Determining who is at fault if you have been exposed to asbestos at your job can be quite complicated. It could be that there is more than one person responsible, and even more than one company included. Often, manufacturers, companies, employers, and business owners may all have partial responsibilities for the exposure. For these reasons, it is important you contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at WorkInjuryRights.Com™.
Who Is At Fault If I Have Been Exposed to Asbestos?
Some industries commonly have issues with asbestos exposure, like those who work in mining, construction, milling, and manufacturing companies. Asbestos is widely used as a construction and industrial material and while many people know the dangers of it, sometimes great care isn’t taken to avoid exposure.
The companies who manufacture anything that has asbestos have a responsibility to properly warn their employees about that material’s dangers. If they don’t, they’re liable for your injuries or illness. However, manufacturing companies aren’t the only companies that face issues with liability. Companies that use asbestos to make other products can also be liable. State laws differ, and it may even depend on the state where the product was manufactured, not the state where the exposure occurred.
Employers may also be at fault because they’re responsible for safe work conditions. They have to warn their employees and provide both the proper training and equipment to handle asbestos. Sometimes, employers don’t and they are then liable for the exposure.
If you’re working on a job site, the owner has to warn you that there is asbestos on the property. There is some extent to the liability, but owners need to certify that a property is asbestos-free.
Oftentimes, there will be more than one defendant in a lawsuit. It could be any number of the defendants listed above, and there are specific laws on how to divide responsibility. Working with an asbestos lawyer can help to determine who is at fault and then bring a case against that defendant.
Determining Fault in Asbestos Exposure
Every state has its own laws in determining fault in asbestos exposure, and they typically fall into three different categories: negligence, strict liability, and/or breach of warranty.
In these cases, your lawyer has to do the following to prove fault:
- Prove that the defendant had a legal duty to the plaintiff
- Show that the defendant violated that duty
- Show negligence (causation)
- Prove the injury was related to the asbestos.
Causation is very difficult to prove and there are also differing levels of exposure to consider. Our workers’ compensation lawyers put in the work to prove that your exposure to asbestos led to disease.
Asbestos Exposure Illnesses & Conditions
Exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer. There are four different types of mesothelioma that come from asbestos exposure:
- Pleural Mesothelioma: This is a type of cancer that lives in the lining of the lungs and can move to other parts of the body.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma: This is a type of cancer that develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity and sometimes moves to other parts of the body.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma: This is a type of cancer that starts in the lining of the heart and sometimes moves to other parts of the body
- Testicular Mesothelioma: This is a type of cancer that impacts the lining of the testes and sometimes moves to other parts of the body.
However, mesothelioma isn’t the only illness that can stem from asbestos exposure. There are other diseases like asbestosis or pleural disease. These aren’t cancers but have repercussions of their own.
Some people will get asbestosis or pleural disease and mesothelioma as well. Some people may have mesothelioma or asbestosis and then get asbestosis a long time later. The dormancy period varies according to exposure level and a person’s body.
You want to create a record, even if you aren’t facing health problems. This protects you legally should future illnesses from asbestos exposure later arise. If you believe that you’ve been exposed to asbestos or another chemical at your job, contact WorkInjuryRights.Com™ experienced workers’ compensation lawyers for a free consultation!