Compensation claims for victims of the deadly industrial disease mesothelioma could be settled more quickly through a new out-of-court legal process, it has been revealed.
Mesothelioma normally kills within months of diagnosis, but often only develops decades after the sufferer has been exposed to asbestos.
The disease kills around 2,200 people in the UK each year.
Access to compensation ‘will be quicker’
Courts Minister Helen Grant said an improved out-of-court process – proposals for which have been put out for consultation until October 2 – would help ensure people could access any compensation they are due “as quickly as possible”.
She said: “Mesothelioma is an awful condition which can destroy lives in a frighteningly short amount of time and we want to do everything we can to help sufferers and their families.
“The improved out-of-court process will help to ensure they can access any
compensation they are due as quickly as possible.”
If adopted the plans would see the insurance industry funding a new online case management system with victims – or their lawyers – able to quickly settle uncontested claims with the insurers of the employers responsible for the asbestos exposure.
Personal injury claims now faster
Over recent years a similar process has been used to speed up claims for personal injury compensation for injuries suffered in road traffic accidents.
The new system would come into its own in cases where the mesothelioma victim knows where they were working when they were exposed to asbestos.
Mesothelioma sufferers who can’t trace the employer – or their insurer – responsible for their exposure to asbestos are to be supported by other measures put in place by the Department for Work and Pensions and which are progressing through Parliament in the Mesothelioma Bill.