Occupational Asthma Compensation Claim Settlements

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    Occupational Asthma Compensation Claim Settlements

    When you step into your workplace, the last thing you expect is to develop a health condition as serious as occupational asthma. Yet, for many employees, this is an unforeseen reality. Occupational asthma can have a profound impact on your life and livelihood. If you find yourself grappling with this condition due to someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible to claim compensation.

    Can you claim compensation for work-related asthma?

    Occupational asthma is a debilitating condition that can significantly impact your ability to work and perform daily activities. It often occurs in industries that use chemicals or hazardous substances but don’t adequately protect employees.

    Employers have a duty of care to their workforce, ensuring employees receive proper training and don’t have to deal with hazards without the right PPE. If you’ve developed occupational asthma, you could claim compensation and hold your employer accountable.

    If you can prove your asthma was caused by negligence, claiming compensation can give you financial support. The first step in the claims process is to call for free legal advice on 0800 234 6438 or fill out the online form for a callback.

    Your adviser will assess your claim and decide whether you can claim compensation. If they believe you have a case, they’ll partner you with a specialist personal injury lawyer who will represent you on a no win no fee basis.

    What is occupational asthma?

    Occupational asthma is a chronic lung condition triggered by exposure to specific irritants or allergens in the workplace. Like regular asthma, it can cause long-term symptoms, making it hard for you to work and perform general activities.

    The condition causes the bronchial passages to narrow, resulting in wheezing and breathing difficulties. According to BMJ, there are around 3,000 new cases of occupational asthma each year, highlighting the prevalence of the condition.

    The main symptoms of occupational asthma include:

    • Chest tightness

    • Wheezing

    • Trouble breathing

    • Coughing

    • Blocked and runny nose

    • Eye irritation

    Why claim occupational asthma compensation?

    Employers have a duty of care to their workers, which includes providing a safe environment, performing regular risk assessments and providing adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). There are various laws that govern workplaces, but the most important ones include:

    • The Health and Safety at Work etc Act (1974).

    • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH).

    While the Health and Safety Executive has clear rules to ensure employers perform due diligence and conduct regular risk assessments, COSHH regulates the control of hazardous substances.

    Employers must protect workers and minimise exposure to chemicals. However, if they fail to provide you with the right equipment and you develop asthma symptoms, it can have a negative impact on your life.

    Claiming compensation ensures you receive financial support and holds your employer responsible for your illness.

    The causes of occupational asthma

    There are lots of risk factors exist for developing occupational asthma, but some occupations carry more threats than others. As an industrial disease, the manufacturing industry sees the highest rates of asthma, including the following sectors:

    • Engineering

    • Bakers

    • Welding

    • Salons

    • Farming and agriculture

    • Soldering

    • Woodwork

    • Healthcare

    You’re more at risk of industrial asthma if the following situations occur: 

    • Your employer doesn’t provide PPE that protects you from breathing in chemicals and other irritants.

    • The training you received wasn’t adequate to ensure you know how to deal with hazardous substances.

    • You work in a high risk industry, yet there are inadequate air filtration systems in place.

    • Your employer fails to conduct thorough risk assessments or put measures in place to mitigate them.

    • Your employer fails to inspect or repair safety equipment.

    • Your place of employment fails to meet industry standards.

    The long-term effects of industrial asthma

    Occupational asthma symptoms can be mild to severe, depending on your exposure and how the condition impacts your life. As a chronic condition, it’s also likely you’ll require ongoing treatment and might have to make some lifestyle changes.

    Issues with lung function

    Some people with asthma notice their lung function decreases over time, which makes it harder to perform mundane tasks. Not only can this impact your ability to work, but it also affects your daily life and significantly changes how you do things.

    Respiratory problems

    When repeatedly exposed to irritants, your lungs can result in long-term breathing issues, including wheezing and shortness of breath. These symptoms of occupational asthma can continue away from the workplace, too.

    Increased risks of COPD

    While there’s conflicting research, many studies show a clear link between asthma and COPD. Individuals with asthma could be more likely to suffer from more severe conditions later in life, which often require long-term care and can impact their life expectancy (PubMed).

    Allergen sensitivity

    Some people with asthma also become more sensitive to other allergens outside their working environment. This might impact your personal life and make it challenging to find suitable employment opportunities.

    Financial problems

    Being limited in terms of work options and having to deal with the various costs associated with occupational asthma can impact your finances, leading to money issues. If the asthma causes permanent damage, you might have to claim benefits.

    Psychological injuries

    Having a life-changing illness will inevitably impact your mood because industrial asthma often requires lifestyle alterations. Some people find they develop anxiety, while others might suffer from depression and a loss of purpose if they need to change jobs.

    Getting the ball rolling on your occupational asthma claim

    If you think you’re eligible to claim compensation and want to get the ball rolling, call 0800 234 6438 for free and speak to a trained legal adviser. They will ask questions about your asthma and evaluate whether you can claim compensation.

    If they believe you have a claim to pursue, they’ll partner you with a specialist lawyer who will take on your case on a no win no fee basis.

