What Does Asbestos Look Like?

September 14, 2020 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
What Does Asbestos Look Like?

How This Dangerous Material Can Endanger You

Mesothelioma Lawyer Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PAAsbestos is a dangerous material found in a variety of products. While it is no longer widely used to the extent that it once was, previous exposure to asbestos could result in significant health problems. Potential health problems include mesothelioma, an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Understanding more about how to identify asbestos, and where it is present or where it was most commonly used, can help to determine if you were exposed.

Identifying Asbestos

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes asbestos as a mineral fiber found within rocks and soil. The fiber is known for its strength and heat resistance. These two features made it an appealing material for a variety of products. When most consumers or employees see asbestos, it is in a fuzzy ball type of state, like that of attic insulation. Asbestos is dangerous for human health when the fibers become disturbed due to house renovations or other actions that disturb the fibers. The dust that results from the destruction of material containing asbestos is how many people develop health problems, including cancer.

Products Made With Asbestos

The strength of asbestos fibers is why the mineral was an attractive component for building products. The EPA bans the use of asbestos in the production of new products where older versions contained those fibers. Existing structures built within a certain time period may still contain asbestos, requiring special attention to the removal process. Examples of construction products made with asbestos include:
  • Roofing and siding shingles
  • Vinyl flooring, backing, and adhesive
  • Textured paint and patching compounds used on walls and ceilings
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Cement pipes
The fire resistance feature of asbestos fiber resulted in the following products, placing consumers and workers at risk for cancer:
  • Fire-resistant blankets and other fabrics
  • Oil and coal furnaces and door gaskets with asbestos insulation
  • Electrical wire insulation
Older automotive clutches and brakes can also contain asbestos. The United States government did not officially address workplace exposure to asbestos until 1971. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) addresses new regulations regarding asbestos, and serves as an important document for the expansion of available information on the subject.

Professions Exposed to Asbestos

A variety of professions have an increased risk of exposure to asbestos. The following are just a few examples of the most common professions that work with materials and products containing asbestos: If you or a loved one worked for years in one of the above professions and developed cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. A personal injury lawyer could help connect your cancer to your employment. If your employer purposely withheld or concealed information from you regarding the risks, they may be liable for your damages. Exposure to the dust from asbestos fibers can result in serious health conditions, including mesothelioma.

What is Mesothelioma?

A diagnosis of mesothelioma is serious and may relate to your asbestos exposure. Receiving such news is upsetting patients and their families because this particular form of cancer is treatable but not curable. Mesothelioma can take different forms, however, the most common is pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of this form of mesothelioma include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful cough
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain
Mesothelioma involves four stages:
  • Stage one: Cancer is contained to one side of the chest wall
  • Stage two: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes
  • Stage three: Cancer has spread, but not throughout the body
  • Stage four: Cancer has spread to distant parts of the body
The three primary forms of treatment for mesothelioma include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Depending on the stage of your cancer, not all options may be available for your treatment. Receiving the best medical care possible can take a toll on your personal finances. Whether you recently retired or you can't continue working, the strain of your disease and associated costs are stresses that you do not deserve. If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, and you believe it is due to work exposure to asbestos, you may want to contact a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer familiar with asbestos and mesothelioma can take the lead in pursuing possible compensation for you, on your behalf.

Testing for Mesothelioma

Seeking medical attention for your symptoms as soon as possible is important for starting any available treatment. Doctors may use a variety of tests to determine if you have mesothelioma. Examples of possible tests include:
  • Chest X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT Scan
  • PET test
  • Blood tests
  • Testing of fluids and tissue samples
  • Biopsies
Undergoing tests to determine the cause of your persistent coughing and chest pain is not pleasant. Awaiting your test results can be stressful, and may cause you great anxiety. If you receive the news that you do have mesothelioma, it may take time to process this information. A serious medical diagnosis can leave you reeling and unsure about your next step. Your doctor may decide to operate, to start you on treatments, or both. Adding these important procedures to your calendar can leave you little to no time to deal with a possible civil case. After receiving your diagnosis, you may want to speak with a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer could help you to learn more about your legal options. They understand your fears and concerns and can treat you with the respect you deserve. The moment you receive your test results is when you should begin to save all medical reports and bills. While there is no guarantee of compensation, these types of documents are valuable for a civil case.

