Cases of mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos are unfortunately on the rise, with a number of cases still being reported in both the UK and the US. At the end of 2019, it was reported that a US teacher had tragically developed the deadly disease due to the asbestos that was inside the pipes in her classroom. This horrible case shows that, unfortunately, more needs to be done to assess the safety of old buildings.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that covers most of the internal organs. More than 80% of mesothelioma cases are caused by exposure to asbestos, and it occurs more often in males than in females. The disease was rare until the commercial use of asbestos. Some other diseases that are commonly caused by asbestos dust inhalation include:
- Asbestosis (pulmonary fibrosis due to asbestos)
- Malignant mesothelioma
- Diffuse pleural thickening
- Pleural Plaques
- Pleural Effusion
- Rounded atelectasis
- Lung cancer
Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma in the lungs include:
- Coughing up blood
- Extreme tiredness
- Shortness of breath
- Chest wall pain
- Fluid surrounding the lung
- Wheezing, hoarseness, or a cough
In severe cases, the lung may even collapse.
The affects of mesothelioma on the abdomen can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- A mass in the abdomen
- Abnormal build-up of fluid in the abdomen
- Problems with bowel function
It is rare, but in some cases, mesothelioma is known to affect the heart and result in cases of heart failure or pulmonary embolism. There are also symptoms such as:
- Substernal chest pain
- Shortness of breath when lying down
- A severe cough
When the disease is at its most severe stage, sufferers often have:
- Blood clots in the veins
- Low blood sugar
- Jaundice – yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Pleural effusion
- Severe ascites
Can sufferers claim mesothelioma compensation?
If someone has been exposed to the dangerous dust of asbestos because of failings on the part of their employer, then they can claim mesothelioma compensation. If you have worked in an industry such as building or construction, particularly in the 1970s-90s, then it is more likely that you may have developed mesothelioma.
In certain cases, family members can also claim compensation after the death of a loved one.The process for claiming for asbestos-related wrongful death is often complicated because it is harder to gather evidence. Pinpointing when and where exposure occurred is often crucial to the case, and this is harder without the individual to question. However, it is not impossible with the help of specialist and experienced lawyers. Mesothelioma compensation for family members UK is achievable with the right legal help.
Time limits for claiming mesothelioma compensation
There are two relevant time limits for claiming compensation, whether you are the victim or if you are claiming after the death of a loved one. A living asbestos victim has three years from the date of diagnosis to make a claim. Then, provided that the asbestos victim was still within that three-year time limit when they died, there is then a further three years from the date of the death that a loved one can make a claim in their name. Asbestos compensation is important to claim when you have suffered unfairly.