Charleston Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

Home >  Charleston Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

Charleston, SC Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure Attorney

Asbestos was widely used throughout the United States as a fireproof insulation in countless buildings, from residential buildings to commercial buildings all over the country. In South Carolina alone, thousands of buildings were constructed using asbestos, ultimately causing a serious health hazard for many people living and working in these buildings. A Charleston asbestos exposure lawyer is an ideal resource if you have been exposed.

Helping Victims of Asbestos Exposure Recover in Charleston, SC

The attorneys at Wallace & Graham focus exclusively on mesothelioma claims in the Carolinas and throughout the Southern United States. This incurable and terminal form of lung cancer only manifests as a result of asbestos exposure, and if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Charleston, you need legal counsel you can trust to advise you on your most viable recovery options.

If you can prove that another party is liable for your condition, you have the right to seek accountability for all damages associated with that condition. A successful asbestos exposure claim can provide a sense of closure and ensure compensation for you and your family as you adjust to the news of your diagnosis and prepare for the effects of the disease.

Ultimately, if any other party bears fault for your diagnosis, you have the greatest chance of successfully holding them accountable for your damages with an attorney’s help. An experienced Charleston asbestos exposure lawyer can help determine your most viable options for legal recourse and assist you in recovering as much compensation as possible.

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a form of terminal lung cancer, meaning it is incurable and will ultimately cause the death of a person diagnosed with the condition. This form of lung cancer has only one known cause, which is exposure to asbestos. When asbestos particles collect in the respiratory system, they will eventually cause a very aggressive form of cancer to form.

It can take decades for mesothelioma to show noticeable symptoms, but once symptoms do appear, the victim may only have several months to a few years left to live. This diagnosis can be incredibly distressing for anyone, and it is natural to wonder what legal options you may have after being diagnosed with this form of cancer.

It’s possible that you were exposed to asbestos years ago, as mesothelioma has a very long incubation period. The average time it takes for the disease to be accurately diagnosed is 25 to 40 years, so you may have trouble discerning exactly when and where you were initially exposed to asbestos. It’s possible for mesothelioma to be diagnosed as soon as 10 years after exposure or as long as 50 years after exposure.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can include shortness of breath, trouble breathing, chest pains, irregular heartbeat, sudden weight loss, and collapsed lung. These symptoms may appear suddenly and mimic the appearance of other, less serious conditions. However, once mesothelioma displays noticeable symptoms, the victim likely has very little time left as the disease has reached a critical point.

Workers’ Compensation Claims for Asbestos Exposure

South Carolina law requires almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance, and this insurance aims to provide financial relief to workers who suffer injuries at work or who become ill from their working conditions. If you were exposed to asbestos in your workplace, it would qualify as grounds for a workers’ compensation claim.

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is similar to filing any other type of insurance claim, but you face the added complexity of your employer’s involvement in the process. While most employers facilitate their employees’ claims in good faith, there is always a chance of encountering unexpected issues with your employer and/or their insurance carrier.

Your Charleston asbestos exposure lawyer can help you navigate the workers’ compensation claim filing process. Once the insurance company approves your claim, it’s possible to recover compensation for all medical expenses related to your condition as well as disability benefits for the time you are unable to work.

Even if your employer handles your claim in good faith, there is always a chance of encountering unexpected complications that you may not know how to address on your own. When you have a Charleston asbestos exposure attorney representing you, they can assist with your claim and guide you through any further recovery efforts you may be able to pursue.

Understanding Mesothelioma Injury Trusts

As many manufacturers of asbestos products in the United States went out of business or transitioned to new business models, most were compelled to create mesothelioma injury trusts. These trusts contain billions of dollars in the United States that have yet to be claimed, and it is possible for anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma to potentially have grounds to file a claim through one of these trusts.

An experienced Charleston asbestos exposure lawyer can be invaluable for the help they can provide in determining your eligibility for a mesothelioma injury trust claim. They can guide you through the claim filing process after determining when and where you were exposed to asbestos and determining whether a trust is available. If so, they can potentially help you recover a sizeable claim settlement.

While a claim through a mesothelioma injury trust can provide a substantial amount of compensation, it may not reflect the full extent of the harm your diagnosis has caused. After exploring recovery options through workers’ compensation insurance and mesothelioma injury trusts, a personal injury claim may offer your greatest chance of successfully recovering as much compensation as possible for your condition.

