Asbestos related lung cancer compensation

What is asbestos related lung cancer?

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.

Can I have asbestos related lung cancer even though I smoked?

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%.

Do I need to have asbestosis to have asbestos related lung cancer?

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.

How much exposure to asbestos dust must I have had for asbestos related lung cancer?

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.

What can I claim for?

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. 

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.

How much will it cost to bring a claim?

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’).

What should I do next?

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 of those with asbestos related lung cancer who are entitled to bring a claim on behalf of the estate.

We are also able to assist in making applications for benefits.

Have you helped others like me with lung cancer?

We have many years of experience. Read our case studies to find out how we have helped others.

Available benefits

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

People who have lung cancer and asbestosis and who 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. These include:

  • The manufacture of asbestos textiles
  • Spraying asbestos
  • Asbestos insulation work
  • Applying or removing materials containing asbestos in the course of ship building where all or any of the exposure occurs before 1 January 1975. This must be for a period of, or periods which amount in aggregate to, five years or more, or otherwise for a period of, or periods which amount in aggregate to, ten years or more.

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.

How do I apply for these benefits?

We can assist you in the process of applying for benefits. Please contact us at or call 0800 884 0718 for assistance.

What next?

If you have been diagnosed as suffering from asbestos related lung cancer we can help.

Keep up to date with the latest asbestos claims information by subscribing to our 'Asbestos Alert' e-newsletter.


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Your service would be very difficult to improve, it is already first class - excellent.  The caring and very efficient way you have helped us is beyond compare 150%!

Boyes Turner client

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