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Can a One-Time Exposure to Asbestos Be Harmful?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on March 18, 2024

Even a single exposure to asbestos particles can be concerning. You might be worried whether you are in danger of suffering an asbestos related disease. If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos and are concerned about the health and legal consequences, you may have the option to take legal action. You can also receive invaluable support from a qualified attorney so that you don’t have to face complex legal matters alone. Under the guidance of Joseph P. Williams, an accomplished mesothelioma attorney, we’ve been at the forefront of advocating for those impacted by asbestos exposure.

Attorney Williams has a strong track record of advocating for victims of asbestos exposure, having handled numerous consolidated trial groups of mesothelioma cases. Our firm’s experience extends to representing a wide range of workers affected by asbestos-related diseases, showcasing our commitment to addressing the needs of individuals suffering from the consequences of asbestos exposure. Feel free to contact us for support and legal guidance during this difficult time, as we can support you in numerous ways.

Why is Asbestos Dangerous?

Asbestos is a dangerous substance naturally occurring as one of Earth’s minerals. Researchers have confirmed its carcinogenic properties and have warned that no amount of asbestos is safe for humans. For decades, scientists have recognized the risks of developing conditions such as terminal cancers and asbestosis due to asbestos exposure. These risks led to a federal ban on all products containing asbestos in the 1970s.

If you suspect past exposure to asbestos, try not to panic. The odds of developing a life-threatening condition from one-time exposure are low. If the event was extreme, however, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack that sent hundreds of tons of toxic dust into the air, the risk is higher.

Monitor yourself for possible symptoms of mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness if you fear exposure. See a doctor right away if you notice anything unusual and then consider speaking with a qualified New York asbestos lawyer from The Williams Law Firm, P.C. to learn your available legal options.

How Does Asbestos Exposure Work?

Invisible to the naked eye, asbestos particles can become airborne during building collapses or during construction projects that unearth old materials containing the mineral. Many building materials, including insulation and drywall, used asbestos before the federal ban due to its fire-resistant properties.

How Might You Face Exposure to Asbestos Today?

You might face exposure to asbestos today if you are in a disaster such as a structural collapse or if you work in construction. If you worked in an industry such as architecture, shipbuilding, firefighting, or auto repair before the ban, your job might have exposed you to asbestos years ago.

How Does Asbestos Impact Lives on a Microscopic Level?

Asbestos causes illnesses by minuscule particles lodging in the lining of the lungs (the mesothelium) and other organs. Asbestos particles can enter the body by breathing them in through the nose or mouth or by applying products that may contain asbestos to the private parts, such as baby powder.

Most people do not realize they are inhaling or ingesting asbestos at the time of exposure. Instead, they recognize asbestos exposure years later, when the tiny particles have irritated the tissues enough to lead to tumors or other health problems.

Who Is Responsible for Asbestos Exposure for Victims?

Exposure to asbestos and other dangerous chemicals can result in many changes to your life, but someone is typically responsible for these hazardous conditions and effects. In some cases, more than one party might be liable for the damage to your body and the impact on your life. Any of the following parties might be responsible for your losses, so we recommend you consider all of them carefully before taking decisive or definitive legal action:

  • Owner of the premises
  • Employer or the property
  • City or state government
  • Maintenance employees in charge of maintaining safety
  • Those who make inadequate safety assessments
  • Certain bystanders

Depending on the circumstances, additional parties may also be liable for your exposure to asbestos. We will work to support you and determine who is responsible for your asbestos exposure

Our firm can also aid you in holding liable individuals accountable for their harmful and irresponsible actions, helping you obtain complete compensation for your losses. The Williams Law Firm, P.C. can boost your odds of legal success and simplify the legal process on your behalf.

How Can You Establish Liability in an Asbestos Exposure Claim?

To obtain any compensation in any personal injury claim, it is essential to demonstrate another party’s liability for your losses and the harm they’ve done against you. However, it can be difficult to prove liability if you don’t know what elements must be present. 

