Asbestos Exposure

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Helping New Jersey Employees Pursue Claims

Asbestos possesses many useful qualities. It is durable and readily available, it can withstand high heat, and it acts as an effective insulator. As a result, many companies throughout New Jersey have used asbestos in their daily operations for decades. Unfortunately, however, evidence has revealed that exposure to asbestos can cause grave and terminal illnesses. Thus, many employees who suffered asbestos-related harm may be able to recover benefits from their employers. If you became ill after exposure to asbestos in the workplace, it is advisable to speak with an attorney regarding your rights. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our New Jersey asbestos lawyers are skilled at navigating the complexities of cases arising out of asbestos exposure, and we will vigorously pursue any benefits that you may be eligible to recover.

Illnesses Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos causes a variety of sicknesses, including various types of cancer, but the two most common illnesses caused by asbestos exposure are mesothelioma and asbestosis. Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the tissues lining internal organs, and it typically presents in a person’s lungs. The vast majority of mesothelioma diagnoses arise out of exposure to asbestos. This is because asbestos fibers, when inhaled, cause inflammation and irritation within the lungs, which causes a reaction that leads to the development of mesothelioma.

Similarly, asbestosis develops when asbestos fibers enter the lungs and cause scarring and irritation. Asbestosis is not cancer, but people with asbestosis may be more prone to develop cancer than other individuals. Mesothelioma and asbestosis both cause shortness of breath, cough, unexpected weight loss, and chest pain. Electricians, boiler operators, and people who worked in auto factories, textile mills, nuclear plants, and shipyards are more likely to suffer from asbestos-related illnesses. Our asbestos attorneys can assist New Jersey residents in any of these industries.

Benefits Recoverable for Illnesses Caused by Asbestos Exposure

People who sustain illnesses due to asbestos exposure in the workplace generally cannot pursue civil claims against their employers but instead are limited to pursuing workers’ compensation benefits. There are exceptions, however, in cases in which an employee’s harm was caused by an intentional wrong committed by the employer. The courts have interpreted this to mean that an employee must show not only that the employer acted deliberately but also that the harm caused by the employer’s acts was substantially certain to occur, which is a high standard of proof. Thus, most people suffering from work-related illnesses can pursue only workers’ compensation benefits from their employers. Employees suffering from asbestos-related illnesses may be able to pursue civil claims against third parties, however.

To recover workers’ compensation benefits for an asbestos-related disease, an employee must show that his or her disease arose out of asbestos exposure that occurred during the course of his or her employment. The employee and a New Jersey asbestos attorney must also establish that exposure to asbestos is characteristic of his or her occupation, place of employment, or trade and that the exposure contributed to a material degree to his or her illness. In other words, while an employee does not need to prove that it is certain that he or she developed an illness due to exposure to asbestos in the workplace, the employee must show by a preponderance of the evidence that it is probable that his or her illness was caused by workplace exposure to asbestos. Typically, this requires medical or scientific evidence that establishes that a causal link exists between the workplace and the employee’s illness. Employees who establish that their illness is work-related may recover medical benefits and income benefits. Additionally, if the employee died due to an occupational illness, the employee’s dependents may recover death benefits.

Contact a Proficient Work Injury Attorney

If your employer exposed you to asbestos in the workplace, it is in your best interest to confer with an attorney to discuss the steps that you can take to recover benefits. At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our attorneys possess the skills and resources needed to help you seek the full amount of benefits that you may be eligible to recover under the law, and we will work diligently on your behalf. We regularly represent people in workers’ compensation claims throughout New Jersey, including individuals in Burlington, Atlantic, Bergen, Camden, Hudson, Essex, Middlesex, Mercer, Ocean, Somerset, Monmouth, Passaic, and Union Counties. You can reach us at 877-450-8301 or through the form online to set up a meeting with an asbestos lawyer in New Jersey.