Leading personal injury and medical negligence solicitors
Asbestos claims after death
The death of a loved one due to an asbestos-related disease is devastating for any family, not just because of the obvious emotional distress involved, but also due to the practical and financial issues this can cause.
If you have lost a loved one due to mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural thickening or any other disease caused by exposure to asbestos, claiming compensation can never truly make up for that loss, but it can make life much easier for you and your family during this difficult time.
Our fatal mesothelioma and asbestos claims solicitors have been helping families to pursue compensation for asbestos-related deaths for many years, helping to make the process as simple and stress-free as we can.
We offer the clear, empathetic advice and specialist legal expertise and representation you need to secure a fair settlement to help deal with the financial and practical consequences of your loss.
To arrange a free initial telephone conversation with our friendly, expert fatal mesothelioma and asbestos claims solicitors, please get in touch.
Fatal asbestos claims FAQs
How can I fund a fatal asbestos claim?
The majority of claims we handle for asbestos compensation after death are funded on the basis of a Conditional Fee Agreement or ‘no win, no fee’ deal.
If you are or were a member of a trade union, they may be able to provide funding for industrial disease claims, such as those for asbestos-related diseases. Whether trade union funding is available will depend on the circumstances and a Conditional Fee Agreement may sometimes still be the preferable choice.
Find out more about funding your claim.
Is there any upfront cost for starting a fatal asbestos claim?
While a Conditional Fee Agreement means you do not need to pay anything towards our legal fees at the start of your claim, we do recommend taking out After the Event (ATE) insurance.
ATE insurance is intended to cover the cost of the defendant’s legal fees in the unlikely event that you were to become liable for their costs. This would only happen if your claim goes to court and the judge rules against you and awards costs against you.
Very few asbestos-related death claims ever go to court as they are almost always settled out-of-court. However, we will discuss with you whether after the event insurance is a sensible precaution in your case.
If your loved one passed away due to mesothelioma then the defendants will almost always pay the insurance premium. There are no upfront fees in any case as the premiums are deferred until the conclusion of your case
Who can make a claim for asbestos compensation after death?
To be able to claim compensation for the asbestos-related death of a loved one, you will need to be their surviving spouse, civil partner, child or executor.
If you are unsure whether you may be able to make a claim for asbestos compensation after death, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss this with you.
Am I entitled to compensation for an asbestos-related death in the family?
To be eligible for compensation for an asbestos-related death, a number of key factors must apply:
- An asbestos-related disease must have caused or contributed to your loved one’s death.
- Their disease must have been caused by asbestos exposure either whilst at work, in the environment where they lived or whilst at school or from secondary exposure.
- The employer must have known about the risk of asbestos exposure and failed to take appropriate precautions to protect their employees, such as carrying out a proper assessment to establish whether asbestos was present and/or failing to provide suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Can I continue an asbestos claim started by someone who has since died?
Sadly, it is very common for someone with asbestosis, mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease who starts a compensation claim to pass away before the claim is resolved. Where this occurs, it may be possible for their family to continue the claim or it may be appropriate to start a separate claim, depending on the circumstances.
Our asbestos claims solicitors can advise you on the best option for you and guide you through the process, taking over an asbestos claim or starting a new claim.
Can I claim compensation where an asbestos-related disease was not the sole cause of death?
When someone sadly passes away and they were suffering from an asbestos related disease the death is often referred to the coroner. The death may be considered in more detail by the coroner and it may be that the death was wholly or partially caused by previous asbestos exposure. Alternatively it may be that your loved one was suffering from an asbestos related disease but that the cause of death was unrelated to asbestos.
For example, if someone who dies due to respiratory failure was suffering from asbestos-related pleural effusion or pleural thickening, those asbestos-related issues may be considered a contributing factor to the respiratory failure, but not the sole cause.
On the other hand, someone may be suffering with asbestosis (or another condition) during their life, but can also have other problems such as a heart condition which might be their actual cause of death. In situations where your loved one's death was partially caused, or contributed to, by asbestos disease or where they were suffering from an asbestos related disease during lifetime but another unrelated condition caused their death, the family can often continue with a pre-existing claim.
What compensation can you claim for an asbestos-related death?
