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Asbestos Lawyers


What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a grouping of six naturally occurring minerals formed into flexible fibres that used to be applied as a fire retardant, stop electrical currents and reduce corrosion for homes and businesses.

Individuals may be exposed to asbestos in older establishments or if they work within certain industries, including:

  • Railway carriage construction.
  • Power industries.
  • Shipbuilding.
  • Mining and manufacture of asbestos.
  • Office and industrial building construction.

Asbestos — also known as dust disease — was used in nearly everything from cloth and plastic to cars and roofs up until 2003. Exposure to these small fibres can cause lung damage that may not be seen for 20 to 30 years after exposure. Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos will develop a disease; the individual must be exposed to large amounts over a long period of time.

Exposure occurs when the asbestos fibres get trapped in your lungs and typically after years of irritation cause inflammation, cancer and lung scarring.

Australia completely banned asbestos materials and imports in December 2003, but existing materials are still discovered around the country. Workers are not permitted to work with asbestos until they are properly trained and certified.

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What happens if you’re exposed to asbestos?

The body can naturally flush out asbestos if you are exposed to a small amount. However, if you smoke tobacco or vape, this can greatly decrease the body’s ability to protect you from these deadly fibres. Some of the fibres may not escape even in healthy lungs and result in more serious diseases such as:

  • Asbestosis: Scarring in the lungs from the asbestos fibres that prevents oxygen and carbon dioxide from travelling in and out of the lung easily. This is most common in people who have had long periods of heavy exposure.
  • Pleural disease: A non-cancerous lung condition. It transforms the membrane around the lungs and chest cavity. These membranes become thicker around the chest and result in less-efficient respiratory function.
  • Mesothelioma: A type of lung cancer that lines the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs, making it difficult to breathe. The disease can spread more easily to other parts of the body.

Mesothelioma occurs after decades — 20 to 40 years — after exposure. There are often other health concerns that arise before this type of cancer gets to a dangerous, incurable stage. If you notice symptoms or know someone you used to work with who is experiencing them, talk to your doctor right away.

Call Gerard Malouf & Partners after you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease; we can help you make an asbestos claim.

How do you know if you have asbestosis?

Keeping an eye on asbestos-related disease symptoms can help you to reduce the risk of cancers and other illnesses caused by exposure. Asbestosis, a lung disease caused by asbestos, can have a number of different breathing-related symptoms such as:

  • Dry cough.
  • Breathlessness that worsens over time.
  • Fast, shallow breathing.
  • Weight loss.
  • Swelling at the end of fingers.
  • Crackling sounds when breathing.
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Is there a time limit on filing a claim?

Anyone who has been diagnosed with asbestosis or a related condition is eligible to file a claim. The statute of limitations to file is within 6 to 12 months after diagnosis. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may only have a few short months to make a case before the cancer becomes debilitating.

When you file a claim it will be either civil or statutory:

  • Civil claim: Occurs if the company that exposed you to asbestos was your employer and is still in business. Here, you’d likely file a workers compensation claim.
  • Statutory claim: If the person or entity that exposed you to asbestos no longer exists such as the company that built your home or a past employer liquidated, there is no one to make a claim against. In this case, you’d file a statutory claim.

Given the time sensitivity related to an asbestos case, here are the steps involved in the process so you can file right away:

1. Gather evidence

As soon as you’re diagnosed, gather the paperwork from your doctor and call a lawyer at GMP Law. Claiming asbestos exposure can be a long and complicated process because it involves tracking down where the exposure happened and filing a case of either employer negligence or a workers compensation claim if you still work with them.

In your file you should include X-ray, CAT and MRI scans to demonstrate your due diligence in acquiring a diagnosis. Medical records will help support your case and communicate your need for compensation.

2. Proof of exposure

If you know of a past coworker who has an asbestos-related disease, this can be valuable information to share with your lawyer. Tracking down an employer decades after exposure can be difficult, but an asbestos lawyer can examine your work history and look for other claims against the same company.

3. Receive compensation

Asbestos compensation is based on the severity of the exposure and your financial need. Part of this process is supported by how and when you were exposed to asbestos fibres. Of course, it’s ideal to start the claims process as soon as possible to earn compensation to cover your expenses. However, many cases are resolved after the death of the claimant. In this case, the immediate beneficiaries of the deceased will receive compensation to cover expenses and debts.

Work injury damages typically range between $150,000 to $600,000, but these figures may change depending on need and circumstances.


Leverage the help of an experienced law office

Given the complexity and time sensitivity of an asbestos diagnosis, working with a mesothelioma lawyer from GMP Law can help expedite the process. Not only do we work on a no-win, no-fee basis, but we are also experts in this pillar of compensation law.

Our law firm specialises in maximising payouts for our clients Australia-wide. We’ve won an excess of $4 billion in personal injury compensation for clients and feel confident in our ability to work on your behalf. Our informed lawyers can offer legal advice and asbestos litigation support at any stage of your diagnosis.

For more information or to get started on an asbestos compensation claim, enquire today.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What you need to know about Asbestos

Commonly asked questions concerning Asbestos claims.

Real estate agents are legally required to disclose if a home contains asbestos if the potential buyer asks.

No amount of asbestos is safe to inhale. Although, even after exposure to a large amount of asbestos, mesothelioma is still rare. Late-stage asbestosis varies from person to person and doesn’t always result in mesothelioma. If you are in a profession that is at risk of asbestos exposure, it’s important to talk to your employer about the safety measures they’re taking and how you can better protect yourself.

“Just want to say thank you for the help and confidence to speak out about my situation, it changed my life forever and now I can look forward to getting surgery to repair my stomach and return to work shortly. Thank you all again for your hard work and determination to get the best outcome for me. I’m glad I can close this chapter and look forward to fixing myself. "

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Gerard Malouf
About Us
Gerard Malouf & Partners have provided friendly, experienced legal advice to communities across Australia for over 35 years. Our Personal Injury Lawyers have taken on ten’s of thousands of cases and we are proud to have won billions of dollars for our clients.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.

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