Chicago Mesothelioma Lawyer

Has asbestos exposure caused you to develop a deadly cancer?

Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers at Ankin Law can help you seek financial compensation for your losses. With decades of experience representing mesothelioma victims, we are committed to helping you achieve the best outcome for your case.

Asbestos exposure is a top cause of mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that wreaks havoc on a victim’s health and well-being. Treating mesothelioma yields significant medical expenses and emotional burdens, and even the best treatments have poor prognosis for the long term health of victims.  When negligent employers, manufacturers, or other parties fail to mitigate the risk of asbestos exposure, causing you to develop mesothelioma, you have the right to recover financially for your resulting illness.

At Ankin Law, we have fought for victims in Chicago since 1940. When you choose Ankin Law for your mesothelioma lawsuit, you get:

  • 24/7 Access to Your Legal Team
  • Over than 100 years of combined experience representing cases like yours
  • FREE consultations to help you determine your best course of action at no cost to you
  • NO fees unless we win your mesothelioma case

A mesothelioma diagnosis can disrupt your life. Call Ankin Law to seek justice for your losses. (312) 600-0000.

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What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that primarily develops in the thin layer of tissue covering internal organs (known as the mesothelium). The most commonly affected area is the lining of the lungs and chest wall (pleura), but it can also occur in the lining of the abdomen, the heart, and the testicles.

Mesothelioma is a malignancy arising from the mesothelial cells lining the body’s internal organs and cavities. It is classified into four categories based on location: pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular mesothelioma. 

Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form, accounts for about 75% of cases. It originates in the pleura, the lining of the lungs and chest cavity. Symptoms often include persistent chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and pleural effusion (fluid buildup around the lungs). Diagnosing pleural mesothelioma involves imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, followed by a biopsy. Treatment comprises a multimodal approach including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. 

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity, and represents about 20% of cases. Symptoms often include abdominal pain and swelling, unexplained weight loss, nausea, and bowel obstruction. Diagnosis involves imaging studies like CT scans and PET scans, and confirmation through biopsy. Treatment options include cytoreductive surgery combined with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), where heated chemotherapy is applied directly to the abdominal cavity during surgery. This approach has shown promising results in extending survival and improving the quality of life for patients.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Pericardial mesothelioma, found in the pericardium (the lining around the heart), is rare, comprising less than 1% of all mesothelioma cases. Symptoms are related to cardiac function and include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and pericardial effusion (fluid buildup around the heart). Due to its rarity and nonspecific symptoms, it is often diagnosed posthumously or at an advanced stage. Treatment is challenging and typically limited to palliative care to alleviate symptoms, although surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation may be considered in select cases.

Testicular Mesothelioma

Testicular mesothelioma, the rarest type, originates in the tunica vaginalis, the lining around the testes. It accounts for less than 1% of mesothelioma cases. Symptoms usually include swelling or lumps in the testicular area. Diagnosis occurs during surgery for suspected testicular masses, and imaging tests and biopsies are used for confirmation. Treatment involves surgical removal of the affected testicle (orchiectomy), and may be supplemented with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, depending on the stage and spread of the disease.

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    Symptoms of Mesothelioma

    Mesothelioma presents with symptoms that vary depending on the type and location of the disease. The symptoms can be nonspecific, and tend to resemble those of other conditions, making early diagnosis challenging.

    Pleural Mesothelioma:

    Persistent and often severe pain in the chest or lower back, difficulty breathing due to pleural effusion (fluid buildup) or tumor mass, chronic cough that may be dry or productive, accumulation of fluid between the lung and chest wall, leading to discomfort and breathing issues, and general weakness and unintended weight loss are common.

    Peritoneal Mesothelioma:

    Symptoms include abdominal pain and swelling, digestive disturbances and loss of appetite, difficulty in bowel movements due to tumor pressure, and unexplained and rapid weight loss.

    Pericardial Mesothelioma:

    Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma typically affect the heart, including sharp or dull pain in the chest area, irregular heartbeat or palpitations, difficulty breathing, especially when lying down, and fluid buildup around the heart, causing pressure and discomfort.

    Testicular Mesothelioma:

    Occurring in the lining around the testes, symptoms include noticeable swelling or lumps in the testicular area and, in some cases, pain in the scrotum or lower abdomen.

    The symptoms of mesothelioma are subtle and develop gradually, leading to delayed diagnosis. Early recognition of these symptoms, particularly in individuals with a history of asbestos exposure, is crucial for treatment. 

    Long-Term Health Impact of Mesothelioma

    The long-term health impact of mesothelioma includes chronic pain, severe respiratory issues, and progressive loss of physical function. It often leads to psychological distress and reduced quality of life. Despite treatment, prognosis is typically poor, with most patients facing a limited life expectancy post-diagnosis. Due to the severe impact of the disease, it is imperative for victims who contract Mesothelioma to hold the liable party accountable.

    How Is Mesothelioma Contracted?

    Mesothelioma is primarily contracted through exposure to asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals used in various industries for their heat-resistant properties and durability. When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, they release tiny, fine fibers into the air. These fibers, when inhaled or ingested, become lodged in the mesothelium, leading to inflammation, scarring, and eventually the development of mesothelioma.

