Thousands of individuals are diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses each year. Unfortunately, however, it can take years to discover that an individual has been the victim of asbestos exposure. Because asbestos-related illnesses are preventable, parties responsible for causing asbestos exposure may be held liable for the harm they cause in certain circumstances.
Most incidents of asbestos exposure are occupationally related. Because of the wide reach of asbestos exposure and the harm caused by asbestos exposure, asbestos claims are commonly referred to as mass torts, impacting a number of victims. Asbestos claims can be brought individually by individuals, and their families, who have been harmed or by groups of victims who have suffered harm as a result of asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure can occur in a number of different types of settings, including mines, various plant facilities, ships or from exposure to products that contain asbestos such as insulation.
Multiple parties may be liable for the harm suffered by the victim of asbestos exposure. Liable parties can include, but may not be limited to, mining companies, manufacturers or products containing asbestos or property owners of properties that contain asbestos. Parties may be legally liable, depending on the circumstances, according to different legal theories such as negligence, strict liability and breach of warranty.
Victims of asbestos exposure may suffer physical, emotional and financial damages that may accumulate quickly. Depending on the circumstances, victims of asbestos exposure and their families may be able to recover medical expenses, treatment-related travel expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering damages as well as damages for the wrongful loss of a loved one, including funeral costs and other types of damages as the circumstances call for. Because of the significant impact of asbestos exposure on victims and families, it is important for victims to be familiar with legal options that may be available to help them when harmed.