Filing a Civil Suit for Asbestos Exposure in Charleston, SC

Workers’ compensation insurance generally protects employers from civil liability for their injured employees’ damages. This means that you typically cannot file a civil lawsuit against your employer in response to your work-related illness or injury. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

If your employer forced you to perform work-related tasks with a virtual certainty of resulting in harm, it could amount to grounds for a personal injury claim against your employer. It is also possible to have grounds for a third-party personal injury suit if anyone outside of your workplace is responsible for your asbestos exposure. For example, if your employer knew of an asbestos risk in your workplace but did nothing to fix it, it would be grounds for a civil claim.

Under South Carolina’s personal injury statutes, the plaintiff in a civil claim for damages has the right to seek full repayment of all economic losses they suffered because of a defendant’s actions. These economic damages may include:

  • Medical expenses. You may be able to recover your medical treatment costs through workers’ compensation, but if this is not available, the party responsible for your asbestos exposure is liable for the cost of all medical care you need for your condition. These medical expenses may include hospital bills, specialist treatment costs, prescription medication costs, and the cost of hospice or palliative care.
  • Lost wages. When your diagnosis has prevented you from working, the defendant who caused your condition is liable for the income you are unable to earn. This includes lost future earning capacity if you have been permanently disabled by your condition and cannot return to work in the future.

In addition to your economic losses, personal injury law allows you to seek compensation for your pain and suffering. This might sound too subjective to translate into monetary terms, but your attorney will know how to determine an acceptable amount to include in your claim.

The state does not enforce a cap or limit on pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury claims, so this could be the largest form of compensation you receive from your case. In most personal injury claims, attorneys multiply their clients’ total economic damages by a factor that reflects the severity of the harm they experienced and the extent of the long-term effects their injury will have.

Because mesothelioma is a terminal illness that causes painful symptoms, it is very likely for the plaintiff in a mesothelioma personal injury claim to recover more in pain and suffering compensation than they obtain for their economic damages. When you choose Wallace & Graham to handle your case, our goal will be to maximize your recovery as fully as state law allows.

How to Prove Fault for Asbestos Exposure

Before you can begin exploring your recovery efforts following a mesothelioma diagnosis, you will need to determine exactly when and where you were exposed to asbestos. This could have been decades ago, and you will need an attorney’s help to trace the source of your condition.

The attorneys at Wallace & Graham have years of professional experience helping clients in Charleston and throughout the state determine the cause of their mesothelioma diagnoses. We know how challenging it may be to pinpoint exactly when, where, and how you were exposed to asbestos, but we are confident in our ability to handle the most challenging claims.

It’s possible for one or more parties to bear fault for asbestos exposure:

  • You may have grounds for a claim against an asbestos product manufacturer, in which case you may have access to a mesothelioma injury trust created by that manufacturer.
  • If your employer knew about an asbestos exposure risk in your workplace but never took steps to fix the problem or actively concealed the hazard, you may not only qualify to file a workers’ compensation claim but would also have grounds for a civil suit against your employer.
  • If you were assigned to work at a specific job site or for a specific client who did not explain an asbestos exposure risk, they may be liable for any damages you cannot recover through workers’ compensation.

Your Charleston asbestos exposure lawyer can help determine the cause of your condition and create a roadmap of your most viable recovery options. The sooner you connect with an attorney you can trust, the more likely you are to maximize your recovery.

What to Expect From Your Charleston Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

The team at Wallace & Graham has years of professional experience resolving all types of mesothelioma claims for clients. We know how challenging it can be to confront this case and the extreme distress that follows any diagnosis of a terminal illness. Whether you are seeking legal recourse on your own behalf or on behalf of a loved one, you can rely on our firm to provide compassionate support through all your recovery efforts.

We have successfully helped workers in all industries, as well as members of the US military, in their recovery efforts following mesothelioma diagnosis. Our firm will work carefully to ensure we accurately identify the source of your condition and your initial point of contact with asbestos. Once we have determined the cause of your condition, we can help develop an individualized legal strategy that aims for maximum recovery.

Once a person has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it is natural for them to want to ensure accountability for whoever is responsible for their condition and to secure as much compensation as possible for their family. Wallace & Graham will aim to maximize your compensation through every available channel, such as workers’ compensation insurance, a mesothelioma injury trust, a personal injury suit, or a combination of these recovery options.

The sooner you contact an attorney after your diagnosis, the more likely you are to maximize your recovery. Wallace & Graham are ready to provide the compassionate legal counsel you need without adding to your financial concerns with exorbitant legal fees. We take mesothelioma claims in Charleston on contingency, which means you only pay a fee if and when we win your case, and our fee is a percentage of the total recovered for you.

You likely have many pressing legal questions, and we have the answers you need in this challenging situation. If you are ready to learn what a Charleston asbestos exposure lawyer can do for your recovery, contact Wallace & Graham today to schedule a free consultation with our team.

South Carolina Mesothelioma Resources