- Practice Areas
Our attorneys have been assisting the Orange County and Southern California communities for over 40 years.
The Orange County California lung injury attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo have over thirty years of experience helping lung and respiratory injury patients win their case in a court of law and be awarded the maximum possible compensation. Lung injuries that happen at work or elsewhere have the potential to be very tragic given how important and fragile our lungs are. Call us to set up a free initial consultation and case evaluation to discuss your specific blunt trauma to the lung injury, hard metal dust inhalation lung injury, or any other type of lung injury case. We are considered by some to be the best Orange County lung injury lawyers and we will work hard to live up to those standards.
You probably have many questions and concerns about what happens next and what your options are. You might also be thinking about how to bring a traumatic or acute lung injury legal cause of action and/or how to file a long-term work exposure lung injury workers’ compensation claim. We answer our phones twenty-four hours a day so please contact us anytime at (714) 783-2205. It is critical for you to get at least some legal guidance before proceeding with your punctured lung injury accident case, asbestos case, hard metal dust inhalation lung injury case or any other lung injury case. We will discuss your claim during your free consultation:
Our Orange County lung injury attorneys are ready to use their experience and know-how to take the load and stress of this case off of your shoulders if you want. If after meeting with us and discussing the numerous important steps and costs that are needed to file, investigate, negotiate, litigate, and potentially take your lung injury case to trial, please know that we will always be here for you. We sure hope this website helps you to learn more about injury law and that you get to your maximum medical improvement in a timely manner. Call our Orange County personal injury law firm at (714) 783-2205.
Traumatic lung injuries are very possible any time a blow or trauma happens to a person’s neck or chest. Furthermore, having rib pain is a good reason to check for lung injuries as rib injuries and lung injuries often go together. Acute lung injuries (ALI) are one type of traumatic lung injury. They are mainly caused by a direct injury to the lung like pneumonia or blunt trauma but can also be caused by indirect injuries to the lung like pancreatitis. Another version of acute lung injury is more severe and is called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Typically, low lung levels (airway collapse) and reduced lung compliance are also symptoms of ALI and ARDS. Pulmonary lung injuries occur after long-term exposure to powders, dust, irritant, asbestos, toxins, chemicals, and more. See below for more examples of this.
As stated above, any injury to the chest, back or neck is a sign of possible lung injury. This is especially true for the chest since the lungs make up a large portion of that region and can be directly or indirectly injured in many ways. Other symptoms to look for include a bluish tint around the mouth and nose, rapid and shallow breathing, difficulty to get a full breath, a feeling of breathlessness, wheezing, a dry cough, pain in the chest or ribs, an elevated heart rate, clubbing (fingernails that curve over the top of your fingertips), fever, hypotension, lightheadedness, dyspnea and even no detectable breathing. Be sure to call a doctor if you have these symptoms as it is always better to discover lung injuries earlier rather than later. Many of the above symptoms worsen over time and can be confused for other injuries or conditions.
There are many causes for lung injuries as they can happen as a result from direct or indirect trauma to the lungs, inhaling irritants over an extended period, and inflammation. The types of irritants that affect the lung after long term exposure include pollutants, toxins, hard metal dust (like cobalt dust from drilling), silica dust, asbestos fibers, gases like ammonia and chlorine, sawdust, dust, grain, sugarcane, dust from bird and animal droppings, airborne chemicals, moldy hay, bacteria in unmaintained hot tubs and humidifiers, and powders. Some of the other causes are major trauma, injury to the chest or ribs, impaled objects, puncture wounds, sepsis, fat embolism, bicycle or skateboarding accident, eclampsia, poisoning, being in a car accident, truck accident, a direct airbag blow to the chest, motorcycle accident, a sports injury like being hit by a bat or tackled hard, radiation, air embolism, amniotic fluid embolism, drugs, inhalation of noxious fumes, burns, near drowning, pneumonia, fungal infections, parasitic infections, pancreatitis, and pulmonary aspiration. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after any of these injuries because it is a good precaution and because your lungs may have collapsed or some broken or cracked ribs could puncture your lungs.
