While the dangers of exposure to asbestos are well known today, it still remains the biggest cause of work related deaths in the UK.
The symptoms often take years to develop, which can make seeking compensation not only difficult but distressing for the sufferer.
At Browell Smith & Co you can be rest assured your case is being handled by the best in the business.
We have extensive experience in handling these complex cases after working for many years on behalf of union members, asbestos support groups and the general public.
We have recovered compensation from victims suffering from all conditions covered by asbestos exposure in the UK. This includes clients from Ireland and overseas. Our legal experts have even assisted UK residents who have been exposed to asbestos abroad.
Due to the breadth of our experience we have specialist medical experts to bring our clients the best possible service.
The effects of an asbestos related condition are far reaching. It is not just enough for us to secure an award of compensation for our client. We work hard to ensure that our clients are provided with all necessary aids and adaptations required not just for the lifetime of the claim but for their lifetime.
What is Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos exposure is caused from asbestos fibres which are minute in size. When you breathe in the fibres they can get stuck in your lungs. If the fibres remain in your lungs for a long time they can cause scarring and inflammation which can lead to an asbestos related condition.
Asbestos Related Conditions
Conditions commonly associated with asbestos exposure are mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural effusions, pleural thickening and pleural plaques.
For many years asbestos products were used throughout many industries and in building materials. Asbestos products were most commonly used in shipbuilding, construction, mining and the air and gas industries.
How Can I Claim Compensation
You can claim compensation if you were exposed to asbestos fibres or dust while exposed in the workplace.
Although asbestos related products are now banned, millions of people were exposed at work, particularly from 1930 to the 1970s, as a result of use in heavy industry. Many employers knew about the danger of asbestos but did not adequately protect their employees, or others, from being exposed to asbestos dust or fibres.
Compensation can also be claimed for asbestos related disease if exposed to asbestos fibre dust whilst not at work or in a workplace; for example from exposure to fibres in the work clothes of a family member or if you lived near a factory where asbestos was regularly used.
Who Can I Claim Compensation From
If the employer has gone out of business, or is no longer operating, you can still claim asbestos compensation through the insurance company who was providing insurance at the time of the exposure.
At Browell Smith & Co, we have many years of experience handling asbestos related cases for the public and trade union members. We have built up a significant database of information about employers and insurers which means we are able to recover compensation for many of our clients when others may not.
How Do I know I am Suffering from an Asbestos Related Condition
The symptoms of asbestos related conditions can often take many years to develop. Symptoms can include finding it difficult to breathe, breathlessness, persistent coughing and tiredness.
We would strongly urge you to seek medical attention as quickly as possible if you believe you are suffering from an asbestos related condition as a result of exposure to asbestos at work or otherwise.
Northern Region Asbestos Support and Campaign Group
Wallsend People’s Centre
10 Frank Street
Tel: 0191 200 7198
The Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund
Providing information and support to sufferers and their families.
Contact: Chris Knighton
Tel: 0191 263 7386
The National Macmillan Mesothelioma Resource Centre.
Freephone: 0800 169 2409
DWP – Pneumoconiosis (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979
Freephone: 0800 279 2322
Benefit Enquiry Line
A confidential telephone service for people with disabilities, their representatives and their carers.
Freephone: 0800 88 22 00
The Department of Work and Pensions
www.dwp.gov.uk, for information on benefits
As with all claims for personal injury compensation there are time limits within which a claim must be lodged with the Court.
For accident claims, court proceedings must be started within three years from the date of your accident.
For occupational disease cases Court proceedings must be started within three years from the date when you first had reasonable grounds to believe that you may be suffering from a condition which has been caused by a third party. This may be your employer or it could be another organisation with whom you worked or who operated a premises close by.
In the event that court proceedings are not started within three years from the relevant date, the negligent party may be able to escape paying compensation on the basis that your claim is out of time.
The law surrounding the time limits for industrial disease compensation is extremely complex and issues will differ from case to case, particularly when seeking compensation on behalf of a former family member. It is not always necessary to have a firm diagnosis from a medical practitioner for the time limit to commence. In these circumstances you seek legal advice from a specialist as soon as you experience symptoms which you believe may have been caused by a third party.
The Browell Smith & Co app is the perfect app to have on your phone in case you have been the victim of a personal injury.