Liability for Your Exposure to Asbestos

Connecting your mesothelioma diagnosis to your work history may turn out to be a challenge. Some major manufacturers have already found themselves the subject of civil litigation due to what they knew and when they knew it. No company or business has the right to place profits before employee health. You could help a lawyer with your case by supplying all documents regarding your health, your employment, and other important details. A personal injury lawyer could then investigate and determine whether the employer may be liable for your exposure. Pursuing a civil case when you are battling cancer is not easy. This is why securing a personal injury lawyer to assist you is worth considering. Knowing that someone is on your side, and at work on your behalf, can allow you more time to concentrate on your health and family.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Could Help Your Mesothelioma Lawsuit

The road to compensation in a case involving exposure to asbestos is often long and complex. A personal injury lawyer understands how the legal system works and how to negotiate with insurance companies. Most cases involving possible compensation begin with insurance companies. Chances are, the business, company, or manufacturer that exposed you to asbestos fibers have a large insurance company ready to defend—and possibly deny—your claim. Legal representation by an attorney who is familiar with how insurance companies work can pursue fair compensation for you. Do not settle for less than you deserve. Insurance companies may push you to do just that—leaving you with no options should your medical condition worsen. Speaking with them alone might harm your case. When the insurance companies reach out to you, refer them to your attorney. If your case fails to settle out of court, your attorney could proceed to trial. Seeking possible compensation for your damages is too important to leave to chance. Most personal injury attorneys offer free case evaluations. Consider contacting an attorney today to discuss your options for moving forward.

What to Do if Your Loved One Died From Mesothelioma After Asbestos Exposure

In some cases, if you lost a loved one due to mesothelioma that you believe relates to asbestos exposure, you may file a wrongful death claim. Most wrongful death cases result in compensation such as funeral costs, final medical expenses, and loss of income. Your relationship with the decedent plays an important role under the law. The most common family members who pursue action include:
  • Surviving spouses
  • Children
  • Parents
A personal injury lawyer could help you determine if your case qualifies for a civil claim and lawsuit. Due to the aggressive nature of mesothelioma, your loved one may pass before having time to pursue legal action. By contacting a lawyer, you can learn more about your legal options going forward.

Time is of the Essence When Filing an Asbestos Cancer Lawsuit

When it comes to filing a civil claim and lawsuit, time is of the utmost importance. You may feel pressed for time, due to your various medical appointments and your prognosis. Immediate action on your part is valuable for several reasons:
  • Companies, businesses, and manufacturers often change ownership or close down.
  • Former employers may pass away, reducing the number of potential witnesses.
  • Evidence, such as government reports and other documents, may become lost or disappear.
  • The statute of limitations requires that you file your case within a specific timeline.
You may feel overwhelmed by your situation, and that is understandable. Personal injury lawyers work with a variety of clients, each with a unique case. The desire to help others drives many personal injury lawyers into this type of legal practice. Personal injury lawyers protect victims' rights. They differ from criminal lawyers in that they seek compensation for those who have experienced victimization in the form of negligence. Seeking assistance from a personal injury lawyer does not mean you are weak, but rather that you are thinking ahead. Taking proactive steps to protect your family's financial future can be imperative for your peace of mind. If your former or current employer knowingly exposed you to asbestos, resulting in mesothelioma, you may have a legal course of action. Consider discussing your case with a personal injury lawyer today.

Florida Asbestos Mesothelioma Lawsuit Attorneys

A lawyer can keep you up to date on the latest developments regarding your case. Entrusting a lawyer with your case can help give you more time to focus on the things that matter most, like your family. Identifying asbestos is not easy for those not trained in recognizing it. No one goes to their daily job expecting exposure to an unsafe material. Yet the inhalation of the dust from asbestos is what places employees and others at risk for developing mesothelioma. Consistent exposure to asbestos over time can have deadly consequences. It can take years for the true effects of your exposure to result in a cancer diagnosis. A diagnosis, however, can leave you with limited time to contact an attorney. If your employer hid the truth from you regarding your exposure to asbestos, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer. It is upsetting if your employer had warned employees, provided, protective gear, or removed the asbestos and prevented your cancer. You worked hard to help your employer earn profits and to achieve success. If your hard work resulted in a diagnosis of mesothelioma, give careful thought to contacting an attorney without delay. Contact an experienced asbestos attorney as soon after your diagnosis as possible to prevent the statute of limitations from impacting your ability to file a claim. You can reach our office at (833) 700-MESO [6376] or fill out a contact form online. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (833) 700-MESO [6376] https://www.dolmanlaw.com/legal-services/mesothelioma-practice-attorneys/


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More