Chicago Asbestos Lawyer

Did asbestos exposure permanently damage your lungs? The experienced asbestos lawyers at Ankin Law can help you recover financially. 

When negligent employers, construction site managers, developers, and manufacturers poison your body with toxic chemicals, you have the right to hold them liable. Exposure to asbestos can lead to aggressive cancers and severe lung damage, permanently impacting a victim’s life. The costs to treat asbestos associated illnesses can climb dramatically over time, leaving victims facing financial hardship in tandem with life-altering chronic illness.

Fighting for the rights of injured victims in Chicago since 1940, our asbestos lawyers know what it takes to win your case. When you retain Ankin Law for your asbestos lawsuit, you get a legal team who:

  • Is available 24/7
  • Has more than 100 years of combined experience
  • Offers FREE consultations 
  • Will come to you if needed
  • Won’t charge attorney fees unless we win your case

Asbestos exposure can cause permanent damage to your health. Call an asbestos lawyer with Ankin Law to seek justice. (312) 600-0000 

Types of Asbestos-Related Illnesses

Asbestos exposure can lead to various health problems. Many of the associated illnesses have a lifelong impact on victims. The most common asbestos-related illnesses include:

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This is a chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers over a prolonged period. It leads to scarring of the lung tissue, which can impair breathing and decrease lung function.

Lung Cancer

Asbestos exposure increases the risk of developing lung cancer. This risk is further compounded for individuals who smoke.


Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It is caused by asbestos exposure, and it typically has a poor prognosis. Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a form of mesothelioma that affects the lining of the abdomen. It is less common than pleural mesothelioma, but is also associated with asbestos exposure. Pericardial Mesothelioma is rare, and occurs when asbestos exposure leads to mesothelioma affecting the lining of the heart.

Other Forms of Lung Damage Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Other illnesses associated with lung damage caused by asbestos include:

Pleural Plaques:

These are areas of fibrous thickening on the lining of the lungs (pleura) or diaphragm. Pleural plaques are usually asymptomatic but can indicate previous exposure to asbestos.

Pleural Effusion:

This condition involves the buildup of fluid between the layers of the pleura (the membrane that lines the lungs and chest cavity). Asbestos exposure can cause pleural effusion, leading to symptoms such as chest pain and difficulty breathing.

Pleural Thickening:

Asbestos fibers can cause thickening and scarring of the pleura, which can restrict lung expansion and lead to breathing difficulties.

Peritoneal Effusion:

Similar to pleural effusion, peritoneal effusion involves the buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity. It can cause abdominal pain and discomfort.

These illnesses often have a long latency period, meaning symptoms may not appear until decades after exposure to asbestos. Early detection and proper management are crucial for improving outcomes, but unfortunately, many asbestos-related diseases have poor prognoses, especially in advanced stages. Therefore, prevention and minimizing exposure to asbestos are paramount for protecting public health.

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    Common Causes of Asbestos Exposure

    Asbestos exposure occurs when individuals come into contact with or inhale asbestos fibers, typically released into the air through the disturbance or deterioration of asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). Common causes of asbestos exposure include:

    Occupational Exposure:

    Historically, many industries utilized asbestos due to its heat-resistant and insulating properties. Workers in occupations such as construction, shipbuilding, automotive repair, insulation manufacturing, mining, and firefighting were exposed to asbestos fibers while handling or working with asbestos-containing materials. Tasks such as demolition, renovation, maintenance, and repair work can disturb ACMs, releasing asbestos fibers into the air.

    Environmental Exposure:

    Asbestos fibers can also be present in the environment naturally or as a result of human activities. Asbestos deposits in soil and rock can release fibers into the air through erosion or disturbance. Additionally, asbestos-containing materials disposed of in landfills or improperly handled during demolition can contaminate soil and air, leading to exposure for nearby residents.

    Secondary Exposure:

    Individuals can be exposed to asbestos indirectly through contact with family members or household members who work in occupations with high asbestos exposure risks. For example, workers may inadvertently carry asbestos fibers home on their clothing, skin, or hair, exposing family members to the hazardous material.

    DIY Renovation and Home Improvement:

    Homeowners engaging in do-it-yourself (DIY) renovation or remodeling projects involving older buildings may unknowingly disturb asbestos-containing materials. Common ACMs found in residential structures include asbestos insulation, roofing materials, floor tiles, and textured coatings. Sanding, drilling, cutting, or otherwise disturbing these materials without proper precautions can release asbestos fibers into the air, posing risks to occupants.

    Natural Disasters and Accidents:

    Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes can damage buildings and infrastructure, releasing asbestos fibers into the environment. Similarly, accidents involving the demolition, renovation, or transportation of asbestos-containing materials can lead to widespread exposure if proper safety measures are not implemented.

    Understanding the common causes of asbestos exposure is essential for implementing preventive measures to minimize risks to human health. Proper handling, management, and removal of asbestos-containing materials are critical steps in protecting individuals from the harmful effects of asbestos exposure. Additionally, identifying the source of your asbestos exposure can point you in the right direction to hold the liable party accountable.

