We understand how much the diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness can change your life. Our specialist asbestos lawyers are here to help get you the compensation and the care you deserve. Clients often ask us questions about how to claim, so we’ve provided answers to common questions below – but please contact us if you’d like to discuss your case in more detail.
Who Can Claim For Asbestos Exposure?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an illness that’s linked to asbestos exposure, then you may be able to claim compensation.
There are a number of asbestos-related illnesses. We could help you if you have been diagnosed with:
Illnesses caused by asbestos exposure can take decades to develop, so you may be able to claim even if you were first exposed to asbestos many years ago. It is important to consult a solicitor even if you don’t know where and when you came into contact with the substance.
If you have previously received compensation for an asbestos-related illness, but have gone on to develop a more serious condition, we may be able to help you to make a further claim. This is often the case for a benign condition such as pleural thickening; where people sometimes go on to develop a more serious illness such as mesothelioma.
Our specialist lawyers are experts in investigating and identifying where asbestos exposure took place, using research and information compiled over many years of handling asbestos claims. Please call us on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online for a free initial consultation about your case.
Claiming On Behalf Of A Loved One
Often families only become aware that a loved one had developed an asbestos-related disease after a post-mortem revealed it as the cause of death. In these situations it is possible to claim compensation, although a three year time limit applies.
If your loved one had started an asbestos claim but passed away during the process, you will usually be able to continue with their case.
Back to top
Time Limits For Making An Asbestos Claim
You normally have three years to start your claim, from the date that:
- You were diagnosed with an asbestos related illness
- You found out that your loved one’s death was caused by an asbestos related illness
Importantly, the time limit is not from when you or your loved one was first exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos-related diseases can take 20-60 years to develop, so it’s often the case that you won’t be working at the same company where you were exposed. It may also be the case that the company has ceased trading or changed names.
However, you may be able to make a claim even if:
- You are unsure when and where you were exposed to asbestos
- It has been many years (even several decades) since you were exposed
- Your former employer has ceased trading
- You didn’t work for the company you believe is responsible
- You have previously claimed but your condition has worsened (for instance, you may have claimed compensation for pleural thickening, but you have now developed a more serious condition such as mesothelioma)
- Your loved one had started legal proceedings but died before the claim was settled. In this instance you might be able to continue with their claim. You’ll normally have to do this within three years of their death
If you have any questions around whether you can claim, please call us on 0800 056 4110 or contact us online. We offer a free initial consultation about your case with one of our specialist team.
Back to top
How Do Asbestos Claims Work?
Asbestos compensation claims tend to broadly follow the same five steps:
- Free Initial Consultation
We’ll discuss the background of your case and the best way to take it forward. This initial consultation is free and confidential.
- Determining Responsibility
Next we’ll investigate when and where you were exposed to asbestos. We are specialists in this kind of work. Even if the company responsible is no longer trading, we can still pursue its insurers for compensation.
- Understanding Your Needs
We’ll look at the impact your illness is having (and will have) on your life. From this we’ll calculate the amount of compensation we think you’ll need.
- Accessing Support
We can help you claim any benefits you are entitled to, and to access the very best care and support services while your claim is ongoing.
- Compensation Settlement
Most asbestos claims get settled out of court. However, sometimes the responsible party doesn’t accept blame or the amount of compensation we feel you need. In these circumstances we’ll start court proceedings. If your claim needs to be decided at court, we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel as comfortable as possible.
Some types of claim are settled on a provisional basis, which means that if your illness worsens, your case could be re-opened so you can claim further compensation to reflect this.
Back to top
How Much Compensation Can You Claim?
The amount of compensation you could claim will depend on your personal circumstances, as well as the type of asbestos related disease you have developed.
Asbestos compensation is calculated taking into account:
- The severity of your illness
- How it’s affected your quality of life
- Loss of income - now and in the future
- Care costs
If your loved one died from an asbestos related illness, it is possible to claim for “dependency” on their income and on their services such as DIY and gardening. The following people could claim as dependants:
- Widows or widowers
- A partner who lived with the deceased for two or more years
- Children, and other family member, who were financially dependent on the deceased
Our asbestos lawyers are experienced in calculating compensation amounts that reflect your needs, both now and in the future. Please call us 0800 056 4110 for a free initial consultation about your claim, or contact us online.
Back to top
How Much Does It Cost To Make An Asbestos Claim?
If you’re considering claiming for an asbestos-related illness, you don’t need to worry about any legal costs.
Most of our claims are funded on a No Win No Fee basis – which means that there’s nothing to pay upfront, and nothing to pay if you lose*.
What happens if your claim does succeed depends on what type of claim you make:
- For mesothelioma claims – you keep 100% of your compensation.
- For asbestosis, asbestos-related lung cancer, pleural thickening, and pleural plaque claims – by law, part of your compensation award must go towards our legal fees.
This is because in 2012, the UK government decided that mesothelioma is so serious that the normal No Win No Fee rules shouldn’t apply.
Options For Funding Your Claim
There are a number of ways in which you could fund your case. These include:
- Conditional Fee Agreement – commonly known as a ‘No Win No Fee’ agreement
- Legal Expenses Insurance – as part of your household or car insurance you may have legal expenses cover to help with any legal costs
- Trade Union – if you are a member of a trade union they may provide assistance for some legal issues
Back to top
Can You Help If I Develop An Industrial Illness Contracted While Working In Scotland?
Yes, our Scottish personal injury lawyers can help if you’ve developed an illness following exposure to asbestos in Scotland. We’ve helped people from across Scotland to claim compensation for mesothelioma and a range of other asbestos-related diseases, including pleural plaques. Read more about making a personal injury claim in Scotland
Back to top
All Scottish cases will be handled by the Scottish law firm with which we are associated, Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP. The law relating to funding is different in Scotland and you will receive separate advice about what that means as well as a separate funding agreement.
*To make a No Win No Fee claim, you need to enter into an agreement that's linked to a suitable insurance policy. We'll explain this in more detail before we start your claim.