All cases start with the client, the injured person. Typically, at some point during (most often, but not always) their working life, a person with an asbestos-related disease would have been exposed to asbestos, but this might have occurred away from work.
The exposure could have been in a factory, in an office, at school, or in the home. At the time, the person who was exposed may not even have been aware that they were breathing in deadly asbestos fibres, because their employer didn’t tell them of the dangers of the dust they breathed in, and, or, didn’t provide them with protective equipment, or other means of reducing the amount of dust in the atmosphere.
Having been exposed, the individual willl continue to live their life, unaware that anything is wrong. However, inside their body, the asbestos fibres are causing changes that will eventually cause them to start suffering symptoms. This can take anywhere from 10 years to 60 years to develop, although the typical time period is usually around 40 years, but it has no upper limit.
Symptoms of an asbestos-related disease usually begin with breathlessness when doing something strenuous, accompanied by a cough, chest pain, or a feeling of tightness in the chest. Usually, the first place people will go to is their family doctor (GP), and typically they will be referred to the hospital for a chest x-ray. The report back from the x-ray is likely to have further investigations, typically a CT scan, thoracoscopy, biopsy and pleural drainage.