If you or someone you know is a tradesperson, you or them will have likely come into contact with asbestos at some point. It’s an incredibly common material, but one that is highly toxic and can be fatal. At OH Parsons, we have a team of experienced asbestos lawyers who routinely advise people who have worked with asbestos on whether or not they can make a compensation claim.
In this blog, our asbestos specialist solicitors will talk you through the basics of asbestos and asbestos exposure, and provide professional advice on who can make a claim. If you’re unsure whether you are eligible to claim compensation for asbestos exposure, keep reading.
What is Asbestos?
In simple terms, asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was a prominent feature of construction in the UK from the 1920s to the 1980s. It was used in almost everything, from paint and tiles to cement and pipe lagging. Most buildings had asbestos components in them.
This is because asbestos has lots of desirable construction qualities, such as being fire retardant and unreactive to the majority of chemicals. Whilst these properties made it a seemingly advantageous material to work with, it wasn’t known that exposure to loose asbestos fibres had a series of health risks and could cause a myriad of serious health conditions, many of which are deadly.
By the turn of the millennium, asbestos was banned, but the damage was done. Millions of people were exposed to asbestos over the years and went on to develop asbestos diseases that lowered their life expectancy and cut their lives short. Now, it’s possible for people exposed to asbestos fibres to claim compensation from the company responsible if they have an asbestos related disease.
What is an Asbestos Related Disease?
There are a number of asbestos related diseases someone who has been exposed to the mineral could go on to develop. The most common are:
- Pleural thickening
It’s a scandal that approximately 5,000 people in the UK die every year from an asbestos related disease or cancer.
Who Can Make an Asbestos Claim?
Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos goes on to develop an asbestos related disease from it, and this means not everyone is eligible to claim compensation. If you want to make a claim for asbestos related compensation, you need to:
- Have a diagnosis of an asbestos related disease
- Be able to state how you were exposed to asbestos (e.g. prove that you employed in a relevant sector)
The asbestos related diseases which you can claim asbestos compensation for in England and Wales at present are:
- Pleural thickening
- Lung cancer (caused by asbestos)
- Pleural effusions (caused by asbestos)
If you do not have one of the above asbestos related conditions, or if there is no clear evidence that the condition you have is caused by asbestos exposure, you likely won’t be able to claim asbestos compensation. In a similar manner, if you were exposed to asbestos but have no symptoms, you also won’t be able to claim.
In short, without a formal diagnosis of an asbestos related disease from a medical professional, you can’t claim.
In the event a family member experienced asbestos exposure and passed away due to an asbestos related illness, or if they are unable to bring forward a claim independently, you can do so on their behalf.
For more information on asbestos claims, read our blog on things to know about making an asbestos claim.
When Can I Claim Compensation for Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos related compensation claims are considered personal injury claims, and this means they are subject to the limitation period of three years. Under the personal injury claims limitation period rules, you have three years from the date when you first knew or should have realised that you had an asbestos related condition to make a claim.
Can I Make More Than One Asbestos Compensation Claim?
Sometimes, people with asbestos related diseases go on to develop another one later on. If you made a successful claim for the first asbestos related disease and then go on to develop a second one, you may be able to make another compensation claim provided your first asbestos claim was provisional.
There are two main types of personal claims: provisional and full and final. With provisional claims, you will typically receive smaller lump sum payments, but there is the option to make a second asbestos claim if your health deteriorates further as a result of previous asbestos exposure.
However, if you made an asbestos claim that was settled on a full and final basis, you won’t be able to further claim. With full and final asbestos related claims, you will receive a larger payout, but you won’t be able to claim further compensation later on should you develop another asbestos related illness or if your health worsens.
Making a Compensation Claim for Asbestos Exposure with OH Parsons
At OH Parsons, we have a team of experienced asbestos disease lawyers on hand to help you through the claims process. We have provided specialist legal representation and helped thousands of people get the compensation they deserve following asbestos exposure and subsequent illness, and we could be able to help you next.
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma pleural thickening, asbestos related lung cancer, asbestos related pleural effusions or asbestosis within the last three years, get in touch with us today.
Our specialist solicitors could help you win thousands of pounds that can help ease the burden of medical expenses and financial restraints caused by an asbestos related disease diagnosis at the hands of your employer’s negligence. Our team has years of experience and, following a free case evaluation, will be able to tell you if they think your claim will be successful.
We operate on a no win no fee asbestos claim basis, which means if your claim for compensation isn’t successful, we won’t charge you a penny. If it is, you’ll receive at least ¾ of your compensation.
So, call us today on 020 7378 7277 to learn more about the asbestos claims process and to find out if you could make a claim.