Any type of military service is hazardous, and service members in each branch of the military face unique hazards as they carry out their duties. Members of the Coast Guard are not only exposed to many natural dangers at sea but also the risk of asbestos exposure in military vessels, ports, and other installations. If you have served and been a victim of US Coast Guard asbestos exposure, it is essential to consult a South Carolina Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney.
The team at Wallace & Graham has years of professional exposure with focused representation for mesothelioma claims. We regularly represent clients in the Carolinas and throughout the southern United States as they seek compensation for their asbestos-related injuries and illnesses, with a primary focus on mesothelioma claims.
Members of the US military have access to medical benefits and other compensation when they are injured or become ill through the performance of their military duties. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the federal agency responsible for the care of our nation’s veterans, but navigating the claim process for mesothelioma can be very difficult without an attorney’s help.
The attorneys at Wallace & Graham can help a US Coast Guard veteran or active duty service member navigate their recovery efforts after they have been diagnosed with mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. This condition is terminal and very painful, but proper medical care can alleviate symptoms and extend life. However, the process of recovering compensation for all the damages you can seek for mesothelioma will be very difficult without legal representation.
Mesothelioma is a terminal form of lung cancer that arises from a single known cause: exposure to asbestos. In previous decades, asbestos was widely used in various industrial applications throughout the United States because of its fireproofing capabilities. During the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s, many thousands of Americans were unwittingly exposed to asbestos, only to be later diagnosed with mesothelioma.
One of the most difficult aspects of treating mesothelioma is the fact that it has a very long incubation period, usually taking several decades following exposure for the victim to realize they have developed mesothelioma. Once symptoms appear, they generally amplify rapidly and very quickly degrade the victim’s quality of life in various ways.
Asbestos can linger in the air of any indoor facility for a long time. Asbestos fibers are very small, sharp, and light, allowing them to remain suspended in the air for days at a time, and when they are inhaled, they can become embedded in the lining of the lungs. Over time, asbestos particles accumulate and cause cancer to form in the pleura, the sac lining the lungs.
Some people who develop mesothelioma may notice symptoms as soon as 10 years after exposure, but it can sometimes take up to 50 years for symptoms to manifest in a noticeable way. Unfortunately, for many people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma, by the time their condition is obvious, they have reached the point where the disease is very painful. Additionally, mesothelioma is a terminal illness that cannot be cured.
It’s natural to have lots of pressing legal questions about your situation when you have been diagnosed as having mesothelioma. If you believe you contracted your illness through your military service, it is vital to work with a Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney who understands the unique recovery options available to members of the US military.
The majority of US service members will have access to lifelong medical treatment through the VA, but dealing with the VA can be very difficult for many reasons, and there are limits to what a service member can expect in terms of compensation for a service-related illness like mesothelioma.
Before you can seek any compensation for the damages related to your condition, you must prove the exact cause of your diagnosis. It will be crucial to identify exactly when, where, and how you were exposed. When it comes to qualifying for VA benefits for mesothelioma, your Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney can be invaluable for navigating these complex proceedings.
It is possible for a member of the Coast Guard to contract mesothelioma from asbestos exposure aboard a Coast Guard vessel while performing maintenance and other duties in ports and harbors and while conducting military exercises across the globe in various locations. As long as your condition arose from your service, you should qualify for VA benefits and may have additional avenues of recovery available to you.
One of the most frustrating aspects of a mesothelioma diagnosis for most people who discover they have this disease is the fact that they acquired the condition years prior with no way of knowing exactly when or how they were exposed. It’s typically very difficult for them to identify the exact point at which they were exposed, and once they are diagnosed, it can be devastating to come to terms with a terminal diagnosis.
Mesothelioma symptoms can appear gradually over time, starting as minor disruptions that may mimic the appearance of other conditions before worsening to critical levels. Early symptoms of mesothelioma can include:
These symptoms most commonly take 25 to 40 years to appear noticeably following exposure to asbestos. Once these signs appear, victims typically seek medical treatment and are diagnosed with early stages of mesothelioma. Early detection is one of the most important aspects of the treatment of this condition. While it is incurable, early detection provides more time for the patient to receive treatments that can alleviate their symptoms and extend their lifespan.
Typically, an individual with mesothelioma will have no symptoms until the cancer has spread throughout the lungs and adjoining tissues and organs. At this point, the condition is terminal, and they may only have several months to a few years to live. The average life expectancy for a patient with mesothelioma is 18 months following diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it can cause a strong mix of emotions that can be very difficult for anyone to process. Attempting to ensure accountability and secure compensation for your damages on your own would be incredibly difficult, so it is important that you connect with legal counsel you can trust as soon as possible. A South Carolina Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney is the ideal resource in this situation.
The attorneys of Wallace & Graham strive to help our clients connect with the medical treatment they need to alleviate the pain of their symptoms and extend their lifespans as much as possible. In some cases, proper treatment can help a patient survive for years beyond the life expectancy given at diagnosis. However, medical treatment is expensive, and the economic impact of a mesothelioma diagnosis usually pales in comparison to the psychological effect.
