Toll Free 1-800-848-6288

Blog

Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Available for Mesothelioma?

image of an x-ray with cancerSymptoms of mesothelioma may not show up until decades after a worker was exposed to asbestos. Victims may want to pursue compensation and may have questions about whether workers’ compensation may be available.

Below, learn more about this complex issue and whether you may have a viable claim. It is important to discuss your potential eligibility for benefits with a qualified Fresno workers’ compensation attorney.

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the thin layers of tissue covering many of the body’s internal organs, particularly the lungs. It currently has no cure and many people who are diagnosed do not survive for more than a matter of months or a year after their diagnosis. The disease is directly linked to exposure to asbestos.

While many workers’ compensation claims are based on injuries from one accident, claims can also be based on injuries that occur gradually over time, such as a repetitive stress injury or the development of mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure on the job.

Has My Filing Deadline Already Passed?

If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma and are told that your exposure to asbestos occurred many years ago, you may be concerned that the deadline to file a workers’ compensation case has already passed. However, your deadline may not have passed.

Under California law, you have one year from the date of your job-related injury or illness to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you have a repetitive stress injury or occupational disease, you have one year from the date you discover the disease, often the date you are diagnosed by a doctor, to file a claim. It does not matter when you were exposed to asbestos.

Jobs with a High Risk for Asbestos Exposure

Before the 1980s, many products were made with asbestos. This material was highly sought after because it was durable, economical, versatile and resistant to heat.

It was used in many industries. However, there are certain industries where asbestos exposure was more likely to occur. For example, construction has one of the highest rates of asbestos exposure. Thousands of construction products contained asbestos and roofing and flooring materials are still made with this dangerous material.

Firefighters are also at risk of developing mesothelioma when they enter homes and burning buildings that contain asbestos.

Industrial workers are also at an increased risk for asbestos exposure. This includes those who work in chemical plants and operate heavy machinery in factories.

Auto mechanics may handle brake pads, gaskets and valves that contain asbestos.

Power plant workers who cut asbestos pipes or were exposed to asbestos insulation are also at risk of developing mesothelioma. Asbestos was widely used in these buildings, as well as in ships to make them airtight. Boiler workers and those who helped repair buildings or vessels may have also been exposed to asbestos.

Other professions with a high risk of asbestos exposure include the following:

  • Miners
  • Asbestos plant workers
  • Steel mill workers
  • Insulators
  • Textile workers

Contact Berry, Smith & Bartell for Help with Your Claim

Workers’ compensation claims can be difficult to pursue, so it is important that you have a trusted legal advocate on your side.

The attorneys at Berry, Smith & Bartell can review your claim during a free and confidential consultation. We are here to discuss your potential options. Contact us today to schedule your free case review.

For a free case evaluation with Berry, Smith & Bartell, a Professional Law Corporation call 1-800-848-6288 today!

logo Berry, Smith and Bartell
Berry, Smith and Bartell logo

Decades of Workers' Compensation Experience in the Central Valley

Types of workers