Compensation for asbestos-related disease
At Poole Alcock Solicitors we specialise in obtaining compensation for sufferers of asbestos-related diseases and have many years of experience in successfully obtaining compensation for our clients.
Many people diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness have been exposed to asbestos during the course of their employment. Whilst it can take many years for an illness to develop, it is still possible to pursue a claim for asbestos compensation if it can be proved that your employer exposed you to asbestos at a time when they knew, or ought to have known, of the risk of exposure.
There are several different kinds of asbestos related disease including:
- pleural plaques
- pleural thickening
- mesothelioma - see our 'Mesothelioma the facts'.
- lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.
In some cases, people with an asbestos disease may have died without making a claim. In these circumstances it is still possible for their families to claim compensation.
For further information see our guide Mesothelioma - eligibility for compensation.
A claim for compensation regarding an asbestos-related disease must be commenced no later than three years after you become aware of:
- any symptoms
- the significance of the symptoms
- the cause of the symptoms
- the identity of the employer (or their current identity).
A claim for compensation regarding this type of claim must be commenced no later than three years from your date of knowledge of the injury including symptoms - NOT from the original exposure which may have caused the injury. The Courts do have power in some cases to extend the time limit but this power cannot and must not be relied on.
A member of our team will be happy to discuss the above with you and how this will impact on your claim.
Identifying your former employer
Your former employer may have been taken over or have a new name. This should cause no problems if they are still trading.
If your former employer is no longer trading, it may be possible to trace and bring a claim against their former insurance company.
Your claim must show that your former employer was negligent and/or breached a duty of care in that they exposed you to asbestos at a time when they knew - or ought to have known - that such exposure may be harmful to your health.
It will be necessary to investigate your employment history and exposure to asbestos. It may also be necessary to call upon the help of an engineer to assess the relevant health and safety law and guidance available to your employer both before and after the time of your exposure.
To proceed with a claim against your employer we will need to show that your condition was caused by exposure during your employment, rather than by exposure outside of work.
If you have been exposed to asbestos by more than one employer your claim will be divided proportionately between them. However, if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma then you may recover 100% of any compensation from just one employer.
During your claim, an independent medical expert specialising in asbestos related illness will examine you and your medical records before confirming their opinion as to the formal diagnosis and cause of your illness.
The disease and illness protocol
The disease and illness protocol encourages better and early exchange of information by both sides to enable your claim to be settled early and without the need for court proceedings. If a claim cannot be resolved then the protocol aims to identify the relevant issues and to enable the efficient progress of court proceedings should they become necessary. For some types of asbestos claims, such as mesothelioma, there is also a fast track court procedure.
If your case meets the above requirements (either before or after court proceedings are issued) a compensation payment may be made to you.
Terms of settlement may be on the basis that you are entitled to seek further compensation at a later date in the event you suffer a significant deterioration in your symptoms, or go on to develop another disease caused by exposure to asbestos.
You may also be entitled to state benefits, such as Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
A claim for compensation regarding this type of claim must be commenced no later than 3 years from your date of knowledge of the injury including symptoms - NOT from the original exposure which may have caused the injury. The Courts do have power in some cases to extend the time limit but this power cannot and must not be relied on.