How to seek compensation for asbestos-related diseases
Asbestos is now widely regarded as one of the most hazardous materials you may encounter as it is linked to a range of illnesses, with the most serious being a type of cancer called mesothelioma. This cancer is aggressive and can be fatal, as can a range of other asbestos related diseases as the fibres in the material damage the lungs when they are breathed in.
If you were to have developed an illness after working with this dangerous material then you may be entitled to make an asbestos compensation claim. Claiming compensation for asbestos related disease is extremely complicated but if you are successful in your personal injury claim then the compensation awarded can help you to access and pay for medical treatment and supplement your income if you’ve been forced to take time off work.
This guide to asbestos compensation claims has been written to provide as much information as possible on what type of claim this is, what can be included and the process you are likely to face. Although knowing all this information about asbestos compensation claims is useful, due to the complex nature of these types of claims, it is always advisable that you contact a personal injury layer who has experience in this area.
Accident Claims UK can connect you to a personal injury solicitor who will represent you in your claim for asbestos compensation and guide you through the legal proceedings. Call us today on 0800 073 8801 and continue to read this guide for more information on asbestos compensation pay-outs.
Choose your section
- Our Guide to Mesothelioma and Asbestos compensation Claims
- What Are Asbestos and Mesothelioma
- How Do People Contract These Conditions?
- What Are the Main Symptoms of a Mesothelioma and Asbestos condition?
- What Are the Common Risks from Asbestos to Your Health?
- Mesothelioma and Asbestos Compensation Claims in The Workplace
- Mesothelioma and Asbestos Compensation Claims Against the Owner of a Building
- Asbestos Compensation Claims for Exposure in Public Places
- What Should You Do When You Have Asbestosis?
- What Steps Should You Take to Start an Asbestos Compensation Claim
- What Can You Include in An Asbestos Compensation Claim?
- Asbestos Compensation Amounts
- Asbestos Case Studies
- Asbestos Compensation No Win No Fee Claims
- How We Can Help You Make an Asbestos Compensation Claim
- Contact Us Today
- Helpful Links
According to the latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the number or cases of mesothelioma reported as a result of contact with asbestos in 2015 was over 1,000. The same year saw over 600 death certificates name asbestos related mesothelioma as a direct cause or contributing factor in the person’s death. These figures are a stark reminder of just how dangerous asbestos can be but they don’t include the large number of asbestos victims who develop other health concerns and illnesses, especially damage to the lungs, after working in an unsafe environment around asbestos.
The effects of working with asbestos may take some time to present themselves which is one of the reasons claims for asbestos compensation are on the rise. Asbestos compensation after death can be paid to family members after the loss of a loved one if the claim is made in the standard personal injury time limit of three years. This carefully researched guide to asbestos compensation claims will give you all the material and advice you require to begin the process of claiming asbestos compensation either on your own behalf, or after the loss of a loved one.
Asbestos compensation amounts vary on a case by case basis so even asbestos claims lawyers won’t be able to give you a specific figure to how much your claim may be worth. However, our personal injury claims calculator will be able to give you a rough idea as to how much a successful claim for asbestos compensation may be worth by showing asbestos claims average pay-outs. This guide will also discuss exactly what you can include as part of your asbestos compensation claim.
Asbestos is a group of six naturally occurring minerals which can be separated into very strong natural fibres which are resistant to heat and electricity and do not burn. Due to these properties, it was once widely used as building insulation in homes and schools around the UK, as well having other applications in electronics and other areas. It’s dangerously damaging properties were not discovered until a later date and now its use is widely banned but many people still come into contact with the material at work, commonly builders making changes to old properties.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which usually starts in the soft lining of the lungs but can also be found in the lining of other major organs such as the liver. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer and depending on what stage the cancer is caught at, often proves to be fatal.
- Stage one; the most treatable stage of a mesothelioma condition is stage 1 where the cancer, also known as a neoplastic tumour, are in the early stages of development and are localised in just one area. Treatment usually consists of chemotherapy and surgery.
- Stage two; this stage is more difficult to treat as the cancer- ridden cells have now moved to other areas of the body, often starting with the lymph nodes that surround the organ that was initially affected. Treatment will include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy.
- Stage three; the cancer has now travelled and infected the lymph nodes that surround other organs of the body. Once the cancer has got to this stage it is incredibly difficult to treat and often thought of as terminal.
- Stage four; this stage is almost always terminal as the cancerous cells would have spread and infected multiple organs/lymphatic system around the body. This stage is also referred to as diffuse mesothelioma.
Knowing the stage that your mesothelioma is at, and the potential prognosis of your illness, will help to process your claim for asbestos compensation.
Contracting mesothelioma is almost certain to be the result of contact with asbestos substances. Asbestos was widely used as insulation up until 1999, when it was first linked to be the cause of cancer, especially mesothelioma, as well as other health concerns such as the development of scar tissue on the lungs.
As asbestos was mainly used for cavity, wall and roof insulation, there are certain industries which have a higher risk factor of working with the hazardous material. The majority of asbestos compensation claims come form workers in businesses such as builders, developers, plumbers, electricians as well as air conditioning installation engineers as they often find themselves working in older properties which were insulated before the ban on asbestos was introduced.
