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Excluding mesothelioma, there is no particular type of lung cancer which is exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos dust. Both small cell lung cancer and non-small lung cancer can be caused or contributed to by exposure to asbestos dust.
Even if you were a smoker, it is possible that asbestos exposure has contributed to your lung cancer. This is because the risk of developing lung cancer increases in direct proportion to the level of your exposure to asbestos dust.
There is no clinical means of distinguishing between lung cancer caused by asbestos and lung cancer caused by smoking. However, there is clear evidence that if you have a 5% risk of developing lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure and a 10% risk as a result of smoking, your combined risk of developing lung cancer is 50%.
People who have lung cancer and asbestosis or who have lung cancer and have worked with asbestos in certain high risk jobs may also be entitled to apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for asbestos related lung cancer. The specific jobs include:
Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979
An application for a lump sum payment under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 can also be made where there is a diagnosis of primary lung cancer together with asbestosis or bilateral diffuse pleural thickening and provided that the lung cancer and accompanying condition was caused by employment. A lump sum payment can only be made where compensation from a civil claim in respect of the disease has not already been received and provided that Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit has been awarded. The award is generally made where the employer has ceased trading. An application can also be made by a dependant within 12 months of death where a diagnosis of lung cancer with asbestosis or bilateral diffuse pleural thickening was given.
We are happy to put you in touch with a charity who can assist you in making any appropriate applications.
The presence of other asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis, asbestos related pleural plaques or asbestos related diffuse pleural thickening can indicate that the lung cancer has been caused, or contributed to, by exposure to asbestos dust.
Historically, it was presumed that lung cancer could not be caused, or contributed to, by asbestos exposure unless asbestosis was also present. However, research has confirmed that asbestos related lung cancer can occur without the presence of asbestosis.
Whether or not your lung cancer can be attributed to asbestos exposure will also depend upon the level of your exposure to asbestos dust. In order to be able to pursue a claim for compensation for asbestos related lung cancer you must be able to show very heavy exposure to asbestos dust.
The criteria used in assessing whether exposure to asbestos dust has caused the lung cancer are known as the Helsinki criteria. It is widely accepted under the criteria that exposure to asbestos dust to the level of 25 fibre/ml years must have occurred for asbestos related lung cancer. This is the equivalent of approximately 1 years heavy exposure to asbestos dust, as for example an asbestos lagger, or 5 to 10 years of more moderate exposure to asbestos dust, as for example a carpenter cutting asbestos sheets.
This will vary from case to case and will depend on the injuries you have suffered, the medical treatment that you may require and any losses incurred.
The claim amount may be made up of the following:
It should be borne in mind that where you have also been a smoker, then there will be a deduction to your compensation to reflect the fact that your smoking has also contributed to the lung cancer.
An initial interview is always provided free of charge. At that meeting we will discuss how to fund the claim. We have a number of funding options available, all of which ensure you will have nothing to pay if your case is unsuccessful. In the majority of cases, we can act under a Conditional Fee Agreement (‘no win, no fee’).
We are happy to discuss the possibility of bringing a claim, without any obligations to take matters further. This is also the case for the families who have lost loved ones due to asbestos related cancer. The claim can be brought by the Personal Representative of the Estate.
We are also able to assist in making applications for benefits.
We have many years of experience. Read our case studies to find out how we have helped others.
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Senior associate - solicitor
For people with an asbestos related disease, there is usually no problem in bringing a claim, even though the exposure occurred a long time ago. This is because you have three years from the date it can reasonably have been expected that you “knew or ought to have known” that your condition may be associated with your asbestos exposure, within which to issue court proceedings.
If someone dies within three years of this date then the personal Will representative for the estate has three years from the date of death within which to issue court proceedings. However, there are some circumstances where exceptions can be made, so please do contact us so that we can advise you appropriately.
We are happy to discuss the possibility of bringing a claim, without any obligation to take matters further.
In addition to understanding how the asbestos related diagnosis came about and the impact of that diagnosis, we will ask for information about how you or your loved one came into contact with asbestos so we can start to assess your potential claim.
Even if you haven’t worked directly with asbestos or cannot recall the circumstances of your asbestos exposure then still get in touch with us as it may well be that, after careful questioning, it becomes apparent where and when your exposure to asbestos is likely to have occurred. We have an extensive database of statements and documents involving many UK employers and companies.
Where asbestos is considered to have potentially played a part in a death, it is important that the local coroner is notified of the death and that a post-mortem takes place. We can advise on this process. An initial interview is always provided free of charge. At that meeting we will discuss how to fund the claim. In the majority of cases, we can act under a Conditional Fee Agreement (‘no win, no fee’).
It is possible to make an asbestos claim on behalf of a loved one who has died as a result of an asbestos-related disease.
