At the Accident Advice Helpline, we sometimes receive enquiries from people who want to know if they can make a claim for asbestos poisoning. In order to answer both this question and others related to asbestos compensation claims, we have compiled the information outlined below.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in the UK housing and building industries prior to 1970. Use of this mineral was discontinued once its harmful effects were discovered. Some buildings and homes that were constructed before the 1970s, however, still contain asbestos, posing a danger to all those who are exposed to it.
Dangers of exposure to asbestos
Continuous exposure to asbestos fibre or dust normally leads to a variety of diseases. The most common of these include:
- Mesothelioma. This is a rare, but fatal type of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibre over a long period of time.
- Asbestosis. This refers to lung scarring caused by long-term exposure to asbestos dust. It is the most common type of asbestos poisoning.
- Lung cancer. Some individuals develop lung cancer due to extended exposure and inhalation of both asbestos dust and fibre.
These occupational diseases often manifest themselves long after the initial exposure to asbestos.
Can I make a claim for asbestos poisoning?
Asbestos poisoning claims are usually made by individuals who have been diagnosed with any of the previously mentioned diseases caused by extended inhalation of the mineral. The claims are only valid if a third party is responsible for the exposure.
Family members of a victim who succumbed to asbestos poisoning may also claim compensation for the premature death of their relative.
Who can I make an asbestos poisoning claim against?
Asbestos poisoning claims are generally made against the person or business legally responsible for the exposure to asbestos fibre or dust. This can be the owner of the premises, or a current or former employer.
Employers are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that their employees or visitors have a safe and healthy working environment. The law in the UK compels employers to protect employees from asbestos exposure. Employers are further required to carry out surveys of their business premises to detect and safely remove any asbestos that might be present.
Additionally, they are supposed to provide their employees with protective clothing, such as dust masks, if they work in potentially hazardous conditions. Employees who suffer from asbestos poisoning due to their employer’s negligence have a right to pursue compensation.
Who can help me with my claim?
You can file an asbestos poisoning claim as soon as you are diagnosed with one of the diseases previously mentioned. In order to file a successful claim, you will need the services of a specialist industrial disease solicitor.
We have a team of experienced solicitors working with us at Accident Advice Helpline and we can put you in touch with an industrial solicitor who can take up your asbestos compensation claim. Call us for free today on 0800 689 0500 and we will help you to get the compensation you deserve.
Date Published: October 2, 2013
Author: David Brown