Q. What is asbestos?
A. Asbestos is the single greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK. It was used extensively from the 1940s to the 1980s as a building material and any building built before 2000 could potentially contain asbestos. It was widely used for its heat resistant properties in both residential and industrial buildings, ships, schools and other public buildings.
Q. Which asbestos related conditions can I make a compensation claim for?
A. There are a number of different asbestos conditions which you can claim for:
Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a tumour which affects the mesothelium, most commonly in the lining of the lung, but can also affect the abdominal cavity, heart or testes.
It is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos and has a long latency period of typically between 20 and 50 years.
Mesothelioma can develop even after relatively low levels of exposure to asbestos. It can also occur following indirect exposure to asbestos, for example when washing overalls which have asbestos fibres on them, exposure within a school, or environmentally as a result of living close to an asbestos factory.
Lung cancer Lung cancer can be caused or contributed to by asbestos exposure. There are no clinical means of distinguishing between lung cancer caused by asbestos and lung cancer caused by smoking.
People who smoke and have been exposed to asbestos are at a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer. Those who have not smoked but who have had asbestos exposure are also at risk of developing lung cancer.
Asbestosis asbestosis is fibrosis of the lungs caused from breathing in asbestos fibres. It is usually individuals who have had significant exposure to asbestos over several years who go on to develop asbestosis. The effects normally appear 20 years or more after exposure. It can cause breathlessness and may become more severe over time.
Pleural thickening Asbestos related diffuse pleural thickening is a benign thickening of the pleural membrane surrounding the lungs. It can cause breathlessness and may become more severe over time. The effects normally appear 20 years or more after exposure.
Q. Why choose Boyes Turner when making a claim?
A. Our expert asbestos disease solicitors are skilled in supporting those with asbestos related diseases and their families. We understand the difficulties that being diagnosed with an asbestos related disease can create.
Many of our lawyers have dedicated their careers to acting for those affected by asbestos related disease.
The UK’s leading legal commentators, Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and The Legal 500, continue to rate us as one of the leading firms in the country for helping people who have suffered an industrial disease get maximum compensation in the minimum amount of time.
Our team are all asbestos specialist solicitors and, unlike some other firms, we do not use unqualified staff to handle asbestos cases due to their complexity.
Importantly, all of our solicitors are highly professional and supremely effective in securing the best outcome for clients in the minimum time.
We are also able to help with making applications for government benefits such as Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979, Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008 or Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme 2014.
Q. How long do I have to make a claim?
A. 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 3 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 3 years of this date then their executors have 3 years from their 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.
Q. What can I claim for?
A. 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:
- An amount for the injury itself, whether physical or psychological.
- Any care that you have received in the past and any that you may need in the future, whether that is paid or unpaid. We can also include a claim for costs incurred by a hospice.
- Any loss of income that you have suffered and any that you may suffer in the future.
- The cost of the requirement of additional services such as DIY, gardening, window cleaning etc. Whether those services are paid for or are unpaid.
- A claim on behalf of dependants (such as a spouse, child or other family member) for services provided, care provided or financial dependency.
- Out of pocket expenses such as aids and equipment, travel, private medical costs and alternative treatment costs.
Q. How do I make a claim?
A. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease then contact us to discuss the possibility of making a claim for compensation. We are happy to discuss the possibility of bringing a claim, without any obligation to take matters further.