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Asbestos and Mesothelioma Compensation Solicitors in London
Although the dangers of asbestos have been known in Britain since the 1930s, many employers failed to warn or provide protection for their workers . However, new use of asbestos was only finally banned in this country in 1999.
Our solicitors based in London have been working with clients to seek compensation for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma for many years. They understand what is required and have specialist skills and legal knowledge relating to asbestos and mesothelioma. Our solicitors in London can provide a free consultation and advice on your circumstances. You can contact the team on 0800 437 0322 or request a call back online.
Most people given the diagnosis of mesothelioma will never have heard of it but around 2600 people are diagnosed with a type of mesothelioma every year.
Watch the story of our client who was exposed to asbestos and helped by our solicitors after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that usually develops in the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) but can also affect the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) and the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma). The main cause of it is the exposure to asbestos dust which gets into the lungs and develops into one of the forms of mesothelioma.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Typically the symptoms of mesothelioma can include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Persistent cough
- Sweating and high temperatures
- Loss of weight
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Feeling sick
- Diarrhoea or constipation
Who is more likely to be affected by mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure?
Asbestos was a commonly used material because of its insulating properties as well as being heat and fire resistant. As a result it was widely used by the following industries:
- Ship Manufactures
- Manufacturing of household appliances
- Motor Manufacturing
- Power stations and energy providers
People working in these industries in the past may have been exposed to asbestos and are at risk of developing mesothelioma as a result.
Making a compensation claim for mesothelioma and asbestos exposure
Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors have a dedicated team of solicitors who just deal with those affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses. For this reason we are highly experienced in dealing with clients and their families and guiding them through the process and providing the best outcome possible. Because of the nature of this type of compensation claim we have close relationships with our clients and their families. We are there to assist throughout and help where we can to make life easier for those affected. We also have close partnerships with many relevant support organisations which can help provide other guidance and support.
It is not just about the financial compensation that comes as a result of someone making a claim which is important. We have also enabled clients, where the circumstances are appropriate, to have access to treatments which are not available on the NHS , as well as specialist adaptations to homes to make life easier. In the event of someone who has passed as a result of mesothelioma, we can also provide financial security for a family when in some cases the person involved was the breadwinner.
Our mesothelioma and asbestos compensation solicitors in London
Introduction to our Asbestos and Mesothelioma Compensation Specialist team
The team are recognised as industry leaders and pride themselves on fighting for our clients and for what is right. The team are accredited members of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) providing further reassurance. Our mesothelioma and asbestos solicitors in London have forged ties with organisations which can assist such as Mesothelioma UK, London Asbestos Support Awareness Group (LASAG) as well as several others.
We also work closely with medical professionals to assist our clients working as a team to provide a clients with the best possible support.
What is a No Win No Fee Mesothelioma Compensation Claim?
We act for our clients on a No Win No Fee basis. This means there is no financial risk for people making a compensation claim. Our clients receive 100% of compensation awarded.
We assess the cases and make a judgement of the prospects of success and take on this risk for our clients.
What should you do if you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma?
After contacting a medical professional it is important to get early legal advice and support. The condition will require ongoing treatment and there are a number of local support groups in regions around the country that can help. The London Asbestos Support Awareness Group (LASAG) is an independent charity set up to assist patients and families affected by asbestos disease across London and the South East. They provide home support to patients with asbestos disease and their families.
Sadly there are some asbestos websites that look like charities but are in fact claims management companies. Read the small print, legal notice at the bottom of the website to see who they actually are.
Mesothelioma clients we have helped
We represented a building contracts manager who developed mesothelioma from inspecting construction sites where Asbestolux board and Artex were being used regularly by tradesmen around him.
During the case the client gained access to an immunotherapy drug trial not available on the NHS, which saw his tumour shrink dramatically soon after starting the trial.
Not only did the Defendants pay a large compensation figure to our client but crucially, agreed to fund any private treatment he may benefit from in the future to keep his cancer at bay.
We acted for a retired handyman diagnosed with asbestosis who was exposed to asbestos dust whilst knocking down a pump house building and painter’s shop made entirely of corrugated asbestos sheeting.
The employers who instructed the demolition work did not offer our client any breathing protection or training about the dangers of the deadly dust.
We negotiated a provisional settlement of the claim recovering damages for the client’s illness, and allowing for a further award in the future should his condition deteriorate or develop into another asbestos-related condition.
We were instructed by a former power station engineer who contracted mesothelioma when he was exposed to large quantities of airborne asbestos whilst handling and inspecting asbestos lagging in confined spaces.
Unfortunately, his disease was fatal but we were able to continue the claim for the benefit of his widow following his death. We obtained judgment against his former employer and settled the case avoiding the final court hearing.
Free initial advice for those who would like to make a mesothelioma claim as a result of exposure to asbestos.
If you have been affected and would like legal advice, please contact our specialist team of mesothelioma solicitors in London on 0800 437 0322 or request a call back online.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have a claim?
