While the U.S. government has warned against the commercial use of asbestos for decades, many seafarers continue to deal with the health implications of past exposure. Asbestos-containing materials were historically used aboard ships for its insulation properties to safeguard the crew and cargo against heat. However, the existence of asbestos may have posed a significant risk to workers. Mariners who served aboard older ships or worked in older shipyards may be at risk of developing a lung disease, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
There is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos exposure. Working long-term around exposure raises the risk of a seaman suffering a life-threatening illness. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer, you may be unsure of your next steps. Mariner Law, PLLC can assist you through this trying time.
Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor in the lung often caused by repeated exposure to asbestos. Each year, approximately 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma. It can grow silently for years before causing symptoms, which might take up to 25 years after initial exposure. As the disease progresses, mesothelioma usually starts in the lungs or the abdomen cavity, producing hard breathing, chest pain, decreased energy, and persistent coughing. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. These are costly medical procedures that will almost certainly force a mesothelioma patient to miss a significant amount of time at work.
Asbestosis is characterized by long-term inflammation of the lungs caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers. Fibers in lung often result in scarring. Symptoms of asbestosis may include coughing and other breathing troubles. There is no known treatment for asbestosis, though it is associated with serious complications, such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and pulmonary heart disease.
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis after being exposed to asbestos aboard a ship, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To obtain this financial compensation for your work-related illness, you will need the assistance of an experienced maritime injury attorney.
Workers who suffer maritime injury on the job may have a right to a fair recovery. If you have become ill as a result of toxic material exposure aboard your vessel or while working in the maritime industry, please contact Mariner Law, PLLC for a free consultation with a Jones Act attorney. An attorney will help you assess your claim and understand your options.
Asbestos exposure on ships remains a serious issue causing mariners to suffer painful disease every year. Impacted mariners may be entitled to significant damages. As such, insurance companies can be aggressive in their defense of the vessel owner. Sick seamen should hire legal counsel who will fight for their rights from start to finish under the Jones Act, LHWCA, unseaworthiness, and maintenance and cure.. This is where Mariner Law, PLLC can help. Call (253) 600-2531 now. The firm proudly serves mariner clients in Washington, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Alaska, and nationwide.