If you or your loved one was suddenly diagnosed with a dangerous condition such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, you might feel frightened and confused. However, you have the right to request compensation for your pain.
This exposure could have come in many forms, including performing work-related duties. A South Carolina asbestos exposure lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm is here to help you recover compensation and benefits if you qualify for a case. Contact our South Carolina workers’ comp law firm today to find out what is next for your case.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos has been used for decades across multiple industries due to its extremely durability and fire-resistant features. It was often used in the following products:
- Ceiling materials
- Cement compounds
- Floor tiles
- Textile products
- Roofing shingles
- Automotive parts
Asbestos has six primary sub-classifications, namely, chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, and actinolite. Of these six sub-classifications, chrysotile and amosite asbestos are the most common.
We now know today that asbestos is a toxic mineral, and exposure has been linked to several severe and dangerous respiratory and lung medical issues. As a result, its use is now strictly regulated. Unfortunately, these regulations came too late for the thousands of Americans who were already exposed and could still face health ramifications.
Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos is dangerous because it presents a significant threat to our health and safety. It is a human carcinogen. Once it enters the respiratory system and lungs, the asbestos fibers embed into the inner cavity tissues and lung lining.
From there, they are not easily broken down. This material is so hazardous that no amount of exposure can be deemed safe. Anyone who has had a history of being exposed to this material is potentially at risk for life-threatening health complications.
What Are the Most Common Complications Asbestos Exposure Can Cause?
When you are exposed to asbestos for any amount of time, you may develop health complications that can have long-term effects. Three of the most common complications resulting from exposure include:
- Lung cancer
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It begins in the lungs and can also start within the lining of the heart or abdominal cavity.
Lung cancer is another common complication resulting from asbestos exposure, and symptoms include coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Asbestosis is not a form of cancer. It is a long-term respiratory illness. It can also be a precursor to mesothelioma.
Who Is at Risk?
Anyone who was exposed to any amount of asbestos is at risk of developing complications. However, those who worked in certain industries before 1980 are more likely to have encountered this dangerous substance. The industries that have high amounts of asbestos exposure include:
- Commercial product manufacturing
- Power plants
If you work in any of the industries listed above, it is essential for you to go to the doctor often so you know if you have been exposed to asbestos. If you were, your doctor can identify any warning signs and prevent the development of any health issues.
Legal Options After Suffering Damages Caused by Asbestos Exposure
After being exposed to asbestos or developing mesothelioma, you may be wondering how you can access the compensation and benefits you need to get through these trying times. Fortunately, multiple legal options may be available, depending on the specific details of your case.
Often, those exposed to asbestos were exposed through an occupational hazard at work. This means you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your damages. Your employer’s workers’ compensation provider will be required to provide you with wage replacement benefits, coverage of your medical expenses, and vocational rehabilitation costs where necessary.
Personal Injury Claims
However, this may not be enough to cover your damages entirely. When this happens, you may need to consider a third-party liability claim. Here, you are seeking compensation for every way your life has been affected by the accident, not only the loss covered by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider.
These types of claims are available when someone else’s negligent or careless actions cause your injuries. These types of claims give you an opportunity to be made whole and not be forced to absorb any of the losses you experienced due to another party’s negligent conduct.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim for Asbestos Exposure in South Carolina?
When you get exposed to asbestos and develop an asbestos-related health condition, you have three years from the day you received your diagnosis to file a claim. This gives you time to work with a South Carolina asbestos exposure attorney to gather evidence to support your claim.
It is important that you file your claim as soon as you can to avoid missing the deadline. Another benefit of filing a claim early is that you have a higher chance of winning your case at the highest compensation.
Even though SC’s statute of limitations gives you three years to file, depending on the details of your situation, you may have more or less time to file. When you contact an asbestos exposure lawyer in South Carolina at our firm, they can tell you exactly how much time you have to file.
What Losses Can You Experience When You Are Diagnosed with an Asbestos-Related Cancer?
When you get diagnosed with a health condition as a result of asbestos exposure, it can be devastating. However, your diagnosis does not have to become a financial burden. By working with an attorney from our firm, we can help you recover damages that can help you pay for treatment and regain hope, such as:
- Medical bills
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of income
- Loss of quality of life
- Transportation costs for medical treatment
- Medical anguish
You may be eligible to recover additional damages if your condition is severe enough to affect multiple aspects of your life. Our attorneys can review your case and tell you what damages you may qualify to receive.
What Should You Do if You Have Been Exposed?
While anyone who was exposed to this substance is at risk, not everyone will develop an asbestos-related illness. If you or a family member is diagnosed with lung cancer, mesothelioma, or asbestosis, you should contact an asbestos exposure attorney in South Carolina as soon as possible. It is also essential to choose a law firm that has a history of handling this specific type of case.
One of our experienced lawyers can help you conclude whether or not your condition likely arose from your asbestos exposure. They will ask questions about your work history, jobs, work environments, and other relevant aspects of your life.
Contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm to Talk to an Asbestos Exposure Attorney in South Carolina Today
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer that could have been prevented, you might be eligible for an asbestos case and compensation. When it comes to legal claims relating to asbestos exposure, it is crucial to act quickly.
Contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm by completing the contact form on our website or calling us.