There are many dangerous items that a person could be exposed to during a construction job, including asbestos. Suffering exposure to asbestos can lead to long-term consequences, including multiple forms of cancer — and even death. Since asbestos is such a dangerous substance, employers are required to protect their employees from prolonged exposure.
Unfortunately, many employers shirk this responsibility, causing their employees untold damage. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos due to the negligence of your employer, you should consider either a workers’ comp claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Find out what to do after being exposed to asbestos on the job and learn why you need to bring your case to a workers’ comp lawyer.
In the past, asbestos was used in a wide variety of settings for its fire-retardant properties. It wasn’t until much later that it was discovered to be dangerous. As a result, asbestos can be found in a variety of building materials, including floor tiles and wall insulation.
While minor exposure to asbestos usually isn’t harmful, prolonged exposure results in very negative consequence. The primary risk of asbestos is mesothelioma, a malignant form of cancer that can affect the stomach and lungs. It can also cause a condition known as asbestosis, which is a disease that causes scar tissues to accumulate in the lungs.
The most common type of personal injury claim based on asbestos exposure will be a negligence claim. This means that exposure could have been prevented but wasn’t due to the negligence of your employer. In a negligence claim, you will need to prove your employer had a duty to preserve your safety, that they did not fulfill this duty and that you suffered harm as a result.
You will normally prove negligence by showing your employer did not follow OSHA regulations for asbestos exposure. OSHA requires that employers monitor asbestos levels in the air and provide their workers with protective gear when these levels get too high. Some possible paths to prove negligence include:
- Proving your employer did not monitor asbestos
- Proving you were not provided with protective gear
- Proving you were exposed to asbestos for unreasonable periods.
It may also be possible to file a product liability claim if you’ve suffered asbestos exposure. Typically, these claims will be made against the manufacturer of your safety gear and not your employer. For example, if you were provided with a respirator that failed to filter the asbestos in the air, it means your respirator was defective and you have grounds for a liability claim against its manufacturer.
The best way to decide which type of claim you should file is to have your case reviewed by a workers’ comp lawyer. An attorney that is familiar with workplace injuries will be able to help you build your case and decide which claim has the better chance at success.
Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If you’re looking for a workers’ comp lawyer to help with your asbestos-related personal injury claim, your best resource is Lewis & Keller. The legal professionals at Lewis & Keller are experienced in personal injury law and are enthusiastic about helping our clients with their claims.
Talk to a representative today and schedule your free case review.