Asbestos Compensation Claims
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Asbestos Compensation Claims
Up to the late 1990s, asbestos was one of the most common building materials—until its dangers were recognised. The material is now banned throughout the UK, but some older buildings still contain it. Unfortunately, those that are exposed to asbesto have a high risk of developing certain cancers and other related illnesses. If you – or a loved one – fall into this category, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Claim compensation for an asbestos related disease
According to research from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) there are 5,000 asbestos related deaths each year, and over 500 deaths in 2021 clearly stated asbestos as the primary cause on the death certificate.
The effects of asbestos exposure can be devastating, and they might occur up to 50 years after the initial encounter, meaning people are often unaware they are developing symptoms of a severe condition.
Many people make an asbestos related exposure claim to relieve any financial burdens and hold their previous employers accountable. If you’re considering making an asbestos compensation claim, call 0800 234 6438 or complete the online form, and speak with a trained legal advisor who will offer free, impartial legal advice.
What are asbestos related diseases?
Asbestos related disease is common in the UK, as many construction companies used the material up until the 1990s. Most buildings built before this time used some form of asbestos, which put anyone exposed to it at risk.
The people with the highest risks of becoming unwell include:
Tradespeople, such as plumbers and construction workers
People that worked in the shipbuilding industry
Hospital and school employees
People who grew up near asbestos factories
Individuals who were regularly exposed to asbestos
The most common asbestos claims result from mesothelioma, but there are other illnesses that might occur due to asbestos exposure.
Why make a compensation claim?
The effects of an asbestos related illness can be devastating, with many people being unable to work or perform daily activities. As the symptoms of a disease caused by asbestos can take years to develop, many people are unaware they’ve been exposed until decades afterward.
Unfortunately, because of how long these conditions take to develop, making a claim might seem impossible. However, companies have insurance providers – and you can still make a claim, even if the employer, factory of building is no longer in operation.
Making a claim can hold those responsible accountable and ensure you get the compensation you deserve. It also provides family members with financial support if you’re unable to work or need private healthcare.
What causes asbestos related diseases?
As a naturally occurring fibre, asbestos was once considered as a safe material, but it poses numerous threats to humans that are regularly exposed to it. There are three main types of asbestos fibres:
Amosite (Brown Fibres)
Crocidolite (Blue Fibres)
Chrysotile (White Fibres)
Construction companies often used asbestos as an insulation material, spraying it on walls, ceilings and roofing. As long as asbestos remains in tact, it’s unlikely to cause damage, but when it breaks down, small fibres are released and breathing them in can cause long-term damage.
Asbestos related diseases are rare in people that have occupied a building, and are more common in individuals who might have breathed in the fibres either through working with the material or handling it when washing clothing.
The types of asbestos related disease
There are four main types of asbestos related conditions, each causing a range of life-altering effects. Most involve the lungs, as breathing in fibres can cause scarring and even permanent damage.
Lung Cancer is one of the most common, and deadliest forms of cancer in the UK. Statistics from Cancer Research show there were 48,549 diagnosis’s between 2016 and 2018, and just 10% of those individuals will survive for 10 years or longer.
Along with smoking, asbestos is another avoidable contributor to a person’s risk of getting lung cancer, and the symptoms often mean people find it hard to work and will need long-term care.
Pleural disease is a non cancerous condition that impacts the lungs ability to expand. People often experience pleural plaques, which might worsen over time and lead to pleural thickening. The common symptoms include breathlessness, extreme pain when breathing and excessive coughing.
While the condition itself isn’t fatal, it can increase your chances of asbestos related lung cancer and many people have to make significant lifestyle changes to minimise their symptoms.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer than impacts the lining of the lungs, or – rarely – the stomach. Over 94% of cases are diagnosed in people with previous asbestos exposure, and men are more at risk than women.
Research shows that the disease causes around 2500 deaths each year, and the number of cases grew steadily between 1995 and 2015 (Mesothelioma UK).
While new therapies offer hope to individuals with the condition, the five year survival rate is just 10%. Many sufferers make mesothelioma claims to relieve any financial burdens on their loved ones.
