South Carolina Union Workers Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

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South Carolina Union Workers Mesothelioma & Asbestos Exposure Attorney

All types of work unions exist throughout the United States, providing workers in specialized fields with various benefits, including job security and influence, to ensure acceptable working conditions in virtually every industry. If you work for any union and have been diagnosed with a medical condition related to asbestos exposure, it’s vital to consult a South Carolina union workers asbestos exposure lawyer as soon as possible.

Seasoned Legal Counsel for Union Workers Suffering From Asbestos Exposure

If you or a family member works with any union in the state, you are likely familiar with the many perks that come with your membership. While these organizations can help workers in specific industries maintain acceptable working conditions and support one another in specific legal situations, it is important to know the value of working with legal counsel you can trust for an asbestos exposure claim.

When you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the only cause of this form of lung cancer is asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos through your work and have worked the same job for many years, it is possible for other members of your union to have faced the same exposure and received similar diagnoses. In this situation, the right attorney can provide guidance and support when it comes to seeking compensation for related damages.

The attorneys at Wallace & Graham have years of professional experience handling asbestos exposure claims for clients in the Carolinas and throughout the Southern United States. We know the unique legal challenges that mesothelioma and related claims often raise and the difficulties you might encounter as you seek compensation.

Our firm has the tools, skills, and experience necessary to handle the most complex mesothelioma claims. If you are involved with any union in the state, we can work closely with you to determine if and how your union ties could benefit your legal situation and your recovery efforts. Ultimately, you will have the greatest chance of success in the recovery efforts you pursue with an experienced legal team on your side.

Work-Related Risk Factors for Asbestos Exposure

There are unions for workers in almost every trade industry in the country, including plumbing, pipefitting, trucking, electrical work, maintenance, carpentry, roofing, and more. It’s possible for almost anyone working in any trade to face asbestos exposure in various ways. Some of the workplaces throughout the United States most commonly found to contain asbestos include:

  • Nuclear power plants
  • Electrical utility facilities
  • Waste management facilities
  • Factories and fabrication centers
  • Oil and gas works, refineries, and petroleum product manufacturing centers
  • Construction sites
  • Warehouses

Asbestos was widely used as insulation and fireproofing in all types of buildings across the country. While some property owners were legally compelled to pay for asbestos removal, some were not, and asbestos products continue to be imported throughout the United States each year.

Whether you have worked in one job for all your working years or have worked across multiple sites, an attorney can help determine when and where you were most likely to have been exposed to asbestos. This typically requires extensive research into your current and former places of employment.

The attorneys at Wallace & Graham have helped many past union worker clients throughout the state with their asbestos exposure claims. You have a limited time after your diagnosis in which to pursue compensation and the various benefits that may be available to you, so it is vital that you connect with an attorney you can trust right away so they can get started on your case.

Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Asbestos was widely used throughout the United States in various types of construction due to its fireproof qualities. However, over the years, it was discovered that asbestos fibers are small, sharp, and very light, and they are capable of remaining suspended in the air in interior spaces for days at a time. When these fibers are inhaled, they can embed in the respiratory system, where they will slowly begin to form mesothelioma.

Once the dangers of asbestos became clear, many companies were required to remove asbestos from certain types of properties, and despite attempts to ban the use of asbestos, it remains legal in limited and highly regulated applications. Unfortunately, it means that many workers across various industries are required to work with asbestos products and in workplaces that contain asbestos.

One of the most challenging aspects of diagnosing and treating mesothelioma is the time it takes for the disease to become noticeable. It may take anywhere from 10 to 50 years for a victim to notice symptoms, and most diagnoses occur within 25 to 40 years of exposure. If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is likely that you were exposed to asbestos decades ago, and you will need to determine the source of your exposure to pursue compensation.

Mesothelioma can present with many symptoms that mimic other, less serious diseases. Some of the most commonly reported early signs of mesothelioma include:

  • Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
  • Chest pains and irregular heartbeat
  • Memory loss and headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Collapsed lung

One of the more distressing aspects of mesothelioma is that by the time these symptoms appear, the disease has likely progressed to a critical level, and the victim will have little time left before the disease turns fatal. The average life expectancy following a mesothelioma diagnosis is only about 18 months.

It is possible for the victim to live longer with appropriate medical care, but this treatment can be expensive, and their symptoms can worsen to the point that they are unable to work and earn income. If you are a member of a union and believe you have contracted mesothelioma from asbestos exposure at work, a South Carolina union workers asbestos exposure lawyer is the ideal resource to consult.

Your attorney’s first priority in your case will be to trace the exact source of your condition. This could mean combing through your employment records, reviewing past job sites on which you have worked, and reviewing legal documentation from past employers. Once you have determined the cause of your condition, you can begin pursuing compensation through the appropriate channels.

Asbestos Exposure Compensation Through a Mesothelioma Trust

Many manufacturers of asbestos products have gone out of business over the past few decades, and many of them have made attempts to avoid liability for asbestos exposure claims. However, the courts have compelled many of these business entities to create mesothelioma injury trusts designed to provide compensation for individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure from their products.

Every year, thousands of Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma, and the trusts created over the past years provide a streamlined avenue of compensation for those afflicted with this disease. Your asbestos exposure lawyer can help determine the exact source of your exposure, and if a mesothelioma trust exists that pertains to your case, your attorney can help you file a claim.

Filing a mesothelioma injury trust claim is a relatively straightforward process, but it will go faster and more smoothly with an attorney’s help. When you choose Wallace & Graham to represent you, we can assist you with filing your claim and will resolve any issues you encounter with the claim filing process or your interactions with the manager of the trust. On average, payouts from mesothelioma injury trusts are around $300,000 to $400,000.

