Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that affects tissues that cover most of your internal organs like your lungs, abdomen, etc. Being affected by this type of cancer could fetch you money if you contact the right attorney who would sue the person or people responsible for exposing you to what causes this sickness.
In this article, things you should expect to learn are types of mesothelioma, causes, pleural mesothelioma stages, asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit, mesothelioma attorney assistance, mesothelioma lawsuit settlement, mesothelioma compensation and mesothelioma attorneys in Houston.
As said earlier on, mesothelioma is a deadly cancer one should avoid, from the period of diagnosis, the average life expectancy is 18-31 months though if treatments are administered early, a victim could live more than the average life expectancy. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos, asbestos is a mineral fibre that is seen in rocks and soil. It is made up of thin, microscopic fibres and it enters the body through inhalation of air that has these fibres or through ingestion. Exposure to asbestos leads to permanent lung damage, mesothelioma and other sicknesses. You might want to know how the inhalation of asbestos causes mesothelioma, well, this is it, when asbestos fibres are inhaled, they go to the lining of the heart, lungs or abdomen and with time causes inflammation which leads to this cancer.
What Are The Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Symptoms might not show immediately, it could take 10-50 years to show after you’ve inhaled asbestos. The symptoms include
Types of Mesothelioma
1. Pleural Mesothelioma: This types occurs in tissues surrounding the lung. Symptoms are shortness of breath, painful cough, chest pain, fever, pleural effusion and weight loss. It is the most common type of mesothelioma.
2. Peritoneal Mesothelioma: It occurs in the lining of the abdomen. Symptoms include weight loss, abdominal pain and swelling, constipation, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, etc.
3. Mesothelioma of Tunica vaginalis: It occurs in the tissue surrounding the testicles
4. Pericardial Mesothelioma: Occurs in tissues that surround the heart.
What Are The Stages of Mesothelioma?
There are four stages of this sickness
In stage one, the cancer has not really spread and the life expectancy is about 21 months. Here there are various treatment options
In stage 2, the cancer has spread to nearby organs and lymph nodes, average life expectancy is about 19 months and there are still various treatment options.
In stage 3, cancer continues to spread to organs and tissues, average life expectancy is about 16 months and treatment options are limited.
In stage 4, it has spread to both nearby and distant tissues and organs, average life expectancy is about 12 months and treatment options are very limited.
Who Are The People At Risk Of Having Mesothelioma?
Mechanics who are exposed to asbestos could get this cancer same as mental workers, factory workers, dock workers, people who work in shipyards and military personnel. If asbestos stay on your clothes and you take it home, you could put your family members at risk of inhaling it. Mesothelioma is made up of three cells
Biphasic Cell: Biphasic mesothelioma is a combination of epithelioid and sarcomatoid , 10 – 20% of all mesothelioma cancers are biphasic.
Epithelial Cell: This is the most common cell found in this cancer, the cells make up one of four types of tissues found in the body. Epithelial tissue is found on the skin’s surface, in the linings of hollow organs and blood vessels, and also along the lining of internal cavities. Epithelioid cells divide faster than other cells. With treatment a patient could live for more than 3years.
Sarcomatoid Cell: It is an aggressive form of cancer and the most difficult to treat. Sarcomatoid cell type forms in separate nodes or lesions and can spread quickly to distant organs. It is hard to find.
Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
Biopsy: Biopsy involves the collection of a sample of cancerous tissue, it is collected so it can be tested for signs of mesothelioma. It is used alongside imaging scans and blood tests to diagnose mesothelioma. Biopsies are used to check for cells responsible for the cancer. Biopsy can be endoscopic, needle or open surgical biopsy.
Xray: This is done on the chest in order to look for problems in the lungs, it is not limited to the chest alone. During an X-ray, electromagnetic radiation is sent through the body with a photographic film on the other side. The manner in which the waves, or rays behave will change as they pass through the body, they will create a representative image, thereby making the doctor know if it is a tumor.
Computed tomography (CT) scan: This type of scan uses x-rays to make detailed cross-sectional images of your body. It is used to check the location of the cancer as well as the stage of the cancer in your body.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This type of diagnosis shows a complex detailed image of the soft tissue in a particular area, it shows the location of the tumor and the stage too.
Blood test: A blood test for mesothelioma can help in detecting biomarkers, biomarkers are molecules produced by cancer cells. It is being used in combination with imaging scans such as X-rays and CT scans.
Treatment for Mesothelioma
Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer, the treatment could be aggressive surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or trimodality therapy.
Aggressive Surgery: Aggressive surgeries include pleurectomy/decortication, extrapleural pneumonectomy and peritonectomy using debulking or cytoreductive surgical techniques. In debulking and cytoreductive surgical techniques, many tumor tissues are removed, it may involve removing an entire lung or the lining of the lungs or abdomen but the main aim is removing as many tumor as possible. We also have the palliative surgery which aims at improving the quality of life of a patient by alleviating pain and other cancer symptoms. We also have the diagnostic surgery which includes thoracentesis, thoracoscopy and paracentesis. If you have pleural mesothelioma, an extrapleural pneumonectomy or a pleurectomy with decortication might be recommended. If you have peritoneal mesothelioma, a cytoreduction with HIPEC (peritonectomy) type of surgery will be recommended and then a pericardiectomy is recommended for those with pericardial mesothelioma.
