A peritoneal mesothelioma lawyer represents victims of asbestos exposure who received a diagnosis of this type of cancer. Most cases of mesothelioma are preventable, which means that a company or organization can be held liable. A peritoneal mesothelioma lawyer helps these victims seek justice and recover damages.
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What Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of this type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue surrounding organs in the body:
- Peritoneal cancer forms in the peritoneum, the part of the mesothelial tissue that surrounds abdominal organs.
- About 20 percent of mesothelioma diagnoses are peritoneal, while the majority are in the pleural tissue around the lungs.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. Not everyone exposed to asbestos develops mesothelioma, but it is the main risk factor.
- Most people experienced asbestos exposure in the workplace. Several industries used asbestos in the past, including construction, shipyards, the military, automotive parts, manufacturing, and others.
- Fibers of asbestos that come loose from materials can be inhaled or ingested, migrating to the abdomen where damage may trigger peritoneal mesothelioma.
- It can take decades for signs of mesothelioma to appear after exposure to asbestos.
- Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain and swelling, nausea, and weight loss.
- The prognosis is not good for peritoneal mesothelioma, but if caught early treatments can be effective, potentially even curative.
How Is Negligence Involved in Mesothelioma?
Only in very rare cases does mesothelioma develop in someone with no asbestos exposure. Asbestos is the number one risk factor for peritoneal mesothelioma, which means it is largely preventable. Most people exposed were around asbestos at work and were either not warned of the risks or were not given appropriate safety training and gear.
Negligence is not a criminal act, but it can lead to liability for an injury or illness like mesothelioma. If an employer or manufacturer exposed a worker to asbestos without protection or warnings, that inaction can be considered negligent. Legally, they can then be held liable for damages, such as costs of medical care and lost wages.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a debilitating illness that leaves most patients extremely ill. It is most often terminal, shortening a victim’s life span. The resulting damages can be a part of legal action to prove liability and recover damages.
What Are My Legal Options for Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, your first step should be to get the best medical care possible. Then, you may want to take legal action to hold accountable the negligent parties. You may have more than one option:
Filing a Lawsuit
Peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of negligent asbestos exposure is a case of personal injury. Actions or inactions on the part of a company or employer led to your illness, and they can be held liable. For a successful lawsuit you will need to prove negligent asbestos exposure, that it caused your illness, and that you have suffered damages as a result.
If you have a loved one who passed away from peritoneal mesothelioma, you can still file a lawsuit to recover damages. In this situation it will be a wrongful death suit. You can recover damages for lost wages and support for dependents, funeral expenses, and non-economic costs like loss of consortium.
Reaching a Settlement
A lawsuit may go to trial, in which case a jury or judge will determine liability and award any appropriate damages. Most never go that far for personal injury, though. You are more likely to be a part of a settlement agreement. This is when both sides agree on an amount of damages for the victim to receive.
Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Many companies that negligently exposed workers to asbestos ended up going into bankruptcy because of the expense of lawsuits. Most were required to set up an asbestos trust fund as a part of reorganizations.
The trust funds contain money to compensate current and future exposure victims. If your peritoneal mesothelioma came from one of these companies, you may need to get compensation this way.
What Can a Peritoneal Mesothelioma Lawyer Do for Me?
Taking legal action for peritoneal mesothelioma requires an experienced lawyer. A general lawyer, even a personal injury lawyer without asbestos experience, is not the best choice. Asbestos cases are complicated and require experienced, expert legal minds. The right lawyer will do several things to make your life easier:
- Investigate your case to track down where and when asbestos exposure occurred
- Determine which parties are liable for your exposure
- Use medical experts to connect exposure to asbestos to your peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosis
- File a lawsuit or an asbestos trust fund claim
- Help you get compensation through other avenues, such as workers’ compensation, disability or compensation through the Veterans Administration if you were exposed in the miltary
- Negotiate on your behalf for the best possible settlement
- Represent you in a trial if your case goes to a judge or jury
- Help you appeal a case if it does not go in your favor
- Provide you with clear explanations of your legal rights and option
How to Choose the Right Lawyer or Law Firm
For the best results in legal action, be sure to choose a lawyer or a law firm with specific peritoneal mesothelioma and asbestos experience. It should be someone who has worked with clients in situations similar to yours. Look for these factors when making the selection:
- Experience working with peritoneal mesothelioma patients
- Proven wins in cases involving asbestos exposure and mesothelioma
- Investigative resources and connections for determining source of asbestos exposure
- Access to expert witnesses for testimony
- A contingency-based payment plan so that you do not need to come up with payment until you recover damages
- A compassionate, understanding way of working with patients and their families
To get justice for the harm caused by exposure to asbestos requires an experienced lawyer. Choose one with expertise in asbestos, mesothelioma, and peritoneal mesothelioma for the best outcome. Negligence almost always causes mesothelioma, so make sure you get the compensation owed to you.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.