No one ever expects to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. If you receive this medical news, you will most likely have a lot of questions about how you developed this cancer, what your treatment options are, and how it will affect your future. At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, we connect mesothelioma victims to vital resources. Our Montana mesothelioma attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and options. You may be entitled to financial compensation from one or more parties. Request a free case consultation today.
Why Trust Bailey & Glasser, LLP With This Case?
- We are a full-service law firm with offices across the country. Our attorneys have been handling mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestos cases since our law firm’s foundation in 1999.
- Our attorneys have acquired millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for past asbestos clients. We can go up against any defendant, big or small, and take cases to trial when necessary.
- You will come first to your attorney at Bailey & Glasser, LLP. Your lawyer will do everything possible to make sure you have what you need during this difficult time.
What Is Mesothelioma? How Does it Affect Victims?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that affects the mesothelial tissues or mesothelium – the thin outer membrane that lines and protects most of the internal organs. Mesothelioma can occur when someone is exposed to asbestos. While exposure does not guarantee that a person will develop mesothelioma, being exposed to asbestos regularly increases the risk of this cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Suffering mesothelioma can result in the following symptoms:
- Persistent dry cough
- Wheezing or trouble breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Pain or tightness in the chest
- Coughing up blood
- Chronic fatigue
- Fever and night sweats
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexplained changes in appetite or weight loss
- Clubbed fingers or toes
The symptoms that a victim experiences will depend on the type of mesothelioma, the location of the tumor(s) and the stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to diagnose mesothelioma in its earliest stages. The symptoms often mimic other illnesses, such as lung cancer or pneumonia. In addition, the latency period for mesothelioma is 20-60+ years, on average. This means many victims do not recall being exposed to asbestos.
The Link Between Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Asbestos can cause mesothelioma when it is inhaled or ingested. When microscopic asbestos fibers enter the body, they can become lodged in the tissues, including the lungs or the protective lining around the lungs known as the pleura. Over time – typically, many years – these asbestos particles can cause enough irritation and inflammation to generate scar tissue.
Scarring and irritation from asbestos fibers can create a range of problems for the victim, including chronic conditions such as pleural thickening and asbestosis. In some cases, asbestos causes enough damage to change the victim’s DNA and create cancer cells, potentially causing mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Who Might Be Exposed to Asbestos in Montana?
Asbestos was globally recognized as a carcinogen (cancer-causing) in 1987 when it was announced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Up until this point, however, asbestos was widely used to manufacture a variety of products due to its durability and versatility. This means millions of people had already been exposed to asbestos by the time it became regulated by the U.S. government.
People who may be at risk of asbestos exposure include:
- Workers – anyone who worked with asbestos-containing products or materials or manufactured these goods could be at risk of mesothelioma. High-risk workers for asbestos exposure include construction workers, electricians, firefighters, shipbuilders, military members, automobile mechanics, and power plant workers.
- Students and teachers – many schools and universities in Montana were built using asbestos materials, including pipe insulation, drywall, ceiling tiles, textured paints, and wallboards. People who spend many years inside these buildings could be exposed to asbestos if these materials get damaged or disturbed.
- Consumers – the presence of asbestos in products manufactured prior to the 1990s put today’s consumers at risk. Coming into contact with these products can lead to asbestos exposure. In addition, modern products that contain talc may be contaminated with asbestos. This can include makeup, talcum powder, and baby powder.
While certain people may be more at risk of developing mesothelioma than others, anyone who is exposed to asbestos – even for one day – could be diagnosed with a related disease. Though the National Cancer Institute says that there is no “safe” amount of asbestos exposure, those who are most at risk of mesothelioma are people who interact with it frequently.
Montana Mesothelioma Statistics
Mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of cancer. National data shows an average of 3,127 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed each year. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, in 2019, 11 new cases of mesothelioma were diagnosed in Montana. In the same year, 9 people died from this cancer. From 2015 to 2019, 85 people were diagnosed with mesothelioma, and 65 died from this cancer, making Montana 39th in the country for the number of new mesothelioma cases in this time period.
What Are Your Legal Options as a Victim of Mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have rights. An attorney can help you explore your options for seeking financial compensation, such as a mesothelioma lawsuit or asbestos trust fund claim. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, mesothelioma treatments, pain and suffering, lost wages, or the wrongful death of a loved one.
A lawsuit pursues compensation from a negligent party for exposing you to asbestos carelessly or recklessly, such as a product manufacturer or employer. Asbestos trust funds were set up by many companies to reimburse victims who were exposed to asbestos through their products after they declared bankruptcy.
Other potential sources of compensation include a veterans claim or workers’ compensation claim. Most mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer cases reach successful settlements. However, it is possible that your case will need to go to trial. Hiring an experienced litigator can help you get through the legal process and seek the compensation that you deserve.
Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney in Montana for More Information
An attorney from Bailey & Glasser, LLP can help you explore your legal options and pursue maximum financial compensation for a life-changing mesothelioma diagnosis. You do not have to go through this alone. Contact us online or call (866) 871-7971 to request a free case consultation.