Service members in the United States Air Force and every other branch of military service face many risks as they perform their duties, including exposure to asbestos. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma from asbestos exposure in the Air Force, a South Carolina Air Force veteran mesothelioma lawyer can help determine your most viable recovery options.
The attorneys at Wallace & Graham have years of professional experience representing clients in mesothelioma claims, the Carolinas and throughout the United States. We have the professional resources needed to help our clients maximize their recoveries through all available channels of compensation, and we know the unique legal challenges that many military veterans face with their mesothelioma claims.
The news of a mesothelioma diagnosis can come as a great shock to the patient and their family, and this entails not only extensive economic problems but also tremendous psychological distress. If you have recently been given the news that you have mesothelioma, it is natural to have many questions about what you can do in this situation. If you are an Air Force veteran, you may wonder whether the military is responsible and whether it will provide compensation.
Ultimately, every Air Force veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma will face unique legal challenges as they attempt to discern the cause of their condition and the extent of their legal options that could help them recover. When you choose Wallace & Graham to represent your claim, you can rely on our firm through every stage of your recovery efforts.
The most distressing aspect of a mesothelioma diagnosis is the fact that the disease is incurable and terminal. Additionally, the condition takes a very long time to start showing noticeable symptoms. Mesothelioma is a unique type of lung cancer, and asbestos exposure is the only known cause. Asbestos is comprised of very small, thin, sharp, and light particles that become embedded in the respiratory system, ultimately causing cancer to form over time.
The long incubation period of mesothelioma is one of the greatest challenges a person can face when it comes to determining their recovery options. Mesothelioma is typically unnoticed until the cancer has matured and spread throughout the tissues and organs surrounding the respiratory system, and most cases are diagnosed between 25 and 40 years following exposure. However, there have been cases in which the time to diagnosis has been as short as 10 years or as long as 50.
Another challenging aspect of this condition is the fact that mesothelioma’s early signs and symptoms can appear to be symptoms of other, less severe medical conditions like upper respiratory infections and other treatable conditions. However, once symptoms appear, it shows that the mesothelioma has evolved to a critical level. Early symptoms of mesothelioma can include:
Once mesothelioma symptoms have appeared, it is very likely that the cancer has grown beyond the lungs, and the patient may have a very limited life expectancy. On average, life expectancy is about 18 months following mesothelioma diagnosis. However, it is possible for an individual diagnosed with mesothelioma to survive for several years longer with early detection of the disease and appropriate treatment.
Mesothelioma symptoms may appear mild at first but usually worsen very rapidly. It’s possible for the victim’s condition to decline sharply within just a few months of their symptoms appearing, and they may be shocked to discover that they have mesothelioma, especially if it has been many years because they have been faced with any type of asbestos exposure.
It’s difficult for many people diagnosed with mesothelioma to accept that their condition is terminal. There is no cure for mesothelioma, so the best any patient can hope for is the management of their symptoms and comfort during the time they have left. If you have been diagnosed with a fatal and incurable condition like mesothelioma, it is natural to have many questions concerning your recovery options.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the federal agency responsible for providing medical treatment to veterans of the United States military. Individuals who have been honorably discharged can typically take advantage of medical benefits through the VA for the rest of their lives. However, the VA limits care, and it is common for patients to face very long wait times for treatment of certain conditions.
Dealing with the VA can be very challenging, and it is possible that you could be unfairly denied certain benefits and face a long series of administrative issues before you can receive appropriate care. After a mesothelioma diagnosis, the VA may only be able to offer very limited care, and obtaining the correct level of benefits will be easier with an Air Force veteran mesothelioma attorney representing you.
Wallace & Graham has years of experience helping military clients with their interactions with the VA. We can ensure that our client receives appropriate treatment and is able to take full advantage of the medical benefits they earned through their years of service. When VA benefits can only provide limited relief, we help our client determine the extent of their additional recovery options.
When the VA issues disability benefits to Air Force veterans and veterans of other branches of service, they typically use a disability rating system to determine how much monthly compensation a claimant can receive. Due to the fact that mesothelioma is an incurable terminal illness, most people diagnosed with the condition are assigned ratings toward the high end of the rating scale.
When the Air Force bears direct responsibility for a veteran’s mesothelioma diagnosis, such as assigning them to work in a facility they knew contained a risk of asbestos exposure, filing a civil claim against the military is incredibly difficult, and even if they succeed, their recovery will be limited. However, it is possible for a civilian contractor, privately owned business, or other party to be liable for the asbestos exposure that caused the claimant’s mesothelioma.
During your years of service in the Air Force, you may have been stationed in various locations throughout the world, and you may have had to live and work in various places that contained asbestos. This substance was widely used throughout the world in construction due to its fireproofing capabilities, only for the extreme health risks it presents to become known years later.
Working in the Air Force over the past several decades may have involved some degree of exposure to asbestos. Aviation and military operations involving aircraft typically mean taking steps to prevent and contain fires, and asbestos was widely used in airports, hangars, refineries, and various other installations used by members of the military over the past century. Your Air Force veteran mesothelioma lawyer can help pinpoint when you were exposed.
This process typically requires a careful review of your military service record. Your legal team can examine all the military housing you occupied and your various duty stations and workplaces. Because asbestos exposure can affect multiple people living or working in the same location, it is possible that other members of your unit may have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma from the same source of exposure that caused your condition.
