Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer
Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer
Before the government started regulating the use of asbestos, people used it in many everyday products. Due to its strength, inexpensiveness, and resistance to chemicals and heat, asbestos was used in many manufactured goods, including construction materials, textiles, and fire retardants.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the 1980s that knowledge of the mineral’s harmful effects began spreading to the general public. Thousands of people have unknowingly inhaled this dangerous mineral in their homes, schools, and workplaces.
People exposed to asbestos may develop a rare and aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. This disease does not manifest into obvious signs until 20 to 50 years later, which is why it is challenging to diagnose and even harder to treat.
Many mesothelioma victims were unknowingly exposed to this carcinogen due to another person or entity’s negligence. Some people inhaled asbestos in unregulated worksites, while others suffered constant exposure from living near manufacturing plants that handled the mineral.
Anyone that develops mesothelioma due to another person’s negligence deserves financial compensation for this horrible disease. The Chicago asbestos lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, are ready to help victims fight for their rights and obtain the justice they deserve.
Contact our mesothelioma lawyers today for a free consultation.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is composed of six naturally occurring minerals found on the earth. In the 1980s and earlier, asbestos use was widespread in many industries due to the mineral’s strength, durability, and resistance.
When handled or damaged, however, the mineral’s fibers easily separate. These fibers are too small to see and are easy to inhale. When they enter the human body, irreparable damage to the DNA can occur, resulting in the development of cancerous cells.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable cancer that affects the protective lining that covers the outer surface of your internal organs (mesothelium). It often occurs in the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) and is almost always caused by asbestos exposure.
Aside from mesothelioma lung cancer, this disease can also develop in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), heart (pericardial mesothelioma), and testicles (testicular mesothelioma).
In pleural mesothelioma, asbestos fibers get stuck in the lungs after inhalation. On the other hand, peritoneal mesothelioma results from fibers getting stuck in the peritoneum (the membrane surrounding the abdominal organs) after ingestion or inhalation.
Pericardial and testicular mesothelioma occur through similar processes but are extremely rare.
Pleural mesothelioma symptoms tend to develop gradually. Most people don’t experience signs or symptoms until 20 to 50 years after exposure.
When symptoms do appear, they may include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Painful coughing
- Persistent coughing
- Fever and sweating, especially at night
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin of the chest
- Swollen fingertips
Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Diarrhea or constipation
Pericardial mesothelioma may lead to:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart murmurs
- Irregular heartbeat
Testicular mesothelioma may cause signs and symptoms that include:
- Swollen testicles
- Tissue buildup in the testicle
Testing for this illness may include:
- CT scans
- Lung or stomach fluid analysis
- Thoracoscopy or laparoscopy
These tests can help confirm mesothelioma and determine if the cancerous cells have spread to other organs.
There is no cure for mesothelioma cancer so far. Treatments typically revolve around controlling the patient’s symptoms and prolonging their life.
Mesothelioma treatment options may include:
- Chemotherapy to shrink the cancer
- Radiotherapy to kill cancer cells
- Surgical removal of the cancerous area
In addition, a patient will likely receive treatments for individual symptoms to maximize comfort, including medication and fluid drainage (if fluid accumulates in the lungs or abdomen).
Unfortunately, the survival rate for malignant mesothelioma tends to be low, mainly because symptoms don’t develop until decades after carcinogen exposure. By the time symptoms manifest, the disease can progress rapidly.
- Approximately 50% of patients will live at least one year after diagnosis.
- About 1 in 5 people will live at least five years after diagnosis
Most Frequent Mesothelioma Victims
Some people are more prone to mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases due to their work or proximity to specific work sites. These people often include:
- Construction workers
- Shipyard workers
- People working for asbestos companies
- People living near asbestos manufacturers
Types of Mesothelioma Claims
Mesothelioma victims can recover compensation in several ways, depending on the circumstances of their case:
Personal Injury Claims
You could file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party because their actions (or failure to act) resulted in you being diagnosed with cancer and that they had a legal duty to prevent it. For instance, an asbestos manufacturer that makes a false claim on the asbestos content of a product could be held liable for injuries that result from its usage.
Wrongful Death Claims
If your loved one dies due to mesothelioma, you could file a claim or lawsuit against the entity that caused their disease and eventual death, e.g., an employer or corporation. According to the Chicago Wrongful Death Act, only the “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate can file a claim, which could be a spouse or the next of kin.
Trust Fund Claims
Companies that file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection create asbestos trust funds that provide compensation for mesothelioma claimants in the future. Companies set up these funds to set aside money for future claims and avoid further lawsuits.