The following four elements are imperative for proving liability:

Duty of Care

In short, duty of care is the responsibility we all share to follow best practices and keep those around us safe. For vehicle drivers, this means following posted signs and keeping their eyes on the road. For employers, this might mean ensuring employees have a safe environment to complete their work in, providing regular safety checks and inspections, and other expectations. 

If an employer knows that asbestos exposure is a potential risk for their employees or if they run a company where asbestos is more likely to be present, there is an additional responsibility to maintain safety for workers. Duty of care might mean establishing and following practices that mitigate asbestos growth and exposure, removal of asbestos, and telling employees to stay home while asbestos-related issues are being handled in the workplace.

Breach in Duty of Care

A breach in duty of care, also known as negligence, is what the name implies. When someone fails to perform according to best practices for safety, there is significant risk for bodily harm or death. By acting in a way that could severely negatively impact someone’s life, there may be an adequate argument that someone was negligent in their actions.

If an employer is aware of asbestos in the workplace and fails to do anything to mitigate potential risks, this is a severe breach in duty of care. Demonstrating a breach in duty of care may require evidence and additional information, as it is essential to correctly place blame onto the correct party. 

Negligence Resulted in Bodily Harm

If someone is negligent and this breach in duty of care results in bodily harm, the victim must demonstrate this is the case to receive compensation. Asbestos exposure can result in serious diseases, including lung cancer.

If you suspect asbestos exposure, we encourage you to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Any medical documents may be used as evidence to connect negligence to your bodily harm. This is especially the case if the documents are adequately time stamped on a date relatively close to noticing the first signs of exposure.

Financial Damages as a Result

While you can also receive compensation for non-economic damages, like emotional distress, you must first demonstrate financial losses. Once economic damages have been established, there is a basis for additional damages to also qualify for compensation.

Financial damages resulting from asbestos exposure can include medical bills, time taken off work, reduction in benefits, and other related losses.

What Compensation Can You Collect After Exposure to Asbestos?

If you believe you have faced asbestos exposure and fear the potential financial impacts it might have on your life, you may worry about the kind of support you can receive. Many damages and losses are likely to qualify for compensation if you can demonstrate you have faced serious consequences due to another person’s actions. 

Any of the following losses are likely to qualify for compensation during this difficult time:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages, including future lost income and benefits
  • Household out-of-pocket expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Funeral costs
  • In-home rehabilitation
  • Disability
  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Change in lifestyle
  • Loss of consortium or loss of companionship
  • Emotional distress or mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or personal enjoyment

The Williams Law Firm, P.C. can help identify additional qualifying losses, estimate your claim’s value, and maximize potential compensation. We encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to obtain invaluable support and dedication from a talented legal firm.

Symptoms of Asbestos-Related Illnesses

Although most common after extreme or prolonged exposure, it is possible to contract an asbestos-related disease after any degree or amount of exposure to this toxic mineral. Unfortunately, victims will not realize they have ingested or inhaled asbestos until years later – after the particles have already caused diseases.

It could take anywhere from 10 to 40 years, or even longer, for a victim to notice symptoms. These symptoms can include trouble breathing, respiratory issues, dry or persistent cough, fatigue, weight loss, high blood pressure, and difficulty swallowing. If you notice any potential symptoms of an asbestos-related illness, see a doctor right away.

Steps to Take After Exposure to Asbestos

A single exposure to asbestos, under any circumstances, can pose serious risks to your health and life. You may not know what steps to take after you suspect asbestos exposure, but we can support you in many ways throughout the legal process. 

It’s important to take the following steps if you have been exposed to asbestos:

Seek Medical Attention Immediately

If you suspect you have been exposed to asbestos, we suggest you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Especially if you believe you are showing symptoms of asbestos exposure or mesothelioma, seeking care from a medical professional can help dramatically reduce the odds of serious impacts to your health.

A doctor can identify any issues that may be connected to exposure to asbestos, recommend treatment plans and medications, refer you to additional specialists whenever necessary, and mitigate damage to your body. Medical professionals can also give you recommendations for what steps and processes to follow at home as they pertain to your care.

