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Mesothelioma is a type of asbestos related cancer affecting the pleura (lining of the lung) but can also be found in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneal) or the lining around the heart (pericardial). Other types of asbestos related cancers and illnesses are disorders of the lungs caused by exposure to and inhalation of asbestos fibres.
Mesothelioma is usually fatal, and symptoms will rapidly deteriorate after a diagnosis is made. Symptoms can include shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough and wheeze, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling (in the case of peritoneal mesothelioma).
Employers have had a legal duty to reduce and prevent exposure to asbestos since the early 1900s. Employers are under a duty of care to ensure their Employees are not put at any foreseeable risk as far as practicable.
At Oakwood Solicitors, our Industrial Disease solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with occupational cancer and respiratory claims. If you are suffering from mesothelioma or an asbestos related illness, this may have been caused by your employers’ negligence regarding your safety for which you may be able to receive compensation.
agreement available on Respiratory Disease claims cases.
Fighting for compensation
that you are rightly entitled to receive.
claims handler to see your case through to the end.
I cannot recommend them highly enough.
I was pleased with the settlement and would like to thank Natasha Hardy for her time and patience and the excellent advice she offered. Very deserving of the 5 stars I have given.
- Bernard Shaw
Very happy with the treatment we received from Tim Fieldhouse at Oakwood Solicitors. We were kept informed on a regular basis. Very friendly and informative.
- Anthony Haydon
Oakwood Solicitors Ltd has a dedicated team of solicitors and legal professionals, specialising in high-value Mesothelioma & Asbestos Related Illness claims. With a strong reputation for being tough on defendants, we’re sure to recover the compensation you deserve.
What are Mesothelioma and Asbestos Related Illnesses?
Mesothelioma is a type of asbestos related cancer affecting the pleura (lining of the lung) but can also be found in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneal) or the lining around the heart (pericardial).
Other types of asbestos related cancers and illnesses are disorders of the lungs caused by exposure to and inhalation of asbestos fibres.
These conditions usually develop many years or decades after exposure to asbestos.
These conditions can also occur as a result of non–occupational, environmental exposure. Asbestos was extensively used in many building materials, and a large amount of asbestos still remains in buildings. If the asbestos is disturbed to allow fragments to be released into the air, it can create a potential hazard to health.
What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma and Asbestos Related Illness?
Mesothelioma is usually fatal, and symptoms will rapidly deteriorate after a diagnosis is made. Symptoms can include:
Other types of asbestos related cancers and illnesses can also cause similar symptoms to that of mesothelioma and can sometimes spread to other parts of the body.
How much is my claim worth?
The value of the claim will solely be depending on the issues which are medically associated with your work exposure. We will instruct an appropriate expert with an expert field in respiratory medicine; it will be once a medical report has been produced that we will be able to properly assess the value of the claim.
The claims range for these types of cases can be from a few thousand pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
How do I make a claim?
If you have read the above and feel that you may be suffering from any of the symptoms whilst exposed to substances at work, call Oakwood Solicitors to speak to a member of our dedicated Industrial Disease team.
In order to run the majority of personal injury claims, you have to have started the claim within three years of the injury. However, with industrial disease claims it may be that the injury started over a period of time and was only diagnosed within the last three years. We will be able to clarify this for you.
How long will my case take?
The length of time for a case can vary, and can strongly depend on how Defendants and their insurers want to defend the action. It may take a considerable length of time to identify insurers for the Defendants if they are no longer trading, and the obtaining of evidence from experts in respiratory medicine (and potentially from health and safety experts or a chemical engineer) in regards to the exposure of chemicals can take a long time.
We will also need to obtain the full list of your past employers from the HMRC, which can also take some time to obtain. The case can take anywhere from 12 months, up to 3–4 years to reach a conclusion.
How would my case be funded?
Our cases are brought on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis. If we accept your claim, as long as terms of the agreement are complied with by yourself – namely that you do not mislead and you co-operate – there will be no charge to you in the event of the case failing.
If the case succeeds, there will be a deduction to be made from the damages.
What types of job put you most at risk?
There is no finite list as to what jobs may expose you to chemicals that could cause respiratory diseases, but generally the following types of jobs are considered the riskiest:
Workers who inhale dust in demolition zones can be at risk.
Many factory workers are exposed to dust, chemicals, and gases that could lead to respiratory diseases.
