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St. Louis Mesothelioma Lawyer

At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we strive to help simplify the legal process for our clients suffering from a mesothelioma diagnosis.

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Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and abdomen. It is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring toxic mineral that has been used for decades in many work industries. Asbestos is a known carcinogen that enters the body by the inhalation of the fine particles or is transferred to others from the clothes of the person exposed.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, filing a workers compensation lawsuit may not be your top priority. However, it is important to contact a St. Louis mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible, as there is a time limit for filing all mesothelioma claims.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that primarily
affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) and the abdominal
cavity (peritoneal mesothelioma). It is most commonly caused by
exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was
widely used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries until
the late 20th century.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibers. When these fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become lodged in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart, causing irritation that may lead to mesothelioma. It often takes decades after exposure for mesothelioma to develop.

How Much Asbestos Exposure Can Cause Mesothelioma?

There is no known safe level of asbestos exposure. Even brief or minimal exposure to asbestos can potentially lead to mesothelioma. However, the risk of developing mesothelioma increases with the intensity and duration of exposure to asbestos.

How Do You Get Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is most commonly acquired through occupational exposure to asbestos. Workers in industries such as construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing, as well as those involved in the mining and milling of asbestos, are at a higher risk. Secondary exposure can also occur, for example, through washing the clothes of someone who has worked with asbestos.

What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

Symptoms of mesothelioma may vary depending on the type but generally include chest pain, shortness of breath, fluid around the lungs, fatigue, abdominal pain, swelling, and weight loss. Symptoms often appear in the later stages of the disease, making early diagnosis challenging.

How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed and Treated?

Diagnosis of mesothelioma typically involves a combination of imaging
tests, blood tests, and biopsies. Treatment options may include surgery,
chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and palliative care to manage
symptoms. The specific treatment plan depends on the type and stage of
mesothelioma, as well as the patient’s overall health.

Is there a Cure for Mesothelioma?

While there is currently no cure for mesothelioma, treatment can help manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and potentially extend survival. Advances in medical research continue to provide hope for better treatment options and outcomes for mesothelioma patients.

Asbestos Exposure and its Link to Mesothelioma

As early as the 1920s, medical evidence showed a link between exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma. However, this evidence was highly ignored, and asbestos continued to be manufactured and used primarily in industries such as mining, shipping, auto manufacturing, and construction. It seemed easy to hide this medical information because of the inactivity period of this disease from 25 to 50 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

Eventually, the government placed bans and restrictions on the use of asbestos, and this helped create a safer and healthier environment for workers. Yet, many people today are still facing the effects of their exposure from many years ago, and many workers are still exposed.

There are 3 major types of mesothelioma, they are differentiated by the organs of the body that they affect.

  • Pleural mesothelioma – Affects the pleura or the lining of the lungs. It is also the most common type of mesothelioma and accounts for almost 70 percent of reported mesothelioma cases.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma – Occurs in the peritoneum or the lining of the abdominal cavity.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma – Occurs in the pericardium or the lining of the heart.

It is not always easy to diagnose mesothelioma because it often presents with symptoms that mimic other common problems. Even though there is no cure for mesothelioma, treatments like chemotherapy and surgery can help improve prognosis and may increase the person’s life expectancy.

Types of Workers Exposed to Asbestos

Incidence of mesothelioma is particularly high in the following types of workers:

  • Plumbers
  • Automobile manufacturers
  • Pipe-fitters
  • Shipbuilders
  • Dental factory employees
  • Construction workers
  • Factory workers
  • Maintenance workers

Filing a Workers Compensation Claim for Mesothelioma

If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, it is important to follow a few steps in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits for both you and your family.

  1. Notify your employer of the situation
  2. Seek medical attention
  3. Consult with a mesothelioma lawyer

These steps are important because, in Missouri, occupational diseases must be reported to your employer within 30 days of the condition’s diagnosis. If you fail to report the incident to your employer within 30 days, you may jeopardize your ability to receive workers’ comp benefits.

When you notify your employer be sure to state these details: time, date, where the injury or exposure took place, and your name and address. Make sure that you make a copy for yourself. Make notes as to when and where you gave the notice. The more information you have, the more beneficial you can be to your case.

Mesothelioma and Workers’ Compensation

Why Do I Need an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney for My Case?

Choosing a highly experienced mesothelioma attorney is crucial because these cases can be complex and involve detailed knowledge of asbestos exposure, occupational health, and state-specific workers’ compensation laws. An experienced attorney can navigate these complexities to help secure the compensation you’re entitled to.

How Long Do Mesothelioma Claims Take?

The duration of a mesothelioma claim can vary widely depending on
several factors, including the legal route chosen, the complexity of the
case, and the court’s schedule. Some claims may be resolved in a few
months, while others could take several years.

How Much Compensation Can You Get for Mesothelioma?

Compensation for mesothelioma can vary significantly based on the specifics of each case, including the extent of asbestos exposure, the severity of the illness, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Settlements can range from modest amounts to several million dollars.

Who Is Eligible for Mesothelioma Compensation?

Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, whether through their occupation, secondary exposure, or environmental exposure, may be eligible for compensation. In some cases, family members of deceased mesothelioma patients can also file for compensation.

What Is the Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma Claims in Missouri?

In Missouri, the statute of limitations for filing a mesothelioma claim is typically 5 years from the date of diagnosis. This timeframe applies to personal injury claims related to mesothelioma, where the individual diagnosed with mesothelioma can file a lawsuit against parties responsible for the asbestos exposure.

For wrongful death claims, where the family members or estate of a person who has died from mesothelioma seek to file a lawsuit, the statute of limitations in Missouri is 3 years from the date of the deceased person’s death.

It’s crucial to note that these statutes can have exceptions and nuances, and the specific circumstances of your case could affect the timeframe in which you’re eligible to file a claim. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to consult with a Missouri-based attorney who specializes in mesothelioma and asbestos-related cases to get accurate and personalized legal advice. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system, ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate deadlines, and work to secure the compensation you may be entitled to.

Contact a St. Louis Mesothelioma Lawyer

At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we have a strong history of helping workers diagnosed with mesothelioma get the medical attention and financial compensation they and their families need.

Based in St. Louis and handling workers’ compensation cases throughout the State of Missouri, our law firm will ensure that your rights are protected. Please call (314) 361-4300 (314) 361-4300. You can also complete our Online Case Evaluation Form. All communications are returned promptly.

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