Our Asbestos Attorneys Fight for Maximum Compensation
Although we know that no amount of money can undo what’s been done, our dedicated asbestos attorneys will fight for maximum compensation from the companies that hurt you and your family. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may demand compensation for:
- Past and current medical bills, as well as any future treatments
- Travel expenses related to treatment
- Lost income and reduced earning capacity in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of services to your spouse
If you have lost a family member due to an asbestos disease, our attorneys can review your options for pursuing compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. You may be eligible to recover payment for your family member’s medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and compensation for the patient’s pain and suffering.
Your Most Frequently Asked Questions About Asbestos
Asbestos is a mineral that is crushed and milled into a fine particulate, and shipped to corporations for building and insulation materials. Asbestos mines around the world, many in Canada, produced over 250 million tons of asbestos for use in the United States between 1890 and 1970. Asbestos was added to a variety of products including insulation, automotive brakes, fireproofing, pipe covering, cements, refractory materials, gaskets, floor tiles and joint compounds.
The dangers of asbestos were known to the companies that made these products as early as the 1920s. However, asbestos was sold and used widely without warnings up until the 1980s. Asbestos products are still not banned in the United States and other countries but are no longer used as widely. Alternative materials were available that could have been used in place of asbestos.
During the installation, repair, maintenance, renovation and removal of asbestos materials, the products were cut, scraped, sanded and otherwise altered. Some materials, such as cements, were mixed at job sites using raw asbestos fibers. These processes created dust, which was breathed in by the laborers working with and around these materials. Dust from these products also traveled throughout buildings and factories and ships, and remained airborne for weeks. When swept, these materials were re-suspended in the air — where they were breathed in again by workers in the vicinity.
A wide array of workers were exposed to asbestos including shipyard workers, factory workers, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, plumbers, laborers, machinists, mechanics, powerhouse workers, and electricians. One cloud of dust from asbestos products can contain millions or billions of fibers, and even a small amount of asbestos can cause lung damage. Injuries also occur to people who washed their family member’s clothing after they returned home from work and to individuals who used asbestos products, such as floor tiles, in their homes.
Often, individuals won’t immediately recall how they were exposed to asbestos, and may believe that they were not exposed to asbestos at all. A careful examination and review of a person’s work and life history often reveals exposures to asbestos products that may not be readily apparent.
It’s quite common for people with an asbestos-related disease not to recall the exact time, place, or nature of their asbestos exposure. This is largely due to the fact that these diseases can take decades to appear following exposure. Also, asbestos was used in so many everyday products, from talcum powder to cement to automotive brakes, that some people were exposed without realizing it. And many people knowingly handled asbestos but didn’t know that it was dangerous until much later because companies hid this information from the public.
At Belluck & Fox, LLP, we devote a substantial amount of time to reviewing your work and life history to identify possible exposures to asbestos. In many instances, a person may not be aware that certain products, such as floor tiles, brake linings, cements and even hair dryers contained asbestos. In addition, we are familiar with the use and presence of asbestos at many work sites and factories, including powerhouses, shipyards, schools and large buildings. We can find the witnesses and documents that will help establish your exposure to asbestos.
Belluck & Fox, LLP spends hours researching and investigating each asbestos case. We also use our substantial experience to help us investigate how you were exposed to asbestos and the companies responsible for your exposure. Our inventory of cases is limited to clients with serious injuries and we devote significant time and resources to each case.
- Pipe Covering
- Acoustical Plaster
- Brake Linings
- Sprayed-on Fireproofing
- Floor Tiles
- Insulating Blankets
- Cigarette Filters
- Hair Dryers
- Packing materials
- Insulating Tape
- Joint Compounds
- Refractory products
- Block Insulation
- Asphalt products
- Ceiling Tiles
- Electrical Products
- Lab Equipment
This is just a partial list of asbestos-containing products. Asbestos was often used as an ingredient or component in these products between 1942 and the 1980s, and there were some products such as gaskets that contained asbestos well after the 1980s.
The primary reason that asbestos was used in building products was as a binder or filler material. It was cheap and easily available. It is stringy and resilient, and thus made a good binder. Its resilience also reduced the breakage of the products between the factory and the worksite. In pipe covering and other materials, asbestos created air pockets which provided heat resistance.
Asbestos was marketed for its “fire resistant” qualities. In reality, at approximately 1200 degrees, asbestos transforms into an inert mineral. Other materials were available, even in the 1930′s and thereafter, that could have been used (and, in fact, were used) as substitutes for asbestos without any sacrifice in product integrity or heat resistance. The asbestos industry peddled asbestos as a “magic mineral,” creating a demand for the material, without advising of the dangers of asbestos. As a result, thousands of American workers were injured and killed. It was unnecessary and could have been avoided.
Let Our Experienced Asbestos Attorneys Stand Strong for You
If you or a loved one is battling with mesothelioma or another asbestos disease, you should know that you are not alone. Belluck & Fox is here to help.
You and your family deserve justice from the asbestos companies that put you in this position, and our experienced asbestos attorneys are ready to take up the fight for you.
Schedule a free case consultation today with our New York asbestos law firm, and learn why patients from across the nation count on us to demand the compensation they deserve.
How Our Asbestos Attorneys Build Strong Cases
Asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer can develop decades after a person was exposed to asbestos. So tracing your history of exposure requires a thorough investigation to pinpoint which company (or companies) manufactured the asbestos products you were exposed to.
When you choose to work with the skilled New York asbestos lawyers at Belluck & Fox, you can expect:
- To start, we will meet with you in your home or at a health care facility for a free case consultation. We can also discuss your case over the phone, whatever is most convenient.
- Our attorneys will talk with you about your work history and/or time spent in the service. This will help us start our investigation into how you were exposed to asbestos.
- We will also talk to you about your diagnosis and your plans for treatment. We will begin gathering medical records to document your illness, and we may bring in medical experts to consult on your case.
- As we investigate your case, we may track down former coworkers and/or those you served with to learn what they remember about asbestos products being used. We may also gather blueprints of the buildings, shipyards, or ships where you worked.
- Once we determine which asbestos companies should be held responsible, we will use the extensive documentation we have gathered to make a strong claim for maximum compensation. This could mean filing an asbestos lawsuit and/or filing claims from asbestos bankruptcy funds.
- Although most asbestos companies would rather settle your claim than risk going to trial, there are cases that must go before a judge and jury. If your case goes to trial, you do not have to worry about traveling to court to testify. Our attorneys will always put your health needs first.
Many clients ask us how long an asbestos lawsuit takes. It does take time to build a strong case, but our extensive experience in this field allows us to work as efficiently as possible. In addition, due to the severity of asbestos diseases, our attorneys usually request that the court resolve asbestos cases within one year.