Every year, thousands of Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Each state tracks mesothelioma claims, and it is important to know North Carolina asbestos statistics so you can identify whether you are at risk of having mesothelioma from past asbestos exposure. If so, you will need to consult an experienced North Carolina asbestos exposure attorney to determine your most viable recovery options.
The attorneys at Wallace & Graham have helped many clients recover compensation for their asbestos-related medical diagnoses. We know how challenging these cases can be and the various problems that your diagnosis presents to you and your family. When you choose our firm to represent your case, you are investing in a dedicated legal advocate who will be readily available to provide guidance through every stage of your case.
Our team takes time to learn as much as we can about each client, ensuring we fully uncover all the recovery options available to them. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will need to trace the origin of this condition to accurately determine the recovery options available to you. Our firm excels at resolving complex asbestos exposure claims, and we are ready to leverage this experience for you.
Every state tracks asbestos-related medical cases and legal claims, and it is important for every state resident to know the risks they may face every day. Asbestos statistics from various sources can help you acknowledge the highest-risk areas for asbestos exposure and assist you in considering whether you may have been exposed in the past.
According to the most recent North Carolina asbestos statistics, more than 1,000 residents are on the record as having died from mesothelioma, a terminal form of lung cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. On average, roughly 1,900 people die in the United States each year from asbestos exposure.
Not only has asbestos been used in all types of commercial construction for decades in the United States, but there are also many natural deposits of asbestos in the state. This naturally occurring substance is widely available in the western part of the state in the Appalachian mountains. While most asbestos exposure occurs in commercial buildings, it is possible to be exposed to a natural deposit.
North Carolina ranks 15th in the country for statewide asbestos-related deaths. Unfortunately, due to the very long incubation time of this disease, many people do not realize that they have been harmed by asbestos exposure until decades after their exposure. Mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed between 25 and 40 years following exposure to asbestos. It’s possible for this disease to be diagnosed as soon as 10 years following exposure or as late as 50 years.
Statistically, some of the most likely places to encounter asbestos in the state include the more than 300 shipyards along the state’s coast, steel mills, military bases, and various manufacturing centers. Many businesses have invested in asbestos abatement services that remove as much asbestos as possible and carefully treat asbestos materials that cannot be removed to minimize the chance of them shedding particles into the air.
Mesothelioma’s only known cause is asbestos exposure. Asbestos particles are microscopic, very sharp, and light enough to remain suspended in the air in an interior space for days at a time. Once these particles are breathed into the lungs, they will begin to form mesothelioma. This cancer does not display noticeable symptoms until the disease has reached a critical level. At this point, life expectancy is only about 18 months.
The early signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can be mistaken for less severe conditions. Many people experience shortness of breath, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can quickly escalate, and the victim may also experience sudden weight loss, memory problems, nausea and vomiting, and even suffer a collapsed lung.
It’s possible for a patient diagnosed with mesothelioma to survive for several years with appropriate medical care, but this can be very expensive, and they will still struggle with the psychological toll of receiving a terminal diagnosis. If you find yourself in this position or if a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need to speak with an asbestos exposure attorney as soon as possible.
Once you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is natural to wonder how you initially contracted the disease. Due to the long incubation period of mesothelioma, it is likely that you were exposed years or even decades ago, and you may wonder whether any parties bear accountability for your condition.
There may be more recovery options available to you than you initially expected. One of the most common options for residents to recover compensation for asbestos exposure is to file a claim to a mesothelioma injury trust. Many companies were compelled to create these trusts to compensate the victims of mesothelioma acquired from their products. An attorney can help determine whether you qualify to file this type of claim.
On average, a mesothelioma injury trust can pay out anywhere from $300,000 to $400,000 for a claimant, and the claim filing process is mostly straightforward. However, it is a good idea to hire an attorney to help file your claim, as they can streamline this process tremendously.
North Carolina law requires almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance, which provides financial benefits to workers who suffer injuries and develop illnesses from work. If you acquire mesothelioma from your workplace, you have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you may have acquired your condition from a previous workplace where you worked years ago.
An attorney can help determine whether you have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim and, if so, guide you through this process. With legal counsel on your side, you could potentially recover benefits in a much shorter time than you would have managed on your own. Your attorney can also be readily available to help you resolve any issues you encounter with your employer and/or their insurance carrier.
A successful workers’ compensation claim can yield full coverage of all your medical expenses related to your condition, and you may also recover compensation for the income you are unable to earn because of your diagnosis. While these benefits may be valuable, workers’ compensation is unlikely to fully cover the entire extent of the damage your case entails.
Every year, hundreds of people in the state file personal injury cases in response to their mesothelioma diagnoses. If you are able to prove that your condition arose directly from another party’s actions, you may have grounds to file a personal injury claim against them. The defendant in your case may be your employer, a previous employer, a business owner, a property owner, or a combination of multiple defendants.
Success with your personal injury claim requires proof that the defendant is directly liable for your claimed damages. This means that you will need to prove that they knowingly exposed you to an asbestos hazard or that they failed to take steps to address a known asbestos hazard that ultimately caused your mesothelioma.
An experienced North Carolina asbestos exposure lawyer can help navigate the process of building and filing your claim. Even if other recovery options are available to you, such as a workers’ compensation claim and/or a claim to a mesothelioma trust, a successful personal injury claim could allow you to recoup losses that these alternative recovery options do not provide.
For example, a personal injury claim allows you to seek compensation for economic damages such as medical expenses, lost income, and your lost future earning potential. You may be able to recover some compensation for these losses through your other recovery efforts, and a successful personal injury claim can yield compensation for the remainder. Additionally, you also have the right to seek pain and suffering compensation in your personal injury claim.
State law does not limit how much pain and suffering compensation a plaintiff may seek in their case. Your attorney can help determine an appropriate amount that reflects the physical pain and emotional distress you have endured because of your diagnosis. For many personal injury plaintiffs, pain and suffering compensation accounts for most of their total case awards.
Ultimately, knowing important North Carolina asbestos statistics may help minimize your risk of developing mesothelioma, but you must still know what to do if you are diagnosed with this condition due to asbestos exposure you experienced in the past. The attorneys at Wallace & Graham are ready to provide the comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel you need in this challenging situation.
Our firm accepts asbestos exposure claims on a contingency fee basis, so you will only pay a fee to our team if and when we win compensation for you, and our fee will be a percentage of your final case award. Our goal for every client we represent is maximum recovery in the shortest possible timeframe, and the sooner you connect with our firm, the more time we have to build your case.
Contact Wallace & Graham today to learn more about the legal services we offer and to schedule a free consultation with an experienced North Carolina asbestos exposure attorney you can trust with your case.