You may be entitled to claim if you were the spouse or child of someone who lost their life to this disease, or if you were financially dependent on them. The claim is brought by the personal representative of the estate.
To make a compensation claim in these cases, you must start your claim within three years of the date of death or at the point at which a post-mortem reveals that the death was caused by asbestos exposure.
The company where you worked at the time of your asbestos exposure, or the defendant company, is liable to pay your compensation. However, due to the latency period of asbestos in the body, a lot of companies have ceased trading once a claim is relevant.
If your former employer has gone out of business, you could still make a claim. The company is likely to have been insured to deal with claims such as this, so it will be the insurer’s responsibility to meet the compensation claim.
In cases where the companies have gone out of business and the insurers are untraceable there are benefits and in some cases, lump sums, set up to compensate those diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.
It may be that you did not come into contact with asbestos through your work. We also act for people who contracted mesothelioma through washing a loved one’s overalls, by living near to an asbestos factory or by attending a school where asbestos was disturbed.
We may also be able to bring a claim on behalf of those who believe they were exposed to asbestos whilst they were self-employed.
This will vary from case to case and will depend on the type of disease you are suffering from, the medical treatment that you may require and any losses incurred.
There are various Government benefits available for those diagnosed with an asbestos related condition, including the following:
For asbestos related lung cancer:
For benign asbestos related diseases (asbestosis and asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening):
A lot of types of asbestos have been under restrictions since the 1970s, the last type was banned in 1999. It is therefore possible to have been exposed to asbestos whilst working on buildings that were built or refurbished before 2000 and in many other professions, we see a large number of former laggers’ or plumbers who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease after exposure at work.
Guidance regulations were introduced in 1970 on the use of asbestos in the workplace. These days, employers must follow strict rules set out by the Health and Safety Executive. They should:
If your employer failed to follow regulations around the use of asbestos and you later developed an asbestos-related illness, you could be entitled to compensation.
Our highly experienced mesothelioma and asbestos claims solicitors are recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as experts in handling asbestos related claims.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that any particular claim will settle out of court, we take great care in investigating and preparing each claim that we take on. Our clients’ claims usually settle successfully without the need for a contested trial.
Even in non-contested cases, there will be occasions when the case is brought for shorter hearings before the court. In these cases, the lawyers for both sides present the agreed settlement to the court for the judge’s approval.
There is no bar to bringing a claim in the UK if you have been exposed to asbestos in the UK but you are now living abroad.
We act for many clients who have chosen to move abroad including those living in Australia, Gibraltar, New Zealand, Spain and Thailand.
If you are suffering from an asbestos related disease or condition and may have been exposed to asbestos whilst working in the UK, or for a UK based or owned company, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients
I am writing this review on behalf of my husband Colin Wyeth and myself.
We were advised by Colin’s Consultant to get a solicitor for Industrial Injuries as he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, however, this was a rare presentation of mesothelioma and so underwent two big operations at Guys Hospital in London.
The first operation was October 2019 after which he made a good recovery and was monitored with 6 monthly CT scans, unfortunately the scan showed a reappearance of the mesothelioma (in the lining of the lung) in 2021 and was admitted to Guys Hospital again in May 2021. He is now being called for scans every 2 months.
We contacted Laura Magson and her team at Boyes Turner LLP in 2019 right at the beginning of this awful diagnosis and I have to say we could not have chosen a better team, they have been absolutely brilliant from start to finish of our case delivering an outstanding result and award.
Throughout this case they have been kind, patient and considerate whilst gathering all the information needed to present Colin’s case at court which was a mammoth task going back 50 odd years. Laura, I have to say has gone above and beyond, so thorough and professional whilst being so kind and patient during this unusual case.
When I was first advised that I should make a claim for my industrial injury. I wasn’t convinced that after such a long period of time it would be possible to fine out how or where I had been exposed to Asbestos. However, Boyes Turner representative Laura Magson and her team made the process straight forward and easy to understand.
Laura Magson was superb in all the dealings with this claim from start to finish. She was professional, friendly and extremely helpful in keeping in touch regularly through a very difficult situation for my wife and l. We feel as though we have made a good friend.
The outcome was as she had hoped for us after negotiating herself through what could be termed as a minefield! One to be highly recommended, well done Laura and thank you so much.
Martin Anderson was professional, friendly, knowledgable and has the patience of a saint in our dealings with this claim from start to finish. He remained in regular contact throughout the claim and provide a fantastic service, would highly recommend.
Laura's service has been perfect. Compassionate, explanatory and efficient. It made what was a difficult set of corcumstance, much easier to deal with. A great outcome - a monetary amount we weren't expecting, and very quick.