Facing the debilitating effects of asbestosis can be an overwhelming and life-altering experience. At Vogelzang Law, we are deeply committed to protecting the rights of those affected by this devastating disease. With two decades of experience in this area of law, our dedicated team provides stalwart legal representation, ensuring that victims of asbestos exposure get the justice and compensation they rightfully deserve.
If you or a loved one is grappling with an asbestosis diagnosis, allow our asbestosis lawyers to be your beacon of hope and guide you through this challenging journey.
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. When these tiny fibers are breathed in, they can become lodged in the lung tissue, leading to scarring and inflammation over time. As the scarring progresses, lung function decreases, causing breathlessness, persistent cough, and chest pain and discomfort.
Diagnosis generally comes after a physical examination, chest x-ray, CT scan, and lung function tests. Asbestosis is also commonly referred to as interstitial fibrosis and can be mild, which causes little, if any, impairment to severe, which is disabling and eventually fatal.
Those most at risk are people who have worked in mining, milling, manufacturing, installation, or removal of asbestos in the workplace.
The connection between asbestos and asbestosis has been well-established. Prolonged exposure to asbestos—often found in construction materials, insulation, and some manufacturing processes—increases the risk of developing asbestosis. Unlike some other asbestos-related conditions, asbestosis is not a form of cancer. However, it is a serious, progressive disease that can severely impact one’s quality of life.
The Vogelzang Law story traces back four decades to 1984 at the University of Chicago. Here, a young, bright oncologist, Dr. Nicholas Vogelzang, took on the challenge of treating patients diagnosed with the then-under-researched disease, mesothelioma. These patients, many of whom worked in Chicago’s steel mills, found hope in Dr. Vogelzang’s tireless commitment. This dedication culminated in 2003 when he introduced a groundbreaking chemotherapy regimen for mesothelioma patients, enhancing both their quality of life and longevity. His compassionate approach left an indelible mark on his son, Nicholas Jr., who accompanied him during visits, experiencing firsthand the profound impact of personal care in medicine.
Nicholas Jr.’s exposure to his father’s patients shaped his professional trajectory. After completing law school, he championed the legal cause of the very mesothelioma patients his father had once treated. Vogelzang Law was established in 2016 with a unique mission: mentoring young attorneys in the art and science of mesothelioma litigation, and ensuring that the legal representation extended was rooted in understanding, respect, and care. In Nicholas’s words, each patient represented by Vogelzang Law is seen not as a diagnosis but as a person deserving justice and dignity. Moreover, the firm goes beyond legal battles. They actively participate in the broader cancer community, contributing to research, education, and support, reflecting the Vogelzang legacy of holistic care.
With 20 years of experience in asbestos and mesothelioma litigation, Vogelzang Law is not just a law firm; it’s a pillar of hope for individuals diagnosed with asbestos exposure. The firm’s deep understanding of both medical and legal intricacies ensures that clients receive not just legal representation but holistic support. This commitment extends to the larger community. Vogelzang Law, true to its roots, invests in mesothelioma research, collaborates with leading institutions, and even organizes events like the Mesothelioma Race for Justice 5K, having already raised over $65,000 for mesothelioma research. When you choose Vogelzang Law, you’re choosing a legacy of compassion, innovation, and unwavering commitment to justice.
The inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to scarring of your lungs. Symptoms of asbestosis include:
Like mesothelioma, an asbestosis diagnosis often comes years after exposure. Lungs that have been affected by asbestos will often make a crackling noise when you breathe in. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please schedule an appointment with your GP. Your work history matters, especially if you have been exposed to asbestos, the duration of exposure, and whether you were given protective equipment (gloves, face masks, etc.) while you were working.
Before a doctor can confirm your asbestosis diagnosis, they must consider and rule out other possible causes of lung scarring and inflammation. Some techniques your doctor may use to diagnose your asbestosis include:
Some of the more common lung function tests include:
Asbestosis, resulting from prolonged asbestos exposure, can significantly impact victims’ lives, leading to considerable medical expenses, loss of income, and emotional distress. Victims are entitled to compensation for the harm they’ve suffered due to asbestos exposure. Here’s how compensation can be secured:
Many asbestosis cases are resolved through settlements without ever going to trial. After a thorough examination of the case details, a law firm negotiates with the responsible parties or their insurance companies. The aim is to agree upon an amount that justly compensates the victim without the unpredictability and time commitment of a trial. Settlements offer a quicker route to securing funds for medical treatment and other immediate needs.
