We often hear from people curious to know if it’s too late to claim compensation for serious injuries which were sustained several years ago. The answer to this is that...Read more
Asbestosis is a serious, long-term condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. You may not remember when you were exposed to asbestos but you may be particularly at risk if you worked in the building, construction or shipbuilding industries in the 1950s – 80s.
Asbestosis can greatly impact the quality of your day-to-day life and can sometimes even shorten your life expectancy. People diagnosed with asbestosis also have a higher risk of developing other serious conditions, such as:
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestosis, you may be able to make an asbestosis compensation claim, even if you came in to contact with asbestos a long time ago.
Our dedicated team of specialist asbestos disease solicitors has helped hundreds of people and their families who have developed asbestos-related diseases due to exposure at work, in the home or the community.
We are experts in asbestos disease compensation claims ensuring those affected get the compensation they deserve. This will give you and your family better financial security and could help you pay for extra medical care and support, allow for any lost earnings if you’ve had to give up work due to your illness and give you more peace of mind.
We have helped people who have been exposed to asbestos in a wide range of settings including:
- power stations
- construction sites
- schools and colleges
- engineering sites
- public buildings
What is asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a disease that causes scarring of the lung tissue due to the inhalation of asbestos fibres. The symptoms may include: shortness of breath, persistent cough, wheezing, fatigue, chest and shoulder pains and in more advanced cases, swollen (clubbed) fingertips.
Most cases occur in people aged over 60 and men tend to be more commonly affected than women. The disease can take a long time to develop, typically between 15 and 40 years, but it can take as long as 60-70 years.
Who is at risk from asbestosis?
If you have worked in industries where asbestos was heavily used, you are more at risk from developing asbestosis. This includes those who’ve worked in plumbing, engineering, joinery, construction or at dockyards.
What should I do if I’m experiencing the symptoms of asbestosis?
If you are experiencing asbestosis symptoms, it’s important to visit your GP as soon as possible. Your doctor will listen to your lungs and may ask you questions about your work history. They may refer you to a specialist in lung diseases for more tests if they suspect you have an asbestos-related disease. Tests may include a chest X-ray, a CT scan of the lungs and lung function tests to see how well your lungs are working.
If you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and think you may have been exposed due to working conditions, contact our specialist asbestos disease team for advice on making a claim for compensation.
How will asbestosis affect me in the future?
There’s currently no cure for asbestosis, once it’s developed, although treatment can help control some of the symptoms and new medicines are being developed. Asbestosis sometimes gets worse over time and it can result in you having a higher risk of developing other serious conditions such as pleural thickening, mesothelioma and lung cancer. Our expert asbestos disease solicitors have helped hundreds of clients to secure the maximum possible compensation for their asbestosis claims. They have extensive experience with asbestosis and understand the condition in detail. For example, they can advise you if you should seek a full and final or a provisional settlement. A provisional settlement would allow you to return for further compensation if you went on to develop another asbestos related condition, such as mesothelioma.
Our solicitors will be able to advise you on this and will take in to account the impact asbestosis has on your current health, the likelihood of the condition progressing in the future and any care and support you may need – to get you the maximum possible compensation.
Our specialist solicitors also have strong links with support groups that help people and their families who’ve been diagnosed with asbestosis offering information, advice and friendship including Mesothelioma UK, HASAG and SWASAG.
What regulations should have been followed to prevent asbestos exposure?
Employers have a legal duty to protect their workers from harm. Even though asbestos was only completely banned in 1999, its health risks became well known much earlier, so employers can still be held legally responsible for asbestos exposure that happened a long time ago.
There may have been negligence on your employer’s part if they failed to:
- Warn you of the harmful nature of asbestos
- Safely disposed of asbestos waste/dust
- Provided you with respiratory protection (as well as other safety equipment)
If you or loved one has developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos, there may have been negligence on your employer’s part and you may be entitled to claim compensation.
What is asbestos and how does it cause disease?
Asbestos is a natural material made of microscopic fibres. It was once widely used in industries such as shipbuilding and construction to provide insulation, fire prevention, roofing and flooring. It was banned in the UK in 1999 due to its links to serious illnesses, including cancer. When materials containing asbestos are damaged or disturbed, tiny asbestos fibres are released into the air and can be breathed into the lungs. The fibres become trapped in the lungs and over long periods of time, can cause inflammation, scarring and diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Who can make an asbestosis compensation claim?
