A mesothelioma diagnosis is difficult, devastating, and life-changing for the patient and their family. Mesothelioma is a dangerous form of cancer that typically develops years after a person’s exposure to asbestos – a hazardous material that was commonly used in the past but is now subject to a number of strict regulations.

Thousands of Americans have been exposed to asbestos and subsequently developed mesothelioma through no fault of their own. These individuals now contend with a painful, life-threatening illness, as well as steep medical expenses required for the treatment of mesothelioma.

Dealing with mesothelioma is a stressful and demanding experience for many families. While no amount of money could ever change this fact, victims who do receive compensation by successfully pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit have a better chance at financial security and getting the treatment they need. 

The Greensboro asbestos lawyers at Ward Black Law have worked with more than a thousand mesothelioma patients throughout North Carolina to provide the competent representation they deserve. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, call us today or contact us online for your free, confidential case review.

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Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Asbestos, which is a naturally occurring material in the state of North Carolina and elsewhere, was commonly used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries prior to the 1970s and 1980s. It is a fibrous mineral that is both lightweight and fireproof. At one time, it was a popular choice for things like residential insulation and textile production. It was also used in many other applications like shipbuilding, brake shoes, pipes, boilers, and flooring.

Unfortunately, asbestos is also highly carcinogenic, which means it has a high potential to cause cancer. When people inhale even small amounts of microscopic asbestos fibers, they become embedded in the lungs and can cause damage over time. This damage increases the risk of asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma – a particularly punishing and aggressive cancer of the lungs that often takes many years to develop.

Although the United States imposed various partial bans and restrictions on asbestos starting in the 1970s, our country remains one of just a handful of industrialized nations with no formal, complete ban on the use of the material. 

Despite clear evidence that manufacturers and insurance companies have been aware of the dangers of asbestos since at least the 1930s, asbestos was still used widely throughout the United States from the 1900s through the late 1980s. Most of the asbestos used in the U.S. has since been removed, but thousands of people were still exposed to this deadly material for years due to the negligence of large corporations.

Those companies continue to remain silent and deny any liability in this tragedy, even though their business practices directly caused terminal illnesses in thousands of innocent people. Today, asbestos miners, construction workers, veterans, auto mechanics, homeowners, and many others are developing mesothelioma and other severe illnesses as a result of asbestos exposure that occurred decades ago. 

For more than 25 years, Ward Black Law attorneys have helped personal injury victims like asbestos-related mesothelioma patients file lawsuits to seek compensation and hold negligent companies accountable.

Mesothelioma and Other Asbestos-Related Illnesses

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses may occur in both people who were directly exposed to asbestos and people who were exposed second-hand. For example, family members of a construction worker who handled asbestos insulation could have been exposed to microscopic fibers that clung to the worker’s skin or clothing. 

These individuals may have been put at risk of developing pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma, as well as other illnesses. The symptoms commonly associated with pleural mesothelioma include:

  • Soreness beneath the ribs and lower back
  • A painful, dry cough, sometimes with blood present
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Excessive sweating and unusual loss of weight

These symptoms can take up to 50 years to appear after a person’s initial exposure to asbestos, so it can be difficult to determine the source of the illness. Additionally, asbestos exposure has been linked to the development of several other diseases, such as:

  • Peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Cancers of the lungs, ovaries, larynx, pharynx, stomach, and colon
  • Hyaline pleural plaques
  • Asbestosis, or lung scarring
  • Pleural thickening
  • Pleural effusion
  • Peritoneal effusion
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Atelectasis 

How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Greensboro

Monetary compensation is by no means a miracle cure, but it can go a long way toward relieving your mesothelioma-related financial anxieties, as well as holding accountable those responsible for your suffering. 

By filing a lawsuit, mesothelioma victims or surviving loved ones can pursue this kind of compensation in court. If you believe you may have grounds for a mesothelioma claim, you can take the following steps to get started:

  • Search for lawyers with experience handling asbestos and mesothelioma cases.
  • Evaluate each attorney’s qualifications and previous case results.
  • Hire the attorney with whom you feel most comfortable on a contingency basis.
  • Work with your lawyer who has the resources to gather evidence and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
  • Schedule a free consultation.

Lawsuits are complicated processes for even the simplest of personal injury cases, which rarely describes the average mesothelioma claim. Mesothelioma victims and their survivors may be able to file claims in any states where they were stationed in the military, lived, or worked. It’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer to determine the best location for your lawsuit. 

North Carolina imposes a statute of limitations, or legal deadline, on the lawsuits that mesothelioma patients and their families can file. If your claim is not filed within three years of the victim’s initial diagnosis or within two years of their wrongful death, you could lose out on your right to recover compensation.

North Carolina Asbestos Laws

North Carolina has several laws regarding the use and distribution of asbestos within the state, many of which are identical or very similar to federal standards. Some of these laws focus on asbestos-related litigation, such as the statute of limitations referenced above, but many others establish regulations related to asbestos removal and air quality improvements. 

Specific laws include:

  • All schools are required to inspect for and address asbestos problems.
  • Building demolition crews must notify a Health Hazards Control Unit of their intentions at least 10 days before beginning demolition, whether or not there is evidence of the asbestos present.
  • Asbestos removal crews are required to submit fees and permits within 10 days of the start of work if they are removing more than 35 cubic feet, 160 square feet, or 260 linear feet of any asbestos-containing materials.
  • Asbestos removal must occur before any work can begin that could potentially stir up asbestos particulates.
  • Asbestos-containing materials must be sufficiently saturated during removal to limit the spread of asbestos as much as possible.
  • Asbestos-containing materials may only be discarded at approved disposal sites.

North Carolina also has specific requirements for contractors working with asbestos, who must receive state-approved training and accreditation. While homeowners are generally exempt from the permit and notification requirements, they are strongly encouraged to work with accredited professionals for asbestos inspection and removal projects.

How We Can Help With Your Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Since lawsuits related to asbestos and mesothelioma are often complicated, it’s a good idea to work with qualified attorneys, such as those from the award-winning legal team at Ward Black Law. 

When you hire us, we’ll be able to:

  • Help you understand your legal options and the laws that apply to your situation.
  • Provide legal advice to help you determine your best possible course of action.
  • Suggest potential courses of treatment or offer referrals to healthcare providers.
  • Investigate the source of your initial asbestos exposure.
  • Identify and gather evidence to support your mesothelioma claim.
  • Handle your important documents, legal paperwork, and filing deadlines.
  • Negotiate for a fair settlement with insurance providers or other responsible parties on your behalf.
  • Represent you at trial, if it is not possible to obtain a settlement.

Contact a Greensboro Mesothelioma Lawyer Today

If you suspect you may have an asbestos-related mesothelioma case, we recommend that you reach out to us for a free consultation as soon as possible. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning we will not charge you any upfront fees to start working as your personal advocates. You can file a claim at no initial cost while we begin developing your case, and you focus on your health. 

Our North Carolina attorneys have recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlements and trial verdicts for injured victims. We are here to help you understand the laws that apply to your unique mesothelioma case and help you pursue compensation through a successful claim. 

Call us today or contact us online to get started with your free and confidential consultation.