What is asbestos?
Asbestos is the term given to a group of minerals which are made of microscopic fibres, if inhaled, these fibres can cause severe damage to your lungs.
Before the dangers of asbestos were known, it was commonly used in buildings as insulation in flooring and roofing as well as being sprayed onto walls and ceilings. However, the use of asbestos has since been banned in the UK.
Since being banned in the UK the asbestos-related death rate is still quite high, this is due to symptoms of the diseases caused by asbestos can take years, even decades, to show after the exposure.
Asbestos may still be present in buildings that were constructed or refurbished before the year 2000, however, it is only harmful when the materials are either damaged or disturbed as this is when fibres can be released.
Making an asbestos-related illness claim
Even though symptoms of asbestos exposure can take many years to develop the impact can be very severe and is commonly known to become worse as time passes.
An asbestos-related illness can make carrying out daily activities difficult, you may find yourself have to take time off work, stop playing sports or give up your hobbies. Depending on how the exposure has affected you, you may also find yourself with constant shortness of breath and pain whilst breathing.
Asbestos-related illnesses are incurable, therefore, it can feel unfair knowing you have been exposed whilst unaware of the risks. Whether you are just coming to terms with your condition or have been dealing with the consequences of your exposure for a while we can help you.
Our specialist trained legal advisors have dealt with thousands of asbestos-related illness queries and are here to help you understand your rights and advise you on if you have a right to make a claim.
If you are eligible to make a claim, we won’t pressure you, all our chats are under no-obligation, however, if you do want to proceed with your claim our solicitors are experienced and friendly and will ensure you get awarded the maximum amount of compensation you deserve by considering all aspects of your life that have been affected.
Everyone has their own personal circumstances and experiences, therefore, each claim will differ in regards to losses and future expenses, to discuss this further get in touch with our legal advisors for tailored advice and guidance on 08000 250 250.
Who is likely to have been exposed to asbestos?
Exposure to asbestos could have happened to anyone due to it being commercially and industrially used in buildings.
It has been found that the people who are at a higher risk of asbestos-related illnesses are those who have had prolonged exposure such as:
- Asbestos minors
- Railway engineers
- Factory workers who may have made asbestos products
You may also have been at risk if you lived with someone who was working with asbestos due to the fibres clinging to their clothing at work and freeing themselves in your home.
If you have worked with asbestos and as a result have an asbestos-related illness then contact out legal advice team today, we can help work out if you have a claim and get everything set up in one quick and easy call, fill out our online form and arrange a call back from one of our team.
What is an asbestos-related illness?
Asbestos-related illnesses are caused by inhaling fibres which cause serious scarring or fibrosis to the lungs.
The illnesses take years to show symptoms and the most common forms include:
This is when there is an extensive, scarring that thickens the pleural membrane line of your lungs and chest wall. Meaning, your pleura thickens and hardens making it difficult for your lungs to expand far, leaving you feeling breathless.
There is usually no treatment for this, however, some may need to consider a change of lifestyle e.g. stops smoking. However, if your breathlessness is severe then the surgery could be an option.
Often asbestosis symptoms do not surface until around 20-30 years after exposure. It is a long-term lung condition which, unfortunately, has no treatment available.
Symptoms of asbestosis are caused due to the scarring on your lungs caused by the fibres inhaled which shrink and harden your lungs these include:
- Persistent coughing
- Pain in your chest or shoulder
- Being short of breath
- Fatigue or extreme tiredness
- Swollen (clubbed) fingertips, however, this is only in more advanced cases
This is a type of cancer which usually affects the lungs and chest area. It forms around your lung/s but can also be known to spread to other organs, attacking the cells around them.
The symptoms are very much the same as asbestosis with an additional exception of weight loss. Sufferers of mesothelioma may also experience blood clots, tumours and collapsed lungs (pneumothoraces).
Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
If your lung cancer has been caused by asbestos then you could be entitled to claim. Sufferers of lung cancer caused through asbestos may be at risk of their cancer developing into mesothelioma.
Making a work-related asbestos claim
The dangers of asbestos have been known for around 50 years now, therefore, if you have been exposed hen it could mean your employer hasn’t taken the necessary safety measures to ensure you are not under any risk.
If you believe your asbestos-related illness is due to your working conditions, then it could be classed as an “occupational lung disease”.
We know that symptoms can take many years to surface, meaning your employer may no longer be in business this, however, doesn’t mean you will not be able to make a claim.
It is the law within the UK for all employers to take out an employer’s liability insurance policy, therefore, we are able to track down your previous employer’s insurers and your compensation will be paid out by the insurance company, in the same way, any other workplace claim would be. Alternatively, a claim can sometimes be made through the Pneumoconiosis (Workman’s Compensation) Act 1979.
I want to make a claim for an asbestos-related illness, am I eligible?
If you’re considering making a personal compensation claim then contact our legal advice team today and find out how Direct Solicitors can help you.
We understand you may feel apprehensive as your exposure may have happened quite some time ago but it is likely we can still help. Our team’s experienced in dealing with asbestos-related illnesses, so if your condition has been diagnosed in the last 3 years then contact us today.
When you contact our legal advice team, our aim is to help and guide you, therefore, we will ask you questions about your experiences to give you tailored advice to suit your situation. This is done on a free, confidential, no-obligation basis so you don’t have to worry about feeling pressured into claiming.