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Occupational Lung Disease – A Guide to Claiming Compensation

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with occupational lung disease, you might be entitled to claim compensation from your employer. That might even be the case if your condition is linked to an employer you stopped working for years ago. This guide about claiming compensation for occupational lung disease provides tips on how to strengthen your case and shows you how compensation for occupational lung disease is calculated.

If you believe you have a claim you can call one of our legal advisors about your chances of being compensated. In a no-obligation consultation, they’ll review the merits of your claim and answer any questions you think of. If a claim appears to be strong enough, you could be connected with an accident-at-work solicitor. Crucially, they provide a No Win, No Fee service for all lung disease claim they take on.

To speak to us now, you can:

There’s lots more information about work-related lung disease claims throughout this guide but do get in touch with any further questions.

Types of Occupational Lung Diseases We Can Help With

Occupational lung disease refers to a variety of disorders affecting the lungs that are caused or exacerbated by exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. These diseases can arise from inhaling dust, chemicals, fumes, and other harmful agents commonly found in specific work environments. The severity and type of lung disease depend on the substance involved, the level of exposure, the duration of exposure, and individual health factors.

Here are some common types of occupational lung diseases we can help with:

There may be a higher chance that your lung disease diagnosis is work-related if you worked in any of the following roles:

  • Quarry or mine workers.
  • Agricultural (farming) workers.
  • Vehicle mechanics.
  • Roofers.
  • Healthcare workers.
  • Beauticians and hairdressers.
  • Welding and metalwork.
  • Shipyard workers.
  • Painting and decorating.

To check if you might have grounds to claim compensation for occupational lung disease, please call our legal advisors now.

Can I Claim Compensation for Occupational Lung Disease?

To claim compensation for occupational lung disease, you’ll generally have to prove that your employer’s negligence meant they breached their legal responsibilities in regard to your well-being while at work. This is something that is established by laws such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Here are some examples of employer negligence that could enable you to claim compensation for work-related lung disease:

  • If your employer knew you were exposed to dangerous substances on a construction site but failed to provide you with PPE like respirators or face masks.
  • Where your employer failed to train you on how to work with dangerous substances safely.
  • If your employer failed to consider working with alternative products.
  • Where you worked with dangerous substances in confined spaces with inadequate ventilation.
  • If your employer failed to carry out risk assessments in line with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.

Therefore, you might be entitled to compensation if you are able to prove that:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care; and
  • You were exposed to dangerous substances at work because your employer was negligent; and
  • As a consequence of that exposure, you have been diagnosed with a lung disease in the last three years.

If you’d like us to check whether you have a feasible lung disease claim, please contact us now.

What Should I Do If I’ve Developed an Industrial Lung Disease?

If you suspect that exposure to harmful substances in your industry has led to a work-related lung disease, here are some crucial steps you can take, which can also support a potential compensation claim:

  • Visit your GP or a specialist to get a proper medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment for your condition.
  • Inform your current or former employer about your diagnosis. This is important because it officially logs your condition with your workplace.
  • Ask for an occupational health review of your workplace to document the conditions and any potential sources of harmful exposure.

If your employer fails to address or mitigate the risks after being informed, or if their negligence is a contributing factor to your condition, you may have solid grounds to start a lung disease claim for compensation.

What Evidence Can Be Used for Lung Disease Claims?

If you claim compensation for a work-related lung disease, you will need evidence to prove a) that your condition is linked to your working practices, b) that your employer was negligent in some way and c) the extent of your suffering.

As such, for occupational lung disease claims, you could use any of the following to support your claim:

  • Medical confirmation of your diagnosis i.e. letters from a specialist or copies of your medical records.
  • A full list of your employment history and roles.
  • Contact details for any colleagues who might be able to confirm your working conditions.
  • Copies of any emails or letters you’ve had with your employer regarding your diagnosis.
  • Evidence of any financial losses linked to your condition.

Don’t worry if you don’t yet have all of the evidence listed. So long as your condition has been confirmed by a doctor, you are free to contact our legal advisors to see if you have the grounds to start a claim.

How Long Do I Have to Claim Lung Disease Compensation?

Any type of personal injury claim has a 3-year time limit as defined in the Limitation Act 1980.  For occupational lung diseases, the 3 years for claiming typically start from the date the condition was diagnosed by a medical professional (the date of knowledge).

