Asbestos Causing Cancers
Exposure to asbestos can lead to numerous medical conditions, including cancers. While most people only think of mesothelioma, in reality, asbestos can lead to a variety of diseases, including asbestosis, breast cancer and lung cancer. However, mesothelioma is one of the most common cancers caused by asbestos exposure and it is deadly. It is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects nearly 3,000 people every year in the United States. Sadly, there is no cure for this type of cancer and individuals usually only have a year or two to live after receiving a diagnosis.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another type of asbestos-related cancer, it is important to seek legal help immediately. At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our asbestos injury lawyers are helping victims of mesothelioma and cancer explore their legal options. Our lawyers can examine your case and help determine if you can file a claim against your employer or the business that exposed you and your family to asbestos. We charge no fees unless we are successful in obtaining a settlement for you.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring fibers. Asbestos fibers are commonly found in building materials because of its durability, excellent insulation properties and fire-resistance. Asbestos was used to insulate factories, schools, homes and ships throughout the 20th century. As construction improvements were made, workers in those industries became exposed to asbestos, as did maintenance workers. When these workers came home, the asbestos fibers stayed attached to their clothing. As a result, their families were exposed to deadly asbestos fibers as well.
Once these fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become embedded in the organ linings. This leads to irritation and inflammation over the years and a variety of medical diseases and conditions.
Exposure to asbestos can lead to many different types of cancer, but the most common type is mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly cancer that develops in the lining of the heart, lungs and abdomen. A shocking 90 percent of mesothelioma diagnoses are connected to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma symptoms can take up to 50 years to emerge after initial exposure. The initial symptoms are often mistaken for normal signs of aging, such as shortness of breath or fatigue. As the disease progresses, individuals often seek more extensive testing, leading to a diagnosis of mesothelioma. Once diagnosed, individuals typically only have between 12 and 21 months to live. There is no cure.
There are three types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural Mesothelioma. This type of mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs. It is the most common type of mesothelioma and accounts for up to 80 percent of all diagnoses.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma. This type of mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdomen. It accounts for between 15-20 percent of all diagnoses.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma. This type of mesothelioma develops in the lining of the heart. It is the most rare form of this disease and accounts for only 1 percent of all diagnoses.
Other types of cancers caused by asbestos exposure include:
- Cancer of the larynx
- Ovarian cancer
- Breast cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Colon cancer
- Lung cancer
Between 1999 and 2015, mesothelioma and asbestosis claimed the lives of 468 people in Mississippi. Mississippi ranks 26th in the United States for asbestos-related deaths. In 2002, approximately 20 percent of the nation’s asbestos claims were filed in Mississippi alone.
Like many states in the south, Mississippi is known for its oil refineries and shipbuilders. Asbestos was used as insulation throughout many of these structures. It was even used in some of the protective clothing workers were required to wear in these industries. As a result, many Mississippi residents and their families have been exposed to asbestos.
In addition, Hurricane Katrina’s 2005 destruction left tainted asbestos debris scattered along the coast of Mississippi. This exposed residents, first responders and cleanup crews to asbestos.
If you were diagnosed with an asbestos related cancer or mesothelioma, it is important to understand your legal options. Treatments for mesothelioma can be expensive and the care you require can be extensive. As such, individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma need a law firm on their side that can help them get the compensation they need.
Filing an asbestos cancer lawsuit is not always easy. Your attorney must clearly establish that your cancer was directly related to your exposure to asbestos. This requires extensive investigation and experience building mesothelioma cases. In Mississippi, many individuals have successfully filed asbestos cancer lawsuits against a variety of companies and organizations where asbestos exposure occurred. Two job sites in Mississippi with known asbestos exposure are Armstrong Cork Company and Ingalls Shipbuilding. However, there are also dozens more.
Many companies that manufactured asbestos or who exposed their workers to dangerous levels of asbestos have set up asbestos trusts. These trusts often contain millions of dollars and are used to help settle claims quickly for mesothelioma patients. When an asbestos trust is available, claimants can make a claim without having to go through the entire process of filing a lawsuit.
As you can see, there are many ways to collect compensation after a mesothelioma diagnosis. However, your lawyer will need to examine your case and determine the best course of legal action for you and your family. Since Mississippi has no limit on punitive damage awards, mesothelioma patients are often able to obtain significantly higher verdicts.
At Coxwell Law & Associates, we are currently investigating cases of cancer in patients who were exposed to asbestos either firsthand or secondhand. Our lawyers believe in holding negligent companies responsible for exposing their workers and the public to harmful asbestos fibers. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another type of asbestos cancer, we can help. Contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We can help you review your legal options and get you the compensation you need.
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