Lung Cancer Lawsuits: Legal Help

How Prevalent is Lung Cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common form of cancer in the United States. (Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, while breast cancer is the most common cancer among women). About 236,740 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in 2022, with slightly more in women than in men. There will be about 130,180 deaths from lung cancer in 2022, with more deaths among men than among women.

Lung cancer primarily occurs in those who are 65 and older, while there are few lung cancer diagnoses in those younger than 45. Lung cancer makes up one-fourth of all cancer deaths, with more people dying of lung cancer each year in the United States than of prostate, colon, and breast cancers combined. Because more people are quitting smoking, new lung cancer cases will decrease, although despite what many people think, you don’t necessarily have to be a smoker to get lung cancer.

In fact, about one-fifth of all those diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. In most cases, these lung cancer diagnoses are the result of carcinogens in the workplace, such as asbestos, silica dust, radon gas, diesel fuel, and more. The risk of developing lung cancer in your lifetime is about 1 in 17 for a woman, and 1 in 15 for a man. For those who smoke, those numbers increase.

What Carcinogens Are Responsible for Lung Cancer—Other Than Cigarette Smoke? Even those who smoke cigarettes or have smoked in the past could be diagnosed with lung cancer from another carcinogen. There are many carcinogens that can damage lung function in our current world, but some of the more prevalent—and dangerous—carcinogens include the following:

  • Silica dust—Silica dust is found in some stones, rocks, sand, gravel, and clay, with the most common form found in quartz. Silica dust can be found in some tile, bricks, concrete, concrete, and certain plastics. When working with these materials, silica is released as a fine dust—respirable crystalline silica or silica dust. When inhaled into the lungs, silica dust can do significant damage. Since silica dust is 100 times smaller than a grain of sand, you can breathe it in without being aware of it. Exposure to silica dust can lead to the development of lung cancer, kidney disease, COPD, and silicosis—an irreversible scarring and stiffening of the lungs. Miners, construction workers, engineers, bricklayers, stonemasons, farmers, and those who work in demolition, mineral processing, or the manufacture of glass, ceramics, brick, concrete, tile, metals, or machinery may be exposed to silica dust. According to, approximately 2.3 million United States workers are exposed to silica in the workplace, including 2 million in construction, and 300,000 in other industries.  
  • Radon gas—Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that is released from the normal decay of uranium, thorium, and radium in the rocks and soil. The gas then seeps up through the ground, diffusing into the air. In some areas, radon can dissolve into the groundwater, then released into the air when the water is used. While radon exists at low levels outdoors, areas like basements or underground mines without proper ventilation can significantly increase the risk of lung cancer. Radon gives off tiny radioactive particles, then when those particles are inhaled the cells lining the lungs are damaged. Long-term exposure can lead to lung cancer, with estimates that 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths a year in the U.S. are related to radon. At least 10 percent of radon-related cancer deaths occur among non-smokers.   
  • Asbestos—While most of us have heard of mesothelioma as a disease caused by asbestos exposure, many people are unaware that exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer. Mesothelioma from asbestos exposure develops on the outside lining of the lungs, while asbestos lung cancer is on the inside of the lungs. Asbestos is responsible for an estimated 6,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. Asbestos lung cancer can be small cell or non-small cell, usually developing 15-35 years following exposure to asbestos. The prognosis and treatment will depend on the type and stage of the asbestos cancer. While asbestos lung cancer can take decades to develop, once it has developed, it can spread and metastasize in a matter of months.
  • Diesel fumes—When diesel burns inside an engine, it releases tiny soot particles, as well as chemicals known as PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. When PAHs are inhaled, they cause damage to the lung DNA, leading to lung cancer. Soot particles, like asbestos fibers, can also become lodged deep inside the lungs, causing inflammation and affecting cell division. This makes diesel exhaust especially carcinogenic; those with the heaviest and most prolonged exposures (miners, railroad workers, truck drivers, and heavy equipment operators) have a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer.  
  • Previous lung radiation—Those who have had radiation therapy to the chest to treat other cancers are at a higher risk for lung cancer with the age at the time of the previous treatment affecting the risk for lung cancer.  
  • Arsenic in drinking water—Arsenic in drinking water is found more often in Southeast Asia and South America than in the United States. For most of those on public water systems in America, there is little risk of arsenic ingestion, with Albuquerque, NM the only urban area in the U.S. with significant levels of natural arsenic in drinking water.