    • Occupational exposure is the most common way individuals contract mesothelioma. Workers in industries such as construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing, and mining are at particularly high risk. As asbestos was widely used in building materials, insulation, roofing, and automotive parts, jobs that involve cutting, sanding, or otherwise disturbing asbestos-containing materials pose a risk of inhaling asbestos fibers. Even brief or incidental exposure in these environments could be dangerous due to the prolonged latency period of mesothelioma, which can be decades.

    • Environmental exposure occurs when asbestos fibers are present in the air due to natural deposits or industrial activities. People living near asbestos mines, factories, or areas where asbestos was used extensively, may inhale fibers released into the environment. Additionally, older buildings with deteriorating asbestos-containing materials can release fibers into the air, posing a risk to residents and workers involved in renovation or demolition.

      Secondary, or paraoccupational, exposure happens when asbestos fibers are brought into the home on the clothing, skin, or hair of individuals who have been exposed to asbestos at work. Family members of these workers can inhale the fibers, putting them at risk for mesothelioma.

    While asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, other less common factors may contribute to its development. These include exposure to other fibrous minerals like erionite, radiation exposure, and genetic predisposition. However, these cases are rare compared to asbestos-related instances.

    Understanding how mesothelioma is contracted underscores the importance of stringent asbestos regulation and safety measures in workplaces and public spaces to prevent exposure. Awareness and early detection are crucial in managing and mitigating the risks associated with this aggressive cancer.

    Did workplace negligence cause your cancer? Call Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000 to recover financially. 

    When Can You Sue for Mesothelioma?

    You can sue for mesothelioma if you or a loved one is diagnosed with the disease and can demonstrate that asbestos exposure caused the condition. Typically, lawsuits are filed against manufacturers, employers, or property owners who negligently allowed exposure to asbestos without proper safety measures or warnings. Legal action can be taken if:

    • You were exposed to asbestos at work, especially if your employer did not provide adequate protection.
    • You lived near an asbestos-producing facility or worked in a building with asbestos.
    • Family members of workers exposed to asbestos brought fibers home on clothing or belongings.

    Time limits, known as statutes of limitations, vary by the type of case filed. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for mesothelioma lawsuits is two years from the date of diagnosis for a personal injury claim, and two years from the date of death for wrongful death cases. Consulting with an experienced mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible is crucial to ensuring timely compensation, as mesothelioma lawsuits can drag on.

    Compensation Available in a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

    In a mesothelioma lawsuit, various types of compensation are available to victims and their families, aimed at covering medical expenses, lost income, and other damages related to asbestos exposure. While the average settlement for a mesothelioma case may vary, the primary types of compensation include:

    Medical Expenses

    Compensation covers medical costs related to mesothelioma treatment. This includes surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medication, and other treatments necessary for managing the disease. It also covers ongoing medical care and supportive treatments, such as physical therapy and pain management.

    Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity

    Victims receive compensation for lost wages due to their inability to work during treatment and recovery. If the disease results in a permanent inability to work, victims can also claim loss of earning capacity, compensating for future income they would have earned had they not been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

    Pain and Suffering

    Compensation for pain and suffering accounts for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by mesothelioma. This addresses the impact on the victim’s quality of life, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and loss of enjoyment of life.

    Loss of Consortium

    Families, especially spouses, may seek compensation for loss of consortium, which covers the loss of companionship, affection, and sexual relationship due to the illness or death of their loved one.

    Funeral and Burial Expenses

    In cases where mesothelioma results in death, families can claim compensation for funeral and burial expenses, ensuring they are not financially burdened by these costs.

    Punitive Damages

    In some cases, the court may award punitive damages if the defendant’s conduct is found to be particularly egregious or reckless. These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

    Securing compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit can provide crucial financial support for victims and their families, helping to alleviate the burden of medical expenses, lost income, and other related costs. Working with our experienced mesothelioma attorneys at Ankin Law helps you navigate the legal process and maximize the compensation received.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma Lawsuits

    1

    Who Is Liable in a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

    In a mesothelioma lawsuit, liable parties can include manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos-containing products, employers who exposed workers to asbestos without proper safety measures, and property owners who failed to manage asbestos hazards. Liability can extend to companies that mined, processed, or sold asbestos and to contractors involved in construction or renovation using asbestos materials. Identifying the responsible parties often requires a detailed investigation into the sources and circumstances of asbestos exposure. Our mesothelioma lawyers can review the details of your exposure to determine who is liable for your damages.

    2

    What Is the Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma?

    The statute of limitations for a mesothelioma lawsuit depends on the type of case you need to file. For personal injury cases stemming from mesothelioma, the deadline is two years from the date of diagnosis. For wrongful death cases, the deadline is two years from the date of death.

    3

    Mesothelioma cases are complex, involving detailed medical and occupational histories and legal procedures. Mesothelioma lawyers can identify liable parties, navigate the legal process, and maximize compensation for medical bills, lost income, and suffering. They also manage the paperwork and negotiations, allowing you to focus on your health.

    What Our Clients Say About Us

    Atty Maria Merman and her assistant, Adriana, are the best.  It’s been a pleasure to work with them. They kept me updated throughout the process, and I’m completely satisfied with the results.  Thank you for your hard work on my behalf.  It’s been a pleasure.  I certainly will refer your firm (Aiken Law).  Thanks again.

    ~ Barb J.