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As solicitors dealing with occupational disease, we have considerable experience when it comes to helping people who are suffering from an asbestos related disease. If you think you may have a claim, please do not hesitate to call our Personal Injury claims helpline on 0151 239 1180.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre which is mined outside of the UK and which historically has been used for its insulation and fire resistant properties. It was used in many industrial processes and manufactured goods, such as brake linings for cars and ceiling tiles and in boards used to form interior walls in many office and other public buildings such as schools and hospitals. It was often used to lag pipes and the insides of boilers in commercial premises. Undisturbed, painted over and kept in good condition, the risks to human health are minimal.
However, the danger of asbestos related diseases occurs when asbestos fibres become airborne. This could happen when cutting boards containing asbestos; or mixing raw asbestos fibres into lagging materials before lining pipes and boilers; chipping off old lagging from the insides of boilers or outside of pipe work; delivering and working with raw asbestos; or simply passing through areas where other workers were handling asbestos.
Asbestos fibres when inhaled become lodged in the lung and are hazardous to health. The more asbestos fibres that a person is exposed to the greater the risk of developing an asbestos related disease. Some people find that their asbestos related disease is identified when they are X-rayed for other medical conditions.
Pleural plaques are slightly hardened areas within the lungs. They are often caused by and are markers of exposure to asbestos. But the plaques themselves cause no symptoms and the current medial evidence indicates that they do not in themselves deteriorate into any type of malignant condition. No asbestos related disease compensation is recoverable for someone who has been diagnosed with pleural plaques.
An asbestos related disease will generally develop many years after first exposure – at least 10 and in some cases asbestos related diseases do not develop until over 30 years after the initial asbestos exposure. In these cases it is often necessary for your asbestos related disease solicitor to undertake a thorough and detailed investigation covering places you might have worked or lived in order to discover when and where you had the initial asbestos exposure. If you have questions about an asbestos related disease if you have been exposed to asbestos many years ago, our solicitors can provide you with a free initial consultation.
Asbestosis is an asbestos related disease caused by asbestos fibres in the lung itself. The presence of these fibres sets off a localised inflammatory response which then causes scarring. The fibrotic scar tissue causes the walls of the air sacs within the lung to thicken, which reduces oxygen transfer to the blood as well as the removal of carbon dioxide. This condition comes on many years after first exposure and is progressive, causing severe breathlessness and impairment of mobility and the quality of life is greatly reduced. This condition attracts awards in excess of £30,000.00.
Asbestos related lung cancer can be caused by exposure to large amounts of asbestos although it is much less common than other asbestos related diseases. The single most common cause of lung cancer is smoking. However, exposing workers who smoke to asbestos dust multiplies the risks from both and is like “pouring petrol on a fire”. The condition is fatal in most cases and awards for the disease itself are worth between £50,000.00 and £65,000.00.
Mesothelioma is an asbestos related disease caused by exposure to asbestos and can be caused by very modest exposures. The precise mechanism of injury is not well understood by medical science. Inhaled asbestos fibres penetrate the lining of the lung. Asbestos related mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung and is invariably fatal. These cases will typically attract an award in excess of £60,000.00.
Pleural thickening is an asbestos related disease where scarring, calcification, and/or thickening of the pleura (the lining surrounding the lungs) occur as a consequence of the inhalation of asbestos into the lungs. This condition is often progressive and produces increasing breathlessness. It attracts awards in excess of £25,000.00.
As well as the amounts described above for the various asbestos related diseases, your asbestos related disease solicitor can recover additional asbestos exposure compensation for any necessary medical care and services and also for adaptations that might be required to your home to help you live with an asbestos related disease.
If you have been exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with any of the asbestos related diseases mentioned on our website, contact the asbestos related disease specialists at Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors for professional legal advice. As well as advising you over the phone about claiming compensation for an asbestos related disease, we are happy to come and see you at home or in hospital.
If you are suffering from an asbestos related disease which is eligible for compensation we can offer to make your claim on a no win, no fee scheme so that if your case does not succeed, you will not be left with a bill. If your case settles or you win at court, then the insurers for the other side will pay your compensation and our charges.