on the facts of your case. If you have questions about your legal options, schedule a free case evaluation today. A mesothelioma attorney can listen to you, address your questions, and help you move your claim forward.
Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma Claims
In Texas, the statute of limitations is typically two years from the date that the cause of action accrues. This means that you have two years from the date when you knew or should have known about the disease. For example, if you receive a diagnosis from a doctor indicating you have mesothelioma, the two-year time limit begins to run at that moment. If someone passes away due to mesothelioma, you have two years from the date of their death to file a claim.
Two years may sound like plenty of time to start a mesothelioma claim. However, these claims can be very complicated and may take a significant amount of time to prepare. If you receive a diagnosis or suspect you may have developed the disease, speak with a lawyer about your claim. A lawyer can begin this important work and fight to make sure you get the compensation that you and your family need.
In mesothelioma cases, it’s important to know that there have been several rule changes in the past that may affect how long you have to bring a claim. If you are considering a mesothelioma claim, speak with a lawyer as soon as you can. A mesothelioma lawyer can review your claim and let you know how much time you have to begin the process.
Dedicated Mesothelioma Attorneys Serving Texas
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, our experienced mesothelioma attorneys are here to help you. We understand the severity of mesothelioma, how overwhelming it can feel, and how important it is to help you and your loved ones find the compensation you deserve. If you’re suffering from mesothelioma, or have lost a loved one to the disease, call us today or use our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.