There are many people who dread going to work. Maybe they don’t like their job, their boss, their co-workers or the fact that they have to work when they’d rather be doing something else. But there are also people for whom going to work isn’t just undesirable or inconvenient; it is actually bad for their health.
This is the situation for people who work in occupations where they are exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, people all across Pennsylvania have been and continue to be exposed to this toxic material, especially those working in industries like construction, auto repair and ship repair. If you or a loved one is suffering from the devastating effects of asbestos exposure, there are some things you should know.
To begin with, asbestos-related illnesses are typically considered an occupational illness. Many people breathe in the fibers on the job because they didn’t use or weren’t provided with protective gear like masks, gloves and coveralls. Because exposure is typically a result of working conditions, many people who get sick are eligible to receive workers’ compensation.
It is also possible for a person to collect damages from a civil lawsuit as well in these situations. Generally speaking, a person covered by workers’ compensation insurance cannot file a lawsuit against an employer, but a claim can still be filed against a third party, like a parts manufacturer or other negligent party.
Finally, there are uniquely troubling elements of illnesses like mesothelioma and asbestosis that present some legal and medical obstacles. For starters, symptoms may not show up for 10, 20 or even 50 years. When they do show up, they are often mistaken for other illnesses, making it even more difficult to diagnose.
Not surprisingly, people can get discouraged when it comes to filing legal claims related to toxic exposure. Between the toll these conditions take on a person’s health and the legal challenges of seeking compensation, it can quickly become overwhelming.
However, we urge readers affected by on-the-job asbestos exposure to discuss their legal options with an attorney familiar with occupational illness claims. Whether you are seeking workers’ compensation or a negligence claim, having an attorney by your side can prove to be critical when pursuing the maximum compensation you need and deserve.