While lawsuits for mesothelioma claims are rare, if a fair settlement isn’t achievable, filing a lawsuit becomes necessary. This process involves taking the case to court, where both sides present their evidence and arguments. A verdict is then passed by a jury. Lawsuits can result in larger compensations than settlements, but they are more time-consuming and can be unpredictable. Having a strong legal representative by your side will ensure that if a lawsuit does result, your case has powerful backing and an airtight argument.
Over the years, many companies responsible for asbestos exposure have declared bankruptcy. However, this doesn’t mean victims can’t get compensated. Bankruptcy laws often require these companies to set up trust funds dedicated to compensating asbestosis victims. These trusts are established with predetermined criteria and compensation levels, providing another avenue for victims to obtain the monetary relief they deserve. Our firm relies on paralegals who can direct your case through this avenue if necessary. We will continue to stand by you throughout this process and ensure that you receive the compensation you’re due.
Navigating the legal complexities that come with an asbestosis diagnosis can be a daunting task. But at Vogelzang Law, we simplify this journey for you.
Our team is fully equipped with the knowledge to tackle every aspect of asbestosis cases. With a deep-rooted commitment to serving our clients, we’ve refined our practice to provide the best legal strategies tailored to individual case nuances. Each asbestos-related case is unique, and our attorneys recognize this. We meticulously analyze every detail to ensure that your rights are protected and that justice is served.
A strong case isn’t just built on legal prowess but also on medical insights. Over the years, we’ve cultivated relationships with leading asbestosis and mesothelioma oncologists nationwide. This has not only broadened our understanding of the disease but also enables us to provide our clients with comprehensive guidance on what they can expect after a diagnosis.
Our commitment doesn’t end with the legal proceedings. At Vogelzang Law, we understand the emotional and physical toll that asbestosis can have on victims and their families. Through our partnerships, such as with Cancer Wellness, we aim to educate and support the broader cancer community. You’re not just a client to us; you’re family, and we are here to support you every step of the way.
When you engage with Vogelzang Law, you’re not just securing a law firm; you’re aligning with a partner who will be by your side, advocating for your rights, offering support, and ensuring that your voice is heard.
There is no cure for asbestosis – damage to your lungs from asbestos is irreversible. However, you can take steps to improve your quality of life.
Determining past exposure to asbestos often requires a combination of medical and occupational investigations. Start by considering your job history; certain occupations, especially in construction, shipbuilding, automotive, and manufacturing sectors, had higher risks of asbestos exposure. Also, think about locations where you worked, lived, or even studied—some buildings constructed before the 1980s often used asbestos-containing materials.
Additionally, talking to former coworkers, reviewing old employment records, or seeking the help of an experienced attorney can shed light on potential exposure. Lastly, certain medical tests, like lung scans, can identify asbestos fibers or show patterns consistent with asbestos exposure.
Yes, there’s a difference. While both asbestosis and mesothelioma result from asbestos exposure, they are distinct diseases. Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease characterized by lung tissue scarring, whereas mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. The claims differ in the severity of the illness, potential compensation amounts, and the prognosis of the victim. Mesothelioma claims often result in higher compensation due to the aggressive nature of the disease and the shorter life expectancy of its victims compared to those with asbestosis. Speak to your lawyer about the potential compensation you could receive based on your individual circumstances and condition or conditions.
Yes, family members of deceased asbestosis victims can often file what’s known as a “wrongful death” claim. If the asbestosis victim passed away before being able to start or complete a legal claim, their immediate family members or estate may be eligible to pursue compensation on their behalf. The specifics of eligibility—like who can file and the time frame for filing—can vary by jurisdiction, so it’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney to understand the rights and potential legal actions available.