Asbestos is typically used in construction because it does not conduct electricity, is resistant to heat and other substances, and strong. This type of fiber was used as an insulating material in the past. It was used as an insulator for constructing buildings like schools, ships, and homes during the industrial era. It was also used as parts for cars like brakes and clutch parts.
Medical experts started to discover that there was evidence of scarring of the lungs after inhaling asbestos during the first half of the 20th century. In the next few years, there were steps taken to protect workers from inhaling the dangerous material like ventilation and exhaust systems. In the next half of the same century, diseases related to it were recognized and more strict measures were implemented.
Asbestos can be exposed mainly in two ways: inhaling and swallowing. Most exposures come from breathing in the fibers of the material from the air. Miners and other individuals involved in processing the material are the usual victims. Swallowing it can be done by consuming contaminated food or water. If you were exposed to it at work, here are some legal actions you can take so you can recover.
Ask for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, but it is an exclusive fix for any employee injured on the job. That person has the right to recover with the help of the laws, but they cannot sue their employer in court as a result. The statutes apply equally to every kind of injury during work, including mesothelioma.
Asbestos cancer lawyers will advise you to make a claim against an employer with the help of the administrative bureau or tribunal. These government offices can make the decisions with regard to the disbursement of compensation funds to an injured worker. Other states even require their employers to have a special insurance dedicated to these types of claims.
Some states require interviews and specific forms before they can approve the compensation claims. If it is denied by the employer and the Workers’ Compensation Bureau, the worker can go to court with a lawyer, but it will still depend on the state.
Identify Your Employer
In order to claim your benefits, you should find out who is liable for an asbestos exposure case: the employer. However, it is not a simple task since most exposures happen in an industrial setting, and a physical location will not work. Most companies often hire contractors to do the job for them.
The best way to locate the employer is to look at your paystub. The person signing the paycheck is the employer. Give that information to your lawyer so it can be used for the next steps you will be doing for claiming your benefits.
Secondary Exposure to Asbestos
Employers are liable for secondary asbestos exposure, which comes from getting infected by another person who has worked with the dangerous material. Many states still have these laws, but the liability still depends on where it was filed.
Prepare Documents and Recordings
Always make sure to record all details of your work history with or without the symptoms showing up. Any family member or relative that has the symptoms should be noted as well. If you are worried that you are a smoker, it will not matter. You are still entitled to compensation.
Aside from taking legal action and taking your claim for benefits due to exposure, you should also take care of your health. Get a schedule for regular check-ups with a primary care physician. Ask for a recommendation for pulmonary function monitoring and other tests.
If you always fear for your life after getting exposed, you will only endanger yourself more. There are dangers to be avoided, but you should never have prolonged anxiety. Consider getting help from a counselor that can give you tips on calming down and relax a little.
In order to pre-empt getting ill further after getting exposed to asbestos, you must stop smoking entirely. Join a cessation program to slowly stop the bad habit. If your lungs were weakened by long-term exposure to cigarette smoke, there is a high risk that you will develop mesothelioma soon. Quit as early as possible.
The issue of employers being responsible for their workers being exposed to asbestos will still be controversial. With the help of your lawyer, the task will be easier to finish and you will be able to claim your benefits faster.