Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer
Serving Chicago: Mesothelioma Attorneys Can Help You Get the Settlement You Deserve
The personal injury attorneys of Phillips Law Offices, located in downtown Chicago, Illinois, have been assisting injured individuals and their families for more than 65 years. We fight tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve, including in the case of individuals suffering from mesothelioma, a fast-moving form of cancer that is typically the result of asbestos exposure.
What is Mesothelioma? What Are the Symptoms? How Does it Develop?
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium. This is a fast-moving form of cancer in many cases, resulting in a life expectancy of just months for many patients.
Mesothelioma symptoms vary depending upon the organ system(s) that are affected. In the case of mesothelioma lung cancer, symptoms most often include:
- pain and difficulty breathing;
- chest pains;
- pleural effusion;
- wheezing and coughing;
- coughing up blood; and
- body aches and general feelings of illness.
Mesothelioma cancer of the lung lining or pleura most often results from on-the-job asbestos exposure, although there are other forms of exposure that can lead to this deadly type of cancer. It can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years for mesothelioma symptoms to become apparent. Just a couple instances of exposure are believed to be sufficient to cause this disease.
There are a total of three types of mesothelioma, with each form impacting a different part of the body. Pleural mesothelioma is the most commonly diagnosed form, accounting for approximately 7 in 10 cases. This type of cancer impacts the pleura, which is the lining of the lungs.
Another form is peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdominal cavity called the peritoneum. The third form of this disease is pericardial mesothelioma, which impacts the heart’s lining, also known as the pericardium.
Causes of mesothelioma cancer are limited. In fact, the only recognized cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, though other factors such as smoking can make mesothelioma more or less likely in some individuals. Industrial laborers were widely subjected to asbestos exposure on the job, as the material was widely used throughout the 20th century. Asbestos was favored for its longevity, affordability and its resistance to heat, flame, water and friction. Few of these workers knew they were being exposed to asbestos and thus were put at risk for mesothelioma, despite the fact that many manufacturers were aware the material was hazardous. This can provide your attorney with a solid basis for a legal claim.
Mesothelioma lung cancer arises when an individual inhales asbestos fibers, which are sharp and cannot be expelled or broken down once inside the body. These asbestos particles cause microscopic injuries to the lungs as well as other areas of the body. Over time, these result in the formation of abnormal, cancerous cells.
Mesothelioma is most common in individuals who worked at a job that led to asbestos exposure. Industries and occupations with the highest mesothelioma risk include:
- Shipyard workers, particularly those who worked in boiler rooms;
- Auto mechanics who work around asbestos brake pads;
- Construction workers who worked around asbestos drywall, flooring, adhesives and insulation;
- Factory workers in facilities where asbestos-laden products were manufactured;
- Mines where the mineral was extracted from the earth; and
- Military personnel, especially Navy veterans who served on ships that were insulated and fireproofed with asbestos.
Even those who live with someone who worked in one of these professions may have suffered secondhand exposure due to contact with asbestos dust on clothing and other belongings.
In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms do not become apparent in an individual until many years after the asbestos exposure occurred. If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, you could be at risk for a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis. We recommend that you contact our law offices immediately to discuss your case. We have the years of experience it takes to help the nation’s mesothelioma victims.
Many factors impact an individual’s prognosis for mesothelioma cancer, including the cancer stage at the time of diagnosis, the location of the cancer, whether the cancerous cells have spread and metastasized, and the individual’s overall health.
The overall malignant mesothelioma survival rate is poor compared to many other forms of cancer. For pleural mesothelioma, just 55% of patients survive for six months post-diagnosis. The survival rate dips to 33% at the one year mark and drops to a mere 9% survival rate at the five year mark. The overall survival rate is the best for those with peritoneal mesothelioma. These figures assume that an individual seeks treatment; however, for those who do not seek treatment, the long-term survival rate is even lower.
Sadly, there is little that can be done to help individuals who have been exposed to asbestos other than to monitor them closely so that any cancer cells can quickly be identified and treatment can be started as soon as possible. Mesothelioma has a long latency period, and often it’s not detected until it’s in its final stages.
Due to the fast-moving nature of mesothelioma and its long latency timeframe, most who receive a Stage 4 mesothelioma diagnosis opt for comfort measures instead of aggressive treatment. But each case is unique, so it’s important to consult with an experienced medical professional.
There have been many companies that have been found liable for exposing workers to asbestos, even though they had evidence to suggest that it could cause serious health ailments like mesothelioma lung cancer. In some cases, the courts ordered the companies to establish trust funds to help compensate victims. These mesothelioma trust payouts can range significantly in terms of amount paid out.
Phillips Law Offices can guide you through the process of seeking compensation for those who suffered ill health effects from exposure to asbestos. Trust funds have very stringent guidelines for seeking compensation, so our personal injury lawyers will work to help ensure that you receive the maximum amount allowed for your case.
For over 65 years, clients from across Illinois and the Midwest have relied on the Chicago mesothelioma attorneys at Phillips Law Offices for aggressive representation and pursuit of fair compensation. Our Chicago asbestos lawyers focus on analyzing and proving liability and then work tirelessly to establish the maximum amount of your damages. With the right lawyer, mesothelioma lawsuits can serve as an effective option for recovering the funds you need to maximize your quality of life and cover costs associated with treatment.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys understand how devastating this type of diagnosis can be for a patient and his and her loved ones. So, we are also here to offer guidance and recommendations to clients who wish to seek compensation from a mesothelioma trust fund or wish to learn more about where to find mesothelioma treatment.
Regarded as one of the top law firms in Chicago, Phillips Law Offices offers quality and comprehensive legal services to the injured and their families throughout Illinois and the Midwest. Call (312) 346-4262, or contact us online today for a free consultation with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer.