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Mesothelioma Compensation Claims

Legal Helpline: ☎ 1800 529 835

With so many solicitors advertising legal services it may be difficult to find the right solicitor for your mesothelioma compensation claim. Our independent service specialises in finding an expert lawyer to represent your interests. This is a free service which will make the process of finding and choosing a solicitor easier and more informed for victims of asbestos and other dust diseases.

Complete the contact form or call the helpline for legal assistance.

Mesothelioma from asbestos

The mesothelium is a membrane (protective sac) that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which cancerous cells are found in the mesothelium. Workers who develop Mesothelioma are those who have inhaled asbestos particles.

Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. Approximately about 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases of mesothelioma occur in persons who report a history of asbestos exposure at work. Asbestos is substance that has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement flooring products, and insulation. Asbestos has been mined and used commercially since the late 1800s.

Those most at risk have included shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople.

When tiny asbestos fibres or particles are inhaled or swallowed, there may be severe health consequences such as: asbestosis (a chronic lung disorder) and mesothelioma and lung cancer. The risk of developing an asbestos-related disease increases with heavier exposure to asbestos and longer exposure time. However, it only takes brief exposure to develop asbestosis or mesothelioma.

Thin and long asbestos fibers are believed to translocate to the mesothelium outside of the lung, by mechanisms that are still poorly understood.

Malignant Mesothelioma

Malignant mesotheliomas are aggressive tumours that arise from serous membranes, such as the pleura and the peritoneum. With mesothelioma, cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide out of control. As the cells continue to divide, the cancer may spread to nearby tissues and organs. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear at any age.

Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Most mesotheliomas are highly aggressive neoplasms that have a median survival of about 9 months from the time of diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important that you seek legal advice from an asbestos and mesothelioma compensation claim solicitor as soon as possible.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesotheliomas typically begin as multiple small discrete nodules or macules originating on the surface of the parietal pleura and parallel the distribution of the lymphatics. As the disease progresses, there is coalescence of individual tumour nodules culminating in fusion of visceral and parietal pleura, resulting in encasement of the lung by tumour. The tumour may invade nearby areas including bone and soft tissues of the chest wall, diaphragm, pericardium, and other mediastinal structures. Tumour growth is typically thickest at the base of the pleural cavity.

Initially there is shortness of breath and chest pain due to fluid build-up in the pleura (pleural mesothelioma). A plain film chest xray maybe limited in that a large effusion can obscure the underlying tumour. A CT scan may be more helpful as well as effusion cytology.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesotheliomas grow in a similar way- they tend to form bulky nodules invading omentum and can be distributed widely through the peritoneal cavity. As the cancer progresses, mesothelioma may encase the abdominal viscera and invade the bowel.

With peritoneal mesothelioma you may experience weight loss, abdominal pain, bowel obstruction, anaemia and fever.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Pericardial mesothelioma causes fusion of pericardium to epicardium and rind-like encasement of the heart. Symptoms can include shortness of breath and dyspnea on exertion secondary to a pericardial effusion, mimicking constrictive pericarditis and congestive heart failure.

Diagnosis of Mesothelioma Cancer

Diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease begins with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure. A doctor will examine you physically, and order chest x-rays or abdomen x-rays and lung function tests. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI may also be useful.

A biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma. In a biopsy, a sample of tissue from the lungs is removed for examination by a pathologist. If the cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. If the cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a peritoneoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small opening in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument called a peritoneoscope into the abdominal cavity.

A pathologist or histopathologist will be able to examine the tissue specimen to determine at what stage your cancer is at. Your doctor will be able to devise a treatment plan, depending upon the staging (or extent of your cancer).

Treatment for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma has a dismal prognosis due to its inherent chemo- and radio-resistance as well as to the general ineffectiveness of surgical intervention.

Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease (whether the cancer has spread to other organs), and the patient's age. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes a combination of these treatment is necessary.

When surgery is required, the doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. For cancer of the pleura a lung may be removed- extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP); radical or extended pleurectomy/ decortication (P/D). Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed. Surgery can provide relief from symptoms and sometimes the bulk of the tumour can be removed. Surgery is often used in combination with other treatments, but its value is very limited if the tumour is near any vital organs.

Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) involves the use of radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy affects the cancer cells only in the treated area. This is the least invasive method of treatment. Usually, it is not a primary treatment but is used in conjunction with other therapies such as surgical resection and chemotherapy. It is generally used to reduce the size of the symptomatic tumor and help relieve symptoms like pain and shortness of breath.

Chemotherapy is the use of potent anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Often, it is offered as an additional therapy alongside radical surgery and/or in combination with radiation therapy or immunotherapy, particularly when the cancer has spread beyond an operable area. Most drugs used to treat mesothelioma are given by an intravenous injection or intrapleurally (in the pleural cavity itself.). The drugs used in this procedure are often very toxic and your doctor will need to discuss their effects.

Immunotherapy, also referred to as biological therapy, is based on the theory that it is possible to mobilise the body's own immune defenses against cancerous cells. There are several new experimental immunotherapy treatments such as gene therapy and the use of cytokine proteins such as interferons and interleukins to fight malignant mesothelioma. Many novel agents are currently under development and investigation in mesothelioma, including checkpoint inhibitors, the WT1 vaccine SLS-001, anti-mesothelin directed antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, and mesothelin-directed T-cell CARs.

Doctors specialising in mesothelioma treatment frequently treat a patient with a combination of therapies. Due to the relative lack of effectiveness of using one type of treatment only, the multimodal combination of treatments holds more promise for survival of malignant mesothelioma patients.

Mesothelioma Compensation Claims Solicitor

Unsure if you have a mesothelioma claim? We can help you obtain legal advice on your compensation rights. If you would like legal help, please complete the contact form or call our helpline 1800 529 835 .

Mesothelioma litigation can be very complex and stressful. The lawyers whom we refer to have extensive experience in all aspects of personal injury law including:

  • access to the very best mesothelioma and asbestos expert witnesses
  • outstanding alternative dispute resolution and advocacy skills
  • drafting comprehensive and plain English legal advices for clients
  • excellent communication, interviewing and listening skills
  • preparing technically accurate court documents
  • investigation and research of medical, legal and factual issues
  • calculating quantum (damages).

Our legal team will be able to explain to you what is involved in making a claim, how to prove your case for negligence, and what is involved in taking a case to court, or settling a claim without needing to resort to litigation.

Compensation Damages

If you are able to establish (through factual and medical evidence) that your mesothelioma was caused by somebody else's negligence (for example, your employer, or a manufacturer) then you will be entitled to mesothelioma compensation. You may receive damages for your injuries and disabilities, pain and suffering, medical treatment expenses, physiotherapy and pharmaceutical expenses, and loss of earnings.

The amount of compensation that you will be entitled to will depend on the extent of your injuries and disabilities. A compensation award is comprised of different "heads of damage" as follows:

General Damages

General damages cover items which cannot be calculated precisely and includes compensation for pain and suffering; loss of amenities of life; loss of life expectancy.

Special Damages

Special damages include the following items-

Income Loss:includes past and future income and loss of pension entitlements.

Gratuitous domestic care provided to you by family members or friends as a result of your illness, injuries and disabilities. This includes household chores that you were previously able to do, but are no longer able to carry-out because of your mesothelioma-related disabilities and symptoms.

Out-of-pocket expenses: includes medical treatment expenses; pharmaceutical expenses; equipment aids; rehabilitation services; cost of travelling to and from medical appointments to receive medical treatment.





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