Mesothelioma Lawyer in Wheeling, WV
Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring but toxic substance. For years, many U.S. companies used asbestos in products and infrastructure despite knowing it was a threat to public health. Disturbingly, asbestos is still present in many homes, schools, and other buildings nationwide. Nearly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually, according to the American Society for Clinical Oncology.
If you or a family member has mesothelioma cancer, contact Jividen Law Offices, PLLC. Our Wheeling mesothelioma attorneys have more than 50 years of combined legal experience and a track record of recovering millions of dollars for our clients. We know how devastating a mesothelioma diagnosis can be and will work tirelessly to help you pursue the compensation you need. Our small firm has a big reputation throughout West Virginia for maximizing results for our clients. Put us to work for you.
Contact our office today to speak with a Wheeling mesothelioma lawyer. Consultations are free, and there’s no fee unless we win your case.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer affecting the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that protects the internal organs, including the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testicles. Mesothelioma most commonly affects the lining that covers the lungs, known as the pleura, but can also damage other organs.
One reason mesothelioma is so deadly is that symptoms can take as long as 30 to 40 years to develop. By the time a person shows signs of mesothelioma, it may be too late to treat the illness effectively. There is no cure.
Causes of Mesothelioma
Asbestos is a naturally occurring group of minerals found in many parts of the world, including West Virginia. It was used for decades in many industries because of its resistance to heat and fire, even after research showed it was toxic. As a result, many workers and consumers exposed to asbestos now suffer from mesothelioma and related illnesses.
While researchers continue to study risk factors associated with mesothelioma, almost all cases are due to contact with asbestos. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly eight out of 10 people diagnosed with mesothelioma have a history of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos fibers are microscopic. When inhaled, the fibers can enter the mesothelium in the lungs, damaging their delicate linings. When swallowed, asbestos fibers can enter the mesothelium in the abdomen. Because the fibers cannot leave the body, they linger and disrupt normal cell functions, eventually leading to cancer or other illnesses.
Types of Mesothelioma and Their Symptoms
There are four types of mesotheliomas. They are:
- Pleural mesothelioma – The most common form of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma affects the lungs and chest.
- Pericardial mesothelioma – The pericardium is the sac that lines the heart. Pericardial mesothelioma involves tumors within the pericardium.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – Peritoneal mesothelioma is cancer in the abdominal cavity lining, also called the peritoneum.
- Testicular mesothelioma – The rarest form of mesothelioma, testicular mesothelioma impacts the lining of the testicles.
Mesothelioma symptoms vary depending on the type and how advanced the illness is.
Common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
- Chest or lower back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Painful cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of the face and arms
Signs of pericardial mesothelioma include:
- Chest pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Heart murmur
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Peritoneal mesothelioma causes symptoms in the abdomen, including:
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Persistent nausea
Common symptoms of testicular mesothelioma include:
- Swollen testicles
- A painful mass in the scrotum
General symptoms of mesothelioma include fever, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and loss of appetite. These symptoms are similar to many other types of diseases, which is partly why mesothelioma can be challenging to diagnose. Talk to a doctor immediately if you have a history of working with asbestos (or live with someone who did) and begin experiencing potential signs of mesothelioma.
Filing a Mesothelioma Claim in West Virginia
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you must take action immediately. Under West Virginia law, you have two years from the date of your diagnosis (or from the date when you reasonably should have known you had mesothelioma) to file a claim. If you miss this two-year deadline, your mesothelioma lawsuit will likely be dismissed, and you will lose your opportunity to seek compensation in civil court.
If your loved one passed away from mesothelioma, you have two years from the date of their death to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Some people in West Virginia are more likely to have been exposed to asbestos than others, such as:
- Power plant workers
- Utility workers
- Textile workers
- Construction workers
- Steelworkers and other manufacturing workers
If you work or worked in any of these industries, you are more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. Family members of people who worked in high-risk occupations are also vulnerable to mesothelioma due to asbestos brought home on workers’ clothing or shoes.
Can I Recover Damages for a Mesothelioma Diagnosis?
There may be several options for pursuing compensation for a mesothelioma diagnosis. An experienced attorney can determine who is liable for your illness and identify all potential sources of compensation for you. These options can include insurance claims or lawsuits against a company that made a product containing asbestos, the owner of a property where the exposure occurred, or another liable party.
Many companies that made asbestos-containing products have since gone bankrupt but were forced to establish mesothelioma trust funds to compensate victims of asbestos exposure. An attorney can help determine whether you are eligible for financial relief through one of these entities.
With a successful mesothelioma claim, you could receive compensation for financial and personal losses resulting from your illness, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Contact Our Wheeling Mesothelioma Attorneys Now
If you or someone you love is living with mesothelioma, contact Jividen Law Offices, PLLC today. Our trusted Wheeling mesothelioma lawyers can evaluate your case and discuss your legal options during a free consultation.