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Mesothelioma Questions and Answers

Below we've addressed some common questions regarding asbestos, Mesothelioma and your legal rights.
Click on the questions you’re interested in to read each answer.

Asbestos & Mesothelioma
What is asbestos?
What products contain asbestos?
How long has asbestos been in use?
How are people exposed to asbestos at work?
What is Mesothelioma?
What is asbestosis?
Is there a cure for Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma & Your Case
How do I know if I have an asbestos-related disease?
Who is most at risk to develop an asbestos-related disease?
How many Americans have been exposed to asbestos?
How is Mesothelioma diagnosed?
Do you handle Mesothelioma cases nationwide?
Do you represent both individuals and the asbestos industry?
What is my case worth?
I'm not sure about pursuing compensation. Can I take some time to decide?
Will I be required to spend a lot of time on the case?
Can I afford a lawsuit?
How can you prove I was exposed to asbestos so long ago?
Why is time critical in asbestos/Mesothelioma cases?
I want to find out more – what is the next step?

Q. What is asbestos?
A. Asbestos is a mineral. Asbestos is mined in a manner similar to iron, lead and copper. There are many types of asbestos. The first commercial mine opened in Quebec, Canada in the 1870's. The three most common types of asbestos are chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite. Chrysotile fibers are pliable and cylindrical. Amosite and crocidolite fibers are like tiny needles. Asbestos breaks up into fine fibers that are too small to be seen by the human eye. Asbestos is widely used. Manufacturers and builders used asbestos because it is strong and flexible. It will not burn and conducts electricity poorly. It does not corrode.

Q. What products contain asbestos?
A. Studies have estimated that 3,000 different types of commercial products contain asbestos. Many older plastics, paper products, break linings, floor tiles and textiles products contain asbestos. Also, heavy industrial products, such as sealants, cement pipes, cement sheets and insulation.

Q. How long has asbestos been in use?
A. Asbestos was not used extensively until the 1940's. After WWII and for the next 30 years, people who constructed and renovated schools and other public buildings used asbestos and asbestos containing materials. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that there are asbestos containing materials in most of the nation's approximately 107,000 primary and secondary schools, and 733, 000 public and commercial buildings.

Q. How are people exposed to asbestos at work?
A. People whose work brings them into contact with asbestos, such as workers who renovate buildings, refinery workers, chemical plant workers and workers' families may have come in contact with asbestos. The amount of asbestos a worker is exposed to will vary according to:

  • the concentration of fibers in the air;
  • duration of the exposure
  • workers breathing rate
  • weather conditions
  • the protective devices the worker wears

Q. What is Mesothelioma?
A. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which cancer cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura) or abdomen (the peritoneum). Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. Almost all cases of malignant mesothelioma are attributable to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma can spread into the chest wall, center of the chest, heart, through the diaphragm and in some cases into lymph nodes.

Q. What is asbestosis?
A. Asbestosis is the scarring of the tissue of the lung itself from inhalation of asbestos fibers. Asbestosis can be diagnosed with a physical exam, x-ray and a breathing test. Asbestosis can be mild or severe.

Q. Is there a cure for Mesothelioma?
A. Currently, there is no known cure. Treatments are available, however, to help remove any cancer that may be present and to reduce the symptoms of asbestos-related disease.

Q. How do I know if I have an asbestos-related disease?
A. If you suspect you are suffering from an asbestos-related disease, contact your physician immediately. You may also want to contact an experienced Mesothelioma Attorney in the Mesothelioma Lawyers Network to understand what compensation you might be entitled to for your illness. Early screening by chest x-ray of people who are exposed to asbestos is helpful.

Q. Who is most at risk to develop an asbestos-related disease?
A. People who deal directly with asbestos, such as in construction or manufacturing, are most immediately at risk, though by simply breathing in asbestos fibers, any individual could be at risk. Visit our Mesothelioma section for a list of the most common products that have been known to contain asbestos.

Q. How many Americans have been exposed to asbestos?
A. It is estimate that between 1940 and 1980, 27 million Americans have significant occupational exposure to asbestos. People may also ingest asbestos if they eat in areas where there are asbestos fibers in the air.

Q. How is Mesothelioma diagnosed?
A. The tests that help diagnose the disease are:

  • Chest x-ray
  • Pulmonary Function Test
  • CT Scan of the Lungs

Q. Do you handle Mesothelioma cases nationwide?
A. The Mesothelioma attorneys in the Mesothelioma Lawyers Network include experienced attorneys all over the United States who handle Mesothelioma cases. Click here for a free case review by one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys.

Q. Do you represent both individuals and the asbestos industry?
A. No. The Mesothelioma attorneys in The Mesothelioma Lawyers Network only represent people who have cancer from exposure to asbestos. We do not defend corporations against claims by Mesothelioma victims.

Q. What is my case worth?
A. The amount of recovery can depend on many factors including the number of defendants in a case and their financial resources. Our lawyers have a strong track record in recovering compensation for people. However, past results are not a guarantee for the future, and every case is different.

Q. I'm not sure about pursuing compensation. Can I take some time to decide?
A. There is a limit to the amount of time after a diagnosis or death that funds can be made available. This time limit varies from state to state. Also, Mesothelioma is often fatal and in most states a case will settle more quickly and for more money if the plaintiff is alive. Such cases also usually get priority in the court system. The Mesothelioma victim is often the best person to establish facts and build a strong case. It is important to do this while feeling fairly strong. If you are think you may have a case, contact a Mesothelioma attorney right away.

Q. Will I be required to spend a lot of time on the case?
A. We do the "nitty-gritty" work, so the Mesothelioma patient and his or her family don't have to. The process is designed for minimal involvement by the client. This way you can focus on your health and family issues.

Q. Can I afford a lawsuit?
A. We find that most Mesothelioma victims and their families can’t afford not to file for compensation. Medical bills, loss of income, and other expenses for a cancer patient are overwhelming and often cause bankruptcy. When you hire a Mesothelioma attorney in The Mesothelioma Lawyers Network to represent your case, you won’t be required to put money up front. We are paid on a contingency basis, which means we only get paid when you do.

Q. How can you prove I was exposed to asbestos so long ago?
A. Mesothelioma patients have been exposed to asbestos, sometimes unknowingly, in the workplace or in the home. Our attorneys have experience in investigating asbestos exposure and have numerous proven methods for finding and documenting a person's exposure.

Q. Why is time critical in asbestos/Mesothelioma cases?
A. It is very easy to lose your rights completely. Every state has its deadlines called statute of limitations for allowing victims of asbestos disease to file a lawsuit. You must comply with the strict guidelines for filing claims or lawsuits after becoming aware that you have an asbestos disease or after a loved one dies from an asbestos disease.

Q. I want to find out more. What is the next step?
A. If you wish, an attorney with the Mesothelioma Lawyers Network can speak with you to explain the process. There is no obligation or out-of-pocket cost to you for such a conversation. Just complete our contact form and we will contact you.

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