The dangers posed by exposure to asbestos are well documented, and most people have an understanding that they need to avoid inhaling asbestos particles when they are on the job. Unfortunately, there are times when employers still put their workers in risky situations when it comes to asbestos. Here, we want to discuss what the health risks of asbestos exposure are and what you can do if you or a loved one are exposed to asbestos and subsequently become ill.
Possible Health Risks
There are many occupations that pose a high risk of asbestos exposure to workers. This includes those who work in construction, firefighters, industrial workers, power plant workers, shipyard workers, and many other industries.
Asbestos was heavily used throughout the 20th century and can be found in insulation, shingles, house siding, tiles on floors, blankets wrapped around pipes, heat resistant fabrics, and other areas. The problem arises in the fibers that form asbestos.
When anything that contains asbestos is handled or damaged, the asbestos fibers can break apart into tiny pieces and become inhaled by those working around them. These fibers can get embedded into a person’s lungs or other areas inside their body. This can lead to the formation of a cancer known as mesothelioma.
Do I Have Grounds for a Lawsuit?
The law requires that employers work to keep their employees reasonably safe from known health hazards, including the risk of illness caused by asbestos exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has specific guidelines in place that employers must follow concerning asbestos.
If an employer fails to protect their employees from asbestos exposure, and an employee is injured, then the victim may be able to file a workers compensation lawsuit against the employer to recover compensation. Companies generally have workers’ compensation available to handle on-the-job injuries, including occupational cancers or respiratory illnesses that arise due to asbestos exposure. In the event an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, or if they asbestos exposure occurred due to a third party, it may be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation.
However, in many cases, mesothelioma does not manifest itself until years, or decades, after a person has been exposed to asbestos. In the event a company that the victim needs to sue no longer exists, it may be possible to pursue a claim through an asbestos trust established to help victims in these situations. These trusts exist to provide compensation by companies that go bankrupt, and they consist of money set aside specifically for these injuries.
If you have been exposed to asbestos at work and need to speak with an injury attorney, contact our legal team at Ciccarelli Law Offices.
Legal Support to Sue the Employer for Asbestos Exposure
If you or somebody you love has been exposed to asbestos in the workplace and have subsequently become ill, contact the team at Ciccarelli Law Offices today. Our attorneys will conduct a full investigation into your case in order to secure full compensation for what has happened. This can include coverage of:
- All medical expenses related to the asbestos exposure
- Lost income if you cannot work while you recover
- Loss of future earning potential
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages