In recent years, diagnosis of mesothelioma and other related illnesses that are caused by asbestos exposure have been steadily climbing. Due to its prevalence as a building and manufacturing material, injuries relating to asbestos exposure remain common. Despite this, most asbestos-related illnesses are preventable.
They are exposed via building materials, protective gear, or damaged environments. Consumers are exposed via products that have been contaminated with asbestos such as certain cosmetics and things like oven mitts. It is entirely possible for companies to utilize different materials or to put in safety procedures and regulations to keep their workers well.
Even though it can take some time for these illnesses to appear once you’ve been exposed to asbestos, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Your employer or the company who was responsible for your exposure can still be held accountable for their actions and you deserve compensation.
Mesothelioma and related illnesses can take such a toll on the body and the mind and the financial burden can be overwhelming for those who are battling their illness and cannot work. To properly file a compensation claim, you should contact an attorney that specializes in mesothelioma litigation. They will have the tools and experience available to them to help file your claim and get the most out of your settlement.
The U.S has not officially banned asbestos or put in place compensation packages for those who have been exposed, so the responsibility falls on the companies in question to compensate victims accordingly.
What Determines Asbestos Liability?
Claiming negligence on behalf of the company requires you to have documents from your physician certifying your diagnosis, as well as detailed accounts of the exposure in question including how frequently you were exposed, where, and how close you were to the exposure site.
Strict liability refers to the need for the victim to prove the four elements of negligence are present in their case. In this situation, the victim does not need to prove that there was inherent negligence, but just that the material itself is dangerous and thus claim their liability that way.
If a company has informed the public that their products were safe, but they contain asbestos, that is considered a breach of warranty. Manufacturers of asbestos products themselves can be held accountable for the manufacturing itself of toxic materials that put workers and consumers at risk for cancer and other illnesses. If the manufacturer themselves has claimed that the product is safe when it contains asbestos, they can be sued for negligence.
It was incredibly common for miners to bring home particles on their skin or in their hair, thus exposing their families. These particles being mined also caused them to be airborne, traveling into the surrounding towns in the air and the water due to runoff.
The United States closed all of its asbestos mines by 2002. Illnesses caused by asbestos take time to develop, meaning those exposed to the particles from the mines will start showing signs within the next few years as asbestos has taken time to start wreaking havoc on their systems.
Many of these mines failed to protect their workers and the surrounding towns by implementing safety precautions and thus should be held liable for the exposure. Especially considering most of these mining companies were well aware of the dangers of mining asbestos, but they willfully exposed their employees anyway.
These manufacturers were well aware of the damage asbestos could cause, but did not warn the public as they should before diseases began cropping up concerning exposure.
Courts sided with victims to ensure that companies were held responsible for not warning their employees or consumers of the risks of exposure. The EPA and OSHA have done wonders to ensure that companies hold a responsibility to their workers and anyone else who may come in contact with asbestos materials in the workplace or via the products they manufacture.
It is now the responsibility of the company to roll out and enforce adequate safety measures and regulate the production of their asbestos products. Without enforcing these rules they will be subjected to heavy fines and risk shutdown.
The manufacturers of asbestos are not the only ones being held accountable either. Manufacturers of products that contain asbestos are also being held to the fire for their negligence. Products that construct our households or can be found within them contain amounts of asbestos and we live comfortably among them every day.
In these cases, it may be a little more difficult to prove your exposure claim. If the manufacturers fail to warn the public of the dangers they can be held liable, however, if you don’t have adequate proof of exposure your case can be easily thrown out.
Whether you are working directly with asbestos, or you are working in a building that is damaged and poses a risk to you inhaling particles, your employer is likely at fault. It is their responsibility to supply conditions that are safe to work in and to undergo training that ensures they will heed the safety precautions.
Many trade occupations run the risk of asbestos exposure. People like painters, electricians, and factory workers, are all at risk of exposure simply due to their environments. Most law firms will recognize that employers have a responsibility to their workers and as such will often rule in favor of the victim.
People Who Own Asbestos Products
Older buildings are made using products that run rampant with asbestos particles. The damages they may subject consumers to is nothing to ignore. Those who own property or sell products that are rife with asbestos are held accountable for putting individuals at risk with those deadly particles.
Most of the time these claims won’t be filed specifically by individuals, but often groups of people who get lumped together due to the lawyers taking very similar cases.
How Do You Compensate for Asbestos Liability?
You can file as an individual or as a part of a group that is also suffering damages. Though because it takes so long to develop it can be difficult to compensate accordingly for asbestos-based lawsuits.
Speaking with a law firm that knows how to work this kind of case and has access to many resources will give you the highest chance for success.
Typically asbestos will affect a whole host of people, not just a solitary individual. These groups will often be affected by the same company and are thus seeking compensation as there have been damages en masse. If you choose to file individually, you may be subjected to individual review but as a group, your case is far more likely to be expedited.
There are trusts that have been established after the bankruptcy of companies due to their negligence with asbestos. These companies became aware of the dangers and lawsuits forced their bankruptcies, but not before they established safeguards for victims. Trusts were developed with money placed aside from these bankrupt companies to pay off lawsuits as they develop over time.