    When Can You Sue for Asbestos Exposure?

    You can sue for asbestos exposure if you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, and your exposure to asbestos was due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions. These legal claims can fall under personal injury cases, workplace injury claims, or wrongful death lawsuits. 

    Determining whether you have grounds for a lawsuit requires proving:


    Demonstrating that you were exposed to asbestos through your occupation, environment, or products containing asbestos.


    Showing that the responsible party, whether it be an employer, manufacturer, or property owner, failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent or minimize asbestos exposure.


    Establishing a direct link between your exposure to asbestos and your resulting illness.

    If you have been harmed by asbestos exposure, an experienced asbestos attorney can evaluate your case and determine the appropriate legal recourse.

    Did asbestos cause your illness? Call Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000 to recover damages and hold the liable party accountable.

    Who Can Be Held Liable for Asbestos-Related Illnesses?

    Several parties can be held liable for asbestos-related illnesses, depending on the circumstances of exposure. Companies that exposed workers to asbestos without adequate safety measures or failed to provide proper training and protective equipment may be held liable for resulting illnesses. Companies that produced asbestos-containing products or supplied materials containing asbestos can be held responsible for failing to warn consumers about the dangers of asbestos exposure or for producing defective products. 

    Owners of buildings containing asbestos may be liable if they knew or should have known about the presence of asbestos, but failed to take appropriate measures to protect occupants or workers. Those responsible for construction, renovation, or demolition work involving asbestos-containing materials may be held liable if they did not follow safety regulations or adequately warn workers about asbestos hazards.

    In some cases, government agencies may be held responsible for asbestos exposure, particularly if they were involved in military or public infrastructure projects where asbestos was widely used.

    Determining liability in asbestos-related cases often involves complex legal and factual considerations. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney specializing in asbestos litigation can help victims understand their rights and pursue appropriate legal action against responsible parties.

    Compensation Available in an Asbestos Lawsuit

    Compensation available in an asbestos lawsuit can vary, depending on the severity of the illness, the extent of exposure, and the liable parties involved. Common types of compensation in asbestos lawsuits include:

    Medical Expenses

    Victims of asbestos-related illnesses may receive compensation to cover past, current, and future medical expenses related to their diagnosis and treatment. This can include costs for doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medications, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other necessary medical procedures.

    Lost Wages and Income

    If asbestos-related illnesses prevent victims from working or result in decreased earning capacity, they can recover damages for lost wages and income. This includes reimbursement for missed work due to illness, disability, or reduced work hours, as well as compensation for future lost earnings if the illness affects the victim’s ability to work in the future

    Pain and Suffering

    Victims of asbestos-related diseases often experience physical pain, emotional distress, and a reduced quality of life. Compensation may be available to address these non-economic damages, which can include physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional suffering.

    Loss of Consortium

    In cases where asbestos-related illnesses result in the loss of companionship, support, or services provided by the affected individual to his or her spouse or family members, compensation may be awarded for loss of consortium.

    Punitive Damages

    In cases involving egregious conduct or willful negligence by the defendants, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible parties and deter similar misconduct in the future. Punitive damages are intended to serve as a deterrent, rather than compensate the victim directly.

    Wrongful Death Damages

    If an individual dies as a result of an asbestos-related illness, their surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for the financial and emotional losses resulting from the death. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, loss of companionship, and other related losses.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Asbestos Lawsuits


    Do I have grounds for an asbestos lawsuit?

    If you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness and have evidence linking your exposure to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you have grounds for an asbestos lawsuit. Factors such as the extent of exposure, the severity of your illness, and the responsible parties involved will determine the strength of your case. An experienced asbestos litigation attorney can help evaluate your situation and determine the best course of action.


    What are the long-term effects of asbestos exposure?

    Long-term effects of asbestos exposure include serious respiratory illnesses such as asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer. These diseases often have a long latency period, with symptoms appearing decades after initial exposure. Asbestos fibers can cause scarring of lung tissue, impaired breathing, chest pain, and in severe cases, lead to respiratory failure or death. Early detection, prevention, and proper management are crucial for minimizing the impact of asbestos-related illnesses.


    What are the laws regarding asbestos exposure?

    Laws regarding asbestos exposure vary by jurisdiction, but common regulations aim to protect workers and the public from asbestos-related health risks. These laws mandate proper handling, removal, and disposal of asbestos-containing materials, as well as requirements for worker training and safety measures in industries where asbestos exposure is a concern. Additionally, there are legal standards for asbestos testing, notification, and remediation in buildings and public spaces to minimize exposure risks.

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    Raquel Gross and her team were absolutely incredible. I was visiting Chicago and had an encounter in which I needed legal assistance and wasn’t sure where to go. I was then recommended to Ankin Law and was assigned to Raquel Gross’ team which I am so thankful for!

    The whole experience was smooth and she was there to guide me in every step of the case. Very attentive and her constant communication was appreciated!

    If anyone finds themselves visiting Chicago or lived in the Chicago area – I HIGHLY recommend Ankin Law and Raquel Gross!

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