The chance of contracting an asbestos-related disease can be reduced to a minimal level with introduction and following of stringent health & safety policies outlines by the HSE. Asbestos should only be removed by specially licenced firms and a thorough risk assessment should be carried out before any work starts on an older property to identify whether or not asbestos is present.
As mesothelioma is such an aggressive cancer which becomes incredibly difficult to treat the more advanced the disease becomes, spotting the early signs of the disease is essential in order to increase your chances of recovery. Many of the early warning signs of the disease are often mis-diagnosed and so if you are experiencing any of the following and have had contact with asbestos, you should seek medical attention and tell your doctor that you have been exposed to asbestos.
- Common symptoms; shortness of breath, tightening pains in the chest, a cough that keeps going for a long period of time. These symptoms may well suggest you’re your mesothelioma is having an effect on your lungs and your heart, the most common areas for the cancer to begin.
- Uncommon symptoms; nausea, stomach swellings, loss of appetite over the long term. These suggest that the mesothelioma has developed in your stomach or surrounding organs rather than the lungs first.
Knowing the early signs of mesothelioma allows you to get you an early diagnosis and offer the best prognosis. It can also help you to support your claim for asbestos compensation if you can identify when the disease developed.
Mesothelioma is not the only serious health risk associated with asbestos. Many claims for asbestos compensation feature asbestos victims with these types of illnesses;
- Lung cancer; After mesothelioma, this is the worst possible outcome of contact with asbestos. Although lung cancer can be aggressive, chemo as well as radiation are often successful because of the fact lung cancer is often caught earlier and so treatment can begin before the cancer spreads.
- Asbestosis; Asbestos fibres cling to the lung’s lining and causes extensive scarring. This damage to the lungs causes breath shortness and can lead to the development of other lung-related illnesses.
- Pleural thickening; Asbestos fibres irritate the lungs’ linings which causes them to swell and thicken. This can cause shortness of breath and pain across the chest when breathing.
If you are thinking about beginning a claim for asbestos compensation then a rigorous medical will properly investigate and document asbestos related diseases to help support your claim.
If you came into contact with asbestos whilst at work and have developed mesothelioma, or another asbestos related disease, as a result then you may be entitled to asbestos compensation. However, you will need to be able to support your claim with substantial evidence in order to win asbestos compensation payments.
The first thing you must be able to prove in order to file for asbestos compensation is that the exposure to the material occurred while you were performing your work duties. Problems often occur here as you may not have been aware of the risks of asbestos at the time so may not have made any note of working with the material or written in an accident log. However, testimony from work colleagues to support your claim is often accepted in personal injury claims.
The next thing you must be able to show is that the mesothelioma you have developed, or other asbestos related diseases, have developed as a direct result of being exposed to asbestos at this time. This can be incredibly hard to prove but you do not need to provide conclusive evidence, you just need to prove that it is more likely than not that you contracted a disease as a result of asbestos exposure at work.
For successful asbestos compensation claims, you need to finally prove that you were exposed to the asbestos as a result of negligence on the behalf of your employer. This may be due to a lack of risk assessment carried out before work commenced on an old building, an employer not informing you that asbestos was present or your employer not following asbestos health and safety guidelines set out by the HSE.
Once you can prove the above points then asbestos claims lawyers will be able to represent you in your claim for asbestos compensation.
Similarly to claiming compensation for asbestos exposure at work, you can claim asbestos compensation against the owner of a building in which you were exposed to asbestos in a building that they owned. Again, you will have to provide evidence to prove support your case in order for it to be successful.
You will need to prove that you were exposed to asbestos in that building and that this exposure has caused you to develop mesothelioma or one of the other asbestos related illnesses. You will also need to prove that the owner of the building was negligent and that is why you were exposed to asbestos in the first place. You may be able to prove negligence if the building owner failed to maintain the building and so the asbestos was exposed, or that they failed to follow the HSE guidelines in dealing with asbestos.
Once you can prove the following then you are much more likely to have a successful asbestos compensation claim.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in a public place then the process is similar to the examples above, except your claim for asbestos compensation will be against your local council authority who will pay out any compensation awarded from an asbestos compensation fund.
Just like above, you will need to prove that you were exposed to asbestos in a public place, such as a park or library, and you will need to prove that this exposure has caused you to develop mesothelioma or another illness. You will also need to prove that the council have failed in their duty to provide safe public spaces and this negligence has caused you to be exposed to asbestos.
You will need to provide evidence of all of the above in order to be able to file a claim for asbestos compensation.
Claims for compensation for asbestos-related disease are complex and sometimes difficult to prove, often because of the amount of time which has passed between exposure and the disease being diagnosed. If you have a diagnosis of asbestosis then it is likely that the initial exposure was some time ago.
The first thing you should do once you have a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease is to get a thorough medical examination so that you know the extent of your illness. A doctor may be able to estimate how far the asbestosis has progressed so that you have a rough time frame of when the disease was contracted. This may also serve to prove that it was exposure to the specific asbestos that caused your need to claim compensation for asbestos-related diseases. However, the best evidence you can provide of when you were exposed to asbestos is witness statements from co-workers or other people who saw you come into contact with asbestos.
