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Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Now What?

A Georgia man recently wrote to his local newspaper to detail his experiences having been diagnosed last year with mesothelioma.
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Given just 14 months to live, the man was referred to a medical specialist in Boston who performed a cutting-edge surgery that involved removing a rib and the pleura, or outer lining, of his right lung. He then underwent intensive chemotherapy.

He describes the ordeal as an immense struggle, but one that has made him grateful for the many supportive people around him. Our Boston mesothelioma lawyers know that a diagnosis of mesothelioma resulting from a decades-earlier exposure to asbestos is often a shocking and devastating blow for a patient and his or her family. It’s normal to not know what to do next. Families may find resources scant.

Obviously, your first concern will be your immediate health and what can be done to improve your odds of living as long as possible. Mesothelioma is a terminal illness, but as this case shows, there may be medical treatments that can have a positive effect on the length and quality of life you have left.

The next thing you’ll want to do is work on getting yourself set up on Social Security Disability Insurance. Mesothelioma is one of 200 listed conditions for which the government offers a fast-tracked “Compassionate Allowance.” This will allow you to have the time and resources you need to focus on your health and the time you have left. (Our Boston SSDI lawyers are experienced in this practice area as well.)

The third thing about which you should concern yourself are the legal implications. Understand that mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Most people who are being diagnosed with the disease today were exposed to the material decades ago. A lot of these individuals were exposed through their work in industrial, manufacturing or labor industries. Others were exposed second-hand by coming in regular contact with the clothing of family members who worked closely with asbestos-containing materials.

These exposures were almost certainly the result of negligence on the part of the manufacturer of those products and/or the employer. These companies knew the danger in which they were placing workers and consumers, and yet did nothing to warn or prevent harm. What this means for you is that you and/or your family is likely entitled to compensation from these firms.

Compensation can come in the form of claims to bankruptcy-established asbestos trusts or through a trial. Compensation generally ranges from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million, depending on the circumstances of your case, the route your pursue and the effectiveness of your attorney.

With time being of the essence, it’s important to act fast in reaching out to a law firm you can trust with your case. Bear in mind to that in Massachusetts, the statute of limitations is three years for injury claims. That clock generally starts ticking at the time of diagnosis.

Know that most asbestos exposure and mesothelioma lawsuits are settled before they get to court. Cases are often fast-tracked because courts do recognize the time concerns of these situations.

Still, filing your case in a timely manner is going to be critical. Consulting with one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyer teams can help you determine the next best step for you.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:
Help prevent mesothelioma, Sept. 27, 2013, Letter to the Editor, By James Hutto, The Augusta Chronicle
More Blog Entries:
Cigarette Smokers Can Still File Successful Asbestos Liability Claims, Aug. 24, 2013, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog