Australia has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world.
But what is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs. This dust disease can progress rapidly with no known cure for it currently. Exposure to asbestos is the predominant cause of mesothelioma
According to the Australian Mesothelioma Registry, in 2016 alone 700 Australians were diagnosed with mesothelioma. Those figures also indicated the disease toll was increasing over time. Men are three times more likely than women to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, more likely from directly working with asbestos. The majority are aged 65 years or over at the time of diagnosis but can sometimes occur in younger people.
The use of asbestos in domestic building materials stopped in the 1980s, but it was only in 2003 that all products containing asbestos were banned throughout Australia. What we have been left with, is a significant amount of asbestos remaining in old buildings and other infrastructure from the ’80’s and earlier, and thousands of different products containing asbestos are still in use today.
There are two main types of exposure:
Occupational exposure to asbestos refers to having worked directly with asbestos products and includes asbestos miners and millers, transport workers (especially waterside workers), laggers and insulators, builders, plumbers and electricians, mechanics, and asbestos cement manufacturing workers.
People who haven’t worked directly with asbestos, but have been exposed to it, also referred to as non-occupational exposure, can also develop mesothelioma. This can include people washing or cleaning work clothes with asbestos fibres on them or tradespeople renovating homes.
It can take over 20 years after being exposed to asbestos for mesothelioma to develop.
The earliest signs of mesothelioma like breathlessness, pain in the chest or shoulder and upper arm, persistent cough and loss of appetite can often be similar to other conditions or diseases. If you are concerned, especially if you think you’ve been exposed to asbestos, you should bring this up with a doctor.
Determining who is liable in cases involving asbestos exposure can be difficult because of the years of the dormant period before symptoms surface and develop. The sufferer may not even remember the exact details about their exposure.
What to do if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma
When you make an asbestos compensation claim, it will be important to recall as many incidents where you may have been exposed to asbestos. We understand that it can be challenging to pinpoint incidents in your work history from 20 – 30 years ago, as the business may have shut down since or you may not even know which one may have been responsible for the asbestos exposure. That’s where having expert legal advice and guidance can help you make a successful compensation claim.
Taylor & Scott Lawyers, led by Partner Ivan Simic (accredited specialist in personal injury) understand the effect a dust-related disease can have on you and your family. If your treating doctor believes you suffer from a dust disease like mesothelioma, whether as a result of exposure directly or indirectly, our team of expert dust disease Lawyers can help you to gain compensation for your illness.
We travel throughout Australia to assist dust disease victims. If you have been employed as a worker within NSW, you may be entitled to a pension or to bring a negligence claim, and we can help explain how to go about this with the minimum amount of fuss or financial burden. We will take your case under our no-win no-fee policy. It’s important to note laws governing personal injury vary in different Australian states and territories. Arrange an appointment with our trusted specialists by using our online contact form or call 1800 600 664.
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