It is important to stay up to date on the causes for lung injuries as even talcum baby powder was found to be causing lung disease or cancer in babies or adults if they inhaled a significant amount over time. That form of lung disease is called talcosis. Additionally, beauty mineral powders have been found to cause lung disease with long-term use. Lung injuries also come from unexpected sources. TRALI (transfusion-related acute lung injury) is a very possible complication of transfusion. Unfortunately, in our world of chemicals and toxins that are produced in mass by large corporations, doctors are discovering more and more situations where lung injuries are common. We have included a few serious examples of this in the workers’ compensation section below as it is the factory and manufacturing employees that can get hit the hardest.
The US passed the Miner Safety Act in 2006 to improve the conditions that miners worked in and help produce more technology to alleviate some of the risks of mining. Sadly, mining still has one of the highest rates of fatal injuries among dangerous industries (agriculture and construction are also in the top three). Miners face many dangers both when they are working underground and above ground including cave-ins, the mine collapsing, equipment failure, electrocutions, explosions, falling equipment, rock or tools, toxic gas or fumes inhalation, and many others. An additional big reason for miners to be injured on the job is that they develop respiratory problems, black lung, hard metal lung disease, trace metal lung disease or pneumoconiosis disease. Drilling, being around and working with coal, workshop dust and hard metal dust like cobalt seem to be a direct way to put toxins into the body, poison our systems and lower one’s immune system. The mines are safer than they were in the 1970s when we started our firm but they still cause many lung injuries.
The Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys of DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo is ready to investigate and research your claims for work comp lung injuries. We have helped many people who have developed lung injuries at work either over time by constantly inhaling or being exposed to irritants, powders, dusts, hard metal dust (possibly from drilling or being in a mine), pollutants, toxic vapors, asbestos, or chemicals. Our experienced work injury attorneys have also been there for victims of blunt lung trauma like that sustained in a car accident, fall, equipment accident, conveyor belt accident, crane accident, chest injury, being crushed, jackhammer accident, puncture wounds, being impaled, nail gun accident, ladder accident, motorcycle accident, debris dropped on you, and many other injuries sustained on the job.
Workers’ compensation laws are set up to keep injured employees protected and supported after an injury at work. Part of that law is that employers cannot penalize or fire employees for filing a workers’ compensation claim. The work comp insurance held by your employer has the potential to provide financial compensation to you and your family for medical benefits, disability, income, death benefits, permanent disability compensation, medical expenses, and vocational rehabilitation, when the circumstances of the job injury warrant such payments.
In the pyro-powder-producing industry, aluminum powder flakes can be found throughout the air. It has been proven that employees working in these factories can develop very serious lung disease from the long term exposure to the metal’s dust and powder.
One disturbing side effect of technology is what happens to it after we throw it away or recycle it. It has been found that those who do the work of melting the metals and breaking TVs, computers, circuit board, and other electronic devices down to their components are inhaling toxic levels of workplace dust and hard metal dust. In some studied cities where this is done, the air quality is poor throughout the city and hard metal dust can be found in air and dust samples from around the town thus showing the inherent risk to all (though the workers probably do get the brunt of the problem).
Food processing employees may be at risk of developing severe lung disease, respiratory injuries or being afflicted by asthma due to the “natural” butter flavoring diacetyl. Workers in popcorn factories, snack factories, microwave popcorn factories, flavoring companies, bakeries, and mass food production plants are some of the people who could be exposed to diacetyl and be at danger. Some call it “popcorn lung” and the symptoms do not cease when someone ceases to be exposed to it. One possible condition that it leads to is bronchiolitis obliterans which causes the airways to thicken and narrow.
