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If you have been exposed to asbestos in West Virginia and were diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis, you need a West Virginia mesothelioma lawyer on your side. Over the years, thousands of people in West Virginia have been exposed to asbestos through mining and other industries. Many cases of exposure involve negligence by an employer or manufacturer.Get Financial Help Now
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How West Virginia Mesothelioma Lawyers Help Asbestos Victims
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, an experienced attorney can help you seek justice and recover damages. They work with asbestos exposure victims in Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Wheeling, Parkersburg, Martinsburg, Weirton, and all other areas of West Virginia.
A mesothelioma lawyer offers several advantages that you do not get with other attorneys:
- Experience winning for other mesothelioma clients
- Knowledge of which companies used asbestos in West Virginia
- The resources to investigate your past exposure and find the companies responsible
- Experience negotiating settlements and going to trial to win jury verdicts
- Free initial consultations and no fees until they win
How to File a Mesothelioma Claim in West Virginia
Your first step is finding the right lawyer. With an asbestos firm on your side, you have a legal guide and advocate to guide you through the claims process. Your West Virginia mesothelioma lawyer will explain your options and then help you make the claim or file a lawsuit.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you have mesothelioma, you most likely are a victim of negligent asbestos exposure. This means you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the companies responsible.
Your lawyer will file on your behalf and either negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial. A lawsuit is a way to recover damages for medical and other expenses.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If your loved one died from mesothelioma, you can continue their personal injury lawsuit or begin a wrongful death suit. This is another way to hold companies accountable and recover damages for the harm they caused.
Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Many asbestos companies filed for bankruptcy after facing so many lawsuits. As part of the process, they had to fund trusts. These were put in place to compensate people who developed asbestos illnesses later.
Your lawyer knows about all the trusts and can find each one you qualify for. They will then help you make a claim to get compensation from the fund.
VA Benefits Claim
If your exposure occurred while you were in the military, you might be able to file lawsuits against asbestos companies. Another option is to file a claim with the Veterans Administration to get benefits.
The VA rates mesothelioma as 100% disabling. To prove you were exposed while in the military, rely on an asbestos attorney in West Virginia.
Where Did I Get Exposed to Asbestos in West Virginia?
Like many states in the U.S., West Virginia has a history of asbestos use and exposure. While some states have experienced more damage than others, West Virginia falls in the middle.
Between 1999 and 2017, nearly 3,100 West Virginians died from asbestos-related illnesses. Kanawha, Wood, Cabell, and Putnam counties have been the hardest hit.
These four counties are located in coal mining country, explaining the high rate of asbestos deaths. While there are no natural asbestos deposits in West Virginia, the mining industry has a history of using asbestos in its equipment, causing dangerous exposure.
Other industries in the state are smaller and have historically employed fewer people, yet these industries also used asbestos, including chemical plants, power plants, manufacturing plants, and the timber industry.
Older buildings are also significant sources of asbestos in West Virginia. For many decades, the construction industry used asbestos in building materials like flooring, roofing, and insulation. As older asbestos materials deteriorate or get damaged during renovation, residents and workers can be exposed to its harmful fibers.
Coal mining has dominated the West Virginia economy for generations. Although the industry is currently shrinking, for decades, miners risked exposure every day on the job.
Often dangers were more immediate than asbestos exposure. However, asbestos is just one of many risks miners faced daily.
Although there are no natural asbestos deposits in West Virginia, there can be trace amounts of this dangerous mineral in coal seams. During coal processing, miners were often exposed to harmful asbestos. Mining equipment and machinery also used asbestos, adding another harmful element to the mining profession.
Chemical Plants and Other Industrial Jobs
The chemical industry another industry in West Virginia that used asbestos. Several West Virginia chemical plants have caused asbestos exposure and illness in many workers, including Union Carbide.
Owned by Dow Chemical, Union Carbide operated mines and industrial chemical insulation sites in the state. In 2002, Union Carbide was found liable for asbestos-related diseases in thousands of West Virginia workers.
The case included over 2,000 plaintiffs accusing Union Carbide of exposing them through processing facilities and products, like joint compound and insulation.
Other Sites with Known Asbestos
Chemical processing plants, coal mines, and other industrial workplaces have been major sources of asbestos exposure in West Virginia.
Many other locations in the state have exposed workers, including power plants and older facilities. A few of these include:
- Allied Chemical Company, Nitro
- DuPont, Charleston
- Ashland Oil and Refinery Company, Charleston
- United States Naval Ordnance Plant, Charleston
- Westinghouse Electric, Fairmont
- University of West Virginia, Morgantown
- Shell Oil Company, Spring Hill
- Monsanto Chemical Company, Charleston
- Huntington Alloys Specialty Metals Plant, Huntington
- Owens-Illinois Plant, Huntington
- American Viscose Rayon Plant, Parkersburg
- Corning Glass Company, Parkersburg
- Mountain State Steel Castings Foundry, Parkersburg
- Blaw-Knox Rolls Foundry, Wheeling
- Mobay Chemical Plant, Wheeling
- Appalachian Electric Power Company
- Mount Storm Power Company
- Willow Island Power House
What Are West Virginia’s Asbestos Laws?
West Virginia’s laws include asbestos safety regulations and statutes that determine how asbestos victims file lawsuits and recover damages.
Asbestos Safety Regulations
Today, there are federal, state, and local laws to protect citizens from asbestos exposure. In West Virginia, the Department of Environmental Protection administers state and federal laws regarding asbestos use, exposure, and removal.
Public demolition and renovation projects require an inspection for asbestos by a certified professional. Someone certified by the Department must supervise jobs involving asbestos, and the state must be notified of the project ten days in advance. Asbestos disposal involves wetting and sealing in appropriate containers.
Statute of Limitations
In West Virginia, there is a time limit for filing a lawsuit against an employer or another party for your asbestos-related illness. You have just two years after diagnosis to file a lawsuit and begin legal action.
If you have lost a loved one to an asbestos-related illness, you also have just two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. This means you must act quickly to ensure you do not miss out on available compensation.
Asbestos Trust Transparency Act
West Virginia is one of several states that passed a law requiring greater transparency from plaintiffs in asbestos lawsuits. When filing an asbestos lawsuit, the plaintiff must disclose all information about asbestos trusts they have filed claims with or plan to file with.
The purpose of the law is to prevent fraud, but it also limits the compensation victims get. If you receive compensation from a trust, the court can reduce a jury award you win in a lawsuit.
Get a Free Consultation with a West Virginia Mesothelioma Lawyer Today
Working with a West Virginia mesothelioma lawyer will help you maximize the time you have to take legal action. You need an experienced professional who is knowledgeable in laws related to asbestos.
A qualified lawyer will help you seek damages for your illness from settlements or asbestos trust funds. Without a lawyer, you run the risk of making mistakes or missing deadlines, potentially preventing you from getting the money you need and deserve.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Page Written by Rod De Llano, Esquire
Rod De Llano was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. He graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Economics, and earned a law degree from the University of Texas. After working for an international law firm for several years, Rod formed a law firm dedicated to representing persons injured by exposure to asbestos products. For over 20 years, Rod has fought for persons diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. His clients have recovered over $1 billion over the years.