Mesothelioma advertisements on television and other media sound scary. They talk about being diagnosed with a terrible kind of cancer, exposure to harmful asbestos, and the need for litigation and hiring lawyers. They often push the viewer to act right away, to call and find out how to take action against asbestos companies.
As a consumer, you may be left wondering what about these commercials is true, if the law firms are trustworthy, and if it is really necessary to be so worried about mesothelioma and taking legal action. While some messages in these ads may seem misleading or questionable, most are paid for by genuine mesothelioma law firms who want to help victims of asbestos exposure. Before you make a move, let us help you sort through fact and fiction in mesothelioma commercials.
What is Mesothelioma and Asbestos?
The advertisements you see about mesothelioma and lawsuits are directed at people who worked around asbestos and were exposed to it. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that many industries used for decades in things like insulation and other construction materials, commercial and navy ships, cars and plans, and more.
Asbestos fibers, when they come loose, can be ingested or inhaled by anyone near them. The tiny fibers are sharp and get stuck in tissues in the body, causing damage and irritation. Some people exposed in this way go on to develop serious illnesses caused by the damage, including mesothelioma, a rare but aggressive and deadly cancer. Most commonly, asbestos triggers pleural mesothelioma, a cancer in the tissues around the lungs.
Why Are There so Many Mesothelioma Commercials?
Mesothelioma is rare; only about 3,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. Yet if you watch television you are likely to see more than one advertisement for mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits. The use of asbestos in most industries largely halted in the 1970s when the government began regulating it. But mesothelioma has a long latency period. People exposed decades ago are still receiving diagnoses today and need legal help.
Most instances of mesothelioma can be traced to one or more companies and negligent asbestos exposure. This means that asbestos cases can be lucrative for law firms. The settlement and jury award amounts can be very high, and this is why you will see firms pushing for new mesothelioma clients.
Who is Behind Mesothelioma Commercials?
The ads you see on TV or online for mesothelioma and asbestos exposure are almost always paid for by personal injury law firms. These lawyers specialize in helping people take legal action against companies that were negligent in causing them to be injured or to get sick. In the case of mesothelioma, past employers and companies that made asbestos products are often found negligent in causing the cancer.
Not all law firms advertising for mesothelioma clients specialize in asbestos or mesothelioma cases. Many are simply general personal injury firms. This doesn’t mean they don’t have expertise in asbestos laws and cases, but you cannot assume from a commercial that a law firm only takes on asbestos clients.
Can These Commercials Be Trusted?
Most mesothelioma commercials come from bona fide law firms that either specialize in all types of personal injury cases or specifically in asbestos cases. Generally you can trust the message. However, you should always do your own research before trusting or relying on any attorney or law firm. Check out the firm’s website and contact information and always ask for background information and past asbestos case experiences and wins before hiring attorneys to go after compensation for your mesothelioma.
What Are Asbestos Trust Funds?
Some of these ads may mention something called an asbestos trust fund. Companies that exposed workers to asbestos and went into bankruptcy were required to put money in a fund to compensate victims. Lawyers can help you make a claim to get compensation from a fund if you qualify.
Is “No Money up Front” Legitimate?
When law firms advertise that you will owe nothing up front, they are telling the truth. The best personal injury lawyers only take on cases they feel confident about winning and when they have the resources to do a thorough investigation to make the case. This means they can charge clients on a contingency basis. Clients only pay if and when they get a settlement or jury award.
Lawyers experienced in working with mesothelioma victims know that their clients don’t have the extra money to pay in advance. So they charge a percentage of the compensation you win at the end of the case. The percentages vary by law firm, so when hiring a lawyer make sure you sort this out before getting started.
Do I Really Need to Call Now?
The advertisements you see on TV may push you to call right away. While you should take some time to find a law firm you trust, it is also important to get started on mesothelioma cases as soon as possible. This cancer is aggressive and moves fast. And every state has a statute of limitations that limits when you can file a lawsuit. So if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or you know you experienced asbestos exposure, it is important to take legal action soon.
Are Certain Jobs More at Risk of Mesothelioma?
The commercials for mesothelioma lawyers may mention certain industries and jobs that put people at greater risk of asbestos exposure and illness. This is true because most cases of mesothelioma resulted from asbestos exposure on a job site. Some of the industries and workplaces that used the most asbestos include:
- The military, especially the U.S. Navy.
- Shipbuilding and repair.
- Oil refineries.
- Auto mechanics and garages.
- Power plants.
- Metal works.
If you worked in any of these industries, or in any job where there may have been asbestos, exposure was a real risk. Talk to your doctor about being screened for cancer.
Hiring a Mesothelioma Lawyer
For anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma, hiring a good lawyer or law firm is a must. More than likely one or more companies can be found to be negligent for your asbestos exposure and illness. To find the right lawyer to help guide your next steps, be sure you feel comfortable with the experience and expertise, contingency pricing, and time they will be able to spend on your case. Many lawyers offering to help asbestos victims are trustworthy and professional, but you need to make the choice that is right for you.
Page Edited by Dave Foster
- American Cancer Society. (2019, January 9). Key Statistics About Malignant Mesothelioma.
Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/about/key-statistics.html
- National Institute of Health. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (n.d.) Asbestos-Related Lung Diseases.
Retrieved from: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/asbestos-related-lung-diseases
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