A mesothelioma diagnosis can be a life-changing situation. You are now dealing with a severe form of cancer, which can significantly impact your life. You may find yourself dealing with a series of issues, from life changes to accommodate your illness to changes in your ability to work.
Because mesothelioma is so severe, choosing the right doctor after a mesothelioma diagnosis is vital. You need specialist treatment that your primary care physician may be unable to offer.
Need help managing your illness? Know what to expect when facing a severe asbestos exposure diagnosis and need support for you and your family.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, or the tissues that line your internal organs. Often, this condition starts in the lungs after breathing in the mineral asbestos. Asbestos is made of tiny fibers that may inflame and lead to cancerous cells forming, typically beginning in the lungs and moving throughout the body.
This type of cancer is incurable. That means a diagnosis is for a lifetime. However, with the right doctor and treatment, many patients still live long, happy lives despite their diagnosis.
Because of this, finding the right doctor who can offer you the treatment you are due is critical and can help you recover following your diagnosis.
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may have suffered this condition because of your working environment. Factory workers and miners are still susceptible to this condition today, and many firefighters may also find themselves exposed to asbestos, as many buildings still contain asbestos. Because of this, you may be due workers’ compensation benefits for your condition.
You must report your condition to your employer as soon as possible to prove you are entitled to workers’ comp. The insurance adjusters may need to determine whether you were exposed at work or whether you may have been exposed elsewhere.
In other cases, you may be due compensation if you were unknowingly exposed by someone who knew you were in danger. For example, if a landlord fails to warn tenants about hazardous materials, such as asbestos and lead paint, they may be liable for their actions. Seek out a lawyer if you believe someone exposed you, whether through the scope of your job or through negligence.
Will My Workplace Choose My Doctor for Me?
If you seek workers’ compensation benefits, you may have to take specific steps to cover your benefits, including your medical care bills. Because of this, you may first have to see a doctor of your employer’s choosing.
This doctor is supposed to provide an unbiased opinion about your health and diagnose your needs. This medical opinion may be used to determine the healthcare you receive and the workers’ compensation benefits you are due. The doctor should decide which treatment you need, whether you can return to work, and how long you need specific treatments.
However, not all doctors are on your side. Because your employer or insurance company hires them, you may find this doctor scrutinizing you unfairly, making it challenging to get the compensation you are due. Because of this, you may want to seek advice from your doctor and a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Getting a Second Opinion for Your Health
Sometimes, you may need to be sure your employer’s doctor has your best interests in mind. You may want a second opinion from a doctor who can help you confirm what you are experiencing and run additional tests. But how do you choose a mesothelioma doctor?
Start with determining your options for specialist care and experience in your area. You may look for a doctor who specializes in your condition or one who offers the newest innovations in treatment. Looking at their site and reviews from current and former patients can help.
Consider consulting with the doctor before you begin. You can talk with multiple doctors to understand their tone, bedside manner, and initial thoughts about what treatment they would recommend.
Everyone’s needs differ, so finding the right doctor can be a long process. Getting the care you need, however, can be life-changing.
Benefits to Support You After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
If you seek workers’ compensation after exposure to asbestos at work, you may be entitled to benefits covering the losses you have suffered because of your illness. Your lawyer can help you determine what benefits you and your family are due and how much those benefits are worth if the insurance company tries to deny or downplay the benefits you are owed.
Below are some of the benefits you may receive after your mesothelioma diagnosis:
- Medical Benefits – When you suffer from a condition like mesothelioma, you need consistent medical care to handle the health changes you may experience. Your workers’ comp should cover all costs of your healthcare.
- Wage Replacement – Because of your diagnosis, your ability to work may change. You may be unable to work in the same capacity, need time off frequently for medical care, or simply be unable to work. Your benefits should replace some of your wages, so you have the support you need while handling your medical care.
- Death Benefits – Mesothelioma is incurable, and sadly, you may have a family member who passed away because they contracted mesothelioma in the scope of their job. When this happens, the worker’s family may be due financial support for life or until remarriage for spouses. Benefits for dependents may last until they are 18.
Need Help After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis? Seek Out Guidance
When you suffer from mesothelioma, you need a doctor to offer you the medical support and guidance you need to recover fully. You may also have to contend with workers’ compensation laws that can impact your options and future.
If you struggle to face your mesothelioma diagnosis and find the right doctor, contact the lawyers at the Shelly Leeke Law Firm. We understand that you are in a difficult position and need our support.
We also offer free consultations for those hurt and struggling to recover. When you are ready to learn more about your options, reach out for help by calling our office or completing our online contact form.