How Can I Preserve My Lung Cancer Claim? To ensure your lung cancer claim is properly preserved—whether your lung cancer is the result of asbestos exposure, exposure to radon gas, silica dust exposure, diesel fuel exposure, or exposure to another carcinogen—there are certain steps you must take. First, you must fully document your potential claim. Keep all your medical bills in one place. Any cost that is related to your lung cancer medical treatments should be carefully maintained.

Obtain a work history record from the time you began working in a carcinogenic environment to when you stopped. If you worked in more than one industry or workplace that was negligent in protecting workers from carcinogens, make sure you have complete work records for each one. If you have suffered not only physical harm from your exposure to lung carcinogens, but mental and emotional pain and trauma as well, document these injuries to the best of your ability.

Keep a comprehensive journal of how your lung cancer has altered your life and your ability to engage in day-to-day activities. If you were unable to work following your lung cancer diagnosis, then document this for lost wages damages. If you have received treatments of any kind from a pain clinic, psychologist, physician, surgeon, therapist, or any other doctor or hospital as a result of your lung cancer, documentation is crucial.

Perhaps you have a doctor or doctors who will testify to your lung cancer and the associated damages. When you have all of this information in careful order, your lung cancer claim will be fully preserved.  If you are unsure whether your lung cancer claim is being properly preserved, speak to a knowledgeable Sullo & Sullo lung cancer attorney. We can help you determine whether you have all the necessary documentation required to fully preserve your claim.

What Are the Statutes of Limitations for Lung Cancer Claims? Statutes of limitations govern the amount of time you have in which to file your lung cancer claim. These statutes apply to most types of lawsuits, varying from state to state. If you exceed this window of time before your claim is filed, you could be barred from ever filing a claim for damages following your diagnosis of lung cancer. Speak to your lung cancer attorney about the statutes of limitation for your lung cancer claim so you are sure not to exceed the time limit.

How Can an Experienced Lung Cancer Attorney Help? Although there is trust money set aside for those whose lung cancer can be traced to asbestos exposure, if your lung cancer was caused by radon gas, silica dust, diesel fumes, or other carcinogenic substances, it is important to speak to an experienced lung cancer attorney to determine your best course of action. If your lung cancer is the result of asbestos exposure, a well-qualified lung cancer law firm can help you determine whether you qualify for one or more asbestos trust funds.

A reputable lung cancer law firm will determine whether you should file a silica dust lung cancer lawsuit, a radon gas lung cancer lawsuit, a silicosis lawsuit, an asbestos lung cancer lawsuit, or another type of lung cancer lawsuit from a lung carcinogen. Whatever your specific situation, legal documents must be prepared and filed in specific formats within the prescribed window of time. If you do not have extensive knowledge of the court and court processes, you risk having your claim dismissed if a claim was not properly filled out or you did not provide the correct documentation.

DISCLAIMER: Statutes of Limitations limit the amount of time that an individual has to file a lawsuit, and not only vary from state to state, but also vary by cause of action. The information provided above and in the state-specific pages in this section is meant as a general guide, and is for informational purposes only. Each client’s case is unique, and the specific circumstances of any individual case can have significant bearing on the applicable statute of limitations. Any person who believes they may have a viable cause of action is strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney about the statute of limitations for his or her case. Attorney Andrew Sullo is licensed to practice law in Texas, and can prosecute cases that are part of a federal multi-district litigation. Andrew Sullo does not practice law in any other state, and is not certified by the Boards of Legal Specialization in any state. Not all states have board certifications. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Texas. Our firm is not accepting cases in any state where it would be impermissible for it to do so. Sullo & Sullo, LLP maintains its principal office in Houston, Texas.

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