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Myths About Asbestos Disease Compensation Claims

Myth 1: It’s just a way of people trying to cash in

There is a stigma around compensation claims that prevent many people from pursuing the compensation they are owed. You should not be afraid or feel guilty about considering an asbestos compensation claim.

The biggest myth of all is the one we hear so often from victims and that is “well no one knew how harmful asbestos was so it’s just one of those things”.

Imagine the shock on people’s faces when I point out that actually lots of people knew how harmful asbestos was, from before the turn of the previous century, and that they hid the truth from workers and ordinary people for decades and continue to lie and cover up the truth today. See current Forum Campaign “Cape Must Pay.”

The insurance companies that insured T&N and Cape, the two largest asbestos manufacturers in the UK refused to insure either company for asbestos related diseases. They insured them for all their other risks such as accidents, or deafness but excluded the asbestos risk.

We first regulated asbestos use in the 1930’s and we regulated very little in the 1930’s. The regulations had to get tougher and tougher as they offered insufficient protection to workers and their families from this toxic substance, until asbestos was finally banned in the UK in 1999, however, the fact is that it was known to be toxic by the 1930’s at the latest and it took nearly 70 years for it to finally get banned.

Myth 2: It will cost a fortune

Most cases can be dealt with under a “no win, no fee” agreement. This means there is no financial risk to you in making a compensation claim. Unlike many of our competitors there are no hidden charges and we don’t make any deductions for legal costs or expenses from the compensation awarded.

Myth 3: It will take forever

Not so. Whilst it is true that due to the long latency period following exposure to asbestos and onset of asbestos related diseases, asbestos compensation claims necessarily involve detailed and painstaking investigation by specialist lawyers to gather together the evidence required to prove the case at court, we as asbestos specialists can speed up the process as we have decades of experience in pursuing asbestos cases.

In the past these cases took many years to bring before the courts but now thanks to the Specialist Asbestos List which operates in the Royal Courts of Justice we aim to deal with all straight forward mesothelioma cases within 6-12 months. Other more complicated cases can take longer but rest assured we will do everything in our power to push the cases through as quickly as possible.

Myth 4: My employer no longer exists so I can’t claim

This is simply not true. This is a common problem but even if the company no longer exists, it is often possible to trace their insurers. We have an excellent track record of tracing the relevant insurers who will then deal with the claim. In a case of mesothelioma where neither the former employer nor their Insurers can be traced, a claim can be made to the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. We will prepare and submit this application for you.

Myth 5: A compensation claim can only give me a lump sum

We help asbestos victims or their families to access DWP benefits, legal compensation, funding for hospice and nursing care and for private medical treatment all at no cost to the victim or their family.

We provide vital funding for the UK’s Hospice network and ensure their irreplaceable work can continue to be provided to victims of terminal illnesses. Through including within the claim for compensation a claim on behalf of the hospice for the non-statutorily funded element of the care provided to the victim by the hospice.

Further in benign asbestos disease cases, where there is a small risk that either the current asbestos condition will deteriorate in the future or there is a small risk that the victim will develop a different or more serious asbestos related condition, we can settle the claim on a provisional damages basis. This provides an immediate lump sum to compensate for the current asbestos condition, and in addition provides a court order that allows the victim or their family to apply for further compensation in the event their current condition deteriorates or they develop a different asbestos condition.

Last but by no means least, paying for non-NHS funded treatment through civil compensation claims offers hope for victims of mesothelioma.

Due to an increased understanding of how the body reacts to the invasion of asbestos fibres and the availability of new drugs and therapies, there are now more treatment options than ever for those diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Some treatments are available on the NHS but others are only available privately, often at huge expense. We will obtain expert medical evidence setting out the best options for you and ensure the cost of appropriate private treatment is included in any settlement of your claim. We are regularly settling mesothelioma claims which include a binding agreement with insurance companies to meet the cost of recommended private treatment in the future.

If the insurers have admitted legal fault, we can obtain an interim payment to meet the cost of private medical treatment whilst the claim is still ongoing. Despite insurers generally being reluctant to pay these significant medical costs, we will always fight for our clients to ensure they are protected and receive the right settlement for them. It is therefore essential that anyone bringing a mesothelioma claim only instructs a lawyer who deals with these claims every day and who has the specialist knowledge and expertise required.

Our Asbestos Team

We are here to HELP. It is important that anyone who develops an asbestos related disease has the best legal support at what will be a very difficult and challenging time in their life.

At Hodge Jones & Allen we have a specialist Asbestos Team – everyone in the Team is dedicated to helping asbestos disease victims and their families to ensure they are given a top level of legal service, as well as assistance in claiming DWP benefits. Our Asbestos Team has three partners who between them have 70 years’ worth of experience in dealing with asbestos disease claims.

We urge anyone who has been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease, or who has lost a loved one because of asbestos exposure, to make contact with us. We will explore ever single possible avenue with you and we act on a “no win, no fee” basis, with no hidden charges and no deductions for legal fees, meaning there is no financial risk in pursuing a claim.

If you require legal advice in relation to seeking compensation for an asbestos disease you are suffering from, or are considering making a claim for a loved one who has passed away from an asbestos disease, contact our specialist and dedicated Asbestos & Mesothelioma Compensation Team on 0330 822 3451 for confidential and expert advice. All Partners in our Asbestos team are APIL accredited Asbestos and Occupational disease specialists.

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