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Industrial Disease Claims – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

If you have been diagnosed with a medical condition causing ill health following prolonged exposure to harmful substances at work, you might be entitled to claim compensation for your suffering. As such, we’ve written this guide about industrial disease claims.

Throughout the guide, we’ll provide answers to some common questions about when and how compensation could be awarded for such diseases. We are also happy to review your claim for free and offer no-obligation legal advice about your options. If you have a valid claim, you’ll be partnered with a specialist solicitor from our team who’ll represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis if the claim proceeds.

Therefore, if you or a loved one is suffering from an industrial disease and are thinking about taking legal action, you can:

  • Call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specialist.
  • Use our free live chat service.

Getting legal advice as soon as possible for an industrial disease claim can significantly enhance the chances of receiving compensation for your pain, suffering, and financial losses incurred due to the accident.

Types of Industrial Disease Claims We Can Help With

A variety of industrial diseases could lead to a personal injury claim if they can be linked to your employer’s negligence. Some of the most common work-related illnesses and diseases we can help claimants get compensation for include:

Contact our team for a free initial consultation if you’ve been diagnosed with any type of industrial illness. A friendly advisor will be happy to answer any initial questions you might have.

Can I Make an Industrial Disease Claim?

As part of their duty of care, according to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, your employer must take reasonable and practical steps to try and protect your well-being.

If your role means working with potential irritants, they must therefore try to reduce exposure levels wherever possible. If this can’t be achieved, they could make changes to working conditions to try and protect you. For example, they could provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as breathing apparatus or gloves, conduct regular safety training or they could improve ventilation in your workplace.

You might have grounds to begin an industrial disease claim if:

  • You were owed a duty of care by your employer.
  • That duty was breached; and
  • As a result, you have been diagnosed with an industrial disease within the last three years.

As part of our free initial consultation, we’re happy to review your case and answer any questions on a no-obligation basis. Please give us a call if this is something you’d like to arrange.

What Should I Do If I Suspect an Industrial Disease?

If you believe you’ve developed a work-related disease, you should speak to your employer right away. So that your query can be proven if you go ahead with a claim, you should put your concerns in writing or an email.

Additionally, you should seek medical advice from your GP so that your symptoms are assessed, diagnosed, treated and documented. You should provide any medical advice from your GP to your employer.

This will allow them to consider any changes they could make to try and protect you while you’re working. Failure to make such changes could make them liable for your suffering if you do later make an industrial disease claim.

What Evidence Can Be Used for Industrial Disease Claims?

If you work with one of our solicitors when making an industrial disease compensation claim, they’ll try to present as strong a case as possible. To do so, they’ll use evidence that you’ve requested and further information where required. This could include:

  • Medical Records: Detailed records of the disease, including diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis from doctors or specialists. This should include any long-term health effects and their link to working conditions.
  • Workplace Incident Reports: Reports filed with your employer or relevant health and safety authorities documenting any incidents or exposures at work that may have contributed to the illness.
  • Witness Statements: Accounts from colleagues, supervisors, or any other witnesses who can confirm workplace conditions or specific incidents related to your occupational disease.
  • Photographs of the Workplace: Images capturing the work environment, including any hazards or conditions that could have contributed to your illness, like exposure to harmful substances or inadequate safety measures.
  • CCTV or Video Footage: If available, footage from workplace security cameras showing the conditions or incidents that may have led to the disease.
  • Employment and Training Records: Records showing your employment history, job role, and any health and safety training related to the hazards you were exposed to at work.
  • Health and Safety Compliance Records: Records of health and safety inspections by the HSE for example and risk assessments conducted at your workplace, including any noted violations or concerns relevant to your disease.
  • Incident Logs: Logs or records of previous health-related incidents or reports at the workplace that may indicate a pattern of negligence or ongoing health risks.
  • Workplace Safety Policies and Procedures: Documentation of your employer’s health and safety policies, procedures, and measures to prevent employees from developing occupational diseases.
  • Expert Testimony: In some cases, an expert witness may provide testimony on your workplace conditions, the nature of your job, and whether regulations were adequately followed.
  • Personal Diary or Journal: Personal notes or a journal detailing your work experience, symptoms, medical visits, and how the disease has impacted your daily life and activities.
  • Exposure Assessments: Records or evaluations of exposure to hazardous materials or conditions at work, if applicable.
  • Financial Records: Records of lost wages, including pay stubs, salary history, and employment records, to demonstrate income loss due to the disease. Also, records of any medical expenses, travel costs for treatment, and other financial hits related to the disease.

