This page provides a brief overview of solicitors and claims companies that can claim compensation on your behalf for asbestos related illnesses. Before this we provide a brief summary of what asbestos, the diseases it can cause and the people who are most likely to suffer from them.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous material which occurs naturally in many parts of the world. It is a rock forming mineral that was chosen as an insulation material due to its remarkable resistant properties to heat, and fire. It occurs in a variety of products found in houses, shops, public buildings and cars.
- CHRYSOTILE – also known as white asbestos
- AMOSITE – or brown asbestos
- CROCIDOLITE – or blue asbestos
When asbestos is disturbed it tends to fragment into particles that can be inhaled. Inhalation does not necessarily cause health problems immediately but over the course of many years, even decades it can cause diseases of the lungs such as Asbestososis and Mesothelioma.
What is Asbestosis?
Asbestosis is a chronic and debilitating disease caused by inhalation of asbestos fibres. It is usually caused when someone comes into contact with asbestos particles. If inhaled the body is able to dislodge most of the large particles but fine particles can lodge deep in the lungs. The asbestos particles lead to inflammation of the lungs which then scars the lungs and can lead to breathing difficulties.
What is Mesothelioma?
Whilst mesothelioma has the same trigger as asbestosis it is different to asbestosis in that it is a cancer and is a disease of the lining of the lung rather than the lung parenchyma (the flesh of the lung). It is a deadly disease that is fast progressing and has a very poor prognosis.
Which groups are Most at risk of Asbestosis?
Construction workers including plumbers, electricians and carpenters are the groups most at risk from asbestos because during the course of their work they come into contact with the material in pipes, rooves, around boilers and between walls. During their work on renovating or replacing these parts of a house they may disturb a section of asbestos. The asbestos can then crumble and disintegrate into air bound particles that if inhaled can, after a number of years, cause asbestosis.
Government compensation for asbestos diseases
Many asbestos disease claims are complicated and made more difficult by the fact that the symptoms become apparent many years after the asbestos exposure took place. In some cases a worker could have been exposed to the asbestos 20, 30 or 40 years before the symptoms of the disease take hold. Therefore it can be difficult to trace the employer who is liable for the conditions that led to the asbestos inhalation and even harder to prove their liability. It may even be that the company no longer exists. In these cases the Government can provide liability with payouts of as much as £123,000 for victims of Mesothelioma. More information is provided on the .Gov.uk website. The Government mesothelioma compensation scheme is run by Gallagher Bassett and it’s official name is the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. You can find more information and an application form on this page of their website.