Personal Injury

Exposure to Asbestos Puts You and Your Family at Risk of Mesothelioma

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Law, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Nellie Kershaw was a British national who, in 1917, worked at the Turner Brothers Asbestos Company, a factory in Manchester, England, where she spun raw asbestos fiber into yarn. In 1924, just seven years after being regularly exposed to the mineral asbestos, she died . . . with fibrosis of the lungs as the identified cause of death.

Asbestosis is one of the known causes of fibrosis of the lungs (also called pulmonary fibrosis), a condition wherein the lungs get scarred, causing these to thicken and lose the ability to transmit oxygen into the bloodstream. Fibrosis of the lungs is an irreversible lung injury that makes breathing harder as the lungs continue to deteriorate and weaken overtime.

A formal inquest revealed that Nellie Kershaw’s lungs were extensively scarred by particles of various shapes, most of which had sharp angles – particles that were identified as asbestos fibers. Though Nellie was the first to be formally diagnosed as having suffered from asbestosis, a chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, there were many others who died before her due to exposure to the same mineral; many of these people were asbestos miners.

Asbestosis is just one of the fatal effects of the mineral asbestos. Two other known serious effects of asbestos are lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare, but deadly type of cancer that affects the cells surrounding the lungs and other organs.

About 2,000 – 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the US every year and it is seen in people who got exposed to asbestos regularly. Widespread exposure to asbestos happened from the 1940s to the late 19th century, with millions of workers having gotten exposed to thousands of tons of asbestos during the time of the Second World War alone. These were shipyard workers and US Navy personnel, whose work involved the building of US battleships, steam engines, boilers, steam turbines, and other ship equipment and facilities.

Due to the very long dormancy period of mesothelioma, which is about 20 to 40 years after first exposure to asbestos, majority of those diagnosed with this illness are already in their senior years. Majority, if not all, of mesothelioma victims are already retired; many companies, which exposed their workers to asbestos, also no longer exist today – some have already been bought by larger firms, while others have ceased operations after declaring bankruptcy – a result of the hundreds of claims lawsuits filed against them by the victims or the victims’ families.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer and companies which exposed their workers to asbestos should be made morally and legally responsible for the injury and suffering they caused in their workers. Certain websites like that of Williams Kherkher, offer detailed explanations about asbestos, mesothelioma, the different types of mesothelioma, who may actually be at risk of this deadly cancer, what its symptoms are, how to deal with it, and the legal rights and options of those diagnosed with it.

If you or a family member had been exposed to asbestos in the past, it will be wise for you and your family to undergo medical examination just to see if asbestos has affected you in any way. It is quite necessary that the other members of your family also get checked medically since your exposure to asbestos would have exposed them to the mineral as well (through your hair, skin and the clothes you wore at work).

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Property Fires and Personal Injury

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Fires are among the most devastating causes of property damage, since they not only destroy everything, they can also cause injuries to the people inside or outside of the property. Because of their uncontrollable nature, fires can even damage more properties around the area. When a fire breaks and properties are damaged or a person becomes injured, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to cover for any damages caused by the fire. According to the website of Ritter & Associates, there should be evidence of negligence or carelessness of the property owners in order to have legal liability.

Negligence, in legal definition, is a person’s failure to use reasonable care, failing to act within reason and prudence that eventually lead to harm of another person. The fundamental purpose of having the negligence law is in order to have reasonable standards of conduct that would help prevent reasonably predictable risks. What accounts as reasonable in a certain situation, however, can still vary depending on each person’s point of view, which is why evidence should be presented in order to clear the debate.

For property owners, when a fire broke in their property, any (if not all) injuries to people who are considered visitors in the property will be under the liability of the property owner. This is why it is important for property owners to have homeowner’s insurance that would cover for any damage of injury that may occur inside the property. Each State in the US may have their own rules regarding the limits and basic policies that these property owners can have, so consulting with a lawyer would be the first thing to help understand how the policy will work for your protection. Because of this, property owners should make sure that their property is safe and will not cause any damage to anyone who is invited into the property. Aside from inspecting the property for fire safety risks, they should provide proper signs and protection within the area in care a fire occurs and immediate action is necessary.

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Settling Accounts: The Reality of Personal Injury Cases

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Many people have the impression that personal injury cases are dramatic exchanges in a courtroom between lawyers that will sway the jury and resolve into a spectacular ending. As in most things shaped by television, the reality of personal injury cases is very different.

For one thing, most personal injury cases are fought on paper rather than in court. More than 90% of all personal injury lawsuits never make it to trial because during the pretrial, these are settled between the lawyers with the concurrence of their clients. Civil lawsuits are in general a lot like criminal cases to prepare for in that it takes time to investigate and get together the facts, which are then shared to the other side in what is called discovery.

On the basis of what may be revealed during discovery, the lawyers then begin to devise a plan of attack as well as grounds for negotiations. Instead of bursts of elocution, the pretrial negotiations are often a pedantic exchange of painstakingly prepared documents over an extended period as depositions and facts are presented. As the defense considers the strength of the plaintiff’s case, the plaintiff could be getting impatient or desperate, and may push for a settlement, or the defense, seeing a strong case, may alternatively do the same.

In either case, the terms of the final settlement, if any, will be a balance between what the plaintiff would have been reasonably awarded if the case is won in court and the costs of waiting for the case to come to court. In more than 90% of the cases, the parties come to an agreement, the plaintiff accepts a settlement, and the trial never happens.

It is a reality that personal injury cases, even those that are settled as early as feasible, take at least 6 months from the time of filing to prepare, and most claimants are often struggling financially with hospital and medical bills, lost income, and other adverse consequences of the triggering incident. It is the conscientious and experienced personal injury lawyer who will ensure that despite the pressure to settle as quickly as possible the rights of the claimant are protected, and that just compensation will still be forthcoming even without a trial.

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