This list of evidence is designed to help build a comprehensive case for an industrial disease compensation claim, demonstrating both the origin of the illness and its impact on your health and well-being. If you already have any evidence that supports your claim, one of our advisors will assess the strength of your case for free.

What’s the Time Limit for Industrial Disease Claims?

In the UK, there is a 3-year personal injury claims time limit that usually begins from the date you were injured. However, this can’t usually be pinned down as industrial diseases can take years to develop.

Therefore, when claiming compensation for a work-related illness, the 3-year time limit will usually start from the date your condition was confirmed by a medical professional. This is often referred to as the date of knowledge. However, we recommend having an advisor from our team review this to ensure it accurately applies to your specific circumstances.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim for an Industrial Disease?

Several factors are used to consider settlement levels in industrial disease and illness claims. They include:

  • The severity of your disease.
  • Physical pain and suffering.
  • If you’ve fully recovered or if your disease will last for the rest of your life.
  • Life expectancy.
  • Any negative impact your illness has had on your life (loss of amenity).

The above are all covered by the general damages element of your claim. Usually, those valuing your claim will compare your symptoms with the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) as they contain example settlement figures for many different conditions.

Potential Compensation for Work-Related Diseases

Our compensation table uses data derived from the JCG for various work-related diseases. Please note that the figures listed are just a selection and not a complete list. They also cannot be guaranteed as industrial disease compensation amounts are calculated on the specifics of each case.

  • £5,320 to £18,090 for provisional awards in cases excluding the risk of malignancy, where the extent of anxiety is a significant factor.
  • £20,800 to £31,310 for bronchitis and wheezing that do not cause serious symptoms, with little or no severe or permanent effect on working or social life.
  •  £31,310 to £54,830 for lung disease causing breathing difficulties necessitating fairly frequent use of an inhaler, with a significant impact on social and working life and an uncertain prognosis.
  • £54,830 to £70,030 for diseases like emphysema, causing significant and worsening lung function, impairment of breathing, and other symptoms leading to restrictions on physical activity and employment.
  • £70,030 to £97,330 for lung cancer in an older person, causing severe pain and significant impairment of both function and quality of life, with the level of award influenced by various factors.
  • £100,670 to £135,920 for a young person with a serious disability, where there is a likelihood of progressive worsening leading to premature death.

In addition to general damages, any settlement you receive could cover any financial costs or losses linked to your illness. This is called special damages and could include compensation for:

  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation costs.
  • The cost of a carer in your home.
  • The cost of modifying your home i.e. to install a stair lift if your COPD symptoms make climbing the stairs difficult.
  • Travel expenses.
  • Lost income (present and future).

If you’ve been impacted financially because of your condition, as stated in the list of evidence, you should keep copies of any receipts or other financial documents you have. If you’d like to know more about potential settlement amounts, please contact our team today.

industrial illness compensation background

Take the first step towards claiming compensation for an industrial disease with our complimentary free consultation.With 30+ years of experience, our solicitors are committed to providing a 100% No Win, No Fee claims service, offering claimants a risk-free path to pursue the compensation they deserve.

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Or call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a specialist solicitor.

Can Compensation for Industrial Illness Cover Psychological Suffering?

In addition to your physical symptoms, compensation payouts for industrial illnesses can cover any psychological suffering. For example, your claim might consider any depression, distress, anxiety or other forms of suffering linked to your disease.

