People Caring for People

Morgantown Silicosis Attorney

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with silicosis, speak to an attorney who specializes in silicosis lawsuits in Morgantown, West Virginia right away. You may have grounds to bring a cause of action against an employer, a product manufacturer, or another party. Filing a lawsuit can give your family justice for a devastating silicosis diagnosis, as well as provide financial compensation for your related medical bills and other expenses.

Why Choose Contact Robinette Legal Group?

  • We have years of experience handling workplace injury and illness claims, including representing clients who work in construction and mining.
  • Our main goal is to care for clients’ needs. We will work closely with you to identify your goals, tailor our legal services and make sure your family has everything it needs.
  • We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will only make you pay for our services if we win financial compensation on your behalf.

Why Hire a Morgantown Silicosis Lawyer?

Personal injury claims require an understanding of both complicated legal processes and the medicine and mechanism of the illness or injury. An attorney can provide the knowledge you need based on decades of experience representing clients. Your lawyer can help you prove an illness such as silicosis, as well as prove that the defendant is legally at fault. Then, your lawyer can argue for maximum financial compensation on your behalf.

Your lawyer can prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of you by taking over claim negotiations. Although an insurance company will not want to offer a fair award, an attorney will give the insurer no choice. After your diagnosis, you may be too stressed out or overwhelmed to handle legal processes on your own. Hiring an attorney can solve this problem and give your family what it needs during this difficult time.

What Is Silicosis?

Silicosis is a lung disease that is most often caused by breathing in dust that contains silica at a job site. Silica is a naturally occurring crystal that is found in minerals, rock, and sand. Breathing in specks of silica – which are about 100 times smaller than a grain of sand – consistently over time can lead to silica building up in the lungs and airways. Silica particles can irritate the lung tissues, leading to scarring and inflammation that can make it difficult to breathe and cause chronic lung problems.

What Causes Silicosis?

Silicosis is most commonly diagnosed in workers who are exposed to silica dust at work. Currently, millions of workers in the United States are exposed to silica particles each day. Industries where silica dust is present include construction, mining, steel, plaster and drywall, glass manufacturing, roofing, and farming. Any job that involves the grinding, drilling, or cutting of rocks can lead to silica dust exposure.

In these professions, it is an employer’s legal duty to evaluate the potential risks of silica dust exposure and protect employees accordingly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for how much silica dust a worker should be exposed to at maximum. According to OSHA, the acceptable exposure limit is no more than 50 μg/m3 in an 8-hour work shift.

In addition, employers are expected to decrease the risk of exposure through control methods such as hazard communication, warning signs in the workplace, HEPA filters, respiratory protection, and proper training. If an employer carelessly or knowingly fails to keep employees reasonably safe from silica exposure, the employer could be legally responsible for related illnesses, including silicosis.

What Are the First Signs of Silicosis?

It takes time for silica dust that is lodged in the throat to create enough scar tissue to become noticeable. A worker may start to notice the signs of silicosis or other lung problems about 10 to 30 years after breathing in silica particles. Some of the earliest signs of silicosis are:

  • A persistent cough
  • Coughing up phlegm
  • Labored breathing or trouble breathing
  • Breathlessness

A slowly developing cough, along with sputum, is the most common early sign of silicosis. A patient may notice a cough that will not go away, as well as progressive shortness of breath. Then, a chest x-ray may show abnormal scar tissue in the lungs, allowing a doctor to diagnose silicosis. More advanced cases of silicosis can result in symptoms such as:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Bluish lips

Silicosis is diagnosed with x-rays, a bronchoscopy, and a biopsy. These tests can differentiate silicosis from similar illnesses, such as tuberculosis and bronchitis. There are two different types of silicosis: chronic and acute. Chronic silicosis occurs from low levels of silica exposure over a long period of time. Acute silicosis is associated with high-level silica exposure over a short time, resulting in severe lung inflammation and possible effusion (the lungs filling with fluid). Both types are serious and often last for life. Although there are treatments to reduce pain and manage symptoms, there is no cure for silicosis.

Do You Have Grounds for a Silicosis Lawsuit?

Silicosis can lead to immense physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life. It can also cost thousands of dollars in medical treatments, such as x-rays, doctor’s appointments, specialists, medications, and antibiotics. If someone else’s carelessness caused or significantly contributed to you developing silicosis, you may be entitled to financial compensation for economic and non-economic damages.

To have grounds for a silicosis lawsuit, you or your lawyer must establish that the defendant(s) owed you a duty of care, did not fulfill this duty of care and that this caused your illness. For example, in a lawsuit against an employer, you must show evidence that the cause of your silicosis was exposure to silica dust at work and that your employer had the power to protect you from harmful exposure but negligently failed to do so. An attorney can help you meet your burden of proof and fight for fair financial compensation for your past and future losses.

Contact an Experienced Silicosis Lawyer in Morgantown Today

Silicosis is completely preventable when employers give their workers the proper equipment and information. If you have been diagnosed with silicosis or another serious lung disease after exposure to silica dust, consult with the attorneys at Robinette Legal Group. Our attorneys can help you file a lawsuit and pursue just compensation for your losses. Contact us online or at (304) 594-1800 now to request a free consultation in Morgantown or the surrounding area.