Washington, D.C. Mesothelioma Lawyer
Even though scientists and government officials have known about the potential dangers of asbestos for decades, the United States is one of the few countries that has not implemented a total ban on its use. To make matters worse, asbestos still exists in buildings around the country, including homes, workplaces, and schools.
Despite steps taken by the government and various industries to minimize asbestos exposure and warn people of the dangers involved, thousands of people still suffer serious health problems after being exposed. These problems often include mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer of the lungs and other internal organs caused by asbestos exposure.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact a Washington, D.C. mesothelioma lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options.
Dr. Michael Wilson is a doctor and an attorney, making him particularly suited to the unique challenges of mesothelioma cases. Dr. Wilson has more than 30 years of experience handling medical malpractice and personal injury claims. He’s helped patients recover more than $100 million in compensation.
Get a free initial consultation by calling our office in Washington, D.C., or visiting our contact page.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue surrounding the body’s internal organs. Most cases of mesothelioma center on a patient’s lungs, but patients can also develop mesothelioma in other organs like the heart, testicles, and stomach.
It can take a significant time for symptoms of mesothelioma to manifest. Patients might not experience any symptoms for as long as 30 to 40 years. This extended timeline can make it a challenge to trace the cause of a patient’s illness. But with help from a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer, you can seek compensation for your injuries from the responsible parties.
While mesothelioma can take decades to develop fully, early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help improve your chances of treating the illness. This makes it crucial to watch out for mesothelioma symptoms if you’re at high risk of developing the disease. Here are some of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- A painful cough
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unusual or unexplained lumps of tissue under the skin of your chest
While mesothelioma most commonly affects the lungs, it can affect other internal organs as well. If you think you may have developed mesothelioma, look out for the following other symptoms in addition to those that may affect your lungs:
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Essentially all cases of mesothelioma are caused by someone being exposed to asbestos. Even though asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, it’s incredibly harmful if inhaled or ingested. This can happen if someone is around asbestos as it is being mined, if they use it as part of their jobs, or if they’re around products that contain asbestos (roofing materials, fireproofing materials, in certain gaskets, etc.). Small fibers can break off from bigger pieces of asbestos and enter the lungs or stomach.
People can also be indirectly exposed to asbestos in other ways. The fibers can stick to the skin, as well as hair and clothes. It’s not uncommon for people to inadvertently expose themselves or others to asbestos after touching their clothes or their body without washing off the fibers. Sadly, this means that many workers who are directly exposed to asbestos can accidentally expose others in their household to it.
Regardless of how asbestos fibers enter the body, they cannot be easily broken down or digested once they do. This means they linger inside the body, disrupting normal function and eventually causing mesothelioma and other conditions.
The federal government has taken some half-hearted measures to reduce people’s chances of being exposed to asbestos, but these steps are in large part too little, too late.
In addition to being exposed to latent asbestos in various buildings, workers in the following fields are highly likely to encounter asbestos on the job:
- Construction workers
- Power plant and utility workers
- Textile workers
- Steel workers and other factory workers
Common Mesothelioma-Causing Sites in D.C.
Because asbestos was used in roofing materials and to help fireproof buildings for so long, there are many sites in the Washington, D.C. area where both workers and passers-by could have potentially been exposed to asbestos. Some documented asbestos exposure sites in the area include:
- Andrews Air Force Base
- The offices of the CIA
- D.C. General Hospital
- Dulles International Airport
- Reagan National Airport
- The U.S. Naval Observatory
- The Pentagon
- The Washington Navy Yard
In addition to these specific sites, other types of buildings where asbestos exposure is common include:
- Office buildings
- Power plants
Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in D.C.
If you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma, the most critical step is to speak to a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible. You only have three years from the date of your diagnosis to file a claim, and a lot of preparation is needed if you want a successful outcome to your case.
If a family member dies of mesothelioma, you only have two years from the date of their death to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long to file your claim, you will be unable to pursue any compensation.
It’s imperative to choose the right lawyer to represent you. Mesothelioma is a rare disease, and qualified experts are hard to find. With his background as a lawyer and a doctor, Dr. Michael Wilson is particularly qualified to assist you with filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.
How to Get Legal Help
Waiting too long to start a mesothelioma claim could mean missing out on recovering compensation. To speak to a team member and get started on your case, call our Washington, D.C. office or fill out our contact form.