Of course, evidence must be provided to prove the impact your condition has had on your mental health. Therefore, your solicitor will usually request copies of any relevant medical records to help prove how you’ve been affected.

If you’d like to know more, please feel free to call our team about your options.

How Is Liability Determined in an Industrial Illness Claim?

When claiming compensation for a work-related illness, you will need to prove your work history. That can be quite time-consuming if you’ve had multiple employers over the years. However, your solicitor may be able to get a list of your employment dates from HMRC for jobs since 1960.

Then you’ll need to work with your solicitor to identify which job (or jobs) could’ve caused your illness.

At this point, your solicitor will write to the defendant in your claim and explain your case. If they accept liability straight away, both parties will move on to negotiate a fair settlement amount.

Where liability for your illness is contested, both parties will exchange evidence to try and reach an amicable settlement.

Do Work-Related Disease Claims End Up in Court?

In our experience, very few work-related disease claims need to go to court. That’s because both parties usually try to settle out of court to avoid the additional costs and time required.

However, if a claim can not be settled, your employer may need to face you in court. If that happens, the judge will review all of the evidence available to them and decide if your employer is liable for your illness.

Where the hearing is settled in your favour, the judge will decide the appropriate level of compensation that must be paid. If you lose the case, however, the judge may decide that you are liable for your employer’s legal fees. Usually, your solicitor will have discussed this with you before the claim and arranged for After The Event (ATE) insurance to cover any such costs.

Can I Make a Claim for Someone Else?

In some cases, those affected by industrial work-related illnesses can lack the mental capacity to deal with the claims process themselves. In these situations, someone else such as your solicitor, a partner, a friend or a family member could offer to deal with and manage the claim on behalf of the claimant.

To do so, they must apply to become a litigation friend. Our solicitors can help you to apply if this is something you’d like to do. Once approved, you’ll be able to make decisions about the case and instruct a solicitor on how to proceed. If the claim is settled in favour of the claimant, you’ll be responsible for managing their compensation which will be held in a court trust account.

If you have any questions about helping a loved one to make an industrial disease compensation claim, please call today.

How Long Do Industrial Disease Claims Take to Settle?

The time it takes to settle industrial disease claims can vary widely. That’s because each claim is unique.

For example, if you have been treated and have fully recovered from your illness, you could receive compensation within a year so long as your employer has accepted liability for your condition.

However, if you are still suffering and the full impact of your disease is not fully understood, your claim could take longer to be finalised. However, in these cases, interim payments might be made by your employer’s insurers if they’ve already accepted liability. These payouts come out of your final settlement amount and could cover lost earnings, treatment costs and other immediate expenses.

Do I Need a Solicitor to File a Work-Related Disease Claim?

As we’ve shown, work-related disease claims can be quite complex and involve complicated medical evidence. As such, you may wish to instruct a solicitor from our team who specialises in workplace illness cases to make the claims process easier.

If you decide to work with a specialist solicitor from our team, they’ll provide a No Win, No Fee claims service. That means you don’t pay them upfront for their work and you’ll just pay a success fee deducted from any compensation you receive.

If your case is taken on, some of the services your solicitor might provide include:

  • Collecting evidence from you and other sources to support your claim.
  • Filing your claim correctly and in time with your employer and their insurers.
  • Arguing your case and trying to counter any objections raised.
  • Providing regular updates and being on hand to answer any questions you have.
  • Trying to ensure that you are compensated fairly for your suffering.

We’ve provided our contact details in the following section so please get in touch if you or a loved one is suffering because of a work-related disease.

Contacting Us About an Industrial Disease Claim

If you or a loved one is suffering from an industrial disease and would like to start a compensation claim, or just get some free advice you can:

  • Speak to a member of our team by calling 0333 241 2519.
  • Use our free live chat service.

We provide no-obligation advice and a completely free consultation to go through your options. If your claim appears to be valid, we could connect you with a solicitor on our panel who’ll work on a No Win, No Fee basis if your industrial disease claim is taken on

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