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The Veteran’s Guide to Mesothelioma

Your Rights If You Were Exposed to Asbestos in the Military

Are you a veteran who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma? You may have the right to compensation. It is well-documented that many U.S. service members may have been exposed to asbestos during their time in the military. It is strongly recommended that veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma consult with an attorney to determine their legal options.

At Bailey Cowan Heckaman, our mesothelioma attorneys work tirelessly to ensure veterans and their families receive the compensation they deserve after an asbestos-related diagnosis. We know the devastating toll that mesothelioma can have on a person. We are here to help. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation. 

What Causes Mesothelioma? 

As reported by the Mayo Clinic, the primary risk factor for mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a dangerous and deadly form of cancer that can take twenty or more years to develop. It can be decades after the initial exposure before symptoms begin to show. 

It is not only those who were directly exposed to asbestos that are at risk. Living with someone who was exposed to asbestos may cause indirect exposure if asbestos fibers were present on their skin or clothing. Many individuals were exposed to asbestos in their workplace. 

Some of those at the highest risk of exposure include automotive workers, ship builders, and insulation manufacturers. Both civilians and military personnel were unknowingly exposed to asbestos for decades. The duration and amount of asbestos exposure generally corresponds to the likelihood of developing mesothelioma. Therefore, individuals who were exposed on a daily basis over a long period of time usually have a higher risk of developing the cancer compared to others.

The Link Between Veterans and Mesothelioma

Prior to the mid-1970s, asbestos use was not regulated by the federal government. Even after the federal government began regulating the toxin, many military members and their families were still exposed to asbestos-containing products. 

Members of all branches of the military may have been exposed to asbestos, therefore having an increased risk for the development of mesothelioma. It is important to get tested for lung-related illnesses if you begin to have mesothelioma symptoms such as chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, or unusual lumps of tissue on your chest. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the cancer. It forms in the tissue around the lungs. 

Military Risk Factors

Many military service members had direct exposure to asbestos. Certain occupations within the military were more prone to exposure than others, but all had some degree of risk. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) notes that veterans serving in the following occupations may have been exposed to asbestos:

  • Carpentry
  • Cement sheeting
  • Clutch facings and brake linings (friction products)
  • Construction
  • Demolition of old buildings
  • Installation of flooring and roofing materials
  • Insulation work
  • Manufacturing
  • Milling
  • Mining
  • Piping
  • Shipyard work

In addition to these occupations, veterans who served in Iraq and other countries may have been exposed when older buildings were destroyed or damaged releasing the toxic substance into the environment. Veterans who were diagnosed with mesothelioma after asbestos exposure during their military service may file a claim for disability compensation through the VA.

Did My Employer Know I Was At Risk?

Despite decades of research showing its danger, new uses of asbestos were not banned by the  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) until 1989. This ban only affected new uses of asbestos meaning that countless buildings and products still contain the toxic substance. 

While millions of people have been exposed to asbestos through different industries, military service members who worked in construction, demolition, automotive careers, or shipyards were at an increased risk. Recognizing the dangers of asbestos exposure, the government allows veterans diagnosed with asbestos-related conditions such as mesothelioma to file a claim for benefits.

Individuals who worked in the Navy may be at an increased risk for the development of mesothelioma because they lived and worked on vessels containing asbestos. Additionally, asbestos has been located at a number of military bases throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Know Your Rights

If you were exposed to asbestos during your military service and were subsequently diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for compensation. It is important to work with an attorney throughout the process to ensure you receive the recovery you deserve. 

In order to prove your case, you will need to provide medical records indicating a mesothelioma diagnosis and military service records. It is also important to secure a statement from a licensed physician indicating the connection between your service-related asbestos exposure and your diagnosis. 

Who qualifies for VA disability compensation based on asbestos exposure?

  • You have received a diagnosis for an asbestos-related health condition; and
  • You were exposed to asbestos during your military service.

If you lost a loved one who was exposed to asbestos during their military service you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Veterans from all branches of the military and their loved ones may have a right to benefits. 

Mesothelioma Attorneys You Can Trust

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma related to your military service you need experienced attorneys with a proven track record of success. At Bailey Cowan Heckaman, we have decades of experience helping mesothelioma victims secure compensation to help with their treatment. Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma. 

Our legal team has obtained multiple multi-million dollar recoveries for individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. While settlement amounts vary, you can rest assured that our attorneys will not give up until you get the best possible outcome in your case. 

Contact Our Office to Schedule a Free Consultation

A mesothelioma diagnosis can be devastating. You need and deserve answers. Contact our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to determine if you have a valid claim for benefits or compensation. 

Our attorneys will guide you through the process and work to ensure you receive the largest possible recovery in your case. Get the justice you deserve today. We are here to help. Join the thousands of clients we have represented.

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