    No win no fee claims

    A no win no fee claim is a risk fee option for you because your solicitor only receives money if they win your occupational asthma claim. In contrast, traditional solicitors have an hourly fee, and you’ll have to pay this throughout your claim.

    Calculating your claim

    Your solicitor will gather evidence on your behalf and examine how asthma impacts your life. Occupational asthma claims can only be successful if there’s negligence, so gathering proof is a significant component of the case.

    Once your lawyer has the necessary information, they’ll work out an amount and put your case forward to the negligent party.

    Negotiating a settlement

    In most cases, occupational asthma claims go through the negligent party’s insurance provider, and your solicitor will liaise with them to secure you an award. This process involves presenting evidence and proving your injuries to the insurance provider.

    You’ll probably need to attend a medical assessment to prove how asthma impacts your life. Going to court is rare but always an option if both parties disagree on a settlement.

    Moving on

    Once you and your solicitor agree on a settlement, they’ll take their fees out of the award, and you’ll get the rest of the money. It’s yours after that, and you can use it to replenish your finances, pay for specialist treatments, or anything else that might help.

    In rare cases, you might be offered regular payments instead of a lump sum, but your solicitor will always try to get you the compensation you deserve.

    Gathering evidence to support your compensation claim

    While your solicitor will gather evidence, it’s also a good idea to do it yourself because it speeds the claims process along and helps the solicitor put a case together quickly. Remember, occupational asthma solicitors can only get you compensation if they can prove negligence.

    The following forms of evidence can help your asthma claim and ensure you get the compensation you deserve:

    • Report books: Any injury that happens in the workplace should be recorded in a log book. For example, if you had a serious asthma attack, there should be written evidence of it.

    • Medical report: Your medical records will contain details about your asthma, including when it occurred and the treatment you need. 

    • Witnesses: If you work with other people and they’ve seen the environment first-hand, their statements can help your solicitor prove negligence.

    • Photos and videos: Photos of any substances you were exposed to and the personal protective equipment you were given prove a dangerous work environment.

    • Financial records: Keeping notes of all your expenses, such as transport costs, loss of earnings, and healthcare needs, ensures your solicitor can claim special damages.

    • Personal statement: It can also be beneficial to write a personal statement explaining how asthma impacts you mentally and physically.

    How much compensation can I get for occupational asthma claims?

    All personal injury claims have two parts: general damages and special damages. General damages refer to the asthma itself and your pain. Your solicitor will factor in any suffering and loss of amenity, making up the base amount of your claim.

    Special damages cover the costs associated with your illness, including medical bills, transportation fees, and earnings losses.

    Because each case is unique, there’s no set amount for occupational asthma claims. For example, mild asthma symptoms don’t cause the problems severe asthma does, so you might not receive as much compensation.

    The following amounts are estimates of how much asthma compensation you could potentially receive:

    • Mild asthma that doesn’t impact your ability to work: £5,150.

    • Asthma that presents ongoing mild symptoms: £10,640 to £19,200.

    • Asthma and wheezing that impacts your work and social life: £19,200 to £26,290.

    • Chronic asthma cases with breathing difficulties: £26,290 to £43,010.

    • Asthma that causes a permanent disability: £43,010 to £65,740.

    These figures are just estimates, and your amount depends on special damages, too. Your solicitor will be able to give you a realistic amount.

    Begin the claims process today

    Claiming compensation can help you get financial support for your asthma and move on with your life. The effects of the condition can be life-changing, and many people struggle after an occupational asthma diagnosis.

    You can begin the occupational asthma compensation claims process today by calling 0800 234 6438 or filling out the online form for a free consultation. A specialist legal advisor is waiting to hear about your workplace injury today.

    Occupational Asthma Claims FAQs

    I had asthma as a child. Can I claim compensation if I develop occupational asthma?

    Yes, you can. Many cases of childhood asthma go into remission, where the symptoms don’t cause any issues. If you begin a job and exposure to hazardous chemicals triggers the condition again, you can claim compensation – as long as you can prove occupational asthma is the cause.

    How long do I have to make a claim?

    As with all personal injury claims, you have up to three years from the incident date to claim compensation. However, it’s best to file quickly as there’s no telling how long the process will take. While some occupational asthma settlements are relatively quick, others can be drawn out.

    It depends on how receptive the negligent party is and whether you can agree on a fair compensation amount.

    Why choose personal injury solicitors instead of traditional lawyers?

    If you make an occupational asthma claim with a traditional solicitor, you’ll have to pay an hourly fee, and there’s absolutely no guarantee that you’ll win. So, not only do you have to deal with suffering from occupational asthma, but your finances can also take a hit.

    No win no fee services don’t receive any money unless they win your case. With successful claims, you’ll pay their fees through the compensation, but the solicitor won’t take any money if they lose the case.

    Will I lose my job if I claim compensation?

    Employers are responsible for putting safety measures in place that avoid workplace injuries, and you have every right to claim work-related asthma compensation. Many worry that industrial disease claims will impact their employment, but firing someone when they file for compensation is illegal.

    Your employer might adapt the work environment so you can remain there, or you could move to a different department.

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