If you have recently been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, you may be wondering if you should take legal action against those who have harmed you. A valid claim could result in compensation for medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and other damages.
Every situation is different, and it often helps to involve a professional when trying to determine your best path forward. However, there are generally three types of people who can file valid legal claims for asbestos-related damage.
Someone who is sick from direct asbestos exposure
A person who is sick after receiving direct exposure to asbestos may be able to pursue legal action. This might be the case if you worked in the construction industry and handled building materials that were made with asbestos. In this situation, it may be likely that your direct exposure at work caused your sickness.
However, it is important to note that direct exposure could occur in other settings.
Someone who is sick from secondary exposure
A person who got sick after receiving secondary exposure could also have a valid claim. This might be the case if you lived with someone who was directly exposed to asbestos elsewhere. Secondary exposure can occur when someone with direct exposure carries asbestos fibers home on their clothes or other objects, and inadvertently contaminates the home. The resulting contamination in the home could then cause someone else to be exposed.
For example, a construction worker’s spouse could be exposed to asbestos while laundering contaminated work clothes. Alternatively, the worker’s child could be exposed while hugging their parent, who is still wearing contaminated clothes.
Someone who has lost a loved one because of asbestos exposure
A family member of someone who died an asbestos-related death may also be able to make a valid claim. Asbestos-related diseases can be aggressive. Sometimes, an individual won’t realize they are sick until the disease has already reached an advanced stage. If someone didn’t have time to pursue justice before they passed away, their family may still have options.
A victim’s family may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. It may be possible for someone to receive compensation for their loved one’s medical bills, funeral expenses and other damages.
Any claim must occur within the statute of limitations
It can be important for individuals or families to act quickly if they think they may have a claim. This is because they must file their claim within a limited window of time, called a statute of limitations.
For individuals, this window of time starts when they receive a diagnosis for an asbestos-related condition. For families, this window may not start until their loved one’s death. However, the amount of time varies by state, as well as other factors.
By receive a diagnosis for an asbestos-related condition. For families, this window may not start until their loved one’s death. However, the amount of time varies by state, as well as other factors.