Center for Asbestos Safety

Center for Asbestos Safety in the Workplace

What You Should Do

What if you've been exposed to asbestos?

Examination and diagnosis

Symptoms can indicate possible mesothelioma include:

Tell your doctor is you have these symptoms, and a thorough check-up should address each symptom. The examination will include a chest x-ray and lung function tests. The doctor may also order blood and urine and other typical medical tests. Mesothelioma can be a tricky diagnosis as it looks like other diseases, so several visits to the doctor can be required before the diagnosis is definitive.

Financial Compensation for Mesothelioma Victims

Because malignant mesothelioma is related to asbestos exposure, many people with the disease have questions about whether or not they can be compensated. There are several potential sources of financial assistance and/or compensation for people with mesothelioma.

Asbestos Industry

People are often surprised to find out that the largest amounts of compensation typically available can be recovered from the asbestos industry. These awards are often large enough to provide financial security for families. There are law firms who handle such cases on a contingency fee basis which does not require out of pocket cost.

Social Security Disability

Patients can also file a disability claim with social security. (It's a good idea to consult with an attorney that specializes in such claims.)

Disability Insurance

Many people can also file a disability claim if they have disability insurance either privately, through their employer, or as part of a life insurance policy.

Worker's Compensation

If asbestos exposure occurred on the job, in addition to claims against the asbestos industry, a worker's compensation claim or other types of legal action may be filed against an employer. Again, it is advisable to consult with an attorney handling worker's compensation claims. It is prudent to consult also with an attorney handling claims against the asbestos industry to make sure the various claims do not conflict with your optimal strategy.

For More Legal Information

For people facing large medical bills and hospital stays, most hospitals have Discharge Planners or other personnel who can assist with issues of medical coverage and hospice. There are also laws that allow patients to take legal action against their insurance company for unfairly denying them coverage for medical treatment.

Government and Military Personnel

Medicare should cover the cost of diagnosis and treatment. People who were exposed through their jobs may qualify for medical payments under state workers' compensation laws. Contact your lawyer or the state agency where you live. People who worked for the federal government may be covered under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act. People who worked in shipyards may be covered under the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. Retired military personnel may be eligible to receive care at a Department of Defense or Department of Veteran Affairs hospital.

Center for Asbestos
Safety in the Workplace