Asbestos is a type of naturally occurring mineral that people used for centuries because of its resistance to heat, fire, and chemicals. Asbestos minerals can separate into flexible fibers that manufacturers can weave into fabrics or use in various products. Due to its durability, companies often included asbestos in building materials, automotive parts, and even fireproof vests.

However, despite its useful properties, asbestos poses serious health risks. When people disturb asbestos-containing materials, the fibers can become airborne. Once in the air, these tiny fibers can easily enter our lungs if we breathe them in. Over time, trapped asbestos fibers can cause inflammation and scarring that eventually lead to severe lung diseases like mesothelioma.

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that mainly affects the lining of the lungs and the abdominal cavity known as the mesothelium. This cancer develops when asbestos fibers get inhaled and settle in the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Over many years, these embedded fibers cause microscopic damage that can ultimately lead to mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma often takes a long time, sometimes decades, to show up after a person first breathes in asbestos fibers. Symptoms often include chest pain, shortness of breath, and unusual weight loss. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is highly aggressive and often gets diagnosed at a late stage when it’s extremely difficult to treat.

Does Exposure to Asbestos Always Result in Mesothelioma?

Exposure to asbestos does not always result in mesothelioma. While asbestos is a major risk factor for this type of cancer, not everyone who comes into contact with asbestos will develop mesothelioma. Several factors can affect the development of this disease, including the amount of asbestos a person gets exposed to, the duration of exposure, and an individual’s own genetic makeup.

People who have long-term, high-level exposure to asbestos face a greater risk of developing mesothelioma, but there are cases where individuals with minimal exposure also develop the disease. Additionally, some people might have genetic predispositions that make them more susceptible to mesothelioma.

It’s also important to note that mesothelioma can take decades to develop after the initial exposure. This long latency period means that individuals may not know they have the disease until many years after their asbestos exposure.

What Are My Options if I Develop Asbestos-Related Mesothelioma?

If you develop asbestos-related mesothelioma, you might have several legal options to consider. You could file a personal injury lawsuit against the parties responsible for your asbestos exposure. Many companies that used asbestos have created trust funds to compensate victims, so you might qualify for compensation from these funds without even having to go to court.

It might also be possible to claim benefits through workers’ compensation if your exposure happened on the job. If you are a veteran who was exposed to asbestos during military service, you could receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). A knowledgeable injury lawyer who handles asbestos-related cases can help you understand your rights and choose the ideal course of action.

Contact an Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyer Now

If you or someone close to you is suffering from asbestos-related mesothelioma, Menges Law Firm is here to help you demand justice and fair compensation. We understand the struggles you are going through and are ready to provide the support you deserve.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss your options.