Asbestos Lawyer
in Charleston, WV

At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we understand the devastating toll that asbestos exposure can take on individuals and families. Our experienced team of attorneys is committed to advocating for those affected by asbestos-related diseases, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. When you or a loved one is diagnosed with one of these diseases, you face not only a life-altering health crisis, but also the intricate legal proceedings that often accompany such cases. If you or a family member have been exposed to asbestos, resulting in malignancy, it is imperative to secure legal representation from an experienced mesothelioma attorney. Successful mesothelioma claims not only provide compensation for victims, but also offer a means of justice for families who have lost loved ones to these diseases.

Warner Law Offices is highly experienced and boasts a proven track record in asbestos litigation. We come equipped with knowledge on maximizing 524(g) bankruptcy trust claims, we are armed with resources such as expert witnesses and extensive asbestos exposure records, and we are not afraid to take your claim to trial. Time is of the essence in mesothelioma cases due to varying statutes of limitations, making it crucial to act swiftly. Contact us for a free consultation to begin building the foundation for your case.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral renowned for its flexible, heat-resistant, electricity-resistant, and corrosion-resistant fibers, and has been extensively utilized in the construction, automotive, and textile industries. It was also incorporated into various consumer products such as cloth, paper, cement, plastic, among others, to enhance their structural integrity. Despite its widespread application, the inherent carcinogenic properties of asbestos render it hazardous to human health. Inhalation or ingestion of its microscopic and exceedingly toxic fibers, particularly when airborne, can result in their permanent entrapment within the body. Over time, this can lead to chronic inflammation, scarring, and ultimately genetic damage. 

The consequences of asbestos exposure predominantly manifest in the form of rare and aggressive cancers affecting the linings of the lungs, known as mesothelioma, as well as lung cancer and a progressive respiratory condition termed asbestosis. Additionally, asbestos exposure is linked to other malignancies such as ovarian cancer, laryngeal cancer, as well as non-cancerous conditions like pleural effusions, pleural plaques, pleuritis, and diffuse pleural thickening. The risk of developing these ailments escalates with prolonged exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos litigation has emerged as a specialized legal field aimed at holding accountable those responsible for asbestos exposure and its associated health consequences. Victims and their families seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering resulting from negligent exposure to asbestos. Experienced asbestos attorneys play a vital role in navigating these complex cases, advocating for their clients to secure rightful compensation and justice. Through diligent legal representation, victims can pursue accountability and redress against entities responsible for their asbestos-related illnesses.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer affecting the mesothelium, a delicate membrane that lines the majority of internal organs. The risk of mesothelioma has been shown to be associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos represents a group of six naturally-occurring minerals renowned for their heat, fire, and chemical resistance; making asbestos a perfect building material because of its strong, durable, flexible, soundproof, fireproof, and cheap qualities.

While the onset of this disease is slow, it can have a significant impact on one’s functional capacity. Timely identification and treatment of mesothelioma is imperative to increase a patient’s chances of survival.

While there are many types of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma is the predominant type, affecting the protective tissue surrounding the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma, a rare type of mesothelioma, affects the tissue surrounding the abdomen, heart or testicles.

As is the case with all cancers, the fundamental catalyst for mesothelioma is the mutation of DNA, which leads to the formation of cancer cells in place of healthy cells. While research has not been able to identify a definitive cause for the development of mesothelioma, identifiable risk factors have been pinpointed by medical professionals. The primary risk factor is exposure to asbestos, a carcinogenic substance that plays a role in the mutation of DNA.

There are several ways in which individuals can be exposed to asbestos. One way is through the inhalation of tiny airborne particles of asbestos. These particles then become trapped in the mesothelium of the lungs, inflicting damage over time, prompting cellular mutations. 

It is also possible to be exposed through ingesting food that has been accidentally contaminated, particularly in environments where airborne asbestos particles pose a threat, such as construction sites. Secondary exposure can occur through contact with contaminated clothing worn by workers or individuals who have encountered asbestos. The widespread risks and the ease with which asbestos can disseminate toxic particles makes its detection and tracing challenging.

Common Mesothelioma Symptoms

Identifying mesothelioma poses a considerable challenge as its symptoms often mirror those associated with various other conditions. In many cases, individuals are unaware that they have developed mesothelioma until the disease has progressed to an advanced stage. The American Lung Association outlines some of the symptoms commonly observed in mesothelioma patients:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Blockage in the small intestine
  • Dry and persistent cough
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Lower back pain

Additionally, many mesothelioma victims will experience fever, decreased appetite, and fatigue. Given the symptom overlap with benign disorders, a dedicated medical team is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

What Caused My Mesothelioma?

