If you work on in glass production, mining sites, ceramics, ship building, or in construction, you likely get exposed to silica, a substance commonly found in sand, glass, and soil. Long-term exposure to silica could cause silicosis, a progressive lung disease that leaves scar tissue on the lungs blocking the circulation of oxygen in the bloodstream. You may be entitled to compensation for silicosis. Here is some information on silicosis claims.
Symptoms and Treatment of Silicosis
Symptoms of silicosis in the first stages include eye irritation, chronic cough, fever, wheezing, and shortness of breath. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include overall weakness, chest pain, and loss of appetite. You have a higher chance of contracting lung disease once you develop silicosis, and contracting tuberculosis and bronchitis after exposure to silica.
No cure or specific treatment exists for silicosis. Treatment includes oxygen, antibiotics, cough medicine, and bronchodilators. Lung transplants could be needed in serious cases.
Types of Silicosis
- Chronic Silicosis: Chronic silicosis mainly occurs from long-term exposure to constant, low quantities of silica over a 10–20 year time period. This kind of silicosis causes chest lymph nodes and lung swelling.
- Acute Silicosis: Acute silicosis commonly develops after being exposed to a high amount of silica in a short time, usually several weeks to 5 years. Acute silicosis causes decreased oxygen levels, fluid build up and inflammation in lungs.
- Accelerated Silicosis: Accelerated Silicosis results from being exposed to high amounts of silica in a 5–10 year time period. Swelling of the lungs occurs rapidly in acute silicosis.
- Worker's Compensation. Silicosis counts as a work place injury. If your employer didn't provide adequate information and protection from silica, you could collect payments under workers compensation by proving negligence.
- Toxic Exposure Class Action Lawsuit. Toxic exposure class action lawsuits allow a group of people in the same town or company to file a claim instead of filing individually. A lead plaintiff speaks on behalf of the litigants in court, and compensation is divided among claimants.
- Product Liability. Another way to get compensated is through a product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer for a defective product. For example, if a breathing apparatus failed, you will have to show that the manufacturer's product didn't meet safety standards.
To win any type of silicosis claim, a medical expert must diagnose the type of exposure, the causes, and extent of the illness. Don't hesitate seeing your doctor if you think you have this disease. Since silica cases are complex, it is advised to hire a personal injury attorney.