Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops due to exposure to asbestos. It mainly affects the lining of the lungs but it can also affect the lining of the stomach.
More than 2,500 people are diagnosed with the disease every year in the UK and it can take many years to develop (sometimes several decades after the initial exposure to asbestos).
Sadly, mesothelioma in women is on the rise. There has been an alarming increase of 92% in women with mesothelioma since 1999. Women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. Read more about the rise of women with mesothelioma and some thoughts from Mavis Nye in our latest Mesothelioma Newsletter.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be able to make a mesothelioma compensation claim, even if you aren’t sure how you were exposed in the first place or you came into 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
Our specialist asbestos disease solicitors also have strong links with support groups that help people and their families who’ve been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases offering information, advice and friendship including Mesothelioma UK and SWASAG.
In 2020, the fourth National Mesothelioma Audit report was published in the UK. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) carried out the audit and the work was commissioned and funded by Mesothelioma UK. One of the main findings was that between 2016 – 2018 there were 7,210 new cases of mesothelioma. There were 6,950 patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and 260 with peritoneal mesothelioma (PM).
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops due to exposure to asbestos. It mainly affects the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) but it can also affect the lining of the stomach (peritoneal mesothelioma).
There is currently no cure, although treatment can help control some of the symptoms and new medicines are being developed. 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.
What Is Pleural Mesothelioma?
Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the thin tissue lining the lungs (known as the pleura). Most cases of mesothelioma occur in the pleura. It is caused by exposure to asbestos fibres which are inhaled into the lungs and become lodged in the pleura. Over a long period of time, the asbestos fibres cause inflammation and scarring and eventually may lead to mesothelioma tumours developing.
The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Persistent cough
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
What Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?
Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It affects the thin tissue lining the abdomen (called the peritoneum). Peritoneal mesothelioma is caused by inhaling or ingesting tiny, microscopic asbestos fibres that get lodged in the peritoneum. Over a long period (typically over 20 years or more), irritation from the asbestos fibres causes inflammation and scarring. This may result in the growth of cancerous (malignant) mesothelioma tumours.
The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include:
- Abdominal (stomach) pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
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 Is At Risk From Mesothelioma?
If you have worked in industries where asbestos was heavily used, you are more at risk from developing mesothelioma. This includes those who’ve worked in plumbing, engineering, joinery, construction or at dockyards. We have also helped people who have been exposed to asbestos because they’ve worked in a building containing asbestos (such as a school or hospital) or lived close to a factory or building site with asbestos. Novum Law is supporting women who have been exposed to asbestos in schools, banks, retail outlets and even rented houses. You can also be at risk if you’ve had ‘secondary exposure’ to asbestos, such as washing a family member’s work clothes covered in asbestos dust.
Who Can Make A Mesothelioma Compensation Claim?
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the last three years, you could be able to make a compensation claim. Our specialist solicitors can also help you make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has already died from mesothelioma. 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 mesothelioma 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 Mesothelioma Claim Has Settled?
It is completely understandable to have concerns about the future if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma. 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.
Benefits For People Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you’re worried about financial support and need advice, watch the video where Andrew Stinchcombe, Novum Law’s Asbestos and Mesothelioma specialist Director, speaks about the available benefits you may be entitled to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. The general rule is that you have three years from the time you were diagnosed to make a mesothelioma claim or the date you realised your asbestos exposure may have been caused by someone else’s negligence or mistakes. If a family member has died from mesothelioma, you normally have three years from the date of death to pursue a claim or from the date you found out exposure to asbestos had caused their illness. It can take several decades for mesothelioma 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 or you don’t know how you were exposed to asbestos.
The compensation you receive depends on your personal circumstances and the impact mesothelioma 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 mesothelioma, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Starting a mesothelioma 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.
Yes, if your loved one has died from mesothelioma, 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 contact us online for advice.
There are no upfront or hidden costs when you make a compensation claim with Novum Law…read more
Most cases are settled without going to court. It is often necessary to issue court proceedings…read more
If you are making a compensation claim and you’re unhappy with the service or advice you are…read more
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.