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Among the people at high risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses are veterans. This is because of the widespread use of asbestos in the military. Fortunately, veterans who later develop mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases may be eligible to recover VA benefits by filing a VA claim. In this article, we discuss the meaning of a VA claim, the eligibility criteria for VA benefits, and how to file a VA claim.

What Is a VA Claim?

A VA claim is a type of claim that veterans who develop an illness or disability as a result of their service in the military file. A VA claim enables sick or disabled veterans to recover monetary compensation. Veterans who develop health issues due to asbestos exposure during their military service can file a VA asbestos claim. VA claims are filed with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). After a veteran files their claim, the claim is subjected to a rating system that assesses disease type, exposure history, and disease severity. This rating scale is used to determine compensation amounts.

In most cases, mesothelioma results from the negligence of other parties, such as employers, asbestos manufacturers, property owners, government agencies, and product suppliers. When negligence results in an individual developing mesothelioma, the victim or their family can hold the negligent party or parties liable. Mesothelioma victims and their families can file legal claims against negligent parties and seek justice and financial compensation.

When pursuing a mesothelioma claim, you are not legally required to hire an attorney, but working with an attorney is a good idea. To ensure you hire the right attorney, take time to interview potential attorneys. In a previous article with the same title, we shared five questions to ask a mesothelioma attorney before hiring them. This article shares five more questions to ask potential mesothelioma attorneys during the initial consultation.

  1. What are my options?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that can pose significant health risks. Most people know this. Asbestos can cause illnesses such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. When someone is exposed to asbestos, it is understandable for them to get worried. Asbestos-related diseases can be fatal. It is estimated that mesothelioma alone kills approximately 2,500 people yearly in the United States of America. But is asbestos dangerous if exposure only happened once? In other words, can a one-time exposure to asbestos be harmful?

Should You Be Worried About a One-Time Exposure to Asbestos?

The truth is that even a one-time exposure to asbestos can be harmful. Researchers have for a long time warned that no amount of asbestos is safe for humans. Any amount of asbestos exposure can be potentially dangerous and even deadly. However, a one-time or short-term exposure to asbestos may pose a relatively low health risk compared to repeated exposure. The chances of developing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease are said to be higher for those who have been exposed to asbestos repeatedly or for a long time as compared to those who have been exposed to asbestos once or for a short time. For example, a person who was exposed to asbestos daily in their line of work may be more at risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses as compared to someone who suffered exposure once during a house demolition.

For purposes of this article, the victims in this case will be referred to as T.W. and J.W.

Vermiculite, a naturally occurring mineral with heat-resistant properties, and asbestos, also a naturally occurring mineral, form under the same conditions. Asbestos is a dangerous substance that can cause several fatal illnesses, including mesothelioma. In Libby, Montana, asbestos contaminated the city’s vermiculite deposit, so years of mining this mineral in the city exposed workers and residents to asbestos. Thousands of people got sick because of asbestos exposure, and over the years, victims and families of victims have filed countless legal claims. In April 2024, two Libby residents’ stories will be told by their surviving loved ones who filed a lawsuit against the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.

T.W. ‘s family and J.W. ‘s family filed a mesothelioma wrongful death claim against the railway company and other defendants after their loved ones died of malignant mesothelioma. According to the two families, the companies named in the lawsuit are strictly liable for their loved one’s death. T.W.’s family and J.W.’s family are seeking to recover compensatory and punitive damages for the wrongful deaths of their loved ones.

It is crucial to handle asbestos safely. People should avoid performing asbestos removal themselves. Asbestos removal is a job that should be left to professionals. Ensuring that asbestos is disposed of correctly after removal is also crucial. Asbestos or asbestos-contaminated products should not be dumped just anywhere. Failure to properly dispose of asbestos can put people around the asbestos in danger. Any individual who wants to remove asbestos from a property should ensure that they seek the help of professionals. Hiring an asbestos abatement company is the only way to remove and dispose of asbestos safely.

The Proper Way of Disposing of Asbestos

When property owners want to remove asbestos, they must follow the proper steps. Failure to follow the right steps can put many people in danger. The first step to ensure proper removal and disposal of asbestos is hiring a certified asbestos abatement company. The first thing an asbestos abatement company will do is determine if asbestos is present. Sometimes, a person might think that asbestos is present when it really isn’t. If it is determined that asbestos is present, the next step will be to apply for permits. No demolition or renovation can begin until permits have been granted.

Asbestos is a dangerous substance that can cause serious health problems. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, several illnesses can occur, including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Some of the most common ways people get exposed to asbestos include working in a construction site, working as an auto mechanic, working in a shipyard, working in industries such as manufacturing and power plants, and serving in the military. However, while these are the most common ways people get exposed to asbestos, they are not the only ways. There are many other less commonly known sources of asbestos. In this article, we share five surprising sources of asbestos.