Asbestos was used heavily in construction and other fields due to its many positive characteristics such as the fact that it is resistant to heat, chemical, and electrical damage. It was used throughout houses and buildings and in many household products. It has been found, though, to cause malignant lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestos warts, pleural plaques, diffuse pleural thickening, and asbestosis after long-term exposure to it. Certain products around today are still at risk of containing asbestos including popcorn ceilings and old plaster. Given how dangerous asbestos is and the many years of medical studies proving long-term exposure and medical issues are related, be sure to call our firm to discuss your possible case.
Not only are construction workers in a field where traumatic injuries to the neck, back, and chest are common, they typically work in environments with elevated amounts of dust, dirty air, sawdust, and other irritants. Good examples of this are the people who work with the table saw or power sander all day constantly breathing in sawdust, splinters, and other particulates. Employees at lumberyards and rock quarries have similar issues.
Even though lung injuries are still very possible with all the right gear, it is important for employees to wear all the suggested safety gear. This includes gas masks, nose and mouth masks, goggles, hard hats, and more. It is also important to be aware of and use all the safety devices on the equipment, heavy machinery, tools, belt sanders, and saws since they are in place for a good.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (www.OSHA.gov) has made big progress in improving the work environments of employees in every industry across the country. OSHA states that “Every day in this country, more than fourteen workers lose their lives in preventable workplace tragedies.” With that disturbing stat in mind, OSHA continues to improve and tighten safety regulations and rules. This includes the most dangerous industries where lung injuries are more common like the mining industry, construction industry, farming and agricultural industry and athletics.
OSHA investigates accidents, equipment, injuries, mines, tools, collapsed mines, and safety code violations by interviewing witnesses and employees, talking with management and ownership, checking logs, reviewing maintenance records, conducting site inspections, and by conducting other investigations. Studies find that employers need to try harder to protect their employees since the amount of people still getting lung injuries every year on the job remains high.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim will help you recoup percentages of your lost income. To get your maximum possible compensation, there needs to be a third party who was also at fault for your injury. For lung injuries, there is a large variety of people and companies that could be suspect of being a third party including contractors, manufacturers, companies, factories, repair shops, sub-contractors, part suppliers, government entities or anyone else who had a hand in causing your injury but is not your employer. Be sure to contact our firm soon if there is a possible third party as those cases are improved greatly the sooner that one of our OC work comp lawyers can investigate the incident and start preparing the dual cases.
Injuries to the lungs are not always easy to figure out since there are so many causes. Doctors use your work history, high-resolution computerized tomography scan (HRCT), medical history, chest x-rays, pulmonary function tests (like blowing into a spirometer), exercise tests, bronchoscopy (the removal of a small piece of lung tissue for studying), bronchoalveolar lavage (studying cells from air sacs in the lungs), and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (surgical lung biopsy) to help them determine what the issue is. Once the diagnosis has been made, treatment options vary quite a bit. Some of the options include lung transplantation, anti-fibrotic, surgery, pressure control ventilation, oxygen therapy, azathioprine, corticosteroid drugs, acetylcysteine drugs, and mechanical ventilation.
One reason why people near explosions get severely injured or die is that of blast lung injuries (BLI). The blast lung injuries are caused by blast waves from detonations and they can tear the lungs and cause hemorrhages and contusions on the lungs. Symptoms and signs of BLI include hemoptysis, cough, apnea, wheezing, decreased breathing sounds, hemodynamic instability, chest pain, and dyspnea. Blast lung injuries are serious and need immediate medical attention so be sure to take note of how your injury happened, how you feel, and call for help as soon as possible.
The free initial consultations and case evaluations have always been an effective way for our potential clients to get to know our team of quality lawyers and staff, learn about the legal merits of their case and discuss their potential case and options. Our law firm operates all of its cases on a contingency basis where you will not owe or pay us anything unless we win your injury case with a positive trial verdict or settlement.
The Orange County lung injury lawyers at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo will come to you at your house or hospital room if you are unable to come to our office. We will also be available by appointment for meetings on the weekend and evening if you do not have the time to see us during the normal times of Monday through Friday between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm. We wish you and your family the best possible outcome regarding your lung injury. Contact our lawyers online or call us at (714) 783-2205 for a free consultation.