Living After Asbestos: Legal Options for Recourse
If you have fallen ill after being knowingly exposed to asbestos, legal options for financial recourse are available to you. While filing a mesothelioma lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind when coping with a devastating medical diagnosis and the many emotional and financial repercussions that go along with it, you should know that help in the form of a personal injury settlement is available to you.
It should be noted that the best place for receiving asbestos legal advice is through a qualified attorney who has extensive experience in handling cases related to asbestos injury. But before even seeking out an attorney to represent you in court, you may have questions and concerns about what exactly mesothelioma litigation even means.
To begin with, you should know that you are not alone. Thousands of people just like you have been injured after exposure to asbestos. Although it may be hard to believe, those thousands of currently or previously diagnosed individuals make up only a portion of the millions of people who were knowingly or unknowingly exposed to a dangerous carcinogen, often on a daily basis, for years—at work or even at home. The more shocking factor, for many, is that the companies that manufactured asbestos-containing materials and installed them in buildings, as well as consumer products—ranging from children’s toys to women’s cosmetics—were more than likely aware of the potential dangers those materials presented.
Understanding the full scope of the asbestos legal debacle requires an understanding of just what asbestos is and just why it was used in such a reckless and wide-reaching manner, throughout much of the last century.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber that is mined from rock and soil and then used to produce a wide variety of consumer goods. Construction materials and automotive parts were among the most popular uses for asbestos, but in reality, few industries were safe from production use of asbestos fibers. For instance, in the late 19th and throughout much of the 20th centuries, asbestos was used in hair dryers, toaster ovens, crayons and much, much more.
A combination of low cost, exceptional durability and natural fire retardation made it an ideal choice for many facets of the manufacturing industry. Even after the medical community began to notice a connection between exposure to asbestos and several serious illnesses—including mesothelioma and other cancers—those profiting from the sale of asbestos-containing products denied safety concernsand continued to negligently place millions of Americans at risk.
As a result of the cascade of asbestos legal repercussions that began in the late 1980s and peaked in recent years, many of those companies are now bankrupt. However, several billions have been set aside by those negligent parties in trusts, intended to pay out substantial compensatory damages to those whose lives have been affected by their lack of care for human safety.