Asbestos - how to claim for exposure


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By Oliviah Rix-Taylor

on Tuesday 18 September 2018


Asbestos fibers

Exposure to Asbestos – How to Claim Compensation

In one of the more unfortunate decisions made by the UK Government, the use of asbestos in the country as a building material was continued in the United Kingdom well after other countries had banned all use of the mineral. Consequently, there are more cases of asbestos-related diseases here in the UK than other areas of the world.

Victims of asbestos are prevalent in all areas of the UK. Asbestos was used in buildings, from factories to schools across the country, and was also a major component for ship building throughout the last century, making exposure to asbestos for those in the construction industries prior to 2000 quite likely.

Even though businesses were aware of the respiratory damage exposure to asbestos could cause their workers, without legislation to force the abandonment of use of the toxic-substance and additional guidelines regarding its care, many owners were happy to keep quiet regarding the threat and continue to expose their staff to dangerous levels of exposure.

Mesothelioma

One of the biggest diseases to occur as a result of asbestos exposure, is mesothelioma. A cancer that usually shows itself in the lungs, mesothelioma is a deadly form of the disease – causing death in less than a year after it develops.

Though the links between mesothelioma and asbestos are clear, because it can take the cancer 40 to 50 years to form, it is only in recent decades that victims who came into contact with asbestos in the second half of the 20th century have been showing symptoms.

Given the length of time between exposure and evidence of the cancer, it can be hard to make an appropriate compensation claim to negligent company – despite there being clear grounds for a case. Often the offending business simply no longer exists any more and any relevant liability insurance is no longer in place or relevant.

Government Support

Aware of the widespread personal damage that has been caused by exposure to asbestos in the UK, the government launched a scheme of support to help those affected receive adequate compensation.

The Mesothelioma Act was passed in 2014 under the coalition government of the time and allows victims of asbestos-related mesothelioma the chance to claim compensation from a nationwide scheme funded by insurance companies and the government.

Now, even if it is impossible to trace the original persons liable for the inadequate health and safety precautions that led to so much asbestos exposure in the mid-to-late 20th century, those affected are still able to claim the financial compensation they deserve to live a better life.

Asbestos Claims After Death

For many, the scheme entitled them to a payout comes too late. With thousands already having died from the cancer and related illnesses, their families have been left without adequate financial support for years.

To help those victims – dependants of the deceased – the government led scheme extends compensation such that it is possible to claim after death, building a case for compensation to be paid to those left without support after a mesothelioma-related death in the family.

Other Asbestos Related Diseases

Mesothelioma is not the only asbestos-related disease, nor the only one for which you can claim compensation. Asbestos is the underlying cause for a number of other cancers and lung conditions, including asbestosis and plural thickening.

Compensation is available for suffers of all asbestos-related diseases and is not limited just to those with mesothelioma.

Asbestos Claim Average Payouts

With an outside limit of £123,000, the government scheme seeks to ensure adequate compensation is paid to all asbestos-sufferers in the UK. Claims that are made privately and directly to the companies responsible for the exposure where possible can expect payments as outlined in these guidelines:

Severity Compensation
Asbestosis and pleural thickening-where the level of respiratory disability/lung function impairment attributable to asbestosis is 1-10% £12,020 to £30,630
Asbestosis and pleural thickening£30,630 to £84,380
Lung cancer£55,830 to £77,580
Mesothelioma causing severe pain and impariment of both function and quality of life£55,830 to £100,350

If you, or anyone you know is suffering as a result of an asbestos-related disease, call Accident Line Direct today to see how we can help you receive compensation.

How to Claim Compensation for an Asbestos-Related Disease

At Accident Line Direct we have a dedicated team of solicitors who are experts in claiming for all asbestos-related issues.

We believe that everyone has the right to expert legal advice and support and so we choose to operate on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that there is no financial obligation or risk from you should you want to pursue a compensation claim for your asbestos-related condition. There are no initial fees, nor any hidden costs throughout the processes. When you win, we recoup our costs through a percentage of your compensation total – meaning you will always come out on top!

Once your case is in process with us, you will receive support for the length of the asbestos claims process.

How long does an asbestos claim take?

Obviously, each case comes with its own complexities and timeline, but as an average a successful claim for compensation regarding asbestos takes between three and six months.

What is the statute of limitations for asbestos claims?

Like other compensation claims, under UK law you must bring a claim to the court within three years of having the diagnosis. Due to the long period between exposure to asbestos and the signs of mesothelioma or other related disease, it is important to understand that this three-year limitation is based on discovering that you have the disease, not from the time of contracting it.

Once you find out that your earlier exposure to the toxic crystal has had an effect on you, you should immediately begin the process to make a claim.

How do I know I have a claim?

Once you contact us, we will assess your claim using our internal team of experts. Only if we are confident that your claim has a chance of success in the courts will we take it further – we have no desire to waste anyone’s time and will be honest if we believe your claim has little chance of success.

What do I do?

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, give us a call today. Our team will professionally discuss this sensitive subject with you and help you understand all the option available to you.

It will be important for you to keep any documentation that helps substantiate your claim. Make notes on all doctors’ appointments and what was said, as well as detailing all other relevant information – such as the employer or employees that were responsible for your exposure, how long you worked there and any other supporting evidence that you may have.

We will take your information and begin work on your case immediately, allowing you to concentrate on your life and the management of your disease without the needless and endless concern regarding the claim.

For more information regarding asbestos-related claims, or to initiate a claim with us, please give us a call. If you would prefer, you can fill in our contact form and have one of our specialist advisors call you back when it is convenient to you.

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Accident Line Direct can help you begin your potential claim, get in touch today!