Hold Onto Medical Documents

Medical documents, including doctor’s notes and itemized bills, can be used as helpful evidence in your legal claims. A timestamp will demonstrate how quickly you decided to seek medical assistance, can show whether you took emergency action, and also accurately show how much care will impact you financially. 

Courts generally look at seeking medical care quickly more favorably, increasing the likelihood that victims receive complete compensation for their losses. 

Organize Any Evidence You Have

If you have access to any evidence or information related to your case, we recommend you organize it for ease of access and understanding. This will make it far easier for an attorney to analyze existing documents and evidence related to your case.

Evidence may include video, photos, and witness statements. However, documents also work as evidence. We encourage you to compile copies of bank statements, medical bills, information about time taken off work, bills for repairs to property, and anything else that may reflect a negative impact on your life.

If you don’t have access to particular documents and other evidence, you don’t need to worry. A qualified attorney, like one from The Williams Law Firm, P.C., can help collect additional information on your behalf. 

Notify Necessary Personnel

In some circumstances, starting a claim may require communicating with certain individuals. If your asbestos exposure was related to work, you may need to clearly communicate that you are taking time off work to heal. You may also need to contact relevant insurance companies that may become affiliated with your claim. 

However, we recommend you give as little information as possible to the personnel you notify about your circumstances, as anything you say can be used against you. You can notify these personnel with support from a qualified attorney who can give direct recommendations for what you should say.

Retain Legal Support From a Qualified Attorney

As soon as you can, we recommend you retain legal assistance from a qualified lawyer. An asbestos exposure attorney from The Williams Law Firm, P.C. is an excellent resource during these challenging times. We can support you in numerous ways, including by recommending next steps tailored to your particular circumstances. 

Please follow our recommendations and strategies as closely as possible, as we have extensive experience within the asbestos legal sphere. If you have any questions, your attorney will be able to help clarify and guide you in the right direction. 

How Can an Asbestos Exposure Attorney Support You With Your Claim?

When you have concerns about mesothelioma and exposure to asbestos, working with an experienced attorney from The Williams Law Firm, P.C. may be an exceptional choice for your legal representation.

Our firm can support you with your asbestos-related claim in numerous ways during this difficult time, including but not limited to the following:

  • Conducting an independent investigation into the situation
  • Working with medical professionals
  • Negotiating with every party to recover a satisfactory settlement
  • Preparing your case for court
  • Collecting evidence to prove liability
  • Consulting with experts to determine the full scope of your damages
  • Assuring that all documents are filed correctly and in a timely manner
  • Reviewing your damages to determine the total value of your claim
  • Communicating with the other parties on your behalf
  • Organizing and presenting the evidence in order to prove liability and damages
  • Providing an understanding of the legal system and how to make it work for you
  • Connecting you with additional legal specialists
  • Referring you to medical professionals and healthcare providers
  • Reducing stress related to your legal matters

While many attorneys have a bad reputation for being expensive to hire, this is not the case with The Williams Law Firm, P.C. Our firm offers free consultations and works on contingency, so you don’t pay us anything until you win your claim.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you would like to improve your odds of legal success even further. We have never lost a case, and we are here to fight for you every step of the way. 

Fight for Complete Compensation and Receive Outstanding Representation: Contact The Williams Law Firm, P.C. Today

If you’re concerned about the potential risks of even a one-time exposure to asbestos, The Williams Law Firm, P.C. is here to provide you with the valuable support and guidance you need. With a deep understanding of the complexities surrounding asbestos exposure, our team, led by the experienced mesothelioma attorney Joseph P. Williams, is dedicated to helping you understand your legal rights and options. Don’t hesitate to reach out for a comprehensive evaluation of your situation. 

Contact us today for a free consultation. When you reach out to us, we can give you more information about your legal options, what to expect moving forward, and provide you with helpful resources. With 30 years of experience, we can personally meet with you in your home and work on your case. We are committed to providing you with the support and advocacy you need in these challenging times. You can reach us at (855) 575-6376 or by completing our contact form.

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