Surprising Sources of Asbestos

Many people think that asbestos exposure is a problem for certain people. The truth is that asbestos exposure is a problem for everyone. Asbestos can be found in many everyday consumer products, meaning everyone is at risk of exposure. The following are some consumer products that could contain asbestos;

For purposes of this article, the mesothelioma victim will be referred to as G.P.

In a recent court decision, a judge ruled the surviving family members of a deceased cruise ship worker have a valid mesothelioma case against Steel Grip, an asbestos gloves manufacturer. The judge hearing the case ruled that the mesothelioma lawsuit the survivors filed against Steel Grip should proceed. After G.P., a cruise worker, developed malignant mesothelioma and died, his surviving loved ones filed a personal injury claim in New York. G.P.’s family believes he developed mesothelioma because of the asbestos-contaminated gloves he wore when working. Steel Grip manufactured the gloves, so the family included Steel Grip in their claim. The defendant tried arguing that they had never done any business in New York. However, upon listening to the evidence presented, the judge ruled that G.P.’s family had a valid case and the case could proceed.

G.P. worked on Italian cruise ships for many years. However, while working on the cruise ships presented the risk of asbestos exposure, his family strongly believes that he developed malignant mesothelioma because of his work gloves. In response to being named as a defendant in the case, the gloves manufacturer argued that the court hearing the case did not have jurisdiction over them since they had never done any business in New York. This first argument was defeated by the fact that G.P.’s cruise ships would stop in New York, and he remembered seeing boxes of gloves manufactured by Steel Grip being loaded onto ships while in New York.

For people who have been exposed to asbestos, either directly or through secondary/second-hand exposure, one thing that is constantly on their minds is the possibility of developing mesothelioma. Mesothelioma develops in the tissue layer that covers most internal organs. There are different types of mesothelioma. They are pleura mesothelioma (the most common), peritoneal mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma, and testicular mesothelioma (the least common). According to statistics, there are around 3,000 new mesothelioma cases in the U.S. annually. Unfortunately, often, mesothelioma is diagnosed when it has progressed to late stages. This usually means an unfavorable prognosis, or in other words, a low chance of treatment success. A new mesothelioma breath test may allow mesothelioma patients to get early diagnoses.

Mesothelioma Breath Test Study Reveals Encouraging Results

Recently, Belgian scientists explained the results of their mesothelioma breath test study (MESOBREATH 5). While the study is in the early stages, the results gathered so far show that there is hope. From the start of last year, 121 people with a history of asbestos exposure dating back to at least 30 years ago underwent breath testing. Seven out of the 121 people have already been confirmed to have mesothelioma. Those seven received the same testing as the others as a control. Each of the seven confirmed mesothelioma patients tested positive for the illness two years in a row, indicating that the breath test can detect mesothelioma.

There are two types of asbestos exposure — primary and secondary exposure. Primary asbestos exposure, also called occupational exposure, occurs when someone who works with asbestos or asbestos-containing materials suffers exposure at work. Occupations at great risk of asbestos exposure include construction, firefighting, power plant, shipyard, mining, factory, and boiler work. Secondary exposure, which is also called second-hand exposure, is when someone who does not directly work with asbestos or asbestos-contaminated materials suffers asbestos exposure. Most people know about primary asbestos exposure, but some people do not know about secondary exposure. Some people do not know that secondary asbestos exposure can lead to asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Below, we share some crucial things you need to know about secondary asbestos exposure.

Asbestos Fibers are Not Confined to a Work Space

Asbestos fibers are not confined to a work environment. These tiny fibers can find their way out of a work environment. Asbestos fibers can get stuck on, for example, a construction worker’s clothes, hair, or skin. The worker can then unknowingly carry the asbestos fibers home. This may then lead to the people living with the construction workers suffering asbestos exposure. For example, the worker’s spouse may suffer asbestos exposure when cleaning asbestos-contaminated clothes. This is how secondary asbestos exposure occurs.

Getting diagnosed with mesothelioma is one of the worst things in life. A mesothelioma diagnosis can change the patient’s and their family’s life. With a mesothelioma diagnosis comes the uncertainty of what will happen in the future. A mesothelioma diagnosis can also result in financial concerns. While there is still no cure for mesothelioma, there are several treatment options, and the reality is that mesothelioma treatment is not cheap. The cost of mesothelioma treatment can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. However, the most crucial thing a mesothelioma patient can do for themselves and their family is to get the best medical care. There are options that can help cater to mesothelioma treatment costs. If a patient’s mesothelioma can be traced to asbestos exposure and the exposure occurred because of another party’s negligence, the patient may be able to file a compensation claim against the liable party or parties and recover financial compensation.

Treatment Options for Mesothelioma

Some of the treatment options for mesothelioma include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and surgery. Many more treatment options are being tested in clinical trials, and hopefully, a cure will be found one day.

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