Every year, thousands of people in the United Kingdom still require medical treatment for asbestos-related illnesses. Hundreds of people die because of these medical problems. If you have contracted a medical condition such as mesothelioma because of your exposure to asbestos then you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
Your ability to make a claim may depend on the circumstances in which you were exposed to the material. You may also be able to make a claim on behalf of a loved one if they died because of an asbestos-related illness.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the United Kingdom have been accidentally exposed to asbestos, because it was previously used in a range of different building materials. Although these materials are not meant to be harmful to people when they remain undamaged, if the materials are damaged or tampered with they can release harmful fibres into the air.
Once airborne, these tiny fibres can be easily inhaled. They can become lodged in the lining of the respiratory system which can create serious ongoing health issues. The tiny fibres constantly irritate the lining of the lungs and can cause serious scarring over a long periods of time. There is no cure and the effects are irreversible.
The most common types of asbestos-related illnesses are asbestosis and mesothelioma. These illnesses are normally associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos products, although some people may develop them after low levels of accidental exposure.
Asbestos-related illnesses have the most serious effects on the lungs and respiratory system. Patients are likely to experience chronic shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue.
As the illness progresses, sufferers may start to experience other symptoms which point to low oxygen levels in the blood, such as swelling in the fingertips. Because deoxygenation puts extra strain on the heart, patients may begin to suffer regular chest pains.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you should see a doctor to try to identify the cause.
If you are interested in making a claim for compensation, you should get in contact with a legal professional who specialises in asbestos-related claims. There are various lawyer and solicitor websites that provide free advice on claiming compensation for asbestos related illnesses and who you can speak with immediately, here’s one for example.
You might also be able to make a claim through the Government funded Workers Compensation Act 1979.
Choosing a lawyer who already understands the rules and regulations surrounding asbestos claims can help to give you the best possible chance of success.
They will ask you to describe your account of the situation you’ve found yourself in so that they will be able to identify whether you might have a viable claim.
The viability of the claim will often depend upon the circumstances of the asbestos exposure. You must normally be able to establish liability if you wish to lodge a claim.
Your lawyer can help you to ascertain who might be liable for your illness and they will help you to build a case against that party. Most asbestos claims are very clear cut, but some cases require far more preparation.
The amount that you will be able to claim for will depend on a several factors. Your lawyer will help you to calculate an expected claims value based on your individual circumstances.
When your lawyer is calculating your claim value they will want to see your medical records so that they can assess how the exposure has affected your health. In addition to the recorded medical symptoms, you may be able to include ongoing pain and suffering in your claim.
If you have been forced to make any changes to your home to allow you to continue to cope with your medical issues, this could be included in the claim. Loss of present and future earnings can also be considered. Once your lawyer has gathered all of the relevant information about your claim, they will seek to submit the
claim to the liable party. Depending on who that party is, the lawyer will then communicate with the defendant or a representative who is acting on their behalf.
The defendant can agree to the claim value, they can attempt to negotiate the value of the claim, or they can refute the claim and allow it to progress to court. If the defendant seeks to negotiate a different settlement for the claim, your lawyer should consult with you before agreeing to another figure. They are obliged to inform you of all offers that are made.
If you do not want to settle on a counteroffer which has been offered by the defendant or their representative, you may choose to proceed to court. If the case does go to court and you are unsuccessful, you may be required to pay associated court and legal costs for the other party.