Mesothelioma is a type of serious cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue covering a majority of your body’s internal organs. Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer, with approximately 3,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.
This is a cancer that disrupts the lives of families and one that can have a catastrophic outcome. The life expectancy for the average patient with a Mesothelioma diagnosis is 6-12 months, and just one-third of patients live longer than a year.
Because of the origins of the disease, a person who receives this diagnosis may have legal rights. Likewise, family members may be able to make a claim for compensation in the event of wrongful death.
What Are the Different Types of Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is primarily categorized based on where it appears in the body. The most common type is Pleural Mesothelioma that occurs in the lungs, which is found in roughly 75% of cases. Peritoneal Mesothelioma occurs in about 10% of cases and is found in the abdomen. Pericardial Mesothelioma is found in just 1% of cases and is in the heart. Testicular Mesothelioma is a rare form of the disease that occurs in the testicular region of the body.
Common Causes of Mesothelioma
The only proven cause of Mesothelioma to date is exposure to asbestos. These fibers, which are now a banned substance, can be inhaled or swallowed when they are disturbed. Once taken internally, the asbestos fibers will become lodged in the lungs, abdomen, or heart and may eventually mutate and lead to the growth of cancerous cells.
Most asbestos exposure occurs on the job although some can happen when a person lives in an older residence that has the substance. Asbestos used to be a common material used in paint, insulation, electrical wiring, roofing and flooring, piping, and automobile brake pads. A person who was exposed to asbestos at work could also bring loose fibers home with them on clothing, which could then be inhaled by family members.
Mesothelioma Symptoms and Treatment
Symptoms of Mesothelioma may not appear until 10-50 years after exposure to asbestos. Tragically, a person may not feel sick until the disease has become advanced. A victim may ignore early symptoms because they resemble other common ailments. Still others are misdiagnosed and could miss out on life-prolonging treatment.
Common symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma include painful coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, weight loss, and unexplained lumps of tissue on the chest. Common symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma include abdominal pain and swelling, weight loss, and unexplained lumps of tissue on the abdomen.
While there is no cure for Mesothelioma, there are treatments that can slow the spread of the disease, ease suffering, and potentially prolong life. These treatments might include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and other experimental procedures.
Types of Legal Mesothelioma Claims
In most cases of asbestos exposure, people were either unknowingly exposed to a dangerous material or not given a choice by a careless or reckless employer. While health and well-being may be a top priority after hearing a Mesothelioma diagnosis, this treatment comes at a significant cost, and you may also be facing other losses.
There are two main types of Mesothelioma lawsuits that can help victims and their families collect fair compensation for losses – a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Which type of lawsuit you choose depends on whether you are filing as the Mesothelioma patient or a surviving family member.
A personal injury suit can be filed against any company responsible for asbestos exposure following a Mesothelioma diagnosis. This could allow recovery costs related to medical care, lost wages, travel, and pain and suffering. A wrongful death suit is filed by surviving family members of a Mesothelioma patient. It allows for recovery of the same damages as well as a claim for funeral expenses.
Speak with an Experienced West Virginia Mesothelioma Attorney
If you or someone you love has received a Mesothelioma diagnosis, time is a factor in pursuing damages. West Virginia has placed a statute of limitations on asbestos legal claims of two years from the date of diagnosis.
The experienced and aggressive personal injury attorneys at Bailey, Javins & Carter, LC have experience helping injured victims and their families obtain justice from asbestos manufacturers and negligent employers. Contact us now at 800-497-0234 or online to schedule a free initial consultation.