Since the regional economy is dependent on automotive industry plants, shipping, and other industries that rely on asbestos, many workers in Michigan have been exposed to asbestos. This is a naturally occurring mineral that was used routinely until the 1960s, when the link between it and mesothelioma and other deadly diseases became known. Asbestos has been strictly regulated since the late 1970s, but asbestosis and mesothelioma may take decades to develop, so people continue to develop these diseases long after exposure. If you developed an illness or a loved one died from a disease related to asbestos exposure, the Grand Rapids and Traverse City asbestos attorneys at the Neumann Law Group may be able to help you recover damages. Our principal, Kelly Neumann, is an award-winning injury lawyer.Proving Liability for Asbestos Exposure
If your work involves asbestos-containing materials, your employer has responsibilities toward you under the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA), which regulates exposure monitoring, engineering controls, protective clothing, respiratory protection, hazard communication, and record keeping. Generally, asbestos presents a risk of causing disease when fibers flake off and become airborne. They may become embedded in workers’ lungs and cause cancer or other illnesses.
Asbestos-related diseases run the spectrum from mild to fatal. They include mesothelioma, atelectasis, and asbestosis. Asbestosis is considered a relatively benign illness, but it may also lead to death. The risk of developing certain illnesses is also greater after asbestos exposure. For example, exposure may increase the risk of developing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and gastrointestinal cancer.
Asbestos exposure increases someone's risk of developing a serious illness that necessitates expensive medical care and time off work, as well as causing pain and suffering. Either the person who develops the disease or their family may bring a lawsuit for damages. Successful asbestos claims often include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages encompass measurable and tangible losses that can be readily assigned a monetary value. This category includes expenses like medical costs, lost wages and benefits, property damage, and other concrete financial impacts. Importantly, economic damages in this context are not subject to any cap or specific dollar limitation.
On the other hand, non-economic damages pertain to more intangible losses that are not easily quantifiable in monetary terms. Examples of such losses involve pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of society, loss of companionship, and other emotional or psychological impacts. The valuation of non-economic damages often relies on the discretion of a jury, representing the compensation they deem appropriate for a specific harm.
In most cases, asbestos exposure cases are pursued under a product liability theory. Strict liability may be an available claim. It requires the plaintiff to establish the dangerousness of the product and causation between the product's harmfulness and their injuries. Establishing causation by a particular product may be challenging. Some workers were exposed to multiple asbestos products, and tracking down the companies that produced them is often not straightforward. However, our asbestos lawyers can guide Traverse City and Grand Rapids residents through this process.
Merely showing exposure to an asbestos-based product is not always enough to establish the causal chain between the exposure and the illness. In many cases, it is necessary to retain a reliable expert who can use scientific literature to show the causal chain between the exposure and the particular illness that has developed. At Neumann Law Group, we have existing relationships with experts in the field, who are capable of making compelling arguments that the asbestos you were exposed to is the source of your current illness.
You have only three years from the time that you discovered that you have an asbestos-related illness to bring suit. A family member has the same three-year window within which to bring a wrongful death claim, making it imperative to consult an attorney as soon as you realize that you have mesothelioma, asbestosis, or another illness related to asbestos exposure.Contact an Asbestos Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
If you have contracted an illness due to asbestos exposure in your workplace or another setting, our firm may be able to assist you. Our Traverse City and Grand Rapids asbestos lawyers also represent injured people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Detroit, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, and Ann Arbor, as well as communities throughout the Upper Peninsula. In addition to product liability and toxic torts cases, we represent clients in medical malpractice, product liability, and other personal injury claims. We serve clients outside of Michigan through our Boston, Los Angeles, and New York City offices. Contact the Neumann Law Group at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free appointment with a mesothelioma lawyer.