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Can you claim for asbestos exposure?

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Many find it hard to believe that individuals are still suffering from asbestos-related problems decades after legislation outlawing its use in construction. The issue is that firstly, symptoms from exposure to asbestos can take many decades to materialise and secondly, it is still present to a large degree in many buildings to this day.

Exposure to asbestos dust happens when asbestos is disturbed, and asbestos fibres are released into the air, which, when inhaled, can be very serious. People are most likely to be exposed to asbestos in the workplace, and this type of industrial disease can have severe and long-term consequences, including disabling illness, a shorter life expectancy, loss of earnings and even the inability to look after yourself or others.

Being diagnosed with asbestos-related disease can be traumatic for yourself and your family members. If you have been in contact with asbestos due to someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to claim compensation.

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness that was not your fault and are looking to make a claim, you may be wondering, “can I claim for asbestos exposure?” Below is a summary of what you can make an asbestos at work claim for and what you may be eligible for:


What are the most common diseases associated with asbestos exposure?


There are different types of asbestos-related diseases that can be developed as a result of asbestos exposure. Even minor exposure can have particularly serious consequences; listed below are just some of the most common illnesses and diseases that are caused by asbestos:

Mesothelioma – Mesothelioma is a cancer that is almost exclusively related to asbestos exposure; it affects the lining of the lungs and the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract. It is particularly serious as, by the time it is diagnosed, it is nearly always fatal.

Pleural thickening – Pleural thickening can happen after heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the lung swells and thickens. In serious cases, the lung itself can be squeezed, which can cause shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest.

Asbestos-related lung cancer – Asbestos-related lung cancer is similar to lung cancer caused by smoking and other causes.

Asbestosis – Asbestosis is an asbestos-related condition that causes scarring on the lung. It typically occurs after exposure to asbestos over many years. This condition causes shortness of breath, and in severe cases, can be fatal. You can make an Asbestosis claim due to this.

Pleural plaques – Pleural plaques are scarring on the protective membrane surrounding the lungs. This is caused by long term inhalation of the asbestos fibres over time. Unfortunately, pleural plaques are not compensatable in England and Wales.

If you are suffering from any of the compensatable illnesses listed above or any others, you should consider making a claim for compensation.


What are the symptoms of an asbestos-related illness, and how long do they take to develop?


If you or someone you know has potentially been exposed to asbestos and have developed any of the following symptoms, it is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible:

· Persistent cough

· Chest pain

· Tiredness

· Tightness in the chest

· Trouble breathing/shortness of breath

These symptoms can sometimes take anywhere between 10 and 50 years to develop after the initial exposure to asbestos, depending on the level of exposure.


Can I claim for asbestos exposure?


In simple terms, claiming compensation for asbestos-related conditions is possible when an individual can prove that they suffered from an asbestos disease due to negligence from someone else, such as an employer.

To be eligible to receive compensation, you have to be able to prove that your condition was caused as a result of exposure to asbestos, in breach of the legal standards, at the relevant time, and that the exposure was caused by someone else’s negligence.

If the asbestos exposure happened in the workplace, you will need to show that your employer was aware of the risks and was aware that there was a high probability that you could develop asbestos-related diseases.

Finally, you must be able to prove that your employer was negligent with regards to informing you about the dangers of asbestos and failed to put proper precautionary measures in place, such as provide protective gear.


Evidence that can help to support your asbestos claim is:


· Medical reports proving that you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related condition

· Imaging scans showing the extent of any cancer

· Blood tests supporting your diagnosis

· Employment records

· Pay records that prove past employment

· Contact information of former colleagues or employers


It is in your best interest to contact a specialist asbestos solicitor as soon as possible as they can discuss your entitlements with you and advise you on your options going forward. Asbestos specialist solicitors from law firms can provide clarity on whether you have been wrongfully injured due to asbestos negligence as they are legal experts and specialise in asbestos and mesothelioma claims.


Time Limits for making an asbestos exposure claim


As with most personal injury claims, you will have three years from the date you were diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition to claim compensation. However, time limits on asbestos claims can be more difficult as it can take a long time to develop an asbestos-related illness.

In asbestos cases, the three-year limit begins when you first realised that your injuries were connected to asbestos exposure. Therefore, it is crucial that you are assessed by a doctor as soon as possible so that you are able to start the claims process.

In fatal accident claims, the time period for a dependant to begin a claim is three years from the date of death of the individual that passed due to asbestos exposure.


Asbestos compensation claims: What help is available?


Being diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition can be truly distressing for the person affected and their loved ones. However, there is help available:

· There are a number of charities and support groups that offer a range of advice and assistance to those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease.

· Compensation is available to those that have suffered from an asbestos-related illness that was caused due to someone else’s negligence. It can give you and your loved one’s peace of mind that you will not suffer any financial hardship during this time


How much do asbestos claims cost?


We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are; if we take on your case, we will almost always do so on no win, no fee agreements (also known as a conditional agreement).

This means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case, we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.

We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.


How can Wildwood legal assist?


We have the experience of having acted for many asbestos victims over the years.

If you are still asking the question, “can I claim for asbestos exposure?” contact Wildwood Legal to speak to a specialist solicitor about your case. For years, insurance companies have tried to fight their way out of paying asbestos claims, and there are many Court cases that illustrate this. If we think that you have a good case, we will do everything we possibly can to recover compensation for you.

Nobody deserves to develop asbestos-related problems. If it happens to you or your loved ones, we are here to help. We can offer you legal advice on court proceedings as we know that claims processes can be confusing and daunting for some.

Our law firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; therefore, we provide everything that is needed to meet their high standards meaning that we are a trusted law firm. We offer services to individuals located in England and Wales.

Our ultimate aim is to obtain a great outcome for your case and for you to feel able to recommend us to others at the end of your claim.

We value the opinion of our clients, and we will always listen to you and take on board what you say. To make an enquiry, get in contact with us either email us or call us 01423 209 046.

We have registered offices in Harrogate and London.

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If you are thinking about making a claim, we would love to hear from you.  We will give you clear, honest advice.

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