Workers who are exposed to asbestos while on the job in North Carolina should explore the possibility of workers' compensation benefits - even when they don't learn of the related disease until many years later, as is often the case.
Usually, workers' compensation benefits are something awarded soon after the injury-causing incident. However, exposure to asbestos causes diseases that are latent, and often asymptomatic until years later.
It's worthwhile to explore the possibility of a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturers of asbestos for such injuries, though it's true those are time-consuming and the burden of proof much higher. In workers' compensation cases, plaintiffs needn't show the employer was negligent in exposing workers to the hazardous material, only that such exposure occurred in the course of employment and proximately caused the illness.