Mesothelioma compensation claims

What is 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.

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos and has a long latency period of typically between 20 and 50 years.

The disease is often associated with a rapid and significant weight loss combined with heavy and sudden sweating, particularly at night.

 

Mesothelioma FAQs

  • What causes mesothelioma?

    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 contain asbestos. Asbestos was widely used due to its heat resistant properties, in both residential and industrial buildings, ships, schools and other public buildings.

    Malignant mesothelioma is extremely rare in the absence of asbestos exposure and there is a direct correlation between the level of exposure to asbestos and the risk of developing mesothelioma.

    Mesothelioma can however occur even after relatively low levels of exposure to asbestos. It can also occur following indirect exposure to asbestos for example when women have washed the overalls of men who have asbestos fibres on their clothing, or environmentally as a result of living close to an asbestos factory.

  • Does mesothelioma get worse?

    Until very recently it was believed that malignant mesothelioma was an untreatable disease. The average life expectancy following diagnosis is just over a year, with some people surviving three years or more.

    Some cases do however respond to aggressive treatment such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy and extensive surgery, although careful consideration should be given to the side effects.

  • Is compensation available for mesothelioma?

    Compensation for malignant mesothelioma is available.

    If you receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma then you should get in touch with us to discuss the possibility of making a compensation claim. This is even if you haven’t worked directly with asbestos or cannot recall the circumstances of your exposure. It may well be that, after careful questioning, it becomes apparent where and when your exposure to asbestos is likely to have occurred.

  • How much will it cost to bring a claim?

    We always provide an initial interview free of charge. At that meeting we will discuss how to fund your claim. We offer Conditional Fee Agreements (CFA's or "no win no fee") and as a client with mesothelioma you will receive 100% of your compensation.

  • 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 mesothelioma 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 mesothelioma?

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

Available benefits

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

If you have mesothelioma and believe the disease was caused by your employment then you are entitled to apply for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, a weekly payment from the government.

Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979

A lump sum payment under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 can also be made where the mesothelioma was caused by employment, provided that no compensation from a civil claim in respect of the disease has already been received. The award is generally made where the employer has ceased trading.

Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme (2008)

If you have mesothelioma, and were exposed to asbestos in the UK, but are not entitled to a payment under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 (because the asbestos exposure did not occur during employment) an application can be made for a payment under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008.

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (2014)

This scheme was introduced in 2014 to compensate those who were unable to trace their employers’ liability insurers. Those who have diffuse mesothelioma may be eligible for a payment under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme 2014 providing:

  • They were diagnosed with mesothelioma on or after 25 July 2012
  • The diffuse mesothelioma was caused by negligent exposure to asbestos during employment
  • They are unable to trace all the employers who exposed them to asbestos
  • They are unable to trace the relevant employers’ liability insurers

The Scheme pays out 80% of the average amount awarded in civil claims to those diagnosed with mesothelioma on or after 25 July 2012 until 9 February 2015 and that 100% of the average amount awarded in civil claims for those diagnosed on or after 10 February 2015.

How do I apply for these benefits?

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

What next?

If you have been diagnosed as suffering from malignant mesothelioma we can help.

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

 

General asbestos claims FAQs

  • How long do I have to make an asbestos claim?

    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.

  • 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.
  • What are the steps to make an asbestos claim?

    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.

    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’).

  • What benefits are available for different asbestos related diseases?

    There are various Government benefits available for those diagnosed with an asbestos related condition, including the following:

    For mesothelioma:

    • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
    • Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979
    • Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008
    • Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme 2014

    For asbestos related lung cancer:

    • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
    • Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979

    For benign asbestos related diseases (asbestosis and asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening):

    • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
    • Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979

    We are happy to advise or assist you in making any appropriate applications

  • Can I make a claim on behalf of a loved one who has died?

    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.

    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.

  • How should my employer have protected me against asbestos exposure?

    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:

    • Identify any asbestos present and what type it is
    • Carry out a risk assessment to see whether it is possible to do the work without asbestos exposure
    • Consider whether the work should be done by a contractor who holds a special license to handle asbestos
    • Notify the relevant authority to let them know about the work that will involve asbestos
    • Provide training and protective equipment to employees

    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.

  • Who will be paying for my asbestos claim?

    The company where you worked at the time of your asbestos exposure 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 will have been insured to deal with claims such as this, so it will be the insurer’s responsibility to make any compensation payouts

    In cases where the companies have gone out of business and the insurers are untraceable there are benefits set up to compensate those diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.

  • Will my asbestos case go to court?

    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.

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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