If you have an asbestos disease, you may be able to claim a lump sum of compensation. This is frequently called damages. As most asbestos diseases result from exposure to asbestos in work, most claims are made against an individual’s employer or employers.
You may also be able to make a claim if you were exposed to asbestos as a because a member of your family brought home asbestos dust on their work clothes.
You may have been exposed as environmental contamination a result of living close to a factory where asbestos was used to produce asbestos products if there was environmental contamination. The asbestos may have escaped into the environment and exposure was as a result of this. If this is the case you may also be able to make a claim. You should contact one of our specialist Solicitors who will be able to advise you further on this.
What can I claim for?
You can make a civil claim for compensation or “damages”. Damages are made up of what is called “general damages” and “special damages”.
General damages is an amount for the pain and suffering caused by the asbestos condition.
Special damages are for the financial losses that are caused as a result of the condition. This can include losses such as loss of earnings, pension; the cost/value of nursing care and any aids and equipment needed.
You may also be able to claim for the cost of recommended non-NHS funded medical treatment for your asbestos related condition.
You may also be able to make a claim for welfare benefits and a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) lump sum payment. You should contact one of our specialist Solicitors who will be able to help you make the relevant applications.
If you do receive any benefits or lump sum you are still entitled to bring a claim for damages. If your claim is successful, then although you do not have to repay any benefits to the government, the Defendant does and so this can result in a reduction in your damages settlement.
How long will my claim take?
This will depend on the nature of the claim. Some more straightforward mesothelioma claims can sometimes settle within about four to five months of the solicitor starting work on the case. If court proceedings have to be issued, mesothelioma and asbestos related lung cancer cases follow a ‘fast track’ procedure which aims to conclude cases quickly. Your solicitor will be able to explain the procedure and how long the process is likely to take.
How much will it cost me?
At Hodge Jones & Allen all of the initial investigations are undertaken free of charge to you. If you proceed with your claim we will discuss the various funding options with you. Most cases are funded by ‘no win-no fee’ agreements. If your claim is not successful you will not have to pay any legal costs. Hodge Jones and Allen do not make any deductions from civil compensation awards.
How long do I have to bring a claim?
The law normally requires that court proceedings are issued within three years of when you are first told that you have an asbestos related disease. It is advisable to contact one of our solicitors straight away after you have been told of your diagnosis.
Can I still claim if my employer no longer exists?
An asbestos disease does not usually become apparent until many years after the exposure to asbestos took place. It is frequently the case that by this time the employer who caused the exposure is no longer in existence. However, if the employer was insured at the time the exposure took place and they can be traced, you should still be able to bring a claim against the insurers and if successful, the insurer should meet the claim.
I have been told that my employer no longer exists and the insurer cannot be found – what can I do?
If the insurer cannot be found you will not be able to bring a claim against the employer/company.
You can, however, still make a claim to the Department for Work and Pensions under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 ‘PWCA’. This pays fixed sums for certain conditions in cases where the relevant employer has ceased to trade. It is a requirement to claim for industrial injury disablement benefit before payment can be made under the Act.
If you have mesothelioma you might be eligible for a payment from the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. The Scheme makes compensation payments in cases of mesothelioma where there has been exposure to asbestos that was negligent or unlawful and the employer is no longer in existence and the insurer cannot be located. One of our specialist Solicitors will be able to advise you on the Scheme if this is necessary.
I was exposed over 40 years ago is it not too late to make a claim if I have only just been diagnosed?
In short no. The time limit for bringing the claim normally begins when you are first told that your condition is an asbestos related condition. It does not begin when you are first exposed to asbestos.
I already have a solicitor acting for me can I transfer to another?
Yes. You are free to instruct a solicitor of your own choice. Transferring your claim shouldn’t present a problem. Any costs that may be due to your current solicitor can usually be agreed to be put on hold and recovered at the end of the case if it successful, along with any fees of your new solicitor.
I have pleural plaques – Can I make a claim for compensation?
If you were exposed to asbestos in England and Wales and have been diagnosed with pleural plaques then you cannot make a claim for compensation. However, if your exposure was in Scotland or Northern Ireland or you live in those countries, you may still be able to bring a claim.
I may not have come into contact with Asbestos at work but I have mesothelioma. Can I make a claim?
You may have come into contact with asbestos at home. This could have been for example, as a result of a family member bringing home asbestos dust on his or her work clothes. You may have come into contact with the dust as a result of shaking these clothes or by washing them.
You may also have lived close to a factory that produced products containing asbestos. If the dust escaped from the factory or was disposed of as waste outside the factory you may have come into contact with it.
If you think this applies you may be able to bring a claim. You should contact one of our specialist solicitors to discuss this in more detail.
If you have mesothelioma you may be able to make a claim under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payments “2008 Scheme”. This scheme is designed for people who were not exposed to asbestos at work.