The loss of a loved one due to an incident or ongoing negligence at their workplace is a very difficult situation for anyone to handle. While we are fortunate to live in a more safety-conscious society, it doesn’t mean that every working environment is 100% safe and poses no risks to employees. Unfortunately, illness or disease due to exposure in industrial workplaces isn’t uncommon, but you do have options if something goes wrong.
Industrial disease claims after death provide loved ones with a solution for gaining compensation and holding employers accountable for their actions. In this quick and helpful guide, we’ll provide all the information you need to know about how to make industrial disease claims after death.
What are Industrial Disease Claims after Death?
The Health and Safety Work Act says employers have a duty to provide all employees with safe working conditions that protect against any type of hazard. However, this isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, many companies fail to satisfy the necessary criteria for employee safety, which often leads to people suffering from industrial diseases and illnesses.
Industrial disease claims after death provide compensation and a sense of justice to the loved ones of those who have died due to workplace hazards and employer negligence. At OH Parsons, we help many clients make industrial disease claims against employers and other guilty parties to gain the compensation they deserve.
A few common examples of conditions for industrial disease claims after death include:
- Respiratory conditions such as Asbestos-related diseases, Silicosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, or Occupational Asthma.
- Cancers caused by fumes and dust inhalation or absorption through the skin.
- Chemical Poisoning
Additionally, it’s important to take note of the following if a loved one has died from illness or industrial disease in the workplace and you would like to make a claim. You have three years from the date of the death to make a compensation claim, provided they passed away within three years of diagnosis. In certain circumstances, a court in England or Wales may permit a claim to be pursued beyond this time limit, but this is not common.
Who Can Make a Claim?
An executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate is entitled to claim if the person died of an industrial disease. In most cases, there are two critical elements in industrial disease claims after death.
Firstly, a claim for general damages. This is for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity the deceased suffered before passing away. Many industrial diseases can be extremely debilitating and cause a range of issues. Secondly, special damages. This includes factors such as financial losses due to lost earnings, cost of medical services and expenses, etc.
When compensation is paid out, it is distributed according to the deceased’s will and cannot be dictated by the person who claims. If there is no will, the compensation will be handled according to intestacy rules.
Compensation for Dependents
For industrial disease claims after death, a settlement can include funds for the deceased’s dependants, compensating them for the financial losses. Typically, dependants are a spouse, partner or child. For example, they may have had to cover funeral expenses and deal with the loss of household income.
Additionally, the deceased may have handled essential duties at home, such as caring for children or disabled family members. These would also need to be considered and included in the compensation settlement.
No financial figure can make up for the impact of a loss. However, financially speaking, the final settlement should put the claimee(s) back in the position they were before their loved one passed away. The deceased’s spouse or civil partners can also claim a bereavement award in England and Wales.
How to Make a Claim
So, you know about industrial disease claims after death, but how does one make a claim and what is required? Firstly, it’s crucial to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced law firm who have dealt with these types of claims before — such as OH Parsons.
Your solicitor will need to establish that it is more likely than not that the deceased’s condition was caused by or made worse by a work-related illness/industrial disease and also that their employer was negligent or breached a relevant safety regulation.
Therefore, you must provide detailed working history for the deceased, helping your legal representation identify potential hazards. This helps determine which employer is responsible for the industrial disease. You may also need to gather medical evidence confirming the diagnosis and proving it was work-related.
Also, statements from relatives or colleagues can be helpful and may be required once the timeline of their working life is clearer. Even if employers are no longer trading, it is often still possible to make a claim as we have access to a database of past insurers of a large number of companies.
Even if you could only approach OH Parsons after your loved one had very unfortunately passed away, it is still often possible for us to obtain the evidence to pursue a claim on the estate’s behalf.
Do you want to find out more about industrial disease claims after death and want to speak to an expert? OH Parsons is a leading law firm with a fantastic track record of winning industrial disease claims. Get in touch with our helpful team if you want to make a claim.