Mesothelioma is a devastating diagnosis to receive. If you recently discovered that you or a loved one has mesothelioma or another illness connected to asbestos, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The mesothelioma attorneys at Bailey & Glasser, LLP are here for you during this difficult time. We will connect you to critical resources and provide outstanding legal representation during your fight for justice. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options during a consultation with one of our asbestos attorneys.
Do You Need to Hire an Attorney Experienced with Mesothelioma ?
You are going through enough as someone who has received a mesothelioma diagnosis in Texas. You do not also need to take on the legal process alone. A mesothelioma attorney should have knowledge of Texas’ complex asbestos laws and understand how the legal process works. You can rest and relax while your lawyer guides you through your lawsuit. Your lawyer will give you an accurate analysis of your potential case value and pursue the amount that you deserve.
Your attorney can handle many important tasks for you, such as:
- Helping you understand your rights and answering your legal questions.
- Investigating your illness or exposure to asbestos.
- Determining the appropriate defendant(s) for your claim.
- Collecting and preserving evidence to support your case.
- Hiring subject-matter experts to strengthen your claim.
- Navigating Texas’ asbestos and mesothelioma laws.
- Filing legal paperwork that is necessary to bring a claim.
- Meeting all of Texas’ deadlines and filing requirements.
- Negotiating with an insurance company for fair financial compensation.
- Filing a lawsuit and proceeding to trial, if necessary.
- Litigating your case as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Companies, corporations and insurance providers do not want what is best for you as a mesothelioma victim. You can trust your attorney, however, as he or she is legally obligated to look out for your best interests.
At Bailey & Glasser, LLP, our attorneys are kind, compassionate and committed to helping victims of mesothelioma. You will receive personalized care and attention to detail throughout your lawsuit to achieve the best possible case results. Most importantly, we can give you greater peace of mind to focus on your future during this difficult time in your life.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is fatal, with no known cure. It is an aggressive kind of cancer with an average life expectancy of 12 to 21 months, with treatment, according to the National Library of Medicine. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is composed of thin, microscopic fibers that are resistant to heat and corrosion.
These qualities made asbestos a popular manufacturing material for several decades. In 1987, however, the International Agency for Research on Cancer confirmed that all six types of asbestos are carcinogenic, meaning they cause cancer in humans. Sadly, this confirmation came too late to prevent millions of people from being harmfully exposed to asbestos. According to the American Cancer Society, there is no clear safe level of asbestos exposure. Being exposed even once could potentially cause harmful health effects, including mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos fibers becoming lodged in the inner tissues of the body; namely, the mesothelium, or the protective membrane that lines many of the internal organs. Over the span of many years, these fibers can cause irritation and a buildup of scar tissue that eventually results in cancerous tumors. The latency period, or amount of time between exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma, ranges from 20-60+ years.
Texas Mesothelioma Data and Statistics
Every year, an average of 3,128 new cases of malignant mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 1999 to 2018, a total of 62,550 new cases of mesothelioma were diagnosed in the United States. Texas is one of the top states for the number of new mesothelioma cases.
Here is an overview of Texas mesothelioma facts and statistics based on the latest information available:
- According to data for new mesothelioma cases collected by the CDC, Texas is ranked third in the country for the number of mesothelioma cases, behind California (first) and Florida (second).
- From 2015 to 2019, Texas reported 947 new cases of mesothelioma. This equates to an average of 189 mesothelioma diagnoses per year. Texas’ age-adjusted rate of new cases is 0.7 per 100,000 people (95 percent confidence interval: 0.6-0.7).
- A total of 698 people in Texas died of mesothelioma from 2015 to 2019. For every 100,000 people in Texas, 1 died of mesothelioma cancer. The county with the highest death toll was Harris County (97 deaths).
- Texas has one of the highest five-year relative cancer survival rates for mesothelioma patients. During the CDC’s study period, Texas reported a five-year survival rate of 16.5 percent. This was higher than every state other than North Dakota, Wyoming and Kansas. For comparison, the national five-year survival rate is 10 percent (source: Translational Lung Cancer Research).
The most commonly diagnosed type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. The CDC reports that over its 20-year study period, 82.1 percent of new cases were pleural mesothelioma. This type of cancer affects the pleura, or the membrane that encompasses the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath and a dry, persistent cough. The CDC also reports that the median survival rate with pleural mesothelioma is approximately one year.
Which Counties in Texas Have the Highest Rates of Mesothelioma?
|El Paso County
|Fort Bend County
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Who Is Most at Risk of Asbestos Exposure in Texas?
According to the National Cancer Institute, the people who are most at risk of developing mesothelioma are those who are exposed to asbestos on a regular basis, such as workers that come into contact with asbestos-containing materials daily. Substantial contact with asbestos increases the odds of an individual becoming ill from exposure. Certain industries have been identified as more likely to expose workers to asbestos than others based on the amount of asbestos that is used.
