For many working class families with loved ones who served in the Navy, worked in the heating, construction, chemical, coal and other similar trade industries, or simply lived in an older home, the day will unfortunately come when they receive news that a family member has contracted an asbestos-caused disease. Asbestos is a set of six, naturally-occurring silicate minerals that has been used, ubiquitously, throughout the United States since the 1940s, particularly in industrial facilities and in residential homes. For decades, asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including electrical wiring, cement, brake linings, gaskets, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. Folks who worked in jobs where they inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, or household members exposed to asbestos dust brought home from the workplace, are at risk for developing a range of different asbestos-related diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma – a terminal cancer of the lining of the lungs, abdominal cavity and heart. Asbestos has been scientifically understood to cause such diseases since the early 20th Century, but, for decades, the truth was concealed from those working in and around it while little, if anything, was done to protect them in the workplace.
While the severity of asbestos-related diseases vary widely, the law applies equally to all asbestos claims and for exposed workers, a proper understanding that there are deadlines by which one must file an asbestos claim is critical to protecting a worker's rights and seeking a measure of justice. It is bad enough to receive the news that you or a loved one has contracted an asbestos-related disease, but the most tragic situations occur when a worker waits too long to do anything about it. And unfortunately this situation is far too common, typically for two reasons.
First many workers are simply not that sick when they are first diagnosed with non-cancerous, asbestos disease. They might have some trouble breathing at times, or get tired a little easier if they overdo it, but relatively speaking, their lives aren't all that different initially. And so many asbestos victims don't pursue their rights initially. However, asbestos-caused diseases are progressive, which means they worsen over time, or morph into more serious asbestos-related cancers, and what seems like a relatively benign disease initially can become a very serious, even fatal, condition in just a few short years. Exposed workers who sit on their rights, thinking their diagnosis is no big deal, can quickly find themselves and their families left out in the cold just a few short years later, in their hour of greatest need, when the medical bills have piled up and they are no longer able to work.
The other tragic situation we commonly encounter is where folks file lawsuits when first diagnosed with a non-cancerous, asbestos-related disease, but have bad experiences with the law firms they choose to represent their interests and mistakenly believe they are stuck with the law firm they first chose if they want to file a second claim for a different asbestos-related disease or an asbestos-caused cancer. Because of the bad experience they had with their lawyers the first time, some individuals choose not to pursue another claim when they develop a much more serious, asbestos-related lung cancer or mesothelioma. And it is typically only after those individuals die, that we receive a call from their families trying to pursue compensation, but by then it is often far too late for our firm to help. So it is important for asbestos victims to understand that they are not required to pursue a second asbestos claim with the same law firm that first represented them, and they should not delay contacting another law firm if their condition worsens or progresses into an asbestos-caused cancer months or years later. With most injury claims, injured parties only have one opportunity to present their claims. Asbestos litigation is unique in that exposed individuals can make multiple claims under certain circumstances in which their asbestos-caused disease worsens or evolves. However, bringing a second asbestos claim does present a number of challenges that must be met to allow the claim to be properly pursued, and for those individuals whose asbestos-related conditions progress into the more serious forms of cancer, it is critical that they have a law firm, like Bordas & Bordas, that understands those nuances and challenges and has the experience and know-how to see those second claims to successful resolution.
Getting the news that you or a loved one has contracted an asbestos-related disease is a very difficult situation for any family. Discovering that you waited too long to seek substantial compensation makes the situation immeasurably worse. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, no matter how good you feel at the time, please contact an experienced law firm right away to learn more about your rights and how to best navigate the particulars of your situation. If you or a loved one are in the unfortunate position of dealing with an asbestos-related disease that has worsened or progressed into a lung cancer or mesothelioma, please contact an experienced law firm with the resources and know-how to successfully handle the challenges that come with filing a second claim. Any delay in doing so could cost you or your family the opportunity to receive substantial justice for the harm done by being exposed to asbestos.