If the claimant is too ill or has a mental impairment preventing them from dealing with legal issues, another individual could represent them as a litigation friend to seek lung disease compensation.

In our experience, it can take some time to collect evidence to support lung disease claims, especially for claims against old employers. Therefore, we’d suggest you contact us to discuss your case at your earliest opportunity to avoid missing out on any compensation due.

work-related lung disease background

Start the process of claiming compensation for lung 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, effectively giving claimants a risk-free way to pursue the compensation they deserve.

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Or call us on 0333 241 2519 to speak with a legal advisor.

How Much Compensation for an Occupational Lung Disease?

If a claim for an occupational lung disease is won, the compensation settlement will be normally based on general and special damages. General damages cover the pain, suffering and loss of amenity the lung disease has caused.

To calculate how much compensation you should receive, your solicitor will use medical records and independent reports to establish the severity of your suffering. They may also use statements from friends and family to help prove how your symptoms have affected you.

Your lung disease compensation payout could also include special damages to cover any costs or expenses linked to your condition. For instance, you could be compensated for:

  • Expenses for any modifications needed at home to help cope with the disease.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Loss of earnings (present and future).
  • The cost of a carer at home.
  • Travel costs.

You will have to prove any such costs or losses by providing receipts, your wage slips and other relevent financial information and documents. If you’d to check now what the value of your lung disease claim might be, please call our legal advisors.

Can I Claim Compensation on Behalf of a Loved One?

In some cases, those affected by lung diseases don’t have the ability to claim compensation themselves. In some cases, therefore, you may wish to act on behalf of a loved one by becoming their litigation friend.

You will need to be approved before the case begins but if approval is granted, you’ll be able to deal with the whole claims process from start to finish. As a litigation friend, you must make decisions with the claimant’s best interest at heart at all times.

Can I Claim for Someone Who Has Died?

If you have lost a loved one to occupational lung disease, at some point you might decide to seek compensation from their employer. This could cover:

  • The pain and suffering endured by the deceased before they passed away.
  • The fact that you were financially dependent on the deceased’s earnings or benefits.
  • Costs such as funeral expenses.
  • Loss of companionship.

If you would like free advice on how to claim, please get in touch and a member of our team will guide you through your options.

Do You Need a Solicitor for Occupational Lung Disease Claims?

Two of the main reasons why you may wish to take on legal representation in an occupational lung disease claim are:

  1. Your employer or their insurers may contest the claim. This can lead to complex legal and medical questions which a specialist solicitor may find easier to handle than you will.
  2. You might receive a settlement that is not enough to compensate for all of your suffering. A solicitor who has dealt with occupational disease claims in the past should have the knowledge, experience and legal skills to try and negotiate a better settlement.

As such, while you are entitled to claim alone, you could find the claims process easier (and swifter) if you are supported by a specialist solicitor.

If you tell a solicitor on our panel you want to start a lung disease claim, they’ll process it for you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Before they get to work on your case, they’ll send you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to read and sign. The CFA means that you will not pay your solicitor for their work upfront and you’ll pay them nothing if the claim is lost. Should your claim be successful, a success fee is deducted from the settlement.

The success fee is a percentage of your compensation as detailed in the CFA. Legally, though, it’s important to point out that success fees linked to CFAs cannot exceed more than 25 per cent of your compensation payout.

Please feel free to call our legal advisors to find out more.

How Long Do Occupational Lung Disease Claims Take?

It isn’t possible to say how long an occupational lung disease claim will take as many factors can affect processing times.

In some cases, if there is clear evidence that your employer is liable for your suffering and your medical prognosis is fully understood, you could be awarded compensation in 6 months or so.

More complex cases can take a year or more while negotiations take place or medical evidence to prove your prognosis is gathered.

In cases where the claimant doesn’t have long to live, your solicitor may try to expedite the claims process so that compensation is awarded as soon as possible.

Contacting Us About an Occupational Lung Disease Claim

We can help if you have any remaining questions about occupational lung disease claims. To get in touch, you can:

  • Phone 0333 241 2519 to talk with a specialist advisor.
  • Use our online chat service at a time that suits you.

When you contact us, we’ll assess your case and offer legal advice on what options are available. There is no obligation to proceed with legal action against your employer but if your occupational lung disease claim is feasible and you instruct our solicitors to start the claim, they’ll represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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