Textile workers who make upholstery, towels, socks, bed linens and clothes are at risk of exposure. They may inhale particles released from cotton and other materials.
Many commonly-used disinfectants can cause or worsen respiratory disease.
How did I contract an industrial disease?
Sufferers will usually contract an industrial disease through their working environments. It may be that the symptoms of the disease do not appear for some time and they may have left their position before the illness manifests itself.
This means that when you are looking to run a case against a previous employer, we may have to trace back to the time that you worked there. It could also be that a patient has worked at a variety of similar employers who may all be liable for the presenting symptoms.
If the company you worked for is no longer trading, this will not necessarily be a barrier to claiming. We will undertake what is known as an ELTO search. This stands for Employers Liability Tracing Office. This search will look to identify who insured the company when you worked for them. If insurers are located, they will have to step into the shoes of the Defendant and become the paymasters of the claim.
As a lot of these matters relate to exposure from decades earlier, it is not unusual that Claimants either forget jobs where they may have briefly experienced exposure, or the exact years of employment. Also, it is not unusual that the name somebody has understood to have been their employer is not actually the legal entity that employed them.
We will therefore obtain your employment schedule from the HMRC, which will list all your employers through your lifetime. After discussion with yourself, we will then look to proceed with the claims against all the identified Defendants and their insurers.
Will I lose my job if I make a claim?
If you are still working for the defendant, they cannot dismiss you for making or proposing to make a claim. If your employer does attempt to do so, you are likely able to make a successful unfair dismissal claim. In our experience, the majority of insurers understand their duties owed to you and the right you have to pursue a claim if this duty has been breached.
In most cases, the claim will normally be transferred from the Defendants directly to their insurers, and it will be the insurers who will deal with the defending of the action.
I have just been diagnosed with an industrial disease but I stopped working at the company a while ago? Can I still make a claim?
If you have only become aware of a problem recently and have only just noticed issues, then your action should be in time for limitation purposes. However, this is something that is solely evidence-based for each action, so it is strongly recommended that you speak with a solicitor to take further advice.
Although a number of illnesses such as occupational cancer, noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and asbestos-related illness latency periods can be a number of decades, for other diseases such as occupational asthma, repetitive strain injury (RSI) and vibration white finger, you would expect these symptoms to manifest at the time of (or very shortly after) exposure.
What is the duty of my employer to protect me from developing respiratory illness through work?
As well as common law duty to ensure a safe place of work and a safe system of work, your employer will have a number of duties set down by statute.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health 2002
Why should I choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd?
Oakwood Solicitors Ltd agrees to work on your industrial disease claim on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis. If your claim is unsuccessful, you will not be expected to pay us a penny. If you are successful in your claim, we take a percentage of the compensation meaning that the only time we will receive money is if we have brought your claim to a fruitful conclusion.
You will have a dedicated advisor who will see your claim through from start to finish, assisting you in the event of any queries or issues you may have. If it is preferable to you, we are able to assign a female advisor to carry out your claim. Your case handler will also continue to provide regular updates until the conclusion of your claim, ensuring the process is as stress-free and effortless as possible.
If you believe or feel you have a claim contact us for a free initial consultation regarding your options.
Natasha Hardy is a Solicitor specialising in Industrial Disease matters and has experience in handling a wide range of cases including claims for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss & Tinnitus, Hand/Arm Vibration Syndrome & Vibration White Finger, Work Related Upper Limb Disorders, Occupational Dermatitis, Asbestosis, Respiratory & Chest Conditions and Lung Disease.
Natasha acts on behalf of Claimants and is determined in her cause to achieve the best results for her Clients. She is a resolute negotiator and is experienced in handling matters that proceed through the litigation process and to trial. Natasha strives to deliver outstanding client care and is passionate about her field of expertise.
Natasha has worked in the Industrial Disease department at Oakwood Solicitors since 2013, graduating from university with a 2.1 LLB Law Degree with Honours, her Masters in Law and Bar Professional Training Course qualification. Whilst working for Oakwood Solicitors, Natasha has completed her Legal Practice Course and qualified as a Solicitor.
Natasha’s notable cases include the case of Lomas v London Electric Wire Company and Smiths Limited (2015) in which the Claimant was successful in his claim for Noise-Induced Tinnitus, despite a finding that his Noise-Induced Hearing Loss was de minimis.