Asbestos Illness Claims Solicitors
You may be suffering from an asbestos-related illness including mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer, asbestosis or pleural thickening and you may be looking to seek financial compensation. You may have been advised to seek legal support by a specialist nurse, or you may be looking to find out whether you can make a claim.
Claiming compensation for your illness is valuable to help stabilise the future for both you and your loved ones.
How we can help…
Your employer owes you a duty of care: they must safeguard your health and safety at work, ensuring you are not exposed to dangerous substances such as asbestos. We can help trace the employer responsible for your exposure and establish a strong case for compensation.
It is important to take advice from a solicitor with significant expertise in claiming compensation for asbestos-related illness. Our team is made up of some of the UK’s most senior complex personal injury solicitors who will guide and support you throughout the process. We take the time to understand your individual circumstances, always putting your best interests first.
We can progress your case in person, on the phone, on Skype or by email and our solicitors can be available either within or outside normal working hours.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring group of minerals that has been used since ancient times for its heat resistant properties. During the 20th century asbestos was mined on vast scales and used to insulate buildings, hot pipes, boilers of all kinds (such as domestic, industrial, steam engine and shipping boilers), in addition to numerous other uses. Asbestos fibres provide heatproof properties when used in compound materials, woven into mats or compressed into board, or simply used on its own and mixed into a paste or cement like material.
Asbestolux board for example was a type of insulation board that, as the name suggests, contained asbestos. Many products in common use in the building, shipbuilding and construction industry in the 20th century contained asbestos in varying quantities.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
The property of asbestos that makes it so dangerous is the extremely small size of particles and fibres that it consists of. These tiny, sharp microscopic particles can easily be inhaled or swallowed and become lodged in the lungs. Over time these particles can irritate the lungs and cause scarring, thickening, fibrosis of the lung tissue or can trigger a malignant growth in the lining of the lungs. If someone has been exposed to asbestos and also smoked tobacco they are more at risk of developing an asbestos illness.
Campaigns to ban asbestos exist all over the world. UK Asbestos continues to advise the government and regularly campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of asbestos, particularly in our schools, factories and public buildings.
Are people still at risk from asbestos?
According to the HSE, many workers, especially tradespeople, even householders carrying out DIY, assume they're not at risk, because it is generally common knowledge now that asbestos was banned many years ago. The use of asbestos was banned in 1999 in the UK.
However the ban simply referred to new use of asbestos and did not require asbestos already in situ to be removed: it was good enough simply to seal it away behind board, carpets or false ceilings and for the building owner usually this was the cheapest option and therefore the preferred one.
Significant quantities of asbestos remain in many of our buildings, often sealed away. If these buildings are destroyed, renovated or ever disturbed the asbestos is still a risk to workers, even today.
Asbestos is likely to be present in any building constructed or refurbished before the year 2000. An estimated half a million buildings contain it.
If a building containing asbestos is repaired or maintained and the asbestos fibres are disturbed – for instance, by drilling or cutting – they can easily be inhaled as a fine dust. Opening a window or drinking a glass of water will not protect against the dangers of asbestos.
I cannot remember whether I worked with asbestos, can I still make a claim?
Yes, you can. Your solicitor will talk to you about your work history and look at each of your employers in turn, the tasks you were undertaking and the environment you worked in. Our team has the experience to ask questions that are likely to draw out those parts of your work history that could have involved working with asbestos and will then investigate those companies.
Sometimes your solicitor may involve a consultant engineer who has experience of industry working conditions at the time of your work. Your solicitor will take a detailed statement from you and will leave no stone unturned. Even if there is no civil claim, there could well be a claim for state benefit which your solicitor can help you with.
I know where I was exposed, but the company no longer exists. Can I still make a claim?
Yes, you can. If you know the company name we can trace a policy of insurance and restore the company in order to make your claim.
There is a government archive of historic insurance policies that we will search against. If there turns out not to be insurance, or the insurer no longer exists, then we can still make a claim against a fund of last resort. This is known as a Mesothelioma Scheme case.
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