Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that is terminal and has less than a five-year survival rate lower than 10 percent. Learning that you or a loved one has mesothelioma can be extremely difficult and overwhelming. At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, we understand what it is like to receive this news.
If you have been diagnosed with the disease in Maine, we can connect mesothelioma victims to resources, information, and legal representation during claims and lawsuits. Our mesothelioma attorneys can take over the pursuit of financial recovery on your behalf so that you can focus on what’s important.
Why Hire a Mesothelioma Attorney for This Case?
Many benefits come with hiring a mesothelioma attorney. As a victim of asbestos exposure, you can consult with an attorney to learn about Maine’s asbestos laws and how one or more parties could have protected you from this cancer risk. Your lawyer can explore all of your legal options and customize the legal strategy used on your behalf. An attorney will work relentlessly to seek maximum financial compensation for you and your family.
An attorney will have the legal knowledge and mesothelioma case experience to build a strong claim against one or more defendants for you. You can rest while your lawyer takes over negotiations with an insurance provider to aggressively fight for a fair case outcome. If necessary, your attorney can hire experts and handle mesothelioma litigation for you in court. An attorney can be your voice in the civil justice system.
What Is Mesothelioma? What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a terminal type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. It begins in the mesothelium or the protective outer lining of the organs. Asbestos can cause mesothelioma by becoming lodged in the mesothelium, such as the lining of the lungs (the pleura), and causing irritation and damage over time. Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring silicate minerals that were widely used for manufacturing purposes in the 1800s and 1900s. In the 1980s, the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that all six types of asbestos minerals are known human carcinogens (a substance that causes cancer).
What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Asbestos does not cause mesothelioma immediately. It has one of the longest latency periods of any disease. The average amount of time between the date of exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma ranges from 20 to 60+ years. This means victims often do not realize they have been exposed to asbestos right away. By the time symptoms are noticeable, mesothelioma is often in a later stage, meaning the cancer has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body.
Common symptoms associated with mesothelioma include:
- Dry, persistent cough
- Coughing up blood
- Pain in the chest or beneath the rib cage
- Tightness in the lungs
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Loss of weight or appetite
- Fever and night sweats
- Finger clubbing (in advanced stages)
The symptoms can vary based on the patient, the area of the body affected, the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis, and many other factors. Sadly, there is no cure for mesothelioma. Treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can potentially improve a patient’s quality of life and life expectancy. With treatments, the average life expectancy for someone who is diagnosed with mesothelioma is 12 to 21 months, according to the National Library of Medicine. However, each case is unique, and many patients have lived much longer.
Maine Mesothelioma Facts and Statistics
According to recent data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine had 131 new cases of mesothelioma and 106 mesothelioma deaths from 2015 to 2019. This placed it 33rd on the list of states in terms of new mesothelioma diagnoses in this time period. The two counties in Maine with the highest numbers of mesothelioma cases were York County and Cumberland County. York County reported 29 new cases and 22 deaths from 2015 to 2019, while Cumberland County reported 28 new cases and 25 deaths.
Who Is Most at Risk of Mesothelioma in Maine?
Asbestos could potentially cause mesothelioma and other serious illnesses after just one instance of exposure. The National Cancer Institute states that there is no such thing as a “safe” amount of asbestos – one incident of inhaling or ingesting this dangerous substance can cause cancer. However, the odds of developing mesothelioma increase exponentially with the amount that an individual is exposed. This means that people who work near or around asbestos are at the highest risk.
Occupations that could put residents of Maine at risk of asbestos exposure include:
- Asbestos abatement professionals
- Auto mechanics
- Construction workers
- Demolition and renovation workers
- Firefighters and first responders
- HVAC technicians and electricians
- Manufacturing facility workers
- Members of the military
- Plant and factory workers
- School teachers
- Shipyard workers
These jobs come with the risk of workers being exposed to asbestos-containing materials. Thousands of products were made using asbestos as an ingredient before it was recognized as a carcinogen. Older products and building materials may still contain asbestos today. Examples include roofing materials, vinyl floor tiles, paints, adhesives, gaskets, brakes and other auto parts, cement, insulation, drywall, and flame-resistant cloth. Disturbing or damaging any of these products on the job could expose workers to asbestos.
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma could entitle you to financial compensation from one or more parties. Asbestos exposure is often preventable. Employers in high-risk industries, for example, should equip their employees with personal protective equipment to prevent asbestos exposure. If someone else’s negligence resulted in your mesothelioma diagnosis, that person or party may be held financially responsible with a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Financial damages that could be available include past and future medical bills, mesothelioma treatment cost reimbursement, lost wages, lost future capacity to earn, pain and suffering, emotional distress, funeral costs and wrongful death damages, and punitive damages. Most mesothelioma claims end with insurance settlements, or agreements between the claimant and insurer to resolve the dispute for a specific amount of money. However, complex cases may require court trials.
Contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP for a Free Consultation
Mesothelioma is a devastating diagnosis, but help is available. No amount of money can change the past, but holding someone accountable for exposing you or a loved one to asbestos could provide justice, closure, and financial relief during this difficult time. To speak to a mesothelioma attorney about a potential case, contact Bailey & Glasser, LLP to arrange a free consultation.