Pleural Thickening Compensation Claims

Pleural thickening is a benign condition affecting the lining of the lung. It can be caused by a history of asbestos exposure. The condition causes a life-long respiratory disability, which can sometimes progress as time goes on. This can be difficult to come to terms with and the person may need to learn how to make adjustments in their daily lives so that they can lead as full a life as possible after diagnosis.

People suffering with pleural thickening may also be suffering from other types of respiratory illnesses (some of which may be related to their history of asbestos exposure and some of which may not). People diagnosed with pleural thickening will also sometimes go on to develop other asbestos-related illness in the future.

Receiving a diagnosis of any asbestos-related condition is always extremely difficult, for the person diagnosed and their families. Let us try and guide you through this difficult time and obtain the additional support you and your family need.

What causes pleural thickening? 

Pleural thickening is caused by a scarring which then thickens the lining of your lungs. Asbestos is one of the causes of pleural thickening, but by no means not the only one. Pleural thickening can be caused also be caused by infection or inflammatory disease, for example. We will work with medical experts to quickly confirm that you pleural thickening is asbestos-related.

Should I make a claim?

Compensation is not a windfall. It enables our clients and their families to live as full a life as possible after their diagnosis. It may also allow you to access alternative treatments that are not available on the NHS.

It is very important to make a pleural thickening claim wherever there is a compensable level of disability, even at the lower end of the disability scale (let us work this out for you). 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 which preserves their right to bring further claims in the future if their condition worsens or they develop another asbestos-related condition.

It is important that you speak to a specialist lawyer who can help you understand the legal process and make an informed decision about making a claim. While nothing can reverse what has happened, instructing a solicitor who specialises in asbestos illnesses can make things considerably easier for everyone involved.

The legal costs in these cases are recoverable from the responsible party. We will pursue the claim under an agreement with you commonly known as a “no win no fee” agreement.

Our Approach

Ensuring that as many people suffering with asbestos-related illnesses as possible have access to specialist advice is our first priority. Our clients 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 real-life experience means we have first-hand experience of how it feels to be on the other side of the relationship with our clients, and this background shapes the way we will approach our work and seek justice for our clients.

We usually arrange home visits to see our clients and (wherever possible) can help you to access early interim compensation payments and benefit entitlements. 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, we will nevertheless assist you to make these applications free of charge.

Beyond Compensation

Our advice will go far beyond making a claim for compensation. We will also advise you about related government benefits and schemes, we can signpost you to support groups and medical experts.

We work with and support a number of related charities, support groups and medical practitioners. It is important to us that solicitors working in this area have good knowledge of and are able to work closely with the other services and professionals needed by our clients.

There is much more at stake in these claims than money; our role is to ensure that clients have access to all of the medical treatments, care, aids and equipment and comforts that they need and deserve.

People are the core focus of our business, along with a commitment to specialism and desire to be the leading experts in our fields.

We provide added value to all our clients and believe that in this day and age clients require more than just a legal service.

Our Injury Services teams include five directors, and we are recognised as one of the leading law firms in Wales in the industry bibles; Chambers and the Legal 500. We also hold specialist memberships such as the Law Society Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence panel.

We are pragmatic, solution orientated, down to earth, and we speak plain English.

 

  • Charlotte Perkins
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FAQ’S

Q - How can I prove my pleural thickening 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.

We will guide you through every step of the claim, so that you don’t have to worry.

Q- How long will my pleural thickening compensation claim take?

This varies a lot depending on the facts of your case. Asbestos claims are fast-tracked by the courts and some claims can settle in 6 to 9 months. Other cases can take 12 months or longer (depending on the complexity of the case). However, the courts will also frequently make an order for the other side to make interim payments to the person suffering while the claim is ongoing, so you may receive part of your compensation even while the claim is ongoing. Again, this varies greatly depending on the facts of the individual case.

We will provide you with realistic time scales for your individual case, wherever possible and we will keep you up to date as things unfold. 

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.

Q- What’s the difference between pleural thickening and pleural plaques?

Pleural Plaques are small areas of scarring in the lungs. Calcium can be deposited in those scars over time and they are then often referred to as calcified pleural plaques. These small or focal areas of scarring are considered by many medical professionals to be non-debilitating. It is usual for those with pleural plaques to have normal lung function test result. However, this can sometimes be complicated by the presence of an overlapping (non-asbestos related) lung disease, such as COPPD. It is no longer possible to claim compensation for pleural plaques.

Pleural thickening can become far more widespread than pleural plaques and is then termed diffuse pleural thickening. It can affect one or both sides of the lung and is described as unilateral or bilateral depending on this fact. Whether pleural thickening is compensable depends on how extensive it is and whether it is causing a respiratory disability. We are used to investigating these matters for our clients and will often be able to advise on this aspect of the claim at the outset of the matter, by considering the diagnosis and related test results. This will then be confirmed with a medical expert as quickly as possible.

Q- What are the time limits for making a pleural thickening compensation 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.

Where a claim is not possible, you may still be able to claim government-related benefits. We can assist and advise you in respect of this free of charge.

Q - How much pleural thickening compensation could I receive?

The amount of compensation depends on the level of disability caused by the person’s illness and other personal circumstances. The level of disability varies a lot and, therefore, so does the amount of compensation received by different people. Compensation can vary from less than £10,000 up to £100,000 (or in rare cases even more).

Q - How do no win no fee claims work for pleural thickening?

We know that clients can often worry about how the claim will be funded when contacting us at the outset of the claim. With this in mind, we will also take the time to explain everything to you, so that you are able to move forward with full peace of mind. 

A “no win no fee agreement” works by taking the financial risk of making a claim away from our clients entirely. If your claim is unsuccessful we will not get paid for any of the work we have done and we also take insurance out to cover all other costs in the claim, to ensure you will have no other costs to pay if this happens.

Contact Us

Charlotte Perkins is our specialist Asbestos Claims Manager. She has specialised in asbestos claims throughout her career and has represented victims and their families from all over the UK. As a result, we 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.

Overall, Charlotte has successfully recovered millions of pounds in compensation for her clients. Some of her clients have received more than £500,000 in compensation individually; with lung cancer clients typically receiving awards of upwards of £100,000. In addition, Charlotte has fought to obtain funding for potentially life-prolonging treatments not available via the NHS, through the compensation claims she has pursued for those clients. As a consequence, a number of Charlotte’s clients have been able to access treatments which they otherwise would not have been able to.

Contact us on 01792 529611 or email law@jcpsolicitors.co.uk.

We have offices in the following locations:
Swansea, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Cowbridge, Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Pontypridd.