When the average person considers the usual timeline between initial exposure and the noticeable appearance of mesothelioma symptoms, it can be daunting for them to imagine the effort required to prove exactly how they developed their condition. Working with an experienced Air Force veteran mesothelioma attorney is the optimal path to recovery in this challenging situation.
When your recovery through the VA is limited, and a mesothelioma trust fund is not an available option for compensation, you will need to pursue a personal injury claim against any party directly responsible for your exposure. Your Air Force veteran mesothelioma lawyer can help gather the evidence needed to firmly prove liability for your diagnosis.
Fault for a mesothelioma claim could fall to a product manufacturer, a property owner, or a private corporation. If you are able to claim compensation through a mesothelioma trust fund, the average payout for such claims is about $300,000 to $400,000. However, if you have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim, the average settlement for mesothelioma cases is several million dollars.
An experienced Air Force veteran mesothelioma attorney is your most valuable asset if you intend to pursue a personal injury claim in response to your diagnosis. The right attorney can make every aspect of your claim easier to manage and more likely to yield the results you hope to see. You may be entitled to claim more compensation than you may initially expect, and the right attorney is the optimal asset to have on your side for your case.
Mesothelioma is an incurable and terminal illness, but it is possible to extend a patient’s life expectancy and keep their symptoms manageable to preserve their quality of life. However, its treatment is very expensive. If another party is directly responsible for causing your mesothelioma, you can hold them accountable for the cost of all your related medical care.
Your South Carolina Air Force veteran mesothelioma attorney can help prove the full extent of the medical care you need for your condition. You may be able to claim compensation for various medical expenses, including:
Wallace & Graham will carefully review the details of your medical care and examine your records to ensure that the defendant is held appropriately accountable for all medical treatment you will need to manage your condition in the future. Depending on the details of your situation, it is also possible to claim compensation retroactively for any medical expenses you have already incurred in the past related to your diagnosis.
Most mesothelioma diagnoses occur late in life as this condition often takes decades to manifest noticeable symptoms. Many mesothelioma claimants are close to or past retirement age, but it is possible for a claimant to still expect to be able to work for many years when they receive their mesothelioma diagnosis. Under the state’s personal injury statutes, a defendant is liable for any income they make the plaintiff unable to earn.
An experienced Air Force veteran mesothelioma attorney can help their client determine the full extent of the lost income they can include in their claim. This can include wages previously lost because of their medical condition as well as the future income they will be unable to provide for their family. While the average person may be able to account for immediate damages, they will need an attorney’s help to assess projected future losses.
South Carolina’s personal injury laws not only allow a plaintiff to seek compensation for the full extent of the economic damages a defendant inflicted, but the plaintiff may also claim compensation for their pain and suffering. This may sound subjective and difficult to put into monetary terms, and there is no limit to how much a plaintiff may seek for their pain and suffering in most personal injury claims.
Your attorney can provide essential guidance when it comes to determining a suitable amount of pain and suffering compensation to seek from the defendant in your case. Your attorney is likely to use the multiplier method for calculating pain and suffering as mesothelioma is an incurable illness that is ultimately fatal, and pain and suffering compensation is meant to reflect the extent of the plaintiff’s physical and psychological suffering.
Using the multiplier method, the attorney takes the total of their client’s claimed economic damages and then multiplies this amount by a factor of one to five. Due to the severe nature of mesothelioma and the dramatic impact the diagnosis can have on the victim and their family, it is likely that a successful mesothelioma personal injury suit will yield substantial pain and suffering compensation.
The right legal team can have a tremendously positive influence on the outcome of all the recovery efforts you pursue following a mesothelioma diagnosis. This condition often causes a host of serious symptoms that can disrupt your life in various ways, and the psychological impact of a terminal diagnosis can be incredibly difficult to bear. Wallace & Graham know what you’re experiencing in this situation and will do everything we can to empower your recovery efforts.
You can rely on our firm to gather the evidence that will form the foundation of your claim. We can help accurately deduce when and where you were exposed to asbestos during your service in the Air Force and help identify any parties bearing fault for your exposure. When initial recovery options like VA benefits or a mesothelioma trust fund are available, we can assist you in taking full advantage of them.
If you have grounds to file a personal injury claim in response to a mesothelioma diagnosis, you can rely on our firm to guide you through every step of this claim filing process. We know how challenging it may be to confront your condition in a legal setting, but you can rely on our firm for ongoing support through all stages of your proceedings.
It’s natural for anyone who needs to hire legal counsel to have concerns about the potential cost of hiring an attorney, but this is no cause for alarm when you choose Wallace & Graham. We do not charge our clients upfront or ongoing attorneys’ fees in their mesothelioma claims. Instead, we take a contingency fee if and when we win our client’s case, which is a percentage of the total compensation we recover on their behalf.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is life-changing for the victim and their family, and it is natural for anyone to have many questions arising from such a challenging situation. The attorneys at Wallace & Graham have successfully helped many veterans with their recovery efforts following their mesothelioma diagnoses, and we are ready to extend the full extent of our resources and experience to handle your claim.
No one who has served our country should have to face the challenge of this diagnosis alone. When you’re ready to learn about your next steps for compensation, contact our firm. You have a limited time in which to pursue your recovery, and the sooner you connect with legal counsel you can trust, the more likely you will be to succeed with your case. Contact Wallace & Graham today to schedule a free consultation with an Air Force veteran mesothelioma attorney and learn how our firm can assist you with your recovery efforts.