Asbestos Compensation: Mesothelioma UK
Do I have a claim?Solicitors here pursue compensation claims for mesothelioma and asbestos disease for clients in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, China, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Germany & elsewhere, as well as throughout the UK.
Types of occupation where exposure to asbestos has occurred
Over the last 100 years asbestos has been commonly used in numerous industrial processes and occupations. Those in the following occupations regularly came into contact with airborne asbestos fibres:
aerospace workers, architects, auto mechanics, boilermen, brake mechanics, building superintendents, carpenters, construction trades, deck officers, demolition trades, electricians, engineers, heating engineers, insulators, labourers, lab technicians, laggers, machinists, marine engineers, masons, merchant marine seamen, naval personnel, pipe fitters, plumbers, power station workers, refractory brick layers, roofers, sheet metal workers, shipyard workers, spouses of exposed workers, steamfitters, telephone repairmen tilers, welders and window fitters.
Step by step to compensation for asbestos exposure:
Use our INTERACTIVE QUESTIONNAIRE to start your claim now
Proving the claim
Beware “easy-compensation” advertisers. The reality is that the onus is always on the claimant to prove the liability of the defendant(s) on the balance of probabilities.
Without such proof of or acceptance by the defendant(s) of liability (i.e. fault), there will be no “compensation”.
Proving liability can often be an arduous battle, with the defendant(s) fighting every step of the way.It is best to consult experienced, qualified solicitors with the specialist track record in occupational disease claims of this kind to give the claimants they represent the best chance of achieving the best results possible.
New defendants who are usually former employers of those suffering from asbestos-related illnesses disease are cropping up all the time. Here is a list of some defendants known to us where the courts have found them to be liable to pay compensation or the cases have settled beforehand. This is just a small number of the thousands of employers who are sued each year:
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is the general name for three main types of naturally occurring mineral classified as follows:
(a) Chrysotile (white asbestos)
(b) Crocidolite (blue asbestos)
(c) Amosite (brown asbestos).
Each type has different qualities. All are resistant to heat.
White asbestos is soft, silky, flexible yet tough and is used in asbestos textiles and asbestos cement.
Blue asbestos is harder but still flexible, strong and acid resistant and is used in asbestos textiles.
Brown asbestos is actually a grey-yellow colour, is coarse and brittle and used in thermal insulation.
Asbestos was known as the magic mineral as it combined the indestructibility of rock with the flexibility of silk which meant it could be woven for many industrial purposes.
Blue and brown asbestos were banned from importation supply and use in Great Britain in 1985.
From 24th November 1999 the importation of white asbestos was banned 5 years ahead of the European Union deadline but there are numerous products to which time-limited derogations apply for example; split face seals of at least 150 millimetres in diameter used to prevent leakage of water from hydro-electric power.
Why is asbestos a health hazard?
Asbestos fibres are the smallest natural fibres known. An individual asbestos fibre cannot be seen by the naked eye nor under the most powerful optical microscope.By way of analogy Geoffrey Tweedale in his book “Magic Mineral to Killer Dust” illustrates the minute size of individual asbestos fibres:“2 million fibres fit on a pinhead; an inch cube of asbestos contains 15 million miles of fibre.”When inhaled these tiny indestructible fibres work their way to the lungs, the lining of the lungs (the pleura), the alveolar ducts and the alveoli and the membrane surrounding the abdomen (peritoneum). Indestructible inhaled asbestos particles remain latent in these areas and it is often the case that asbestos related respiratory diseases do not manifest until decades later.See also Asbestos and your lungs by British Lung FoundationThe courts are not bound to follow these guidelines but will generally be persuaded by them.
Interest on general damages
Interest is payable on general damages at 2% per year from the date of service of the court claim form.
This is to compensate for all the specific financial losses both past and future which arise as a result of the illness and which are reasonably foreseeable. These may include but are not limited to the following:
In many cases the amount of additional special damages far exceeds the amount awarded for general damages
Interest on special damages
Interest is payable at 3.00% per year.
The court has the power to award provisional damages when it is more likely than not that there is a chance that at some time in the future there will be a serious deterioration of the asbestos related disease.
For example if the claim is for damages for pleural plaques or pleural thickening you can be compensated for those illnesses but should the disease worsen into asbestosis or mesothelioma or asbestos related lung cancer you may be able to go back to court for more compensation.
Where there is a claim for provisional damages but the claimant dies before such compensation is made, his or her estate can continue to claim for the loss.
Tracing former employers
We can obtain your employment history from HM Revenue & Customs from 1961 onwards. This will reveal the exact name of your employers if you are having difficulty remembering all your employments. Where a company has been dissolved it can, in certain circumstances, still be restored to the companies register. It is important to locate the employer’s liability (EL) insurers especially if the employer is no longer trading.
Where no claim can be made because the employer has ceased trading and its EL insurers cannot be traced it may still be possible to claim state benefits. Even if a company has been dissolved certain courts may hear the claim without restoring the company to the companies register. This saves time and expense.
Industrial disablement benefit
The Benefits Agency may provide compensation if it considers that you have a disability caused by asbestosis, diffuse pleural thickening, mesothelioma or asbestos related lung cancer and that you were exposed to asbestosis when in paid employment.
For all claims except mesothelioma there is a waiting period of 15 weeks.
If you suffer from any of these you should contact your local Benefits Agency.
Additional lump sum under the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979
Purpose of the Act
To pay compensation to certain people who are unable to recover damages from their employers.
Who is covered?
Sufferers from certain industrial diseases caused by dust, irrespective of industry, and, if the sufferer has died, a dependant.
(a) pneumoconiosis (which includes silicosis, asbestosis, and kaolinosis)
(b) byssinosis (associated with cotton dust exposure)
(c) diffuse mesothelioma (asbestos related cancer)
(d) diffuse pleural thickening (asbestos related)
(e) primary carcinoma of the lung (asbestos related)
Conditions of entitlement
(a) Sufferers should normally be in receipt of industrial injuries disablement benefit (IIDB) in respect of one of the above diseases. Dependants can claim (IIDB) posthumously but there are time limits for making posthumous claims. Claims for IIDB should be made on a BI 100(PN) form available from the local Benefits Agency office.
(b) The employers who caused or contributed towards the disease must have ceased to carry on business, or if they are still trading, there is no realistic chance of obtaining damages from those employers.
(c) The sufferer or dependants must not have brought any action for damages in relation to the disease or received an out of court settlement.
When to apply
(a) Sufferers: should apply as soon as they think they are suffering from a disease covered by the Act. They should not await the outcome of a claim to the Benefits Agency for IIDB.
(b) Dependents: should apply once they are in receipt of IIDB. If they are time barred from claiming IIDB they should still apply.
How to apply
You may have seen in the press or television or heard on the radio advertisements placed by claims organisations. These organisations handle bulk personal injury claims by farming them out to certain solicitors in return for a fee.
These intermediaries are rarely solicitors themselves and may have very little idea as to how to handle asbestos related industrial disease claims where the exposure may have occurred anything up to 50 years ago or more.
We recommend that you choose a solicitor experienced in the prosecution of asbestos related cases in the civil courts. Humphreys & Co. are not offering a mass-produced legal product. Clients often prefer our independent approach and our sensitive, personal case-handling is more likely to bring effective results.
Clients’ best interests are usually better served by going direct to independent specialist qualified solicitors than to “claims management” intermediaries, who sell clients’ cases on in return for “referral fees.”
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Leading mesothelioma compensation solicitors
We are pleased to support
North Bristol NHS Trust Mesothelioma Research Fund
Avon Mesothelioma Foundation
British Lung Foundation
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