Asbestos Claims

How can I make an Asbestos Claim?

Mesothelioma Compensation and Asbestos Related Claims

If you or a member of your family has suffered from an Asbestos related disease or cancer such as Mesothelioma, Pearson Solicitors Personal Injury Lawyers can help you gain the compensation you deserve.

It can take between 15 and 60 years for the symptoms to develop after initial exposure and just a single fibre can have consequences. 

Compensation claims are usually taken up when exposure has been in the workplace, however any other types of exposure, if you lived near a factory where asbestos was used or were exposed to overalls with fibres on them, can also lead to claims.

What is Asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a chronic (long-term) lung condition caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos and causes breathlessness and coughing.

Asbestos was widely used in construction and can be very dangerous if material containing asbestos is chipped, drilled, broken or allowed to deteriorate, it can release a fine dust that contains asbestos fibres.

When the dust is breathed in, the asbestos fibres enter the lungs and damage them over time. For asbestosis to develop, prolonged exposure to relatively high numbers of the fibres is necessary. However, it is not the only factor, as many people avoid getting asbestosis, despite heavy exposure.

Asbestosis and pleural plaques or thickening can occur together and there are many different degrees of asbestosis.

Asbestos is responsible for over 2,500 deaths every year in the UK and it is estimated that there will be between 60,000 and 70,000 new cases by 2050. Younger people, if routinely exposed to asbestos fibres over time, are at greater risk of developing asbestos-related disease than older workers due to the time it takes for the body to develop symptoms.

What is Mesothlioma?

A malignant condition of the pleura  (the thin layers of tissue that protect and cushion the lungs).

Diagnosis can be confirmed via biopsy of the pleura with immunohistochemistry staining. However, it can sometime be challenging to diagnose as the symptoms also resemble asthma and pnemonia.

Patients frequently report physical symptoms, with more than 90% complaining of three of more symptoms when diagnosed.

Types of Asbestos Related Illness:

  • Mesothelioma cancer is fatal and is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos.
  • Asbestos-related lung cancer.
  • Asbestosis which can affect quality of life.
  • Diffuse pleural thickening affecting the membrane surrounding the lungs leading to breathlessness.

If the employer has gone out of business or is no longer operating, you can still claim Asbestos compensation through the insurance company which provided insurance at the time of the exposure under a Government’s scheme - the Pneumoconiosis (Workman’s Compensation) Act 1979.

Because asbestos related disease can have a cumulative effect and many develop in later years you can claim compensation if your Asbestos related injuries are relatively minor, here it is possible to reserve the opportunity to get more damages if you develop other illnesses in time.

All claims for personal injury compensation for an asbestos related disease must be started within three years from the date when the person suffering the condition became aware of the diagnosis.

Why Might I be at Risk of Asbestos-Related Illness?

Asbestos was used in the constructions industry, ship and aircraft building, machinery, commercial buildings, homes (even schools and hospitals) until it was banned in 1999. Professions most at risk in the past have tended to be plumbers, boilermakers and laggers, electricians, carpenters, builders, joiners and pipe fitters, in fact most manual workers in industrial occupations and workplaces.

The majority of the current fatal cases from asbestos exposure are associated with very high exposures from past industrial processes and installation of asbestos products.

What are the Symptoms?

These usually consist of respiratory problems. The two most common symptoms are coughing and shortness of breath, followed by chest pain. In the early stages of the disease people experience shortness of breath and fatigue, other symptoms include weight loss, swelling in the face and neck or difficulty swallowing. Sometimes there can be a clubbing of the fingers as the condition progresses.

If you want more information, or just to speak to one of our solicitors about your asbestos concerns call 0161 785 3500 or email enquiries@pearsonlegal.co.uk