FAQ's About Mesothelioma and Answers From a Mesothelioma Attorney
Question: Are certain individuals more likely to develop illness from
exposure to asbestos?
Answer: Yes. There is an increased risk of developing asbestos-related
illness if a person worked in an industry requiring constant, prolonged
exposure. These individuals include many factory and construction
workers, as well as ship builders, miners, automotive brake mechanics,
and anyone else who worked with insulation materials.
There is no level of harmless exposure to asbestos. Even small doses can
cause illness that becomes manifest many years later. Yet, some who
worked around asbestos never develop illness. While some scientists
believe that certain individuals are genetically more able to withstand
exposure, no one has been able to identify an asbestos-resistant gene.
Question: Asbestos has not been widely used since the 1970's. How can
there be any current risk of asbestos exposure?
Answer: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that over
700,000 public buildings in this country still contain asbestos. This
number includes approximately one in ten existing school buildings. Thus,
the threat posed by asbestos exposure continues to haunt innocent
Question: My exposure to asbestos happened years ago. Have I run out of
time to make a claim?
Answer: This is an important question. In asbestos cases, the Statute of
Limitations, or time limit for making a legal claim, depends on the state
in which you live. Your time to make a claim certainly starts to run,
once a doctor diagnoses you with an illness. For that reason, talk with a
Michigan asbestos lawyer about your rights immediately.
Question: I do not have mesothelioma, but I have been diagnosed with
another form of cancer, and I was exposed to asbestos. Could the cancer
be related to asbestos exposure?
Answer: Just as asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer,
there are also studies that link asbestos exposure to increased risk of
other cancers, including cancer of the colon, kidney, larynx, pancreas,
and esophagus. If you believe asbestos played a role in your illness, you
should consult a doctor and contact a Michigan asbestos lawyer today.
Question: I know that the company where I used to work has declared
bankruptcy, supposedly due to asbestos litigation. Should I even bother
to pursue a claim?
Answer: Many law firms are fighting to challenge bankruptcies that
corporations try to use as a shield against financial exposure to
asbestos claims. You should talk to a Michigan asbestos lawyer by
submitting a free, confidential consultation form today to determine the
status of claims against the particular company that you believe is
responsible for your illness.
Question: What is the difference between pleural mesothelioma and
Answer: Pleural mesothelioma occurs in the chest cavity and involves the
lungs. It is the more common form of mesothelioma cancer. Its symptoms
include chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, and perhaps rapid
weight loss or persistent fever. Because these early problems may
indicate other illnesses, a doctor may have difficulty making the initial
diagnosis. If you are experiencing these symptoms and believe you may
have been exposed to asbestos, you should notify your health care
Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the abdominal cavity. This form of
mesothelioma progresses more rapidly and is more deadly. However, early
diagnosis and an individual's response to treatment are important factors
in combating the disease. The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include
nausea, vomiting, and swelling of the lower extremities. Individual
symptoms vary and may not all be present. If you are experiencing these
problems and were exposed to asbestos in the past, you should see your
Question: Does mesothelioma always mean cancer?
Answer: In very rare circumstances, it is possible to have a benign (non-
cancerous) form of mesothelioma, which is known as cystic mesothelioma of
the peritoneum. But in most instances, mesothelioma is a malignant
Question: Just because I worked with asbestos, does that really mean that
I am at higher risk of mesothelioma and other illnesses?
Answer: Unfortunately, a report in the New England Journal of Medicine
indicated that asbestos workers were 344 times more likely to die from
mesothelioma than the average population. Other studies also show a clear
connection between asbestos exposure and serious illness.
If you or a loved one suffer from asbestos related cancer or mesothelioma
cancer, talk with an experienced Michigan asbestos lawyer today.
Attorney Marya Sieminski joined the Law Offices of Sam Bernstein in 2003.
She is admitted to practice law in Michigan state courts and in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She earned her
Bachelor of Science degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
and graduated magna cum laude from Wayne State University Law School.
Marya has worked as a trial lawyer for 10 years and exclusively
represented victims in personal injury litigation and in workers
compensation claims. She also was appointed by the Governor to serve on
the State of Michigan Workers Compensation Qualifications Advisory
The Law Offices of Samuel I. Bernstein, our Michigan personal injury law
firm, has championed the cause of the seriously injured for three