Asbestos is an insulation material used in construction due to its ability to resist fire. But a lot of employees contracted lung cancer because of exposure to this material for a long time. As a result employers today are required by law to protect their workers against this exposure. Employers who fail to do so can face legal liability. If you have been exposed to asbestos, Philadelphia, PA workers’ compensation attorneys can help you understand your legal options and advocate for you.
The Risk of Exposure
Construction workers are exposed to a lot of older building materials. But other employees may also face exposure. When you breathe in small particles of asbestos, you could develop mesothelioma, which is a fatal type of cancer that impacts the lining of either the stomach or lungs. Also, lung cancer and asbestosis can develop. Over time, the buildup of scar tissue can lead to the loss of lung function or death. Deaths because of work-related cancer tend to make up for the biggest percentage of occupational deaths in the state and the country.
Pursuing Workers’ Compensation
While the majority of asbestos-related caseds are negligence-based, if you have been exposed to the substance on the job, the legal context changes. You can pursue compensation for your injury through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
A lot of employers exposed their employees to the risks of asbestos. For this negligence, you can seek worker’s compensation for asbestos exposure. Workers’ comp claims are often more common for lung cancer and asbestosis than for mesothelioma. This has to do with the shorter latency period of the two illnesses. This means that their symptoms tend to appear sooner. When you seek compensation for either illness, you need proof of an asbestos-related diagnosis and occupational exposure. You can be exposed to asbestos if you are involved in manufacturing products that have raw types of asbestos, work with materials that have asbestos, or work in a building or location that has exposed asbestos materials.
Meeting Legal Deadlines with Filing Claims
You should meet some deadlines for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Pennsylvania. Generally, you have three years to file a claim. But work-related illnesses associated with asbestos can take longer to develop. For instance, mesothelioma can take 10-50 years to present symptoms. You could be diagnosed after the statute of limitations has passed. You should consult an attorney to know if workers’ comp is your best option. You may get compensation through a settlement, a trust fund claim, or a jury verdict. Some people may qualify for veterans’ benefits.