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Asbestos Lawyers

Legal Helpline: ☎ 1800 529 835

We are an independent legal referral service that can you provide you with access to highly experienced Australian asbestos lawyers. Our legal team can advise you of your rights to compensation.

We understand that finding the right asbestos lawyer to represent your needs can be difficult. Our asbestos lawyers are personal injury specialists with expertise in mesothelioma and asbestos compensation claims.

Complete the Contact Form to receive obligation-free legal advice about your rights to mesothelioma and asbestos compensation, or call our free legal helpline.

What is asbestos?

The term asbestos refers to a group of fibrous minerals, which are divided into two types: serpentine asbestos and amphibole asbestos. Amphibole asbestos fibres are known to be more harmful as they are sharper and smaller than serpentine asbestos fibres. They therefore penetrate the lung more deeply and stay in the lung for longer. The serpentine group includes chrysotile (white asbestos) and the amphibole group includes crocidolite (blue asbestos) and amosite, (brown asbestos).

Asbestos has previously been described as a “magic” or “miracle” mineral due to its incredible thermal properties. Asbestos can withstand fire and acid, and is an effective insulator against electricity and sound. Asbestos occurs naturally and has been mined in Australia (Wittenoom and Baryulgil), South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada and Russia.

Where is asbestos found?

Historically, Australia has been the highest per capita user of asbestos or asbestos products in the world. Asbestos has been used in many industries, particularly the construction and building industries, manufacturing and the shipbuilding industry. Asbestos was found in many building materials, such as flat and corrugated fibro cement sheet, pipes, eaves on houses, roofing, floor tiles, fire protection for structural steelwork in buildings and ships and vehicle brake linings and gaskets. In fact, in Australia asbestos was used in brake linings until 2002.

Its heat and corrosion resistant qualities have been so beneficial and so desirable that betweeen the years 1900 and 1980, some 36 million metric tons were used worldwide in over 3000 products.

Why should we be concerned about asbestos?

Exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of contracting diseases such as asbestosis, and cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.

What is Asbestosis?

People exposed to asbestos may develop asbestosis. This is a condition asbestos fibers scar the lungs, resulting in symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, and in advanced cases, blue lips and swollen finger tips. As the disease progresses the patient may have little or no exercise tolerance and suffer symptoms similar to severe asthma.

This condition can be diagnosed on chest x-ray. Although chest x-rays cannot detect asbestos fibers in the lungs, they can help identify any lung changes resulting from asbestos exposure. Interpretation of the chest x-ray may require the help of a respiratory specialist.

Unfortunately, no cure exists for any of the illnesses caused by chronic exposure. Treatment involves preventing further complications and treating symptoms.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that may be a serious complication of asbestosis. The cancerous cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that lines the chest and abdomen. This cancer is extremely virulent and spreads rapidly. The latent period between exposure to asbestos and development of mesothelioma can be 15-40 years or more.

Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Sadly it is a very aggressive and rapidly progressive cancer with an average prognosis or life expectancy of approximately 9 months. There are certain therapeutic and palliative treatment options available to sufferers of mesothelioma and these should be discussed with your medical team.

Nearly all cases of Mesothelioma are caused by previous exposure to asbestos. As there is no safe level of asbestos exposure, the asbestos exposure does not need to have been heavy to cause Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma more commonly occurs to people who are exposed to asbestos in the workplace such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, air-conditioning installers, shipbuilders, merchant seaman and manufacturers of asbestos products. These groups have sometimes had heavy and regular exposure to asbestos.

If you believe that you may be suffering from an asbestos related disease then it is important to get a medical diagnosis confirming the condition. You should seek medical advice immediately. Make an appointment to see your GP (general practitioner). They will take a clinical history from you, examine you and order medical tests. They most likely will also refer you to a Specialist doctor.

Asbestos Compensation Claims

In most Australian states the process for bringing legal claims for compensation for diseases that are the result of asbestos exposure is straightforward.

Indestructible inhaled asbestos particles remain latent in the lung and it is often the case that asbestos related respiratory diseases do not manifest until decades later. The courts are aware that there is a latency period involved in such cases. "Latency period" is the time between first exposure to a cancer-causing agent and clinical recognition of the disease.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, or you are informed by your doctor that you are suffering an asbestos-related condition, you should seek legal advice immediately.

There are statutory schemes and case law which outline the causes of action for bringing a claim for asbestos compensation eg against your employer(s) or a manufacturer or government authority.

You may be entitled to compensation for-

  • medical expenses;
  • loss of earnings;
  • care, aids and equipment;
  • dependency claim (if you have lost a family member, spouse through an asbestos disease);
  • psychology injury;
  • permanent impairment;
  • funeral and testamentary costs.

It is critically important that you seek legal advice from an Asbestos Lawyer who is an accredited personal injury specialist. You should be aware that you need to commence your claim in court within your lifetime to protect your rights to full compensation.

Our solicitors are highly regarded in their field of specialty, and extremely client focused. The can provide free legal advice and representation on a No Win No Fee basis. If you would like to find out whether you are entitled compensation, please complete the contact form to find out more about your rights, at no obligation and no cost to you.

Need legal advice from an Asbestos Lawyer? Not sure who to turn to? Contact our free referral service today.




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