A plaintiff who has suffered due to asbestos-related illness may elect to file a lawsuit against defendants, usually asbestos companies, who are responsible. In an asbestos or mesothelioma lawsuit, possible plaintiffs include the victims of asbestos exposure, their families, or loved ones. Defendants are the parties considered responsible for the asbestos exposure.
The purpose of asbestos litigation is to recover financial damages to the plaintiffs that resulted from asbestos-related illness. Examples of these include the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, and earning capacity, as well as other costs associated with the asbestos-related disease. Punitive damages may also be awarded in some asbestos lawsuits.
Asbestos lawsuits can be both lengthy and complicated. However, thousands of individuals have benefited from asbestos lawsuits, particularly families of victims, left with enormous medical and funeral costs.
Asbestos laws have been established by both state and federal governments in order to regulate occupational or household exposure to asbestos. Asbestos laws also serve to enable victims of asbestos exposure to seek legal compensation for damages related to adverse health conditions brought on by asbestos exposure.
Asbestos laws are created by the government to protect people who have suffered and died due to the harmful consequences of asbestos exposure, which are now well-known. Dangerous and even fatal levels of exposure to asbestos dust and fibers can lead to asbestosis -an affliction of the lungs brought on by a gradual building-up of scar tissue, due to the inhalation of asbestos fibers that impede lung functioning and can lead to death or disability. More serious still is mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. Due to the lengthy latency period of the illness, people who were exposed to asbestos as far back as the 1940s are still susceptible to developing mesothelioma to this day.
Do I Need an Asbestos Lawyer?
When you receive a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease, you may begin to question your medical treatment, future plans, and legal choices. Luckily, patients have the option of hiring an experienced asbestos lawyer for their lawsuit.
While it may be tempting to pursue your asbestos lawsuit without the help of an asbestos attorney, it is not recommended. Asbestos litigation is complex and may only add to your stress if you go it alone. Asbestos manufacturers and insurance companies have vast experience defending against asbestos claims. An experienced asbestos attorney can help you learn your legal rights and bring support and knowledge to your claim. Asbestos lawyers are educated on statutes of limitations, asbestos litigation, insurance laws, and insurance company tactics. They will also have connections to the medical community which can help you find support for your asbestos-induced diagnosis.
How Asbestos Lawyers Help
Our team focuses their practice on attaining justice for the victims of asbestos exposure, by bringing negligent asbestos companies to justice. People who have contracted malignant mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease have the right to file an asbestos lawsuit in order to recover their losses and damages associated with the illness. This is best done with the help and guidance of an experienced asbestos lawyer. Asbestos was once widely used in the United States, in a number of industries, and it has been the cause of thousands of mesothelioma cases, due to asbestos exposure both at work and in the home.
A qualified and experienced asbestos lawyer can make a significant difference in your asbestos case. Many asbestos lawyers have a wealth of experience handling mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. An asbestos lawyer should be knowledgeable about the disease, its treatments, and even mesothelioma cancer support groups. An asbestos lawyer will investigate your claim, gather evidence, build a strong case, and represent you in court.
When searching for an asbestos lawyer, it is of paramount importance that you choose an attorney who is experienced in handling asbestos cases. The attorney you select should have a proven track record and be able to provide a specific strategy that will benefit your asbestos claim, as well as proof of prior success in asbestos and mesothelioma litigation.
With the help of a competent asbestos lawyer, you can recover economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
Most asbestos lawyers work on a "contingency fee" basis. This means that it will cost you nothing to file an asbestos lawsuit. You will not need to pay unless you receive a settlement.
Asbestos Law Firms
Serling & Abramson focuses on bringing asbestos companies to justice by fighting on behalf of the victims of asbestos exposure. While the dangers of asbestos were known even before the 1940s, the mid-1960s saw the public rise of evidence linking asbestos to a number of serious diseases, including malignant mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the linings of organs such as the heart, lungs, and abdominal cavity, and is the most serious disease caused by asbestos exposure.
For a victim of an asbestos-related disease, or for their family members, there are many advantages to contacting an experienced asbestos law firm. Law firms that are focused on asbestos litigation can quickly and effectively evaluate your case, and determine your eligibility to seek compensation through an asbestos lawsuit and they will guide you through the process of the lawsuit.
Asbestos law firms have helped thousands of individuals and their families obtain compensation for their losses and damages associated with asbestos-related illnesses. An asbestos law firm may be able to help you and your family recover losses suffered as a result of asbestos exposure, including:
- Lost wages
- Earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
If you or someone you love suffers from mesothelioma or related condition because of asbestos exposure, you do not have to suffer in vain—an asbestos law firm can help you attain justice.
Asbestos Company Liability
Manufacturers, plants, and companies that produced asbestos-containing products between 1940 and the 1970s were aware of the dangers of asbestos and chose not to inform their workers. Because of this emphasis on profit, rather than on the health of their employees, thousands of workers were blindly working in an environment that regularly exposed them to a potent carcinogen.
Even before asbestos was in widespread use, knowledge of its dangers was available. Internal documents from corporate files show that not only did the companies know of the hazards of asbestos but that they also took deliberate steps to prevent publication or mention of asbestos-related dangers.
An obvious instance of this coverup is when Sumner Simpson, the president of Raybestos-Manhattan, wrote to Vandiver Brown, head of Johns-Manville's (a large asbestos company) legal department in 1935. In the letter, he said, "I think the less said about asbestos the better off we are." Brown replied, "I quite agree with you that our interests are best served by having asbestosis [an asbestos-caused disease] receive the minimum of publicity."
In the late 1930s, asbestos company officials met in New York City and there agreed to secretly finance animal experiments at the Trudeau Foundation's Saranac Laboratory in Saranac, NY. The purpose of these studies was to support a defense against lawsuits that were beginning to be brought against the asbestos companies. In early drafts of the report, there were references to the findings that animals exposed to asbestos developed cancer. However, the final report made no mention of cancer. The revised report was also silent in its criticism of the asbestos dust threshold limit value (TLV) and previously published studies that linked asbestos with cancer.
As information regarding the dangers of asbestos became more widely known to asbestos manufacturers, the industry grew increasingly fearful that the dangers of asbestos would be widely publicized, damaging their profits. Asbestos companies opposed a health and safety booklet regarding asbestos because "the booklet creates fear in the minds of buyers, users, and workers without justification. These fears would be damaging to the entire industry." The asbestos industry was aware that this was a problem that affected all asbestos manufacturing companies, and consequently worked together to keep the dangers of asbestos from becoming well-known to the public.
The bottom line, with regard to the liability of asbestos companies, is that the companies that made and marketed asbestos products knew that the products they were releasing to the American public and to the American workforce could cause serious illness, including asbestosis, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers. Rather than removing employees from this potentially deadly environment, they chose to let their workers continue working in a hazardous environment. The asbestos companies chose to put profits over the lives of their employees and their customers.
Serling & Abramson attorneys will not allow asbestos victims to suffer from financial uncertainty. Our nationally experienced asbestos attorneys understand the precedent for asbestos-related cases and can recommend a course of legal action.