Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that is commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. When the asbestos fibers are inhaled or swallowed, it penetrates the lungs and other areas of the body. Mesothelioma develops most commonly in the protective lining of the lungs, abdomen, and cavities surrounding the heart. Determining where and how the victims was exposed to asbestos can help them obtain entitled compensation.
Our Pennsylvania mesothelioma lawyers know how to investigate a mesothelioma case, help victims recover the compensation they deserve, and assist families during what must be a very trying time. Victims should at least consider the possibility of a mesothelioma diagnosis or that they were exposed to asbestos if they present persistent health issues that cannot otherwise be explained.
Patients with the highest risk of mesothelioma are those in occupations that expose them to asbestos daily. Victims may not be aware of the direct or secondary exposure. The following professions present the most risks for asbestos exposure:
Victims may believe that their exposure was minimal, but just one fiber of asbestos can lodge into the lungs and begin to cause damage. Victims should consider the possibility when speaking to a doctor.
Doctors and patients often mistake symptoms of mesothelioma for several other illnesses that are quite common. However, these problems should be addressed by a medical professional as soon as possible. When experiencing persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pains, it is best to speak to a medical professional immediately. Symptoms may not appear for many years after exposure, but there may be enough fluid around the lungs to raise suspicion. At the same time, victims may feel that their cough is simply not normal. Symptoms may advance to:
Victims may also experience wheezing or a dry cough, which can be confused with allergy symptoms, or victims may feel as though these symptoms will go away over time. These symptoms could easily be confused for other things, and that is why it is important to tell a doctor about potential asbestos exposure in the past. While a doctor may not be able to simply define a diagnosis, they can use extreme caution when handling treatment. The extended period of dormancy for this disease might lull victims into a false sense of security. Address any of these issues with a doctor if there is no progress. Exhibit extra care with children or teenagers who seem to have these symptoms.
Diagnosing mesothelioma in its early stages is critical. When the symptoms are significant enough for a patient to seek professional medical attention, the mesothelioma may have already developed into the late stages. A physician will send an individual for a series of medical tests to diagnose mesothelioma. The doctor usually orders a blood test to check blood levels for chemical changes that detect a tumor. Additional tests can be ordered to determine the type and stage of mesothelioma, such as a CT/CAT scan, MRI, or PET scan. Additionally, a pleuroscopy might be used, which is an insertion of a video camera into the chest cavity.
This information can be used by our legal team to help determine when a victim was exposed and is important for any case to show that the victim was exposed through no fault of their own. We also want to show the progression of the disease because it may have caused other problems, such as loss of income, pain and suffering, and even psychological issues.
Our mesothelioma lawyers understand the stages of this disease. This is quite important because we need to investigate each case, determine when the victim might have been exposed, and how much the disease has progressed. We will also communicate with all the appropriate medical professionals to ensure that we have all the necessary data. Mesothelioma is not a singular cancer that causes just one symptom. Victims could have any of the three forms of mesothelioma:
Victims should be open with their doctor and let them know about past work history in an industry that could have led to exposure. Victims may have also been exposed by a family member. A doctor could misdiagnose a patient if they did not know of the past exposure. Since mesothelioma is cancer, it is also diagnosed in the stage of progression of the disease. There are four stages, beginning with stage I, which is where the cancer is localized where it originated. The stages of mesothelioma move through stage IV, which is when the cancer has spread to distant organs. Depending on the stage of the mesothelioma at the time of diagnosis, treatments will vary.
Available treatment options for mesothelioma are continually expanding. Traditional treatments include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Recent developments in treating mesothelioma include photodynamic therapy, immunotherapy, and gene therapy. Alternative treatments for mesothelioma include acupuncture, massage, meditation, and aromatherapy.
If a victim discovers mesothelioma in the early stages, a doctor may find that the disease is resectable. A doctor will let the victim know how the tumor can be removed. In some cases, victims may need to undergo more than one pleurectomy/decortication or extrapleural pneumonectomy.
Chemotherapy and radiation are common treatments for mesothelioma. Chemotherapy may be recommended before a patient undergoes surgery, or they may be deemed too unhealthy for a traditional surgery. A doctor will tell the patient if the mesothelioma is unresectable when considering surgery; this outcome might lead to both chemotherapy and radiation. Treatments may also include clinical trials, which help the body fight the cancer while shrinking the tumor.
A doctor may also recommend palliative care. Victims may need palliative care to ease the pain while going through treatment, and victims can stop palliative care when treatment is complete. Victims should also attend regular follow-ups once recovered. Mesothelioma could reoccur after the body has previously recovered. Treatment will more than likely get in the way of a normal life. This fact is considered when we investigate each claim.
New Jersey has long been a center of industry because of the numerous ports, coastal centers, and refineries the state harbors. The state has been fundamental in the production of many things that Americans enjoy every day, such as:
We work with clients in New Jersey every day. If victims realize that they were exposed in a high-risk industry, or simply in their own home, reach out to us.
Pennsylvania is one of the states with the highest number of mesothelioma deaths. This disease can be attributed to the immense amount of industrial growth in the state. High-risk industries include:
Pennsylvania has citizens who have been exposed to asbestos starting as early as 1930, and their conditions could be passed on to their children and grandchildren. Since we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania, we understand that multiple generations could have been exposed. Homeowners might also have been exposed to asbestos in their homes because they moved into a home that was built with asbestos.
When diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our attorneys at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler right away. There are several ways victims can recover damages after a diagnosis, and we will explore all the possible options when looking into the case. Do not assume that all hope is lost. We will show victims how steps can be taken, depending on the nature of the exposure. Some legal steps include:
Some companies were often required to set up trusts for former employees who were diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. Victims have two years from the date of the diagnosis to file a claim for an asbestos-related illness, and that is why victims should contact us right away to prevent any delays in their case. Victims lose the right to Workers’ Compensation benefits in Pennsylvania if they do not report the illness or exposure within 300 weeks of the original event.
We can also file a lawsuit against anyone who knowingly exposed a victim to asbestos without their knowledge. When meeting with our attorneys, we need to learn about the job, the exposure, and the diagnosis. This is the only way that we can pursue the maximum possible compensation for lost wages, lost earning potential, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
If an individual lost a loved one to mesothelioma, we will file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate. In this case, family members have two years from the date of the death to file a claim. A representative of the deceased’s estate must file a claim on behalf of the surviving family members, and any award will go to the immediate or extended family members who qualify.
Our dedicated team will help you with your mesothelioma diagnosis with compassion. For more information about mesothelioma, reach out to a Pennsylvania mesothelioma lawyer at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler for assistance. Call us at 215-569-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.