The latest statistics show that between 1980 and 2000, thousands of men and women died from mesothelioma. If someone in your family has been affected by this grave disease, you may be legally entitled to financial compensation to help cover your losses. Contact the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway today.
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Q: What is Mesothelioma?
A: Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. The National Cancer Institute describes Mesothelioma as a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura), the lining of the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum), or the lining around the heart (the pericardium).
Q: How do you get Mesothelioma?
A: Mesothelioma usually results from asbestos exposure at work. Employees with prolonged exposure over an extended period of time face the highest risk, but cases of mesothelioma have been documented after minimal exposure as well. Workplaces with shingles, flooring materials, cement, brake linings, textiles, insulation containing asbestos and insulated machinery pose the greatest risk. Asbestos particles that are friable may be inhaled or swallowed, causing serious health problems
Q: What is asbestos?
A: Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral long known -- and used commercially -- for its heat- and fire-resistant qualities. Indeed, asbestos fibers can be found in insulation, fireproofing material, ceilings, pipes, floors, and countless consumer products. It's seen widespread use, too, in shipbuilding and automobile parts. But asbestos can be deadly, and has been scientifically linked to lung cancer, asbestosis (a severe scarring of the lungs), and mesothelioma, a particularly aggressive cancer that strikes the protective lining covering many of the body's organs. Asbestos all too efficiently triggers disease, too. It can very easily become airborne -- as asbestos particles, fibers, or dust -- and inhaled. Once lodged in the lungs it can cause mesothelioma and other severe conditions years, even decades, after the initial asbestos exposure. That exposure doesn't have to be long-term, either. Mesothelioma has struck individuals whose total asbestos exposure was less than one week.
Q: Who is at risk for asbestos diseases like mesothelioma?
A: Asbestos diseases can strike anyone who has inhaled asbestos fibers, particles, or dust. Historically, that put workers in certain industries and professions at heightened risk. Individuals involved in the manufacturing of asbestos-containing products -- like insulation, pipes, and floor and ceiling material -- have long had increased odds of contracting mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases, as have those working in shipbuilding, pipe fitting, construction, and building demolition and renovation. The list, unfortunately, goes on. Complicating matters, one doesn't always need to directly work with asbestos to fall victim to its deadly consequences. Many asbestos-related diseases have been triggered after a family member -- typically over a period of time -- inhaled asbestos fibers left on the clothing of a relative who worked with or around asbestos containing material. And because asbestos can be found even now in many existing structures -- including schools, homes, and office buildings -- just about anyone can find themselves at an increased, and totally unexpected, risk of a catastrophic disease like mesothelioma.
Q: How will I know if I have Mesothelioma?
A: Symptoms of mesothelioma include pain and swelling, shortness of breath, coughing, weight loss, anemia, and fever. While doctors may suspect mesothelioma in a particular case, they need a tissue sample to give a final diagnosis. If you think you may have mesothelioma, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Q: How long after exposure does Mesothelioma occur?
A: Mesothelioma can develop decades after exposure. Some workers exposed in the mid-20th century are just now being diagnosed with mesothelioma. The disease takes a long time to develop, which can make it difficult to identify the source of the exposure. Cooney & Conway attorneys and investigators have discovered asbestos in products that consumers and employers thought to be harmless including: insulation, gaskets, clothing, joint compound, construction materials, machinery and consumer products. Cooney and Conway extensively interviews witnesses and searches documents to determine sources of exposure.
Q: I was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma triggered by asbestos exposure years ago, in the course of a job I have long since left. Can I still get any help?
A: Victims of on-the-job asbestos exposure -- even if that exposure occurred long ago -- may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. But the rules -- and how workers' claims are treated -- vary by state. Some jurisdictions, unfortunately, will treat mesothelioma (and other asbestos-related disease) claims more restrictively than they will other conditions. But keep in mind that workers may also be able to file a lawsuit against their employers for workplace-related asbestos diseases. Again, the rules -- and results -- will vary depending on the state and the situation, which is why it is important to obtain advice from an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Firms like Cooney and Conway have a long history handling asbestos-related cases, and a long track record getting results. A good mesothelioma lawyer can determine if you have a legal claim against other potentially accountable parties, as well, such as an asbestos manufacturer or insurance company.
