If you have worked around asbestos in the past, or have wondered what is required to make a successful asbestos compensation claim, our specialist asbestos lawyers have put together this simple guide to the steps involved.
Many asbestos compensation claims are made decades after the victim’s initial exposure to asbestos. The reason for this is that the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, can take several decades to surface in order for a doctor’s diagnosis to be made. At this point, the initial exposure may be difficult to specifically remember, and may have occurred at more than one time and place.
The first of the steps in making a successful asbestos compensation claim is providing evidence of your asbestos-related disease by obtaining a medical report by a respiratory disease expert.
Mesothelioma rates in the UK are increasing. The average age of someone diagnosed with mesothelioma is 73. Symptoms commonly include breathing difficulties, chest pains, coughing, fatigue and a fever. If you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, but have not been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, if you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is a good idea to check in with your GP for peace of mind.
Establishing the Cause
The second step to making an asbestos compensation claim is establishing that the disease was caused by exposure to asbestos from a particular source. If this was at your place of work, for example, then this could be done by providing evidence that you were exposed to asbestos at that place of work, and the time at which this occurred.
A terrible fact about exposure to asbestos in the workplace is that many employers have known of the dangers of exposure to asbestos for more than 50 years. Asbestos was initially used for its natural strength and heat resistance, making it effective for insulation and protection from corrosion. For further information on this, read our blog on the different types of asbestos and their former uses. The carcinogenic (cancer-causing) properties of asbestos were recognised and later made illegal. To complete the second step of a successful asbestos compensation claim, you will need to show that your employer could have foreseen that at the time of the exposure you could suffer an asbestos-related disease.
Establishing Employer’s Negligence
With today’s knowledge of the specialist protective clothing and masks required by the professionals who survey, remove and dispose of asbestos, it is appalling to imagine past employers exposing workers to asbestos without protective equipment or information or warnings regarding the dangers. The next step of an asbestos compensation claim is to establish that your exposure to asbestos was caused by your employers’ negligence.
Register Any Exposure to Asbestos
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, but believe that you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, you should register this exposure as soon as possible.
The chest and asbestos-related disease team at Slater and Gordon have extensive experience in working with victims of asbestos exposure and their families. If you have any questions about any aspect of making an asbestos compensation claim, our experts are at hand to provide legal advice and support.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have a specialist team of asbestos compensation solicitors that deal with asbestos claims on a No Win No Fee basis. For a free consultation call freephone 0800 884 0275 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you.