You will then need to gather evidence to show that your exposure to asbestos was the result of another party’s negligence. Successful claims for asbestos compensation rely on proof of liability of another party. For example, your employer may not have warned you of the possibility of asbestos being present of a building owner or council may not have followed the health and safety policies set out for the safe handling of asbestos.
Personal injury claims are often complicated with claims for asbestos compensation being some of the most complex. Once you have taken the steps mentioned above and gather all the evidence you require, the next thing you need to do is contact a personal injury lawyer.
Accident Claims UK can connect you with specialised asbestos claims lawyers who will first arrange for a free consultation session. During this session your personal injury solicitor will note down your circumstances and listen to the evidence you have managed to gather and they will talk you through the average mesothelioma compensation pay-outs UK. While they won’t be able to give you an exact figure, your solicitor will be able to give you a rough idea of how much your claim may be worth.
During your consultation you will also be given a guide to asbestos compensation claims and the processes involved in obtaining asbestos compensation. Should you decide to proceed with a claim for asbestos compensation then our team will be with you every step of the way, offering you a solicitor that can help to access further evidence such as CCTV, and representing you should your claim proceed to court.
Your asbestos compensation claim can include a range of costs that you have incurred as a result of developing an illness as a result of being exposed to asbestos;
- General damages; this amount is determined by the pain and suffering your illness causes you, the effect it has on your day-to-day life as well as any damage caused to your career reputation
- Special damages; these damages are measurable such as a direct loss of earnings, costs of medical treatment or at home care and any damages to property
- Medical costs; the cost of any private treatment or overseas care
- Travel costs; you can include the cost of travelling to and from hospital appointments or court appearances related to your claim
The amount of asbestos compensation you can claim will be relative to the severity of your illness but claims can be made on your own behalf or by family members as asbestos claims after death are still payable.
The below table is not a definitive list of the amounts of asbestos compensation you will receive but it is a handy tool to help you see the amounts you may be entitled to depending on the severity of your illness.
|Type/severity of illness||Description||Average compensation amounts|
|Minor asbestos related disease||Asbestosis and pleural thickening affecting less than 10% of the lungs||Between £13,230
|Moderate asbestos related disease||Asbestosis and pleural thickening causing severe breathlessness||Between £33,700
|Severe asbestos related disease||Lung cancer with poor prognosis of recovery, affecting quality of life||Between £61,410
|Very severe asbestos related disease||Mesothelioma of the heart or lungs requiring invasive surgery and causing long-term pain/suffering/death||Between £61,410
The amount of asbestos compensation you receive will depend on you own unique circumstance but as you can see from the above table of average asbestos compensation amounts, the more severe your illness then the more compensation you may be entitled to.
In this asbestos compensation case study, a 67-year-old male developed mesothelioma later in life as was told by his doctors that it was likely terminal. The man had been a plumber during his working life and had been exposed to asbestos while completing pipe repairs in an old building in which the material was used as insulation.
The man made a claim for asbestos compensation against his old employer who he was able to prove had not explained the potential risks of working with asbestos to him, neither did they provide him with proper safety equipment.
The claimant was successful in his claim and was awarded £35,000 in damages to cover his emotional and physical suffering, such as the shortness of breath and chest pain he suffered, which helped to pay for his palliative care.
Many people are put off from starting personal injury claims as they are concerned about how much a potentially lengthy court case will cost. However, at Accident Claims UK, we operate on a no win no fee basis in order to remove any financial concerns from our clients.
Asbestos compensation no win no fee claims are undertaken on the agreement that if your claim is not successful, you will not owe the asbestos claims lawyers we provide a penny. We use conditional agreements to pre-agree an amount that you will pay your personal injury solicitor from your asbestos compensation amount only on the basis that your claim is successful. This way, you are safe in the knowledge that your team are working their hardest on your behalf and you can concentrate on dealing with, and hopefully recovering from, your illness.
At Accident Claims UK, we have years of experience in helping clients gain access to the compensation they deserve across a range of personal injury claims. Our experts as well as the personal injury lawyers we provide fully understand the complicated process of gathering evidence and proving liability in asbestos compensation claims, making us a sound choice to help you claim compensation for asbestos-related disease.
Our dedicated team are on hand 24hours a day and we aim to respond to all enquiries within 3 hours. Our network of asbestos claims lawyers are well versed in the complexities of asbestos compensation claims and as they all work on a no win no fee basis, there is no financial risk for our clients when they decide to pursue a claim for asbestos compensation.
As mentioned above, we aim to respond to all enquiries within 3 hours so if you would like more information about making a claim for compensation for asbestos related disease then you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online enquiry form and a member of our dedicated team will contact you. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 073 8801 and speak to our advisors about making a claim for asbestos compensation.
The HSE offer information on Asbestos here
If you want to learn more about Mesothelioma, then read here.
Cancer Research have a page on Mesothelioma
The government have produced information about compensation.