Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a natural mineral fiber that was widely used in wide range of products until the 1970s when it was discovered to be extremely hazardous to human health. Long-term exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that affects the protective lining of the lungs and abdomen. Railroad workers are particularly at risk for developing mesothelioma due to the many ways they are exposed to asbestos on the job.
If you worked on the American railroad system in any capacity and you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to speak with an experienced Virginia FELA claim lawyer. Our team understands the challenges associated with such cases, and we will work hard to get you the full compensation you deserve.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber found in rocks and soil. It has long been used in various industries because it is strong, durable, heat resistant, and inexpensive. The most common uses of asbestos include but are not limited to:
- Insulation and fireproofing materials
- Brake pads and linings
- Roof shingles and tiles
- Flooring products
- Cement pipes and sheets
Unfortunately, the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers can lead to serious health issues such as mesothelioma cancer.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that affects the protective lining of internal organs such as the lungs or abdomen. It can also affect other parts of the body like the heart or genitals. Symptoms typically take years before they manifest which makes early detection difficult if not impossible in many cases. The latency period between exposure to asbestos fibers and diagnosis with mesothelioma can range from 20-50 years depending on several factors including age at time of exposure and duration/level of exposure.
Who Is At Highest Risk for Contracting Mesothelioma?
Historically, railroad workers were heavily exposed to asbestos during their careers due to its use as insulation material in locomotive engines, as well as brake systems on railroad cars. In fact, railroad workers are among those most at risk for contracting mesothelioma due largely in part to their long-term occupational contact with asbestos-containing materials.
- Other occupations at high risk for developing this disease include:
- Miners who work with raw asbestos ore
- Workers involved in manufacturing products containing asbestos
- Construction workers and shipbuilders
- Military personnel
- Mechanics and auto technicians
- Plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, and boilermakers
- Welders and other industrial workers
Can I Be Compensated for Injuries or Illness Caused By Asbestos Exposure?
The short answer is, “yes!” If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to occupational contact with asbestos-containing materials or products while employed by a railroad company or any other employer then you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses incurred due to your illness or death resulting from it (if applicable). You should speak with an experienced attorney about filing a claim under the Federal Employer’s Liability Act (FELA) against those responsible for exposing you to hazardous materials such as asbestos. In many cases, such exposure could have been avoided had proper safety protocols been followed by employers or manufacturers of these products containing this dangerous material.
Work With a Virginia FELA Mesothelioma Compensation Lawyer
Working on the railroad is among the most difficult and labor-intensive occupations in the country. Unfortunately, it can also be very dangerous. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure as a railroad worker, the Virginia toxic exposure injury lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp are ready to help you take action. Our team will do everything we can to get you the compensation you deserve under FELA. Call (833) 997-1774 for a free consultation and case review today.