Exactly what you can claim for an asbestos related death will depend on the circumstances, but key types of compensation you may be able to claim include:
We will aim to provide a clear estimate of your claim’s likely value at the earliest opportunity, so please get in touch to find out more.
- Loss of the deceased’s income (including their pension income)
- Loss of any services the deceased provided
- Others costs you have incurred as a result of the death
- Funeral expenses
- A bereavement award (currently set at £12,980)
Is there a time limit to claim compensation for a death due to asbestos?
You will generally have three years from the date of death to make a claim for asbestos compensation after death.
In exceptional circumstances, a court may grant permission to bring a claim outside of this three-year time limit, however, this is rare, so should not be relied on. We therefore recommend you contact our Mesothelioma and Asbestos Claims team as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss out on the chance to make a claim.
Can I claim compensation for an asbestos-related death if the deceased already received compensation?
Even if the deceased already claimed compensation for their disease before their death, you may still be able to make a separate claim depending on the circumstances. Whether you are eligible to make a separate claim will depend on the details of the previous claim, so this is something we would need to review with you during your free initial consultation.
Do I need to go to court to get compensation for a loved one who died due to asbestos exposure?
The overwhelming majority of claims for asbestos compensation after death can be resolved with an out-of-court settlement. This allows you to get a fair settlement for your claim without the stress and uncertainty of court proceedings. It also normally makes the claims process much faster and less costly.
However, in some cases court proceedings may be required to ensure you are able to get the compensation you are entitled to. In such cases, we can offer the experienced, expert representation and emotional support you need to make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible, while ensuring your case is presented in the most effective way.
Our expertise with asbestos claims after death
Boyes Turner is ranked tier 1 by leading client guide the Legal 500 for personal injury claims, recognising our team as one of the country’s top law firms for representing claimants in all types of personal injury claims.
Our Personal Injury department has been noted in the Legal 500 for our “talented and motivated” team, with specific praise for our “strong presence and deserved national reputation, particularly in asbestos and other industrial disease claims”.
The team is led by Boyes Turner Partner Kim Smerdon, a highly experienced personal injury lawyer who is recognised in the Legal 500 as a “fearless litigator and astute tactician”.
Supporting Kim in our specialist Mesothelioma and Asbestos Claims team are “thorough, professional and compassionate” Director Laura Magson and her fellow Senior associate - solicitors Melloney Harbutt and Annabelle Neilson.
Kim, Laura, Melloney and Annabelle are all accredited Senior Litigators with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), and Laura, Annabelle and Melloney are also APIL-accredited Asbestos Disease Specialists.
We are accredited by the Law Society for Personal Injury law in recognition of our specialist expertise in representing claimants for personal injury compensation, including those involving asbestos-related deaths.
We are also accredited by the Law Society for Clinical Negligence, meaning we can offer highly effective advice and support where misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease is a factor in the death of your loved one.
Claims for asbestos compensation after death that we have successfully settled...
Kim Smerdon secured a £1.1million settlement for a family who had lost a loved one to mesothelioma. The claim was for loss-of-dependency, with the deceased having been the primary earner for the family.
Laura Magson secured a settlement of £110,000 for the widow of a former Chatham Dockyard, originally thought to be from suspected lung cancer. Despite lack of witness evidence and engineering evidence, the absence of a lifetime statement from the deceased and his history of heavy smoking a settlement was reached for his widow a year after she first asked us to investigate her claim.
We negotiated an out-of-court settlement of just over £59,600 for the family of a former builder and carpenter who died due to respiratory failure connected to asbestos-related pleural effusion and pleural thickening. We were able to secure the settlement in spite of the family not being financially dependent on the deceased.
Our team negotiated an £85,025 settlement for the bereaved family of a former construction project manager whose death was partially caused by asbestosis. The claim was originally started by the deceased shortly before his death and continued by his family. The deceased’s illness was related to asbestos exposure in the 1960s and early 1970s during his time working at an oil refinery.
Start an asbestos-related death compensation claim
To book your free initial appointment and find out more about making a no win, no fee compensation claim for a death due to asbestos, please get in touch with our friendly, expert asbestos claims team.
I really appreciated the friendly, efficient and supportive nature of the solicitor.
I would also like to express my thanks to you for your dedication in chasing the defendant's insurance company especially where COVID-19 made an impact.
Boyes Turner Client