One of the many tragic traits of mesothelioma is its long latency period. It can take decades for a person to know if asbestos exposure has led to this devastating illness. However, while the onset of symptoms can be slow, the disease itself is often aggressive.
Victims and their families would be wise to take the same aggressive approach when pursuing financial and legal remedies in light of a mesothelioma diagnosis for a few reasons.
Injury claims can quickly become wrongful death claims
Statistics show that about 10 percent of mesothelioma patients live at least five years after diagnosis. Distant spreading and the type of mesothelioma a person has can further decrease life expectancy.
In other words, it is not uncommon for a case to start as a personal injury claim filed by a victim who passes away before getting a settlement or ruling.
Of course, legal action may not be high on people’s lists of priorities when someone is sick with mesothelioma. They can already be overwhelmed with medical and personal priorities. However, getting a resolution while a person is still alive can be a source of great relief and reassurance.
Building a claim takes time
Acting fast and being assertive when filing a legal claim can also give you and your legal team as much time as possible to build a claim.
Because exposure may have occurred 20, 30 or 40 years ago, it can take time to trace and track down the party responsible. Sometimes, businesses change hands or reorganize, which can complicate matters and require more time to unravel.
Many benefits of early detection, treatment
Unfortunately, when doctors make a diagnosis, mesothelioma is often already in its late stages. However, when you know that you were exposed to asbestos or suspect you may have been, you can talk to your doctor about early testing and assessments to improve the chances of early detection.
Generally speaking, the earlier you can identify mesothelioma, the more treatment options there could be. And statistics show that the five-year survival rate increases to 18 percent with early detection.
It can take time to find your bearings after a mesothelioma diagnosis. However, keep in mind that responding quickly can improve the resources and remedies that may be available.