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with asbestosis in the last three years, you could be able to make an asbestosis compensation claim. Our specialist solicitors can also help you make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has already died from asbestosis. We can also continue with their compensation claim if they die before a settlement is reached.
What happens if my employer has gone out of business?
If your employer has gone out of business, you may still be able to make a claim for compensation. In fact, given how long it can take to develop asbestosis following negligent exposure to asbestos, it is often the case that companies are no longer trading. We have the expertise to help you find out who was responsible for your asbestos exposure and can secure compensation from your former employer’s insurance firm.
What happens if I die before my asbestosis claim has settled?
It is completely understandable to have concerns about the future if you’ve been diagnosed with asbestosis. Rest assured if you die before your compensation claim has settled, we can help your loved ones continue with your claim. This means that your family will have financial security after you’ve gone. It’s not easy talking about these things but we’ve helped countless families in the same situation and can talk you through the whole claims process so everyone is fully informed.
Is there any financial support available if I have asbestosis?
Yes, you may be entitled to receive certain state benefits, such as: Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB); Personal Independence Payment (PIP); Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Blue Badge and Attendance Allowance. We can advise you on the state benefits available and how to claim them. Find out more about state benefits for those affected by asbestos.
You may also be entitled to make a claim for certain government compensation schemes, sometimes referred to as government ‘lump sum payments’. The schemes available are: The Pneumoconiosis Workers’ Compensation Act which provides lump sum payments to workers who contracted the disease through their previous work. Your specialist asbestos disease solicitor can provide more advice on the compensation schemes available. Find out more about government compensation schemes.
We may also be able to secure early, interim payments (an immediate payment to meet your needs) before a final settlement has been reached, so it’s important to get in touch with us as soon as possible, so that we can help alleviate any financial concerns you have.
How long does it take to settle an asbestosis claim?
Every case is different. Our specialist asbestos disease solicitors will work as quickly as possible to secure the maximum compensation available to ensure you and your family have peace of mind and a financially secure future.
Can I still claim even if my loved one has already died from asbestosis?
Yes, if your loved one has died from asbestosis, you may still be able to make a claim on behalf of their estate. As a general rule, this should be done within three years of their death; however there are some exceptions, so it’s important to get expert advice from a specialist asbestos disease solicitor. You can call our team in confidence on Freephone 0800 884 0777, or complete our online form, for advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. The general rule is that you have three years from the time you were diagnosed to make an asbestosis claim. If a family member has died from asbestosis, you normally have three years from their date of death to pursue a claim or three years from the date you found out exposure to asbestos had caused their illness. It can take several decades for asbestosis to develop, so it does not matter when the exposure to asbestos took place. Our specialist asbestos disease solicitors can help even if your employer has gone out of business.
The compensation you receive depends on the severity of your asbestosis, your personal circumstances and the impact your illness has on your life. Factors such as loss of income now and into the future and any care costs will also be taken into account.
If a family member has died from an asbestos-related disease, you may be able to claim as a dependent on their income. This includes: if you are a widow or widower, partner or a child or dependant of the deceased. We can give you more advice if this applies to you.
Starting an asbestosis compensation claim is straightforward. To begin your claim, contact us on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or online for a free, no obligation chat. Click here to learn more about our team and the high level of expertise in your area of injury.
After an initial consultation phone call, your specialist solicitor will come to visit you in your home – or a location at your convenience – to discuss the details of your claim. This will include information such as your work history and the impact that your illness has on your day-to-day life, so they can understand your needs and advise you on the compensation you may be able to claim.
Our legal expert will also use this as an opportunity to talk you through the process of making a claim and to explain your funding options and any relevant paperwork for making your claim.
From that point on, your solicitor will pursue your claim on your behalf. The next step will be to contact the defendant’s insurers and to start gathering evidence to support your claim, liaising with medical experts and healthcare providers to access your records. Your solicitor will keep you updated as your claim progresses and at every step of the process.
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If you have a question that is not listed above, please visit our FAQs page. Alternatively, please call our specialist team on Freephone 0800 884 0777 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation chat.