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Asbestosis Claims

If you have been diagnosed with Asbestosis within the last three years, our expert solicitors may be able to help you recover compensation which is rightfully yours.

Asbestos was completely banned as a building material in the UK in 1999. This means that any building that was constructed after this date must not contain asbestos.

If you are making a miners compensation claim then injury and disease caused by asbestos may well figure prominently in the damages you receive.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural substance that was widely used for a number of purposes due to its hard wearing, heat resistant nature. It has been used widely for insulation. The three main types of asbestos are:

  • Crocidolite (Blue) - banned since 1985
  • Amosite (Brown) banned since 1985
  • Chrysotile

When is Asbestos Harmful?

Asbestos does not present an immediate risk unless it is disturbed and in a dust form. Asbestos fibres can be found in the air and make up environmental exposure. The environmental exposure levels do not necessarily cause asbestos related illnesses. It is the occupational exposure which is most dangerous. If asbestos materials are broken or disturbed the asbestos fibres enter the lungs and cannot be expelled adequately. They perforate and scar the lung tissue. The condition can take many years (up to 50 years) to develop after first exposure. By then the person or employer who you need to make a claim against may no longer be alive or in business. Pursuing these asbestos compensation claims is complicated and is best dealt with by an experienced personal injury solicitor as it is often necessary to try and locate the relevant insurers at the time of exposure. 1stClaims solicitors have many years of experience handling asbestos claims.

How Much Asbestos is too Much?

In the early days of asbestos use and before its potential health hazards were fully understood, the airborne dust concentrations went uncontrolled and fibre levels in excess of 100 parts per ml were not unusual. It was continual exposure to these excessive levels that lead to the discovery that the inhalation of asbestos produces pulmonary fibrosis, bronchial carcinoma and mesothelioma. Efforts to reduce the concentration of asbestos fibres in materials began in the 1930s and in the 1950s increasingly stringent safeguards covering the acceptable levels of asbestos in the air were imposed by law. Indeed, some countries went so far as to ban the use of asbestos altogether.

Today, asbestos can only be used under strict control and usually at levels of 1fibre per ml or less. Exposure levels in our general environment where asbestos is used such as buildings, is even less. Experiments conducted by the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh have found that the conditions caused by exposure to asbestos are not solely dependent on the levels of dust in the air, but also on the length and durability of the fibres involved. The dust samples that produced the most mesothelioma in rats were composed of the highest number of long and thin fibres. However, the tests also confirmed that the duration of the exposure could also have a profound effect in the causation of conditions.

The experiments have been progressively refined and it now seems that the most dangerous fibres are those with a length greater than 8μm and a diameter greater than 0.25μm. However, in experiments surrounding long term exposure to asbestos, the results were even more surprising. The significance of fibre length and diameter became less important over greater periods of exposure, resulting in illnesses caused by fibres of smaller measurements than previously studied.

A long term problem

The report also researched mortality levels on those who worked with asbestos in past decades. The data suggested that, until the 1950s, the mortality rate from exposure to asbestos was between one and two million per year. During the past 20-30 years, the mortality rate of people with conditions contracted from working with asbestos has risen. Although the numbers of people working with asbestos are fewer, the mortality rate, when averaged out over the last three decades, has increased, possibly as a result of diseases lying dormant for some time.

Ultimately, the conclusion of these experiments was that “we cannot say, and it may be impossible to prove or disprove that at very low levels of exposure to asbestos, the risk of cancer is zero.” However, the report also goes on to recommend that further tests are undertaken to test the linearity of risk in relation to intensity of exposure.

The legal system is beginning to sit up and taking notice, as mesothelioma becomes newsworthy and the risks of even slight exposure to asbestos become known. Thanks to a better understanding of the effects of asbestos on the human body, even at low levels, those who are looking to launch a compensation claim for illnesses caused by exposure are finding a more willing audience and a greater degree of sympathy from the courts. Many payments have, unfortunately, had to be made posthumously. While the debate goes on, there are people working with asbestos in the country every day, unaware that they may be being exposed to threatening levels of this man made substance. The answer to the question how much asbestos is too much has to be any exposure, and those who work with asbestos must be made aware of the risks before exposing themselves to its dangers.

Types of Asbestos Claims

We have many asbestos claim legal experts across the UK ready to help you. Whatever type of asbestos you are suffering from, we can advise you whether you can make a legal claim, how much compensation you are likely to receive, and also whether there is any treatment available for you.

Exposure to asbestos can result in many different illnesses. The main ones and their symptoms are categorised below.

Asbestos Related Industrial Disease

Asbestos has been banned as a building material for over a decade due to the dangers it posed to individuals working with it in the building trade. Asbestos related industrial diseases include:

Mesothelioma

This is a thickening of the lining of the lungs. It develops into a tumour in the pleura and can spread into the stomach also. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, chest and back pain, and weight loss.

Pleural Plaques

Pleural plaques are plaques which develop on the lining of the lungs (between the lungs and the rib cage - the Pleura). They are scars which apparently do not cause any respiratory disability. However, the presence of plaques does cause anxiety as they do establish that asbestos exposure has been inhaled and it is possible that the person is at a greater risk of developing a more serious asbestos related condition. The Court of Appeal decided in February 2006 that compensation for this condition should no longer be paid. Permission for the test cases to be heard in the House of Lords has been given. Therefore, if you therefore have pleural plaques it is important that you still seek the advice of a 1stClaims solicitor since the matter will need to be registered pending the House of Lords decision. If you fail to do so, your claim could be out of time.

