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
We understand how distressing it is to discover, decades later, that you have a serious medical condition caused by exposure to harmful asbestos that you weren’t even aware of.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with pleural thickening, due to exposure to asbestos that could have been avoided, you may be able to claim compensation.
Our dedicated team of specialist asbestos disease solicitors has helped hundreds of people and their families who have become ill due to exposure to asbestos. We are experts in asbestos disease compensation claims ensuring those affected are financially secure, have peace of mind and access to the care and support they need.
Our experienced asbestos disease lawyers have helped people who have been exposed to asbestos through a wide range of contexts, such as:
- power stations
- construction sites
- engineering sites
- public buildings
- schools and colleges
Our specialist solicitors also have strong links with support groups that help people and their families who’ve been diagnosed with pleural thickening offering information, advice and friendship including Mesothelioma UK, HASAG and SWASAG.
What is pleural thickening?
Pleural thickening is a disease involving damage to and thickening of the lining of the lung. The thickening is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres. This damage can lead to pain when breathing and difficulty inflating the lung, and subsequently a reduced ability for oxygen to enter the bloodstream. 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 pleural thickening?
If you have worked in industries where asbestos was heavily used, you are more at risk from developing pleural thickening. 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.
What are the symptoms of pleural thickening?
The symptoms of pleural thickening can often include:
- shortness of breath
- persistent cough
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- pain in your chest or shoulder
You doctor may ask you questions about your work history, to determine the severity of your exposure to asbestos and make their diagnosis. If you realise, during your diagnosis, that you may have been exposed during your work, contact our team and we may be able to help you make a claim for compensation.
How will pleural thickening affect me in the future?
There’s currently no cure for pleural thickening, once it’s developed, although treatment can help control some of the symptoms and new medicines are being developed.
Pleural thickening can cause you to have difficulty breathing and can have a real impact on your day-to-day quality of life. Pleural thickening can often get worse over time. Patients diagnosed with pleural thickening also have an increased risk of developing other asbestos-related diseases such as asbestos-related lung cancer and the cancer mesothelioma.
Our expert asbestos disease solicitors have helped hundreds of clients to secure the maximum possible compensation for their pleural thickening claims. They have extensive experience with pleural thickening claims and understand the condition in detail. They can advise on whether a full and final settlement or a provisional settlement should be pursued. A provisional settlement would allow a further claim for compensation to be made if another asbestos condition is contracted at a later date.
Our solicitors will be able to advise you on this and will take in to account the impact pleural thickening has on your day-to-day life and health, the possibility of the condition worsening in the future and any future care you may need.
Could my employer have prevented my exposure?
Employers have a legal duty to protect their workers from harm. Even though asbestos wasn’t completely banned until 1999, its health risks became well known much earlier so employers can be held 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 is at risk from pleural thickening?
If you have worked in industries where asbestos was heavily used, you are more at risk from developing pleural thickening. This includes those who’ve worked in plumbing, engineering, joinery, construction or at dockyards.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your employer has gone out of business, you may still be able make a claim for compensation. In fact, given how long it can take to develop pleural thickening 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.
It is completely understandable to have concerns about the future if you’ve been diagnosed with pleural thickening. 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.
Yes. The general rule is that you have three years from the time you were diagnosed to make a pleural thickening claim. If a family member has died from pleural thickening, you normally have three years from their date of death to make a claim or three years from the date you realised exposure to asbestos may have caused their illness. It can take several decades for pleural thickening 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 pleural thickening, 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.
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.
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.
Starting a pleural thickening 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.