Many large companies have historically used asbestos in a variety of products because of its availability and its low overall cost. Unfortunately, just because these companies are big businesses doesn’t mean that they are infallible. In fact, many of them made some questionable decisions in the past that may have left their workers at elevated risk for debilitating illness.
Factories that built many things, from small appliances to massive industrial turbines, may leave their staff vulnerable to future disease or illness. Those who built, handled and installed these products could have experienced asbestos exposure. They likely experienced that exposure at a time in American history when there weren’t adequate protections for asbestos exposure in place.
Environmental exposure takes time to cause symptoms
Sometimes, people develop environmental cancers quickly after dangerous exposure, such as exposure to radioactive materials. For example, exposure to radon could cause the rapid development of cancer. Asbestos, on the other hand, has a slow but damaging effect on the body.
Individuals often don’t show symptoms of mesothelioma until decades after the asbestos exposure. Someone who has been retired for years may suddenly start developing shortness of breath and similar symptoms. That could mean that the business responsible for the worker’s illness has long since gone out of business. Thankfully, there are trusts available for certain workers who become ill due to asbestos exposure at a company that no longer exists, but you still need to build a case to access them.
For those whose former employer is still in business, there are more options available. The company may have a program for helping former staff who experienced asbestos exposure. Barring that, you may be able to take civil action against the company to connect with compensation for your asbestos exposure and subsequent illness.
Asbestos cases can be complex
Because of the long delay between exposure and symptoms, it can be difficult for workers to conclusively connect workplace environmental asbestos exposure many years ago to current symptoms. That does not mean it is impossible to do, only that you will want assistance in building your case to be as strong as possible.
From medical documentation of your symptoms, diagnosis and prognosis to the work records that confirm your exposure to a known carcinogen, there are many forms of evidence you can gather to help prove that your mesothelioma relates directly to your former employment.
Partnering with an attorney who understands asbestos and mesothelioma litigation can increase your chances of a positive outcome. Your lawyer knows what evidence you need and how to negotiate with large trusts or businesses that want to limit their financial vulnerability. Having someone in your corner can make all the difference when you’re looking at a protracted civil court case. The sooner you take action, the sooner you can potentially connect with the compensation you deserve.