Pleural Thickening

If there is a build up of fluid in the chest cavity it is called a benign pleural effusion. This can be treated and a full recovery can be achieved. If however it does go untreated it can build up to pleural thickening or diffuse pleural fibrosis. The pleura thickens and can restrict lung function which makes it harder for the lungs to expand and contract. This makes it more difficult to breath. Symptoms often include pain and breathlessness.

Asbestosis

This condition generally only develops if you inhale a significant amount of dust over several months. It is a condition with develops in the lungs tissue as opposed to the lining of the lungs since the asbestos fibres actually penetrate the lung tissue and stay in the lungs. Inflammation and scarring is caused which leads to breathlessness, coughing, wheezing and many other symptoms. Some people with asbestosis can have little disability but the condition can deteriorate quite rapidly. Asbestosis tends to develop after at least 20 years have passed following exposure. It is identified by having a CT scan. It cannot be cured but some treatment can ease the symptoms.

Lung Cancer

Whilst smoking is often said to be the cause of lung cancer, it can also be caused by asbestos. Whilst it difficult to prove that lung cancer is caused by asbestos unless you have already had asbestosis, the DSS Regulations do state that lung cancer is asbestos related if there is diffuse pleural thickening covering at least 25% of the lining of the lungs. Even if a person smoked and was diagnosed with lung cancer, it does not necessarily mean that the condition was purely due to smoking, if there is evidence of asbestos in the lungs.

Asbestos Symptoms

If you or someone you know came into contact with asbestos when it was removed, cut or mixed, it is possible that some damage may have been sustained to the lungs even though you do not necessarily feel that you have any asbestos symptoms. It is important that a chest x-ray is obtained. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms and have been exposed to asbestos in the past, you should seek the advice of a 1stClaims specialist asbestos solicitor.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chest tightness

Who Can Claim?

Unfortunately, self-employed workers cannot make claims for industrial disease compensation.

If you are not self-employed and have developed an asbestos related industrial disease after having worked with asbestos before it was banned, you may be able to make a claim. If are not self-employed and you have developed an asbestos related industrial disease after having worked with asbestos after it was banned in 1999, you may also be able to make a claim. You will need to discuss the matter with a specialist 1st Claims industrial disease lawyer to find out if your claim is viable.

Our Asbestos Legal Expertise

1stClaims select only solicitors that have handled large volumes of asbestos claims. They are legal experts in all that they do, and they use that expertise to ensure you receive the best possible advice for your asbestosis claim. If you want an expert on your side, ask 1stClaims to help you.

All 1stClaims asbestosis and mesothelioma solicitors are:

  • Members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and
  • Members of the Law Society's Personal Injury Panel

What does it mean if a solicitor is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers?

Members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) prove their commitment to the victims of personal injury claims as the organisation is dedicated to improving the service provided to victims of accidents. Recently they have launched a scheme called NO LOGO, NO GO to attract awareness to the expertise of their members.

What expertise does a member of the Law Society Personal Injury Panel have?

If you ask us to help you with your claim, a member of the Personal Injury Panel will oversee the whole of your claim. Again this is another sign of quality. To obtain membership of this panel solicitors must show a high level of expertise in personal injury cases. They are not awarded this membership unless they can demonstrate that:-

  • They have practised as a solicitor for at least three years; and
  • They have helped the victims of a large number of personal injury claims over this period of time; and
  • At least 10 of these cases have reached the stages of a hearing date being set, with at least two involving disputes on the question of liability (ie who was to blame for the accident).

In other words, they have to be experts in dealing with accident claims.

Let Us Help You

At 1stClaims, we want to make sure that you are happy with the solicitor we choose for you, which is why we are so careful to ensure we choose only experts. If you would like 1stClaims expert Industrial Disease Solicitors on your side please call us free on 0800 2888 693 (from a mobile click to call: 01275 774 557) or complete our Free Claim Enquiry form now and we will be in touch with you very soon.

We are here to help you from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday,
8.30am to 6pm on Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sundays.


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What Happens Next?

Complete a Quick Claim Enquiry and this is what you will benefit from:

  1. Advice on whether you can make a claim and how the claims process works from a specialist claims solicitor;
  2. Compensation - what can you claim for and how much are you likely to receive;
  3. Costs - whether you will qualify for a no win no fee claim or details of other methods for funding your claim; and
  4. An explanation of what will happen next if you decide to carry on and make a claim (how your solicitor will take care of everything for you).

All on a free, no obligation Quick Claim Enquiry Advice Call.

Call free now on 0800 2888 693 (from a mobile click to call: 01348 630 720) or make a Quick Claim Enquiry »

Live Feedback

Has a solicitor been in contact? Yes
Was our website easy to use? Yes, very
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Out of 5, please rate the ease of use of our website or service. 5
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Why Choose Us for Industrial Disease?

  • We hand select only the best industrial disease and injury solicitors to help you
  • Completely free, no obligation initial enquiries
  • Your solicitor chosen by a senior personal injury solicitor with 14 years claims experience

What clients are saying about the 1stClaims service

Has a solicitor been in contact? Yes
Was our website easy to use? Yes, very
Would you recommend our website to anyone else thinking of making a claim? Yes
Out of 5, please rate the ease of use of our website or service. 5
Any other comments or suggestions that would make it easier to ask about claiming? No, it was really easy

1stClaims is regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of regulated claims management activities: Number CRM15909. This registration is recorded on the website www.claimsregulation.gov.uk

“We comply, where applicable, with the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and any solicitor [or registered European lawyer] to whom we may refer you is an independent professional from whom you will receive impartial and confidential advice. You are free to choose another solicitor [or registered European lawyer]"

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