Veterans Affairs Benefits for Union Workers Harmed by Asbestos Exposure

If you are a veteran of the United States military, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) can provide limited benefits if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Whether you were exposed to asbestos during your military service or while working in a union as a civilian, VA benefits work similarly to workers’ compensation in that they provide medical expense coverage along with monthly benefits when you are unable to work.

While the VA benefits available to you may be a valuable source of compensation after you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, many veterans throughout the United States encounter all types of complications in their dealings with the VA. Having an experienced attorney assist you with your claim will ensure the smoothest interactions with VA representatives, and you will be more likely to maximize your benefit allotment.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Asbestos Exposure

South Carolina law requires almost every employer in the state to have workers’ compensation insurance, and this insurance applies to any worker who develops an illness or suffers an injury while performing their job duties. Many unions throughout the state interact with workers’ compensation insurance carriers regularly, ensuring fair treatment for all claims filed in good faith.

If you developed mesothelioma from asbestos exposure you experienced while working, it would qualify as a work-related illness, and you could file a workers’ compensation claim. However, there is always a chance to encounter problems with your employer and/or their insurance carrier, and if you do receive benefits, there are limits to how much you can recover.

Workers’ compensation claims approved by the state generally provide two types of benefits. First, the claimant can receive medical expense coverage for all medical bills associated with their work-related illness or injury. Second, the insurance carrier will pay the claimant ongoing disability benefits for the time they are unable to work.

Mesothelioma symptoms can be debilitating, and the disease is incurable and terminal. This means that not only may the claimant be unable to work due to their symptoms, but they will also be unable to continue working in the future. Also, there are limits to what medical treatments a workers’ compensation insurance company will cover.

Your union workers asbestos exposure lawyer can be invaluable for a workers’ compensation claim following mesothelioma diagnosis. Your attorney can guide you through the claim filing process and resolve any disputes with the insurance carrier or your employer. Once you receive your determination of benefits, your attorney can verify that it is fair and reasonable under the terms of your employer’s policy.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Asbestos Exposure in South Carolina

Ultimately, a union worker who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma could have multiple recovery options. They may be able to secure workers’ compensation or VA benefits, qualify for a claim to a mesothelioma injury trust, or they may have grounds for a more expansive personal injury claim against a specific party responsible for their diagnosis.

If an employer or any other party knowingly exposed you to asbestos in any capacity, you have the right to seek accountability for your damages with a personal injury suit. Once you have proven exactly when and where you were exposed to asbestos, your attorney can determine whether you have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim.

Under the state’s personal injury statutes, the plaintiff has the right to claim compensation for all economic damages they cannot recover through other compensation channels like workers’ compensation insurance, VA benefits, or a mesothelioma injury trust.

  • You may be able to receive medical expense compensation through the VA, your employer’s workers’ compensation, or recover partial compensation through a trust. However, if a specific party is directly responsible for your condition, it is imperative that you have an attorney carefully review the details of all the medical treatment you have required for your illness.
  • If you are unable to work, income replacement benefits may be recoverable through various channels. However, when a specific defendant caused your condition, they are liable for all your lost income and your lost future earning capacity. The total amount of these economic damages is calculated by assessing your current income and the time you would otherwise have expected to continue working until retirement.

In addition to these economic damages, South Carolina law also enables a plaintiff in a personal injury case to claim compensation for the pain and suffering a defendant has caused. There is no limit to how much they may claim, but the amount should be reasonable to reflect the overall severity of their condition.

Calculating Pain and Suffering in an Asbestos Exposure Claim

Mesothelioma is a terminal illness, meaning once a person has been diagnosed with the disease, they are forced to accept the fact that the disease will eventually take their life. This is incredibly distressing news for anyone and can cause a host of psychological problems, including anxiety, severe depression, and more. Additionally, the physical symptoms of advanced mesothelioma are usually very painful and disruptive to the victim’s life.

Your union workers asbestos exposure lawyer can help determine a suitable amount of pain and suffering compensation to seek from the defendant in your personal injury claim. There is no limit to how much you can claim, and most plaintiffs in asbestos exposure injury claims secure several times the total of their economic damages in pain and suffering compensation.

It is also possible for other variables to come into play depending on the details of your case, potentially enhancing your case award further. For example, if you were exposed to asbestos because an employer or other party knowingly broke the law or violated asbestos-related regulations, the judge handling your claim may award you punitive damages in addition to your other compensation.

What to Expect From Your South Carolina Union Workers Asbestos Exposure Lawyer

When you need legal counsel to assist you with your recovery efforts following a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you not only need an attorney with proven experience resolving asbestos exposure claims but also experience handling the unique legal issues facing union workers.

Wallace & Graham has a team of attorneys who have represented many past clients in a wide range of complex asbestos exposure cases, including union workers across various industries. We can help determine the various channels of compensation that may be available to you, develop a strategy for maximizing your compensation, and then guide you through the proceedings necessary for your recovery efforts.

If you have any concerns about the cost of hiring an attorney, it is understandable in the face of the various economic problems that a mesothelioma diagnosis presents to the victim and their family. However, legal fees are no cause for concern when you choose Wallace & Graham to represent you. Instead of paying upfront or ongoing hourly fees for our counsel, we take asbestos exposure claims on a contingency fee basis.

With a contingency fee agreement, your attorney only takes a fee if and when they win your case. There is no fee at all if the attorney is unable to obtain compensation for you. Additionally, the contingency fee will be a percentage of the total compensation won from your case, so there is no risk of paying more for legal representation than you win in compensation for your damages.

If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma from asbestos exposure, the right attorney is an invaluable asset for all legal efforts you make to recover compensation for you and your family. The team at Wallace & Graham is ready to provide the compassionate support you need, so contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation with a South Carolina union workers asbestos exposure lawyer you can trust with your case.

South Carolina Mesothelioma Resources