How Is Compensation Calculated For Mesothelioma in Illinois?

David Monteleone
Illinois Accident and Wrongful Death Lawyer

  Posted  |  Category : Mesothelioma Attorney

MesotheliomaAsbestos exposure is almost the exclusive cause of mesothelioma, a very rare and very aggressive form of heart-lung cancer. The disease itself is bad enough, as outlined below. Making matters worse, the latency period could be as long as seventy years. In other words, many victims develop cancer and are sick for years or even decades before they know anything is wrong. By that time, their illnesses are almost impossible to treat.

No matter how much time has passed between asbestos exposure and the discovery of your illness, an Illinois mesothelioma lawyer may be able to obtain substantial compensation. Depending on the type of exposure, this compensation could include money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Mesothelioma Treatment

Pleural mesothelioma is by far the most common type of mesothelioma. Unfortunately, it’s also the most difficult type of this illness to treat. A tumor forms in the meso lining between the heart and lungs.

Asbestos, a substance once commonly used in building materials, is so toxic that a single microscopic fiber could trigger mesothelioma. The victim could inhale this fiber, it could pass through another orifice, like the ear, or it could be absorbed directly through the skin.

The nature of pleural mesothelioma makes it almost completely unresponsive to the most widely used, and most successful, cancer treatments, as follows:

  • Radiation: Normally, doctors use radiation treatments to shrink cancer tumors. But mesothelioma tumors are located between the heart and lung, two of the most vital organs in the human body. These organs cannot tolerate radiation, so doctors usually cannot use a high enough dose to effectively shrink the tumor.
  • Surgery: These same limitations apply to surgery to remove the tumor. The tumor is usually abnormally large, due to the failure of radiation treatment. Furthermore, the surgical process is very delicate. Many doctors will not even attempt it.
  • Chemotherapy: In many situations, chemotherapy drugs are basically mop-up treatments. These drugs kill fast-dividing cells, like cancer cells. As a standalone treatment, chemotherapy is often ineffective, especially if the tumor is large. Most people cannot tolerate the high dosage needed to kill all these cells.

Some victims get lucky and doctors find the tumor rather quickly. At this point, mesothelioma treatment is usually not only possible but also successful. However, in other cases, doctors usually cannot do much more than making their patients comfortable.

Direct Exposure and Ambient Exposure

Just like the nature of the illness dictates treatment, the nature of the asbestos exposure usually determines the method and amount of compensation.

If the victim encountered asbestos at work, as is normally the case, workers’ compensation usually applies. Compensation in these cases is usually limited to economic losses, such as medical bills, reasonable future medical expenses, and lost income. These victims normally need not prove negligence or fault to obtain this compensation.

Other asbestos exposure cases are ambient exposure claims. The classic example is an exposed worker’s friend or relative. Frequently, the worker unintentionally brings home asbestos fibers on his/her clothing or shoes. If these victims can prove that the worker’s employer was negligent, they are entitled to additional noneconomic losses on top of their economic damages. Non-economic losses include items like emotional distress and loss of enjoyment in life.

Both workers’ compensation and negligence claims normally settle out of court, so these victims quickly get the compensation they need and deserve.

Reach out to a Tough Winnebago County Attorney

Accident victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Illinois mesothelioma attorney, contact Fisk & Monteleone, Ltd by going online or calling 815-315-0574. Virtual, home and hospital visits are available.

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