Radiation: Radiation is the use of high-energy x-rays or particles to kill cancer cells. It can be done in two ways. It can be used as a palliative procedure, this is done to ease symptoms of mesothelioma such as shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing, pain or bleeding. The second way a radiation can be administered is through adjuvant radiation. This method is usually used after surgery with the purpose of killing small traces of cancer that couldn’t be seen and removed during surgery. There are two types of radiation therapy used to treat mesothelioma. The brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy (EBRT). In the external beam radiation therapy, x-rays from a machine outside the body are used to kill cancer cells.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy combines drugs like cisplatin and pemetrexed which helps in shrinking tumors and killing cancer cells. Chemotherapy can’t cure mesothelioma but it helps to reduce some symptoms like chest pain and difficulty in breathing, it does this by shrinking tumors pressing against the lungs and chest wall. It lasts for 3(4 weeks and there are two ways chemotherapy of be applied to a mesothelioma patient. The intrapleural or intraperitoneal chemo and the systemic chemo. In intrapleural chemo, chemo drugs are put into the chest since it is where the cancer is while in intraperitoneal, chemo drugs are put into the abdomen. This is done using a small catheter (tube) placed through a small cut in the chest or abdominal wall. Sometimes, the drugs are heated before they are put into the body, this is done for effective result and it is called hyperthermic chemotherapy. In systemic chemotherapy, chemotherapy is injected into the blood through a vein. The drug then goes into the bloodstream and travels all through the body with the aim of destroying the cancer cells wherever they are.
Trimodality therapy: This is the combination of aggressive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is not suitable for everyone.
Having known more about what causes this cancer, the different types and stages of this cancer as well as the different methods of diagnosing this cancer and different methods of treating it, you need to know how you could earn from this sickness through mesothelioma compensation, mesothelioma lawsuit settlement and mesothelioma attorney in Houston who can help you in getting victory in your quest at getting compensated for getting this deadly cancer.
The average amount of compensation you could get is $1million-$2.4million. You could get compensated through any of these three:
Settlements: A settlement is usually agreed on before the trial begins, during the trial or after the trial. It is not compulsory for the plaintiff to agree on settlement, if they wish, they can reject it. The amount for settlement also depends on several factors but it is usually between $1million and $1.4million.
Asbestos trust funds: Asbestos trust funds are created by bankrupt companies that use asbestos. It is done in order to provide compensation for current and future claims brought to the company. Asbestos companies sometimes file for bankruptcy and this is usually due to rising legal issues and costs surrounding dangerous asbestos product exposure. And as part of this bankruptcy proceedings, trust funds are established to ensure funds are available for victims of asbestos exposure but the trust fund has some criteria mesothelioma victims must meet for them to get a payout. Asbestos companies therefore filed for two types of bankruptcy which are Chapter 11 or Chapter 7. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy which is also known as liquidation bankruptcy, asbestos companies are required asbestos to sell all assets afterwards, the courts then distribute money from these assets to victims. While in Chapter 11 bankruptcy which is also known as reorganization bankruptcy, asbestos companies are permitted to reorganize and remain in business. These companies created trust funds and it is these trust funds that handles all the claims. The current payment percentage, type of asbestos diagnosis and initial payment schedule of the trust fund are factors that determine the amount a claimant can receive from the trust fund. Before filing for an asbestos trust fund claim, contact your attorney for steps on how to go about it.
Trial verdicts: Trial verdicts are decided by a jury at the end of trial proceedings of mesothelioma case. If the defendant is found liable for asbestos exposure, the jury will determine an asbestos lawsuit payout. The amount awarded to the plaintiff willl be determined by various factors.