People who can file a trust fund claim include:
- Workers exposed to asbestos by their employer or used asbestos-containing products.
- Household members that experienced secondhand exposure from workers
- People exposed environmentally due to living near asbestos manufacturers.
- Family members who lost a loved one due to an asbestos-related injury
Veterans Benefit Claims
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits veterans who develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases due to military service.
VA benefits may include:
- Medical treatment costs
- Monthly financial payments
- Burial and funeral benefits
Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in Chicago, IL
Asbestos exposure is almost always a result of someone else’s negligence, be it the military, the government, a corporation, or an employer. If you or a loved one developed mesothelioma due to another’s actions (or inaction), you could file a mesothelioma claim to pursue damages.
To file a successful claim, you must prove that you have mesothelioma cancer caused by someone else. Your lawyer can use the following forms of proof:
- A malignant mesothelioma diagnosis
- Work history records proving you or your loved one worked for the at-fault party
- Testimony including the cause of your asbestos exposure and the resulting mesothelioma diagnosis
You can also use these documents to show the extent of your damages:
- Medical bills
- Proof of loss of income, e.g., income tax returns
- Psychological evaluations
- Photos of physical signs
The primary goal of filing a mesothelioma claim is to recover financial compensation for your damages, including:
- Medical Bills: Medical expenses for diagnosing and treating mesothelioma. These costs may include hospitalization, medication, surgery, palliative care, etc.
- Pain and Suffering: Physical pain, grief, mental trauma, and other intangible damages.
- Lost Wages: Earnings, income, and benefits lost due to the disease.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Quality of life lost after developing mesothelioma.
- Wrongful Death: Death-related damages if your loved one dies from mesothelioma, including funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical bills, loss of consortium, etc.
Recovering a Settlement
Employers and corporations usually compensate victims through their insurance providers. Hence, you will likely have to face an insurance company to recover compensation for your damages.
After filing a legal claim against the defendant, their insurer may offer you a settlement. Our mesothelioma attorneys recommend against accepting the offer immediately, as insurers rarely make fair initial offers. Instead, allow your mesothelioma attorney to negotiate a better settlement.
Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Unfortunately, not all mesothelioma cases settle out of court.
Your lawyer can help you file a mesothelioma lawsuit if:
- The insurance company refuses to make a fair offer.
- The insurance company denies your claim without proper reason.
- Negotiations have stalled
- The defendant denies liability for your cancer.
Once you file a lawsuit, your case will go to civil court and be heard by a judge or jury. During litigation, your lawyer will help you prove your diagnosis, the defendant’s role in its causation, and the extent of your damages.
Our attorneys handle hundreds of mesothelioma lawsuits yearly, and most of these cases take a lot of time to resolve. If you want to avoid a drawn-out trial, our mesothelioma attorneys can also help you pursue damages through alternative dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration or mediation.
Your Chicago mesothelioma attorney will discuss the implications of going to court during your initial consultation.
Statute of Limitations
According to Illinois law, the statute of limitations for mesothelioma lawsuits is two years from the date of diagnosis. If the illness leads to death, plaintiffs have two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit.
The Role of Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyers
Dealing with cancer is never easy, and you don’t need the extra burden of handling a legal case. Hence, you need a mesothelioma lawyer in Chicago who can help you:
- Determine how, where, and why you were exposed to asbestos
- Identify the negligent parties for your exposure.
- Estimate the extent of the damages resulting from your cancer
- File a legal claim against all possible at-fault parties
- Negotiate settlement values
- File a lawsuit in civil court, if necessary
- Help you recover benefits from the VA, if applicable
Do You Have a History of Asbestos Exposure?
A pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer with a long latency period. For many, signs and symptoms don’t show up until decades later. By then, however, it may already be too late.
If you have a history of asbestos exposure or have lived with someone that developed mesothelioma, consider getting regular imaging tests to monitor possible lung changes. Inform your doctor of your exposure history so that if you develop cancer symptoms, they will consider mesothelioma a probable diagnosis.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Illinois Mesothelioma Lawyer Today
Did you develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease from another person’s negligence? If so, you have the legal right to seek compensation for the damages this disease has caused you and your family.
The top mesothelioma lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their role in causing your cancer. Our skilled attorneys have a proven track record in handling mesothelioma-related cases, including personal injury claims, wrongful death lawsuits, and trust fund claims.
Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our Chicago mesothelioma lawyers handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we win your case.