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If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos at your workplace, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation. The prospect of claiming compensation may seem daunting to many, but the specialist solicitors at JMW will make the process as stress-free and efficient as possible.
There are many benefits of choosing to work with a team that specialises in mesothelioma claims. We have extensive knowledge of the fast-track court facility for sufferers of mesothelioma, and also offer home visits throughout England and Wales.
What’s more, we work on a no win, no fee basis, which means there are no upfront costs, no hidden charges and no cost to you and your family if your case is unsuccessful. If you are successful, you will keep 100% of the compensation received.
What Our Clients Say
How JMW Can Help
Our seven-point plan below shows you how we will work with you on a mesothelioma claim:
1: Begin your Claim with JMW
If you have mesothelioma, a member of our team will visit you in your home (wherever you live in the UK).
Here we will discuss your work history and obtain details of where and how you believe you came into contact with asbestos.
2: Draft Statement, Medical Records & Employment History
A draft statement of your evidence will be prepared and sent to you for your approval.
We will obtain copies of your medical records for you, as well as your official employment history.
3: Independent Medical Expert
An independent medical expert, usually a consultant chest physician, will be instructed by JMW.
They will prepare a medical report, which is required for the claims process.
You will not need to travel to see the physician - the expert we instruct will also visit you at home.
4: Investigate Employer History
At the same time, we will investigate the history of your former employer, even if it is not trading.
We will write to the employer or the organisation who took it over, and also get in touch with their insurance company.
Once we have established that you have a claim, we will gather evidence to create a strong case.
This will include:
- Showing that you were owed a duty of care by those responsible for the asbestos exposure
- Proving there was a breach of duty that resulted in exposure to asbestos and little or nothing was done to prevent this
- Using medical records to show the extent of your injuries
- Proving that your mesothelioma was caused by the employer you are holding responsible
5: Prepare a Calculation
We will prepare a calculation of your mesothelioma claim.
The amount of compensation depends upon your particular circumstances, e.g. how the illness has impacted your life and how it could affect you and your family in the future, but a six-figure compensation award is relatively commonplace.
Your solicitor will advise you on the government benefits available to you, including Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit, which is more than £600 per month.
Following the building of your case, we will contact the defendant to inform them of the claim being made against them, present the evidence and detail the effect that the exposure to asbestos has had on you.
Defendants are then allowed three months to carry out their own investigations.
If the defendant’s insurers are willing to negotiate at this stage, we will do all we can to obtain a favourable settlement.
If they are not, we will prepare the court papers, which will be lodged in the court’s fast-track facility for mesothelioma victims and handled by a specialist judge.
The judge will order the insurer to give good reasons why they should be allowed to defend the claim.
If they cannot do so, the judge will enter judgment in your favour.
You will then have won your claim and we will proceed to negotiate a settlement with the insurer.
In any event, the judge will list the claim for a trial usually within four months of the commencement of proceedings. However, very few mesothelioma claims proceed to a full hearing or trial - the vast majority settle out of court.
If it is not possible to trace a previous employer or insurance company, a claim can be made against the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. People diagnosed with mesothelioma after July 25th 2012 can apply for 100% of the average compensation award. It is not enough to simply show that you have the condition, you must also prove that you would have had a good case if an employer or insurance company could have been traced.
Abigail Morrison, industrial disease solicitor at JMW, has recently provided an overview of the risks associated with asbestos in The RoSPA OS&H Journal.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
The disease develops very slowly, with symptoms typically appearing between 30 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos, although, in some cases, they can appear up to 60 years after exposure.
If you develop symptoms of mesothelioma, you should arrange a medical assessment as soon as possible. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the side of the chest or lower back
- Excessive sweating
- Weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, are currently receiving treatment or have lost a loved one to the disease, you should speak to legal expert as soon as possible to discuss your options about making a claim for compensation.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining (pleura) of the lung and the peritoneum caused by exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibres are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lungs, leading to the development of cancerous tumours. It is incurable and is almost always fatal.
Who is most at risk?
The following workers are most at risk of developing mesothelioma due to the increased likelihood of being exposed to asbestos at work:
- Construction workers
- Plant and machine operatives
- Metal machining, fitting and instrument-making tradespeople
- Transport drivers
- Production managers
- Secretaries and related occupations
- Healthcare professionals
- Sales assistants
How does mesothelioma develop in the body?
Even minimal exposure to asbestos can pose a significant risk to the health of individuals who have been in the immediate vicinity. Because asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma develop slowly, often taking years to be apparent, conditions can be difficult to detect.
To demonstrate the impact that mesothelioma can have on the body, JMW has created a visual guide. Click here to view the guide.
Is there a time limit for making a claim?
A mesothelioma claim must be commenced in court no later than three years from the date of knowledge of you or your loved one’s prognosis. If a loved one has died from mesothelioma prior to the start of a claim, it can still be brought by the family. Certain documents have to be lodged in court within three years from the date of death.
Advice on Asbestos Management in Schools
The industrial disease team at JMW has created a guide to help understand how ACMs should be managed, how dangerous asbestos-related illnesses are and what action needs to be taken to make schools containing asbestos safe. Take a look at our guide here.
Talk to Us
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is essential that you seek legal advice as a matter of the utmost urgency. To speak to a specialist lawyer about your case, call JMW today on 0800 054 6570 or complete our online enquiry form and we will be in touch.