Workplaces and occupations that come with a higher risk of asbestos exposure in Texas include:
- Asbestos removal workers
- Automobile mechanics
- Construction workers
- Demolition workers
- Drywall and insulation removers
- Industrial and power plant workers
- Military members
- Oil refineries
If an employee is exposed to asbestos on the job, he or she may be able to bring a lawsuit against the employer or company. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces federal asbestos laws and regulations to help protect workers. Workers in Texas should be protected from harmful exposure to asbestos through measures such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and maximum exposure limits.
Where Does Asbestos Exist in Texas?
Asbestos is known to be present in many locations throughout Texas. This includes schools, workplaces, office buildings and residential properties. Certain manufacturing sites and factories are more likely to contain asbestos than others. Older buildings, built before the 1980s, also have higher odds of containing asbestos. In addition to environmental exposure, Texans can also be at risk of developing mesothelioma from contact with asbestos in certain products.
These products include:
- Attic and wall insulation
- Automobile brakes and clutches
- Building materials
- Ceiling tiles
- Cement sheets
- Heat-resistant fabrics
- Oil and coal furnaces
- Roofing and siding shingles
- Spray cements
- Textured paint
- Vinyl floor tiles
An individual could be exposed to asbestos by these products in their environment, home or workplace. When an older home is renovated, for example, it can disturb asbestos-containing materials and release asbestos particles into the air. This puts everyone on the premises at risk of breathing in the fibers and developing mesothelioma. No matter where you were exposed to asbestos, if it resulted in mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, you may be eligible for financial compensation from the person or party responsible.
Texas Asbestos Laws
Regulations have been passed by the federal government and the Environmental Protection Agency to better protect the public from this health risk. The State of Texas has also passed laws related to asbestos and the health of its citizens. The purpose of these laws is to minimize the public’s exposure to asbestos by standardizing tasks such as asbestos removal and abatement. Every citizen, property owner and company in Texas has an obligation to adhere to these laws.
As outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas’ current Asbestos Program includes the following:
- Occupations Code Title 12, Chapter 1954, also known as the “Texas Asbestos Health Protection Act” – outlines rules regarding asbestos concentration levels, work practices, asbestos site inspections, demolition and renovation activities, and more.
- Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 296 – gives laws for managing asbestos and procedures for removing asbestos from public buildings, such as requiring someone who is properly licensed to carry out these tasks.
In addition, residents of Texas must obey all applicable federal asbestos laws, including NESHAP (National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants). This is a specific set of procedures for the construction or modification of a building to minimize asbestos exposure to all those involved. Violating state or federal asbestos regulations can result in harmful exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma in one or multiple victims.
Filing a Lawsuit for Mesothelioma in Texas
Compensation is available for most mesothelioma victims in Texas. You may be entitled to financial compensation if one or more parties is responsible for your exposure to asbestos, such as a product manufacturer or employer. Pursuing compensation may require a claim or lawsuit.
An asbestos attorney from Bailey & Glasser, LLP can help you with the legal process based on the unique circumstances of your case. Your lawyer can help you file a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit against your employer, for example, for asbestos exposure that occurred in the workplace or due to your occupation.
Sources of compensation for mesothelioma victims in Texas include:
- Verdicts – an amount of money determined by a jury to be appropriate for a mesothelioma victim after a trial has been conducted and liability has been established.
- Settlements – an amount of money paid by a defendant to avoid a trial. Settlements are the most common way to resolve mesothelioma claims in Texas.
- Asbestos trust fund – a unique source of compensation created by asbestos companies who have gone bankrupt.
- Workers’ compensation claim – a no-fault claim to provide insurance benefits to workers who develop occupational illnesses.
- Veterans’ claim – a source of compensation for military members who become ill during their service.
The types of compensation available (also known as damages) for mesothelioma may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, loss of consortium, legal fees, out-of-pocket costs, and punitive damages. If a loved one died due to mesothelioma, your family may also be entitled to wrongful death damages, such as a reasonable amount in funeral and burial costs. Discuss the potential value of your mesothelioma claim with one of our attorneys before rushing into a fast settlement with an insurance company to ensure a fair outcome.
Speak to an Intake Specialist Today – Call (618) 693-2462
You are not alone as a victim of mesothelioma. The asbestos attorneys at Bailey & Glasser, LLP are here to answer your questions and provide the legal representation that you need during your claim. While the majority of mesothelioma claims in Texas reach settlements, we have the power to go to court on your behalf, if necessary. We won’t stop until we have done everything possible to secure justice and maximum compensation for your serious illness or a loved one’s death.
Learn more about your mesothelioma case during a consultation with one of our case intake specialists. Contact Bailey Glasser at (618) 693-2462 or submit our online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We are here to help.