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I Am a Firefighter That Has Been Diagnosed With Cancer: Now What?

If you are a firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be able to get compensation. When putting out petroleum-based fires, firefighters

If you are a firefighter who has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be able to get compensation. When putting out petroleum-based fires, firefighters use a substance called aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). This foam is the quickest to extinguish fires that do not respond quickly to the water. 

What is AFFF?

AAFF, also known as firefighting foam, is made by combining thickening agents with water. The thickening agents used in firefighting foam are associated with cancer-causing chemicals. PFAS are the main chemicals used to manufacture firefighter foam. 

PFAS (per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are synthetic chemicals, also called forever chemicals. These manufactured chemicals do not break down at the same rate as other chemicals and can have a half-life of up to 8 years. PFAS are found in training areas, the fuel areas at an airport, and individuals who have long-term exposure to firefighting foam. 

Can Firefighting Foam Cause Cancer?

Scientific studies have linked the chemicals found in firefighting foam to certain types of cancers. Additional issues tied to firefighter foam are a weakened immune system, damage to the liver, birth defects, and child development issues. 

Firefighters are at the highest risk of developing cancer caused by forever chemicals. However, studies show that anyone who experiences long-term exposure is at risk. The chemicals can seep into the ground and invade individuals drinking supplies. 

All people have some level of PFAS in their system. Health issues arise if the levels of the chemicals are too high. Not everyone exposed to firefighting foam will get cancer. Only those with long-term exposure are at risk. 

First Thing to Do if You are Diagnosed with Cancer.

If you are diagnosed with cancer, you do not want to wait a long time to call an attorney. Just because you have medical insurance does not mean it will cover all of your treatments. No matter the type of health issue, a qualified attorney can assist you. If you wait too long before contacting an attorney, it can hurt your chances of getting compensated for your losses. 

Many people believe that the only time they need an attorney is if they are going to trial. You do not want to wait this long to hire an attorney. One of the main reasons people hire a lawyer is to speed up the process and avoid going to trial. Trials take a long time and are expensive. 

Finding the Right Attorney for your Needs

If you start talking to friends and family members about calling an attorney, they will likely have many suggestions about who you should call. While you can listen to their recommendations, do not choose one based solely on their advice. Treat hiring an attorney like you would interviewing someone for a job, because essentially, this is what you are doing. 

While interviewing the attorney during the free consultation, ask about their experience in taking on big tech. Large corporations are unlikely to have only a single attorney. Instead, they have a team of attorneys. Your attorney needs to be confident in his/her ability to handle them.  

Find an Attorney You Feel Comfortable With

Lawsuits can take years to settle. You do not want a lawyer you do not feel comfortable being around. Your attorney will ask you a lot of personal questions that you will need to answer. Answering many health-related questions is awkward and can be more so if you are uncomfortable. 

The attorney you hire will gather all vital information about your case, which may go back many years. You and your attorney will spend a lot of time on the phone or in meetings. Then once the settlement process starts, you have to trust your attorney to help advise you in certain situations. 

How does Your Attorney Want to be Compensated?

Many attorneys with these types of cases do not expect payment unless there is a settlement reached. Not all attorneys work this way, so it is essential to discuss any fees required upfront. In addition to costs, discuss any additional charges that may occur during the process of the lawsuit. 

When fighting fires, the last thing you consider is the likelihood of getting cancer due to chemicals used to put out the fire. If this does happen, you need to hire an experienced attorney as soon as you can. The attorney will make the lawsuit process quicker and smoother than if you tried to do it alone.