Q: How is Mesothelioma treated?
A: Treatment options depend on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, either alone or in combination. Clinical trials are underway to develop new and better methods of treatment.
Q: My mesothelioma was triggered by my work in the asbestos industry 30 years ago. Is it now too late to file a lawsuit?
A: Like workers' compensation laws, statute of limitations -- the deadlines for filing asbestos lawsuits -- vary from state to state. But often the clock doesn't start to toll until the date the disease is diagnosed. That means that it doesn't matter if your asbestos exposure occurred 5 or 50 years ago. What matters is the amount of time that passed between your diagnosis of mesothelioma (or other asbestos-related disease) and when you filed suit. Keep in mind that not all states take this approach -- and some who go by the date of exposure will make exceptions for asbestos claims, while others will not. Navigating the legal landscape can get very confusing, very quickly, which makes it vital to speak with a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer. Firms that have handled countless asbestos lawsuits -- like Cooney and Conway -- can advise you on your particular rights and options.
Q: My father worked in the shipbuilding industry and came home every night covered in asbestos dust. Recently my mother died from mesothelioma. I'm sure she contracted the disease from that asbestos and I want accountability. Can I bring a lawsuit against those responsible?
A: This is an all-too-familiar situation. A worker -- typically an industrial employee, but not always -- comes home from their job with asbestos fibers covering their clothing. A family member breathes in these fibers and years later, contracts mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. Mesothelioma lawyers are seeing these cases of second-hand asbestos exposure more and more. The laws applying to these situations -- and the legal rights of an estate -- will vary from state to state. Your first step is to consult with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, who can help guide you. You might very well be able to file an asbestos lawsuit to get some measure of justice, and accountability, for your family member.
Q: Does smoking increase my risk of developing Mesothelioma?
Q: My job exposed me to asbestos and now I have lung cancer. But I also smoke cigarettes. I want to pursue my legal rights but I know the other side will just say my tobacco habit caused my cancer. Is it futile to even try filing suit?
A: Consider this: Two factors in your life each increased your risk of developing lung cancer. First, there was your smoking. Then there was your asbestos exposure. It's impossible to say that one factor caused the cancer while the other didn't. What is possible to say, however, is that together, both factors greatly increased your risk. Whether you can bring an asbestos lawsuit for your cancer, and what the legal implications of your smoking are, will vary from state to state. Don't despair -- but don't try to wade through a complex web of laws yourself. Consult with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, who can analyze your specific situation, your exposure history, your medical diagnosis, and the laws in your jurisdiction -- and determine exactly what your legal options are.
Q: What are my legal rights if I have developed Mesothelioma?
A: If you believe you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma you may have a legal action. An experienced attorney at Cooney & Conway can advise you on whether you may be able to bring a lawsuit to recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, loss of society, and other losses.
Q: I've read in the paper that many others are suffering from mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. Can we pursue our claims together, as a group?
A: Although mesothelioma cases are filed individually, there are advantages in hiring a firm with many mesothelioma cases. Extensive research regarding product identification, location of documents and legal research in past cases can be used in your case at little or no cost. In addition, past depositions and trial testimony in previous cases may be used to prove your case. The extensive experience and past successes of Cooney & Conway is one of the reasons why attorneys across the United States ask Cooney & Conway to assist their clients.
Chicago Illinois Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawyers of Cooney & Conway
The law offices of Cooney & Conway in Chicago, Illinois represent victims of mesothelioma throughout the United States. At Cooney & Conway, our primary concern is making sure mesothelioma victims and their families receive the compensation they deserve.
If you or a family member suffers from mesothelioma, we can help you make a claim against the responsible parties. Contact our mesothelioma attorneys for a free case evaluation and information on what steps you need to take.
Contact the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway today to learn more about our practice. We use a number of effective tools and resources that identify manufacturers and worksites. Our attorneys are prepared for litigation against the corporations that caused your injury.
Cooney & Conway
120 N. Lasalle St. #3000
Chicago, IL 60602
Toll Free: 1-888-875-7899