When you get up and go to work, you may expect to face certain hazards. However, asbestos exposure is probably not one of them. That said, despite the common misconception that the United States government banned asbestos, that is not the case. Asbestos is still used in a large number of manufacturing and construction products. As a result, many workers face exposure to this dangerous mineral every day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is a link between asbestos and certain types of cancer—specifically, mesothelioma, which is a very aggressive form of lung cancer. Approximately 3,000 people suffer mesothelioma diagnoses each year. And because mesothelioma is often diagnosed in its late stages, just 10% of people diagnosed with the disease survive more than five years.
At Petro Cohen, P.C. our dedicated lawyers represent individuals and their families in asbestos claims. With our experience handling these and other types of complex cases, we understand what it takes to ensure you get the compensation you need and deserve.
Recovering After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
If you faced asbestos exposure at work and developed mesothelioma as a result, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, the rules governing these claims are complex. While bringing a civil claim against your employer is probably not allowed, there may be other options that will enable you to obtain compensation.
As a general rule, employees who suffer injuries on the job can bring a workers’ compensation claim. While the workers’ compensation system works great for some injuries, it does not allow for a worker to obtain non-economic damages, like compensation for pain and suffering.
However, when dealing with a diagnosis as serious as mesothelioma, the appropriate amount of non-economic damages is likely significant. Thus, it is important to consider all your options. To obtain non-economic damages, a worker must file a personal injury claim.
Unless an employer intentionally harms a worker, there is no exception allowing employees to bypass the workers’ compensation system. Thus, most employees cannot pursue a personal injury claim against their employer. However, you can bring a claim against a third party, such as the manufacturer of equipment containing asbestos or the owner of the building or job site. Third-party injury claims fall outside the scope of the worker’s compensation system because they are against a non-employer third party rather than an employer.
For example, if you were exposed to asbestos through manufacturing or construction material, you may be able to pursue a product liability claim. As a general rule, manufacturers and other companies in the supply chain owe a legal duty to consumers. They also owe a duty to those who may come into contact with their product. This includes manufacturing employees or other workers. In many cases, companies face strict liability for injuries resulting from their products. This means there is no requirement that you prove the manufacturer acted with negligence. However, even if strict liability does not apply, you may still successfully bring a claim by showing the manufacturer failed to include a warning on what it knew was a dangerous product.
Another option is to file a claim against the owner of the job site or building where you were exposed to asbestos. In the construction and manufacturing industries, it is common for a worker to be employed by a contractor who is contracted by another party. While these relationships are complex, it also opens up the possibility of naming non-employers in an asbestos-exposure lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Claims Involving Asbestos Exposure
The unfortunate fact is that many people diagnosed with mesothelioma live only a short time after the diagnosis. If you have a family member who suffered asbestos exposure at work and later died of mesothelioma, you can seek death benefits under workers’ compensation. You may also bring a wrongful death claim against a responsible party other than your loved one’s employer.
A wrongful death claim is a personal injury claim brought by the surviving loved ones of a deceased accident victim. These lawsuits can provide grieving families with much-needed compensation, allowing them to overcome the financial challenges that they face as a result of their loss.
Developing mesothelioma as the result of asbestos exposure is a tragedy that no worker should experience. Yet thousands of hardworking employees receive this terrible diagnosis each year. If doctors diagnosed you with mesothelioma, reach out to an experienced attorney with specific experience handling these claims.
Trust Petro Cohen For Your Asbestos Exposure Claim
At Petro Cohen, our team of workers’ compensation and personal injury will work seamlessly together to evaluate your claim and help guide you. With over 200 years of combined experience, our attorneys will fight to get you the medical treatment you may need and the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Petro Cohen, P.C. has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of workers’ compensation. Since 2011, the firm has been named among Best Law Firms in America® in Atlantic City for Workers’ Compensation. Frank Petro has received the highest rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell, the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials (the AV rating is only for lawyers considered the top in their field).
Since 1995, Frank Petro has been named every year on the Best Lawyers in America® list for Workers’ Compensation. Additionally, Frank Petro has been named to the NJ Super Lawyers® list since 2005 in the practice area of workers’ compensation. He is also certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Workers’ Compensation Law Attorney, the highest specialty certification available to workers’ compensation legal practitioners in New Jersey, and has held this certification since its inception in 1998.
Similarly, our injury attorneys have been recognized locally and statewide for their legal excellence in this dynamic practice area. They have successfully handled thousands of personal injury cases for clients throughout Southern New Jersey. Additionally, Petro Cohen, P.C. law firm was named to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms in America® list in New Jersey for Personal Injury in 2017.
Don’t gamble with your legal representation. Call Petro Cohen, P.C. today at 888-675-7607.