Our asbestos team are highly experienced at investigating asbestos claims, tracking down the responsible party (even where the employer company no longer exists) and dealing with complex and difficult cases.
Our expert team has successfully recovered millions of pounds in compensation for our clients, with some clients receiving more than £500,000 in compensation individually. Mesothelioma clients will typically receive awards of upwards of £100,000. In addition, we have fought to obtain funding for potentially life-prolonging treatments not available via the NHS. As a consequence, a number of clients have been able to access treatments which they otherwise would not have been able to.
We generally arrange home visits to see our clients and (wherever possible) can help you to access early interim compensation payments and benefit entitlements on a “no win, no fee basis”. We will also carry out our initial investigations in your claim free of charge and offer free advice and guidance without any obligation to continue. Where a legal claim is not possible, but we feel you may be entitled to related government benefits or other alternative payments (for example a war veteran’s pension payment of £140,000), we will nevertheless assist you to make these applications free of charge.
It is extremely important to choose a solicitor that specialises in asbestos-related illnesses as the claims for these illnesses they are very different from other types of claims. Ensuring that as many people suffering from an asbestos-related condition as possible have access to specialist advice is our first priority. Our client’s and their families are always dealt with warmly, sensitively and compassionately. We treat our clients as we would wish our own family members to be treated in the same circumstances. Our team have first-hand experience of how it feels to be on the other side of the relationship with her clients.
Contact a specialist member of our team today below:
- Emma C James
- Associate Solicitor - Asbestos Claims
- Charlotte Perkins
- Head of Asbestos
- Bronte Pettifer
- Trainee Solicitor - Asbestos Claims
Types of potentially asbestos-related illnesses:
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which typically affects the pleura of the lung (the lining of the lung). However, it can also occur in the peritoneal. Whatever type of mesothelioma it is, it is almost always connected to asbestos exposure.
In mesothelioma cases, where a successful compensation claim is made clients will always receive 100% of their compensation and the legal costs are recoverable from the responsible party. There are never any deductions in this type of claim.
Pleural thickening is a benign condition that affects the lining of the lung. The condition causes a life-long respiratory condition of various levels of disability. The level of disability can progress as time goes on,
People suffering with pleural thickening may also be suffering from other types of respiratory illnesses (some of which may be related to asbestos exposure and some that may not). People diagnosed with pleural thickening will also sometimes go on to develop another asbestos-related illness in the future.
It is very important to make a claim for pleural thickening wherever there is a compensable level of disability (even where the person falls at the lower end of this scale). This is because if a person does not make a claim within the stated period dictated by the law (often three years from the date of diagnosis), then they can be prevented from bringing any future claims if their condition worsens or they develop another asbestos-related condition.
Where it is in the client’s best interests to do so, a specialist solicitor will always advise a client to settle their claim on a provisional basis with an order from the court that preserves their right to bring further claims in the future if their condition worsens or they develop another asbestos-related condition.
Asbestosis is a type of pulmonary fibrosis in the lung caused by asbestos exposure. Other commonly recognisable types of pulmonary fibrosis are pneumoconiosis (caused by coal dust) and silicosis (caused by silica dust). However, there are also many types of pulmonary fibrosis where the causes are currently unknown.
As a result of the number of different types of pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis cases can be one of the more difficult types of asbestos-related cases to prove.
In order to legally prove that a person’s pulmonary fibrosis is caused by asbestos exposure (and is, therefore, asbestosis) it is necessary to show that the person suffering had a long history of frequent moderate to heavy exposure. Accordingly, it is important to instruct a solicitor who has experience in dealing with the specific challenges associated with these types of claims.
Asbestos-related lung cancer
Like asbestosis, lung cancer can be caused by more than one type of exposure and in order to prove that a person’s lung cancer has at least in part been caused by asbestos exposure the person must be able to provide details of a long history of frequent moderate to heavy asbestos exposure. It is important to instruct a solicitor that is experienced in dealing with these types of claims and understands the exposure levels required to prove these types of claim.
While lung cancer claim can be more difficult than some of the other types of asbestos claims, we have successfully obtained compensation for a number of clients with this condition. In a recent lung cancer case, the compensation received by her client was £200,000.
Q - How can I prove my claim? It all happened such a long time ago and I don’t have any documents.
Often at the start of a claim, clients worry that they don’t have any documentary evidence to prove their asbestos exposure. However, they should be reassured that they are far from alone in this.
In the vast majority of cases, clients have no documentary evidence relating to their asbestos exposure. What we will often refer to as “your evidence” throughout your claim, is, in fact, a detailed statement that we will take from you at the outset of the claim. In many cases, the court will accept a client’s statement as proof of their asbestos exposure even though there is no documentary evidence in respect of this.
Q- How long will my claim take?
This varies a lot depending on which condition you have. Mesothelioma claims are fast-tracked by the courts and many of these claims can settle in 6 to 9 months. However, this increasingly depends on whether or not the client wishes to claim for non-NHS Funded Treatments as part of their claim and when they are ready to start these treatments. In these cases, a quick conclusion is not necessarily the priority, but obtaining a quick interim payment of £50,000, so that the client is ready to start treatment at the appropriate time will be.
Other types of claim can take considerably longer, but not always. Some benign cases do settle within a few months, but more often can take 12 months or longer (depending on the complexity of the case).
Q – Can I make a claim for pleural plaques?
Following a court decision in 2007, it is no longer possible to make claims for pleural plaques in England or Wales. If your claim falls under the jurisdiction of the courts in Scotland or Northern Ireland you may still be able to make a claim for this condition but we will need to refer you to a solicitor in the relevant jurisdiction.
Q- What if the employer that exposed me to asbestos no longer exists?
This is very common in these types of claims. Where the relevant company is dissolved, we will instead try and trace the insurers of this company and the claim is pursued against the insurance company.
In some cases, insurance cannot be traced. In cases of mesothelioma where no insurance can be found, it may be possible to bring a case under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme.
Q- How much time do I have to make a claim?
The usual position is that you have three years from the date of diagnosis to make a claim and it is important to seek advice as early as possible.