Approximately 2000 to 4000 deaths occur in the state of Oregon each year because of suffering asbestos-related diseases. Because to its extensive shipbuilding, wood, and pulp and paper processing industries, Oregon has a disproportionately high number of deaths from asbestos-related diseases such mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer compared to other states. Workers’ compensation attorneys in Oregon who specialize in mesothelioma cases advise clients who have been exposed on how to navigate the complex legal and financial issues that arise and advocate on their behalf.
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How can you know if you’ve been exposed to asbestos?
Asbestos fibers, once ingested, may remain dormant in the body for years before causing symptoms to manifest. Asbestos exposure is associated with an increased risk of developing lung cancer, asbestosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, all of which manifest primarily in the respiratory system. Asbestos exposure produces a cancer called mesothelioma, which can harm the lining of your chest or stomach. Cancers of the esophagus and stomach have also been linked to asbestos. Asbestos exposure can cause respiratory problems, chest pain, and even cancer. Asbestosis-related diseases can cause a host of symptoms, including a persistent cough that may or may not produce blood, hoarseness, and exhaustion.
What to do after asbestos exposure?
After asbestos exposure, it's crucial to take the following steps to protect your health:
Seek Medical Attention: If you suspect or know you've been exposed to asbestos, consult a healthcare professional immediately. They can evaluate your condition, perform necessary tests, and provide guidance on the appropriate next steps.
Notify Your Doctor: Be sure to inform your doctor about the nature and extent of your asbestos exposure. This information can help them make an accurate assessment of your health and the potential risks involved.
Monitor Your Health: Keep a close eye on your health in the weeks and months following exposure. Watch for symptoms such as persistent coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or unexplained weight loss.
Quit Smoking: If you are a smoker, consider quitting. Smoking combined with asbestos exposure significantly increases the risk of lung cancer.
Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to any recommendations or treatment plans provided by your healthcare provider. They may suggest regular check-ups or specific tests to monitor your condition.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and take steps to maintain overall good health. This can help support your body's natural defenses.
Know the Risks: Familiarize yourself with the potential health risks associated with asbestos exposure, including asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
Protect Others: If you've been exposed to asbestos in your workplace, ensure that your employer takes appropriate measures to protect you and your colleagues from further exposure. Follow workplace safety protocols.
Asbestos Testing and Removal: If you suspect asbestos in your home or workplace, consider having it tested and, if necessary, professionally removed. Asbestos-containing materials that are in good condition and undisturbed are less likely to pose a health risk.
Legal Considerations: If you believe your asbestos exposure was due to negligence or unsafe conditions in your workplace, you may want to consult a legal professional experienced in asbestos-related cases to explore your rights and potential compensation.
Remember that asbestos exposure can have long-term health effects, so it's essential to take it seriously and act prudently to safeguard your health and the health of others. Consult with a medical professional for personalized advice and guidance.
Oregon Laws regulating asbestos exposure
The purpose of the current legislation is to control asbestos disposal and reduce exposure. Asbestos management is governed by federal standards, with certain additional state restrictions established by Oregon. The Department of Environmental Quality of Oregon is in charge of administering state regulations and overseeing federal laws.
Oregon follows Environmental Protection Agency regulations for asbestos-containing building demolition and renovation standards and asbestos emission limitations. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, however, is responsible for establishing guidelines for worker safety.
Preparing to file a workers’ compensation claim
It’s normal to feel stressed out by the prospect of pursuing compensation, but knowing what to expect might help. To make sure your personal injury claim meets all the necessary standards, you should consult with our experienced Oregon workers’ compensation attorneys.
The only way to prove that a patient’s asbestos-related illness was caused by that exposure is to look into their job and health histories. You should compile documents related to your health, employment, and military service. An experienced attorney can compare this data to a database of companies and brands associated with asbestos to better understand your potential legal recourse in this matter.
If you believe you have a case, an experienced Oregon workers’ compensation lawyer can help you figure out where to file it depending on where you lived, worked, or served in the military during the time you were exposed to asbestos. The next step is to have the attorney file the actual lawsuit while you focus on recovery.
Settlements are a regular outcome of mesothelioma claims. If a settlement cannot be reached, an experienced lawyer will not hesitate to take your case to court. If someone else is responsible for your hardships and losses, they should compensate you fairly.
Statute of Limitations to file workers’ compensation claim seeking damages for asbestos-related diseases
The statute of limitations in Oregon limits how long you have to file a claim against asbestos. According to Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 30.907, you have 2 years from the time of diagnosis to file a claim. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to collect any compensation. Contacting our experienced Oregon workers’ compensation attorneys at Aldrich Law, LLC can help you determine whether you have standing to launch a claim and comply with applicable statutes of limitations.
FAQs for Asbestos Legal Questions
1. What is asbestos, and why is it dangerous? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral known for its heat-resistant properties. However, when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed or deteriorate, they release microscopic fibers into the air. Inhaling these fibers can lead to serious health issues, including lung diseases and cancers.
2. How can I be exposed to asbestos? Exposure to asbestos can occur when working with or around asbestos-containing materials, such as insulation, flooring, roofing, and pipes. Additionally, older buildings might have asbestos-containing materials that can release fibers into the air due to renovation, demolition, or decay.
3. What health risks are associated with asbestos exposure? Asbestos exposure can lead to diseases such as asbestosis (scarring of lung tissue), lung cancer, and mesothelioma (a rare cancer affecting the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen). These diseases often have a long latency period, with symptoms appearing many years after exposure.
4. Are there any federal regulations regarding asbestos? Yes, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have established regulations to manage asbestos exposure in various settings, including workplaces and the environment.
5. How does Oregon regulate asbestos exposure? Oregon has its own set of regulations to address asbestos exposure. The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Oregon OSHA) enforces workplace safety rules related to asbestos. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) oversees regulations concerning the handling, removal, and disposal of asbestos-containing materials in non-workplace settings.
6. What are the requirements for asbestos abatement in Oregon? Asbestos abatement involves the safe removal and disposal of asbestos-containing materials. In Oregon, abatement projects must be conducted by licensed and certified professionals. Proper notification to Oregon OSHA and DEQ is necessary before beginning an abatement project.
7. Are there penalties for non-compliance with asbestos regulations in Oregon? Yes, non-compliance with asbestos regulations in Oregon can lead to significant fines and legal consequences. Failing to follow proper procedures for handling and disposing of asbestos-containing materials can put public health at risk and result in serious penalties.
8. Is there financial assistance available for asbestos-related illnesses in Oregon? Victims of asbestos-related diseases in Oregon may be eligible for compensation through legal avenues, including lawsuits against responsible parties. Additionally, there are asbestos trust funds set up by bankrupt asbestos companies to provide compensation to affected individuals.
9. How can I protect myself from asbestos exposure? If you suspect the presence of asbestos-containing materials in your home or workplace, consult with professionals for assessment and proper management. Always follow safety guidelines when handling potential asbestos materials, and never attempt to remove them yourself without the appropriate training and equipment.
10. Where can I find more information about asbestos regulations in Oregon? For more detailed information about asbestos regulations in Oregon, you can refer to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Oregon OSHA) and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) websites. These resources provide comprehensive information on asbestos-related rules, guidelines, and procedures specific to Oregon.