Discovering the cause of your mesothelioma can be quite challenging, particularly for those lacking specialized knowledge. Individuals with this type of cancer are oftentimes completely unaware that they were ever exposed to asbestos. The fact that many people who have been exposed to asbestos do not contract mesothelioma until decades later, further complicates the process of discovering the cause. Bridging the gap between cause and effect demands the expertise of trained professionals.

Determining the cause of your mesothelioma may require the assistance of a seasoned and knowledgeable legal team capable of unearthing crucial evidence. At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we recognize that learning the cause of your mesothelioma may give you some peace of mind, and empower you to comprehend and evaluate your legal options more effectively. Our team leverages extensive resources to aid in the process of pinpointing the cause of one’s cancer, and to ensure accountability for the responsible parties. 

Mesothelioma Risk Factors

Although asbestos exposure remains the primary factor in developing mesothelioma, a number of other risk factors can contribute to the development of the disease as well. These other risk factors fall into three categories, occupational, secondhand, and biological.

Occupational Risk Factors

Some occupations significantly increase the risk of asbestos exposure and subsequent mesothelioma diagnosis, despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 1989 ban on new asbestos-containing products. High-risk industries include:

  • Military Service: The military historically employed asbestos in various applications, including shipbuilding, construction, and vehicle maintenance. 
  • Automotive Workers: Exposure through sheet gaskets, brakes, and other asbestos-containing products still persists today, as asbestos particles can be released into the air during repair or replacement of these parts.
  • Boilermakers: Asbestos-containing materials in boiler-making pose a risk during assembly, repair, or maintenance.
  • Construction Workers: Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and insulation installers all face exposure during the demolition or repair of asbestos-containing products.
  • Shipyard Workers: Extensive asbestos use in shipbuilding poses ongoing risks during the maintenance of older ships and shipyards.

While the above industries pose substantial risks, it’s important to acknowledge that numerous other occupations may have exposed workers to asbestos.

Secondhand Exposure

Secondhand exposure is a potential health risk for family members and associates of asbestos-exposed workers. Items that are contaminated with asbestos and then brought home, pose a risk by releasing asbestos fibers into the air where they can be inhaled.

Although the EPA banned the use of new asbestos-containing products in 1989, reducing the likelihood of asbestos exposure, the prolonged latency period of mesothelioma means there is still a cause for concern when it comes to secondhand exposure.

Biological Risk Factors

Gender is a risk factor for developing mesothelioma, because men are at a much greater risk of developing mesothelioma, due to a higher likelihood of occupational asbestos exposure. While women may still face occupational risks, their exposure often stems from the use of talcum powder.

Age is a contributing factor, given that mesothelioma typically has a latency period of 20-to-60 years after being exposed to asbestos. This does not, however, mean that younger individuals are not at risk of developing mesothelioma.

A family history of mesothelioma elevates the risk of developing the disease, particularly in cases involving the BAP1 genetic mutation. This mutation, present in the majority of mesothelioma patients, can be inherited or acquired during one’s lifetime, heightening one’s susceptibility to the disease.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

A mesothelioma diagnosis can be physically, emotionally, and financially burdensome. Filing a lawsuit presents an avenue for those affected to seek compensation that is essential for rebuilding their lives and accessing necessary treatment. Beyond addressing individual suffering, legal action also serves as a deterrent against unsafe practices, offering protection to potential future victims.

At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we are committed to assisting individuals and their loved ones in overcoming the hurdles posed by mesothelioma through the pursuit of rightful legal compensation. Our experienced legal team will meticulously review your case, providing informed guidance on whether pursuing a lawsuit is in your best interest.

What is an Average Mesothelioma Settlement?

Mesothelioma settlements can vary significantly, contingent upon applicable laws, circumstantial factors and various other elements that may influence the case. Some of the factors that could impact the damages award include:

  • The likelihood of the mesothelioma victim achieving full recovery
  • The nature and extent of treatment or surgery required to treat the disease
  • The defendant’s conduct that contributed to the plaintiff’s asbestos exposure

Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma retain the right to initiate legal action on their behalf, either personally or through legal representation. In instances of wrongful death resulting from mesothelioma, surviving loved ones have the option to pursue settlements to hold the responsible parties accountable for the consequences of their wrongful behavior. A mesothelioma lawyer plays a crucial role in guiding individuals through applicable deadlines and the burden of proof, ensuring a comprehensive and effective legal strategy.

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Attorney Bobby Warner
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Bobby Warner

Bobby has received many accolades throughout the years from both his peers in the legal community, as well as the media. The National Trial Lawyers association named Bobby a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and he has been selected as a Member of the Nation’s Top One Percent. Additionally, he has been named a Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings, which also named Warner Law Offices to its Best Law Firms of America.

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