Asbestosis causes scarring on the lungs, which can result in long-term pain. The condition isn’t cancerous, but it can increase your chances of lung cancer and limit your ability to work.
Some people might have minimal symptoms and live a normal life, while those in the late stages are at risk of cardiac failure and respiratory distress.
Would you like to claim compensation? Here are your next steps
The first step in any compensation claim is assessing your eligibility. Some people choose to go straight to traditional solicitors, but calling for free legal advice on 0800 234 6438 ensures you have the right support in place and can check whether your case is likely to be successful.
Once your legal advisor learns about your injuries, they’ll refer you to a no win no fee solicitor who specialises in personal injury claims.
Choosing no win no fee asbestos lawyers
Making an asbestos claim can take some time – especially if the business is no longer trading. Traditional legal services charge by the hour, so you’ll have to pay them without knowing whether your claim will be successful.
No win no fee lawyers don’t charge any outright fees, and they only receive a payment if you win the case. And because they operate on a no win no fee basis, you won’t pay anything if you don’t receive compensation.
Also, solicitors specialising in personal injury claims won’t take your case on if they don’t feel it will be successful, so you’ll have confidence that compensation will be awarded.
Calculating your award
No win no fee solicitors look at various factors when calculating your asbestos compensation claim, including the extent of your illness and whether the company was at fault.
Many personal injury claims rely on photographic evidence and CCTV, but asbestos compensation claims involve proving the material was used in the building and that the employer knew about it.
Others working for the same company might also have asbestos related illnesses which can validify your claim.
Once your lawyer has an idea of your asbestos related disease and how it impacts your life, they’ll meet with the negligent party’s insurance provider and begin negotiations. You might be asked to attend a medical assessment to verify your illness, and the solicitor will keep you updated throughout the process.
Getting your settlement
If your claim is successful, your solicitor will liaise with you to discuss the amount you should receive. Once negotiations finish and you accept an award, the no win no fee service will take their payment and you’ll get the rest of the money.
How much compensation will I receive?
Asbestos claims are complex, as the amount you receive depends on the extent of your illness and how it impacts your life. All compensation claims factor in both general and special damages to decide how much money you’ll receive.
General Damages: These damages relate to the pain and suffering caused by your disease. For example, someone with asbestosis might struggle to perform daily activities and deal with a lot of pain from moving around.
Special Damages: Special damages refer to any costs and expenses that result from the illness. For example, your solicitor will factor in any lost income, travel costs, private treatments, general care costs and anything else.
However, it also depends on how you claim, you can also go through your insurance provider or use the Government Asbestos Scheme (2008).
General compensation amounts
To get an idea about the amount of compensation you may be eligible to receive, the Judicial College Guidelines suggest compensation award amounts for certain conditions, such as:
Pleural Thickening and Asbestosis (ranging from minor to severe): £15,000 – £105,000.
Lung Cancer: £70,000 – £97,330.
Mesothelioma: £63,000 – £114,000.
Who can make an asbestos exposure claim?
You can make an asbestos claim up to three years after you’re diagnosed with an asbestos related illness. These rules ensure people can secure compensation years after they’ve been in an environment with asbestos materials, but it’s important to file your claim quickly as negotiations are inevitable.
If you’re the spouse of an individual who’s died due to an illness, you’re also eligible to make a compensation claim to cover any financial losses.
How long does the personal injury claims process take?
There’s no set answer to how long your compensation claim will take, as it depends on the negotiations and whether your solicitor is able to reach an agreement with the negligent party. Some asbestos claims settle quite quickly while others might go to court.
Your solicitor will keep you informed throughout the negotiations and discuss all available options, so you can make a decision based on what’s right for your needs.
Start your asbestos claim today
Claiming compensation can help you cover any private medical expenses, supplement lost earnings and safe proof your financial future.
If you’d like to learn more about the compensation process, calling 0800 234 6438 or filling in the online form can help you determine your eligibility and gain access to a no win no fee legal service.