Your Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney can help explore your treatment options through the VA and secure as many benefits as possible for your condition. When a specific company is responsible for your asbestos exposure, we can help hold it accountable for the damages that VA benefits do not compensate.
A mesothelioma claim falls under the purview of personal injury law. While you may be limited in terms of the compensation you can secure through the US military, if a civilian contractor or business is liable for your asbestos exposure, you have the right to seek full compensation for all damages resulting from their actions.
The plaintiff in a personal injury claim for mesothelioma has the right to seek compensation for a wide range of damages if another party is directly responsible for their asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is a terminal illness, meaning it is fatal, and there is no known cure. The symptoms of mesothelioma, once they appear, are debilitating and very painful. As far as medical treatment goes for this condition, the best that most patients can hope to receive is treatment that makes their symptoms easier to bear, but their condition will ultimately deteriorate until death.
If you can prove another party is liable for your diagnosis, an experienced Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney can help you hold them accountable for all medical treatment you require for the duration of your illness. Additionally, it is sometimes possible to hold a defendant retroactively liable for medical expenses you have already incurred in the past before you realized they were responsible for your condition.
An experienced attorney can help their client determine the full range of medical expenses they can claim in their civil suit. This may include hospital bills as well as prescription medication costs, the cost of any medical devices the plaintiff needs for their home, and the full extent of treatment they are likely to need in the future as their condition worsens.
Many US service members earn pensions and enjoy lifelong health benefits through the VA after completing their service. However, there are limits to how much these benefits provide, and a mesothelioma diagnosis can prevent the claimant from working and earning income. This may begin as limited ability to work, and the claimant will need to accept light duty and/or a lower-paying position. Eventually, they could be unable to work at all.
While most mesothelioma cases are diagnosed later in patients’ lives when they are close to or past retirement age, some people are diagnosed with mesothelioma when they still expect to be working for many years. If your diagnosis now prevents you from working and earning income for your household, the defendant is liable for your lost earnings as well as your lost future earning potential.
A Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney can help their client accurately calculate the future income they are no longer able to earn because of their condition. This involves careful consideration of how many years the plaintiff would have otherwise expected to continue working and how much income they would have earned during this time.
The state’s personal injury laws allow the plaintiff of a civil claim for damages to not only seek compensation for the direct economic losses a defendant’s actions caused but also for the physical, mental, and emotional suffering they experience from the defendant’s actions. This may sound difficult to calculate, and pain and suffering are entirely subjective concepts that vary from person to person.
There is no limit to how much compensation a plaintiff can seek for their pain and suffering in an asbestos exposure claim. Attorneys typically use two methods to calculate non-economic damages for their clients:
A good Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney can carefully add the total of their client’s economic damages and then use the multiplier method to determine appropriate pain and suffering compensation. Because mesothelioma is a terminal illness that causes very painful symptoms, the plaintiff not only contends with the physical pain of their diagnosis but also the psychological impact of receiving a terminal diagnosis.
When you choose Wallace & Graham to represent your claim, our goal will be to maximize the recovery you obtain from the defendant. While you can claim the full amount of the economic damages you suffered, the pain and suffering compensation you win from a successful claim is likely to be the lion’s share of your total case award.
Ultimately, the legal recourse you pursue after a mesothelioma diagnosis could involve interactions with the Coast Guard, the VA, an insurance carrier providing workers’ compensation benefits, and civil court proceedings against the defendant responsible for your damages. When you choose the team at Wallace & Graham to represent your case, we will do everything we can to streamline your legal proceedings as much as possible.
Our firm will work diligently to construct the framework of your mesothelioma claim. We have years of experience representing former military service members from all branches of the United States military and know how to resolve any issues you may encounter in dealing with the VA. Once you have recovered as much as you can through military benefits and/or workers’ compensation, we can help build a personal injury claim to further enhance your recovery.
We aim to settle our clients’ personal injury claims as quickly as possible, and the majority of personal injury cases filed each year end in private settlement negotiations. However, should litigation be necessary in your case, you can rely on our team to guide and support you through all of your courtroom proceedings.
If you have any concerns about the cost of our legal representation, we will not add to your financial problems when you are already struggling with the various economic effects of a mesothelioma diagnosis. We take these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means our client is not required to pay any upfront or ongoing attorneys’ fees.
Instead of charging exorbitant rates for representation, we take a percentage of our client’s final case award as our fee, so our payment is contingent upon our ability to maximize your compensation. However, we will only take this fee if and when we win your case. There are no surprises in terms of the cost of our representation, and there is no cost to our client if we are unable to obtain a recovery on their behalf.
If you are ready to learn what an experienced Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney can do for you in your recovery efforts, you have a limited time in which to start pursuing the compensation you and your family deserve. The sooner you connect with a legal team you can trust, the more likely you are to succeed with your recovery efforts. Our compassionate and skilled attorneys understand the difficulty victims of Mesothelioma face.
Contact Wallace & Graham today and make an appointment for a free consultation with a Coast Guard mesothelioma attorney to learn more about how we can help you with your case.