Working certain jobs means incurring different levels of risk for injuries and illnesses. People who drive all day as part of their job have an increased risk for experiencing a motor vehicle collision. Those who have worked as shingle manufacturers, roofers, insulation professionals or in pipe fitting, construction and a host of other careers, have a specific concern that they will have to be mindful of for the rest of their lives.
Unlike certain occupational risks, like falls from a height, the risk in this situation does not end when someone leaves a job. Instead, it could take years or decades for the person to even know they have an issue. The risk here is mesothelioma related to asbestos exposure. Individuals exposed to asbestos have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma or other serious medical conditions related to asbestos.
Simply ending the exposure will not decrease someone's overall risk for developing these conditions. Instead, workers who found themselves exposed to asbestos in their career will need to monitor themselves for the symptoms of mesothelioma for the rest of their lives.
Mesothelioma is deadly, but it takes a long time to grow
Many of the deadliest cancers are fast growing. Individuals may barely have time to recognize their symptoms before the cancer progresses to higher and more difficult-to-treat stages. Mesothelioma, on the other hand, can take several decades to develop.
People can find themselves suddenly showing early symptoms of lung issues 20 or 30 years later. Because of how long it takes for mesothelioma to develop in those exposed to asbestos, constant vigilance from them, their loved ones and their medical professionals is necessary.
No one who has had workplace exposure to asbestos should assume they have a clean bill of health just because they have gone many years without medical issues. They should still watch for issues with breathing, pain in the chest or back, and other symptoms associated with mesothelioma.
Even if the company is out of business, you still have rights
A common concern for individuals facing a diagnosis of mesothelioma is the fact that their former employer is no longer in business. Many companies only last for the lifetime of one executive. Others end up going out of business because of improper practices or lawsuits from former employees.
Just because a company is no longer in operation doesn't mean that you don't still have the right to compensation. It just means that you may have to take a few extra steps to connect with the compensation that you deserve.
Speaking with an attorney who has a thorough understanding of mesothelioma cases and the rights of those exposed to asbestos at work in Kentucky is a good first step. An attorney can likely connect you with resources and evaluate your case for strengths. From compensation funds to lawsuits, there are many options available to those reeling from an unexpected mesothelioma diagnosis.