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Asbestos-Related Disease Claims
If you are suffering from an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis, and think it was caused by your working conditions, you will be eligible to make a claim. The process of seeking compensation may seem daunting, but making an asbestos claim ensures you are able to access the financial help you are entitled to.
Our expert industrial disease team has years of experience helping victims to claim the compensation they deserve with the minimum of hassle and stress, leaving you and your family to concentrate on what is most important: your health and wellbeing.
Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that has been used in manufacturing, construction and shipbuilding since the late 19th century due to its affordability, insulation qualities, strength, resistance to heat, and other desirable physical properties. Its use was most widespread between the 1950s and 1980s, and it was typically used in ceiling tiles, sprayed coatings, ship engine rooms, pipes and boilers.
However, asbestos poses a serious health risk when its fibres are inhaled after becoming airborne by cutting, drilling or breaking the mineral. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), asbestos-related diseases kill approximately 5,000 people in the UK each year.
Between the mid-1980s and late-1990s, a number of laws and regulations were imposed restricting the use of harmful substances - such as asbestos - in construction, manufacturing and other heavy industries, culminating in the Control of Asbestos Regulations Act in 1999. Amongst other things, this made it illegal to:
- Use asbestos cement
- Use insulating materials made from asbestos
- Use asbestos for surface coating
- Use asbestos paint or plaster
- Import products containing asbestos
Despite these regulations being put in place, many people continue to die each year due to asbestos exposure, even if it occurred decades earlier.
The serious and life-threatening diseases that can be caused by exposure to asbestos include:
- Lung cancer
- Pleural thickening
Lung cancer is a very serious disease that, if left untreated, can spread to other parts of the body. It is therefore essential it is diagnosed early - failure to do so can have fatal consequences.
The disease can be caused by heavy exposure to asbestos. There are many other possible causes, including smoking, however the effects of exposure to asbestos and smoking can multiply your chances of contracting lung cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer and have been exposed to asbestos at any point in your life, call now to speak to one of our specialist solicitors and we will advise you on whether you have a claim.
Asbestosis is caused by scarring to the alveoli; the tissues responsible for the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Coughs and chest pain
Asbestosis can be diagnosed through an X-ray, computerised tomography (CT) scan or biopsy.
The outlook for asbestosis sufferers differs from person to person and depends on the damage that has been caused by the asbestos fibres. In many cases, the condition develops very slowly, with symptoms not presenting themselves for many years. However, in other cases the disease can be very debilitating and significantly shorten the lifespan of the sufferer. It can also increase their risk of contracting other conditions, such as pleural thickening, mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Pleural thickening refers to the scarring of the pleura (the membrane covering the lungs) and has the potential to restrict lung capacity. If the disease is widespread and affects both lungs, it is referred to as bilateral diffuse pleural thickening.
We have worked with many sufferers of pleural thickening. While asbestos exposure is a known cause of the condition, there are several other potential causes, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, malignancy and infection.
This can make it difficult to work out the extent to which asbestos has caused the disease. What's more, the courts have ruled that pleural thickening can only be compensated to the extent that it is symptomatic, which means lung function tests need to be performed. As a result, this is a potentially complex area that requires expert legal advice.
Mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer that affects the pleura and is caused by exposure to asbestos.
If you have contracted mesothelioma as a result of your working environment or someone else’s negligence, visit this page to find out more about claiming compensation for the disease.
Diseases can have a very long latency period - sometimes in excess of 50 years. This can mean people have moved abroad or retired to the sunshine by the time their symptoms develop.
If your exposure to asbestos took place in the UK, then the fact you are a resident abroad is not a bar to you claiming.
Our legal advisers will help you throughout the claims process, providing you with the following services:
- Advising you on available benefits and likely compensation amounts (lump sum payments are available for certain types of asbestos disease).
- Finding likely sources of exposure to asbestos.
- Tracing insurers of companies in liquidation in order to further your claim.
- Providing access to leading medical experts.
- Applying for early interim payments.
- Pursuing claims through the High Courts Fast Track Mesothelioma Procedure.
- Obtaining your full entitlement to compensation to protect you and your family's future.
We will guide you throughout the entire claims process, providing the support and advice you need at every turn ultimately helping you to secure a successful outcome to your asbestos-related disease claim.