Who is at Risk of Exposure to Asbestos?
Thousands of people die from mesothelioma every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the outer lining of the lung and chest as well as the abdominal wall. It is caused by exposure to asbestos.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos minerals are composed of durable fibers that are resistant to fire and many chemicals. That durability is why builders used to incorporate asbestos into insulation and other building materials. Today we know that people become sick when asbestos fibers become airborne and are ingested or inhaled. Asbestos fibers also linger on clothing, increasing the risk of secondhand exposure.
Besides mesothelioma, asbestos exposure can also cause asbestosis. This happens when asbestos fibers become trapped in the lung tissue and eventually cause scarring, which impedes proper lung functioning.
Who is at Risk of Asbestos Exposure?
Most people who contract asbestos-related diseases are exposed to asbestos because of their occupation. For example, you might be exposed to asbestos if you work (or worked, because symptoms can take years or decades to manifest, so retired workers are also at risk) in:
- Construction. Asbestos is often found in older homes. When construction workers are tearing down an old building or renovating an older home, they risk asbestos exposure. (Home renovators also risk exposure to asbestos.)
- Dry cleaning. Asbestos fibers can linger on clothing, which is why dry cleaners risk exposure. (Similarly, spouses and children who handle asbestos-exposed clothing are also at risk.)
- Shipyards. Asbestos was often used to insulate boilers, pipes, and other materials. While asbestos has been replaced on many ships, it still exists in certain places.
- Metalwork. Asbestos was often used in machinery like furnaces. Ironically, it was also used in protective clothing like aprons, mitts, and masks.
Other professionals at risk of asbestos exposure include electricians, welders, insulators and pipefitters.
Filing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Louisiana
You can file a personal injury lawsuit if you were exposed to asbestos (and contract an asbestos-related disease) because of someone’s negligence. Louisiana has a very strict deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Injured plaintiffs only have one year from the date of the injury to file their claim. It can be confusing to know when the clock starts to run when your injury is a disease that does not manifest until years after the negligent exposure, so contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible about your claim.
Certain family members may also file a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved one dies from an asbestos-related disease. Again, you only have one year from the date of the death to file the claim. Wrongful death claimants may seek economic damages for measurable losses like funeral and burial expenses, and noneconomic damages like loss of companionship.
Contact Us Today
Contact Patrick Yancey Law Firm today for a free consultation if you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma. Our experienced attorneys will investigate your case and help determine whether you have a personal injury claim. We will then help recover the compensation that you deserve.