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New York Asbestosis Lawyer

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on October 24, 2023

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by asbestos exposure, or more specifically by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, which penetrate deeply into the lungs and prompt the body’s immune system to try and envelop and digest the fibers.

Asbestosis is most common in people who have held occupations with high asbestos exposure risk and creates scar tissue in the lungs that decreases their capacity to bring oxygen in and move carbon dioxide out, resulting in shortness of breath and increased fatigue following physical exertion. If you suffer from asbestosis, mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer, a New York asbestosis lawyer can help. Reach out to a qualified New York asbestos lawyer at The Williams Law Firm, P.C.


What Is Asbestosis?

Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally. Before it was determined to be a carcinogen, meaning it causes cancer in humans, it was used widely in consumer goods for its durability and flame-retardant properties. Today, asbestos still exists in many locations, buildings and consumer goods. This means that thousands of people continue to be exposed to harmful levels of asbestos in their environments.

Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers in the air can irritate the lungs enough to cause a buildup of scar tissue known as asbestosis. Over time, this can reduce the ability of the lungs to bring air and oxygen into the body. There is no safe amount of asbestos. However, diseases and illnesses connected to asbestos are most commonly diagnosed in people who are exposed frequently over time, such as those in occupations that involve asbestos.

Symptoms of Asbestosis

Similar to mesothelioma, asbestosis may not begin to show symptoms for decades after the initial asbestos exposure. If you have worked with or around asbestos and are experiencing any of the symptoms of asbestosis it is important that you contact your doctor as soon as possible.

In addition to fatigue and breathing difficulty, asbestosis may result in symptoms including:


The symptoms of asbestosis can range from mild to severe. They can also vary significantly from patient to patient. As asbestosis progresses, the related symptoms can become more severe and noticeable. Eventually, the lung tissues can become so stiff that they no longer function normally, making it more difficult to breathe. Smoking can increase the effects of asbestos and result in a faster progression of this disease.

Who Is Most at Risk of Asbestosis?

Reducing exposure to asbestos is the number one way to prevent asbestosis. For this reason, workers who are regularly exposed to asbestos fibers in the air are at the highest risk of developing asbestosis. This includes people who worked with and around asbestos prior to the late 1970s, as well as modern workers at job sites that come with an increased risk of asbestos exposure. These jobs include:

A worker in one of these occupations is much more likely to develop asbestosis or other diseases connected to asbestos when safety measures are not followed. If an employer does not provide special masks, equipment and training to protect workers from asbestos exposure, for example, this can increase the risk of asbestosis.

What Is the Prognosis for Patients With Asbestosis?

Unlike mesothelioma, asbestosis is not a terminal disease. A patient can live with asbestosis for many decades. It is a chronic disease, however, with no known cure. It is also a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse and affects the patient more significantly over time. A patient’s prognosis after being diagnosed with asbestosis depends on how long the individual was exposed to asbestos, when the exposure took place, the amount of asbestos that was inhaled, the age and overall health of the patient, and other factors. 

At the time of asbestosis diagnosis, most patients already have some level of scarring in the lungs. This is because the asbestos may have been irritating the lungs for the last few decades before the damage became severe enough to cause noticeable symptoms. By this time, the asbestos has typically already scarred the lung tissue, making the lungs unable to expand and contract normally. While it is not possible to cure asbestosis, a patient can slow down the progression of the disease and alleviate symptoms with various treatment options.

Treating Asbestosis

Your treatment plan as a patient with asbestosis will depend on your exact diagnosis, how far the disease has progressed and your medical history. There is no cure for asbestosis, but treatment options can be used to reduce discomfort and improve your quality of life. Initial treatment may include oxygen therapy, chest percussion or postural drainage to relieve pressure and improve breathing.

In some instances, surgical methods may be used to treat asbestosis. These may include thoracentesis as a palliative treatment to withdraw fluid from around the lungs or, in severe cases, a lung transplant. More commonly, however, medications are used to relieve symptoms and reduce pain. These may include analgesics in addition to bronchial inhalers and antibiotics. The specific combination best for you will be determined by your physician.

Can You File a Lawsuit for Asbestosis in New York?

Asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases are often preventable. They occur when someone is negligent, such as an employer in a high-risk occupation, the manufacturer of a product or the owner of a property that is known to contain asbestos. If someone reasonably could have prevented your exposure to asbestos, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against this person or entity in pursuit of financial compensation for asbestosis. Even if the company that caused your asbestosis is now bankrupt or out of business, you may be eligible for compensation through an Asbestos Trust Fund.

Call (855) 575-6376 for a Free Case Evaluation

You may have an opportunity to recover damages from the people responsible for your asbestosis. The New York asbestosis lawyer at The Williams Law Firm, P.C. has helped families from Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and across the country recover the financial compensation they need to cope with the effects of asbestos-related diseases.

Our firm has achieved multi-million dollar settlements and trial verdicts. Contact us to discuss the details of your case.