The mesothelioma compensation assists in covering up for lost wages you may face while you are battling with the sickness, death, medical expenses and other losses too. Other forms of mesothelioma compensation are:
Veteran claims: A military personnel who is suffering from mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos could file a lawsuit against the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
Workers Compensation: A company worker who got the sickness as a result of exposure to asbestos in the company he works for, might sue the company.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement:
Mesothelioma lawsuit settlement is when a defendant has resolved to compensate a plaintiff who has gotten the cancer with a certain amount of money in exchange that the lawsuit filed against them be dropped entirely. There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuit settlement and they are:
Wrongful death claims: These are lawsuits filed by the estate representative of a loved one who died of mesothelioma. The estate representative could be the family member of the deceased. If a mesothelioma victim dies, the family members of the deceased have just 1-3 years to file for wrongful death action starting from the date of death of the deceased. If family members do not do this within 1-3 years of the victim’s death, their chances of getting compensated is gone. Courts have found companies that manufactured, distributed or used asbestos products liable for the injuries and deaths caused by their asbestos products on their customers or workers. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can provide a family compensation and financial assistance to help pay medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses they may incur. Awards from wrongful death lawsuits go to the estate and not to the estate representative personally. What this means is that payments received by the estate from mesothelioma lawsuit settlement, trial verdicts or trust funds may be divided among family members, this is imilar to the way assets are divided after a loved one dies. Filing a wrongful death claim lawsuit could be challenging on the part of the plaintiff and this is because the deceased is no longer alive to bear witness. One of the challenges is proving of work history and asbestos-exposure history, and these are the most important pieces of evidence in the case. When a patient is alive, it is much easier for the patient to collect viable evidence such as work records, medical records and other documents that are needed, than it is for a family member to do so after their loved one has died. Getting witnesses may also be hard when a loved one dies.
Personal injury claims: They are lawsuits filed by people diagnosed with mesothelioma and who are now asking for compensation to cover up for their lost wages, medical bills and other losses they may have incurred. In US, each state has its own timeframe for filing a mesothelioma personal injury claim and this time frame is called a statute of limitations. It is very necessary that a plaintiff begins the lawsuit process soon after a mesothelioma diagnosis before this deadline expires. The benefits of filing for a personal injury claim is to hold companies accountable for exposing workers and consumers to asbestos and also, these lawsuits help mesothelioma patients take care of medical bills and other expenses related to their cancer. There are two types of personal injury claims and they are individual lawsuits and multidistrict litigation. Filing a lawsuit could take several months so it is better you do it early, a personal injury claim might turn into a wrongful death claim if the claimant dies.
In mesothelioma lawsuit settlement, the amount to be paid by the defendant is negotiated between the plaintiff and the attorney of the company the plaintiff is suing. You can only sue the company that exposed you to asbestos and the mesothelioma lawsuit settlement has to be paid on time.
A trial verdict may lead to a higher pay, meaning the plaintiff could get more amount of money from the defendant but as stated earlier on, it takes time and aside that, you can never tell if the jury will give a verdict that will be in your favour so it is better you opt for a settlement. One reason a defendant might agree for a settlement is if the defendant do not have enough time to conduct or complete a research before the trial date. Another reason a company might decide to settle a plaintiff is when they know that the plaintiff holds some information which could be used against them in the court. Most times, mesothelioma lawsuit settlement is done even before the claimant goes to court.
Factors That Affect Amount of Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement
Compensatory and Punitive Damages: When verdicts are given in favour of the plaintiff, the damages for the actual economic losses of the plaintiff are not the only thing the defendant pays for, he might also be given awards of punitive damages. Punitive damages are used to punish the guilty party for the negligent acts committed. These punitive damages are awarded by the jury to the defendant, it serves as a way of warning other companies who are knowingly exposing their clients or workers to asbestos.
Jurisdiction: Different state in the United States have different regulations. So this is a factor that could affect the amount of money you’re meant to get as a settlement for getting this sickness.
Company Negligence: This is when companies advertently expose its workers or anyone else to asbestos, when this happens, the award of damages is usually higher than the usual $1-$1.4 million a plaintiff could get for mesothelioma lawsuit settlement. The company you work for is supposed to protect you from inhaling asbestos but if it fails to do that and you get this cancer, you could sue them on claims made on breach of warranty or claims based on misrepresentation.
Medical Expenses and Lost Wages: The average amount a defendant will pay if a verdict is given against him is around $2.4million.
Mesothelioma Attorney in Houston
If you live in Houston,US, there are so many attorneys around you who can help ensure you get justice and most of them have been dealing with cases of mesothelioma for a long time. Below are some attorneys who can help you out and their contact
Simmons Hanty Conroy: This is a law firm in Houston and lawyers in this law firm have helped their clients win mesothelioma cases. For a good number of years, they have ensured they help their clients fight against asbestos companies. You can reach them at- (866)403-0314.
Nemeroff law firm, Houston: This law firm also ensures they get justice for their clients, for help relating to legal issues you can reach them at 1-866-550-6222. They are located at 3355 W Alabama St, Ste 650 Houston, Tx 77098.
The Meyer law firm: They are simply called MLAW, you can reach them for free consultation at 800-513-0000. Their address is at 9235 Katy freeway suite 160, Houston, Tx 77024
Terry Bryant Accident & Injury law: They are located at 8584 Katy freeway suite 100, Houston, Tx 77024.
If you get mesothelioma as a result of being exposed to asbestos, you don’t have to use your money to treat yourself as various options have been made available for you to choose from. We hope with the help of this article, you will get to know how to go about mesothelioma compensation, mesothelioma lawsuit settlement, pleural mesothelioma staging, and mesothelioma attorneys in Houston. Remember this cancer could come years after you have been exposed to asbestos with or without your knowledge.