Asbestosis Claims & Lawsuits
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with asbestosis, reach out to our attorneys at Levy Konigsberg. You could be entitled to financial compensation, and our team can help.
Since 1985, Levy Konigsberg has been representing clients nationwide who have suffered the devastating effects of asbestos exposure. In fact, our founding partners were among the first personal injury lawyers in the United States to litigate these cases. Throughout our decades in practice, we have earned a reputation for being one of the most trusted and experienced asbestos litigation law firms in the nation. Our asbestosis attorneys have access to world-class resources and have a proven record of success in handling even the most complex of cases. To date, we have secured more than $3 Billion for our clients; find out how our team can help you seek the fair compensation you are owed today.
What Is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a serious lung disease in which the lungs suffer significant inflammation and scarring. Asbestosis is caused by exposure to asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals that were widely used in a variety of industrial and consumer goods throughout the 20th century. Most often, asbestosis results from prolonged asbestos exposure; individuals who were exposed to the harmful material in the course of their occupations for numerous years are most at risk of developing asbestosis.
Currently, there is no known cure for asbestosis. However, various treatments are used to help slow the progression of the disease and ease symptoms, which can be painful. Unfortunately, the presence of asbestosis indicates an increased risk of asbestos-related cancer, including mesothelioma. Individuals with asbestosis are at a particular risk of being later diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.
What Are the Symptoms of Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is characterized by the growth of scar tissue around the microscopic air sacs within the lungs (“alveoli”). As this scar tissue forms, these air sacs become less able to fill with air. For individuals with this condition, one of the earliest signs of asbestosis is difficulty breathing, often accompanied by a dry and persistent cough, as well as “crackling” sounds when breathing.
In general, the most common symptoms of asbestosis include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Persistent, dry cough
- “Crackling” sounds when breathing
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Unintentional weight loss
Advanced symptoms of asbestosis include “clubbing” of the fingers and/or toes, in which fingertips and the ends of toes may appear larger or bulbous, and pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure affecting arteries located in the lungs and the right side of the heart. Pulmonary hypertension is particularly dangerous, as it causes the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Over time, this can lead to weaking of the heart, which may cause coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and other serious complications.
How Is Asbestosis Diagnosed?
Although asbestosis has a shorter latency period (the time between the development of the disease and when symptoms first appear) than mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers, it can still take a relatively long time for asbestosis symptoms to appear. The average latency period for asbestosis is about 20 to 30 years, meaning many people do not realize they have the disease for decades.
As a result, it can be difficult to detect and diagnose asbestosis. Typically, doctors will conduct various diagnostic tests—including imaging scans, such as x-rays and CT scans—to identify scar tissue and fibrosis (the body’s reparative response to damage). Your doctor will also likely ask you about your symptoms and your history of asbestos exposure.
Your doctor may also evaluate your risk factors for asbestosis, such as:
- The amount of time you were exposed to asbestos
- Whether you suffered occupational asbestos exposure
- Your history of lung disease
- Whether you are a smoker or past smoker
- Genetic factors, including specific DNA mutations
If you have experienced any asbestosis symptoms, it is incredibly important that you inform your doctor of your history of asbestos exposure. Many people with asbestosis are misdiagnosed, as symptoms mimic several other lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Misdiagnosis of asbestosis is particularly dangerous, as early detection and treatment is key to keeping this condition from advancing to more serious stages. An accurate diagnosis of asbestosis can also allow your doctor to be aware of an increased risk of asbestos-related cancer, meaning they can more closely monitor your health for signs of mesothelioma and other related illnesses.
Is There a Cure for Asbestosis?
Currently, there is no known cure for asbestosis. However, many people continue to live with asbestosis for years. The average life expectancy for asbestosis patients is 10 years, depending on the type of treatment the patient receives.
Common treatments for asbestosis include:
- Lung Transplantation: A lung transplant is an aggressive type of treatment in which the entire affected lung or lungs are removed and replaced with healthy lungs. This is typically reserved as a last-resort option for those with severe, advanced asbestosis. Very few patients qualify for a lung transplant; however, it is generally considered the most effective asbestosis treatment.
- Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Pulmonary rehabilitation is a form of palliative care, meaning it is intended to reduce the severity of symptoms and prove the patient with a greater level of comfort. The basic tenants of pulmonary rehabilitation include the development of physical and psychological techniques and lifestyle changes to manage breathing difficulties.
- Exercise Therapy: Exercise therapy is another type of palliative care that is often used alongside pulmonary rehabilitation to help patients effectively cope with the symptoms of asbestosis. The goal of exercise therapy is to improve physical fitness, lung function, and overall quality of life for patients with asbestosis.
- Supplemental Oxygen: Like pulmonary rehabilitation and exercise therapy, supplemental oxygen is a type of palliative care meant to reduce the discomfort associated with breathing difficulties and other asbestosis symptoms. Patients receive supplemental oxygen from a portable oxygen tank, which can help ease breathing and provide oxygen to the body.
- Medications: Medications are often used alongside other palliative treatments to ease asbestosis symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Common medications for asbestosis include approved pharmaceutical drugs that are specifically designed to dilute lung secretions, thereby easing chest pain and coughing.
The primary goal of most asbestosis treatments is to improve patients’ quality of life and reduce the severity of the disease’s symptoms. In general, most medical providers encourage patients to make lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, to improve oxygen intake and alleviate discomfort.
When to Consult an Asbestosis Attorney
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with asbestosis, it is important that you reach out to an experienced attorney right away. Because asbestosis is exclusively caused by asbestos exposure, asbestosis patients and the families of those who have passed away as a result of asbestosis may be able to hold asbestos manufacturers and other liable parties accountable for their damages. The purpose of filing an asbestosis claim or lawsuit is to recover monetary compensation for damages associated with the illness, such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
The sooner you reach out to our asbestosis attorneys at Levy Konigsberg, the better. The courts often give priority to cases in which the injured party is still alive. In any case, a statute of limitations (or filing deadline) likely applies. You may have a limited time to file an asbestosis lawsuit, so we encourage you to contact our firm right away. At Levy Konigsberg, we represent clients nationwide in complex asbestosis and asbestos-related cases and have developed a reputation as a leader in this specific area of law.
Contact Our Asbestosis Attorneys Now for a Free Consultation
At Levy Konigsberg, our attorneys are widely considered to be authorities in asbestos-related litigation. In fact, one of our founding partners, Stan Levy, was the first personal injury lawyer in the Northeast to pursue an asbestos case.
Throughout our decades in practice, we have successfully represented clients against some of the world’s biggest and most powerful asbestos manufacturers. Our asbestosis attorneys are not afraid of pursuing your case at trial, if necessary, and we have the resources necessary to effectively advocate for you.
Most importantly, we never lose sight of the fact that this isn’t just another case—it’s your life. When you choose Levy Konigsberg, you can rest assured that you will always receive the personal attention, care, and support you deserve. We genuinely care about each of our clients and treat every case as though it were our only one. Though we are a large, powerful, and well-established firm, we work tirelessly to ensure your experience with our team is an exceptional one.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
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