Can you make an asbestos claim after death of a loved one?
Losing a loved one from an asbestos-related disease can be a very upsetting and difficult time for a family. We know that money will not make up for the loss, but making an asbestos claim after death may help make life easier for you and your family during this difficult time, and in the future.
Asbestos-related deaths have increased over the decades, and this is because it generally takes between 10 to 40 years if not longer for asbestos exposure to develop into a disease. Symptoms can vary in severity and sometimes at the date of diagnosis individuals do not have very long left to live. In these cases, it is unlikely that the Claimant will have time to start a compensation claim whilst they are alive as their care is the priority.
It can also be the case that knowledge of the asbestos disease was unknown until after the death or following a Coroner’s Inquest, so an asbestos claim after death is the only possible option.
In Great Britain in 2021, there were 2,268 deaths caused by Mesothelioma and 537 deaths mentioning asbestosis. Further, Plymouth is ranked as the third highest local authority area with the number of male asbestos deaths for the period 1981 to 2021 with 327 deaths.
If you have lost a loved one due to asbestos exposure, it may be possible to make a claim on behalf of the estate or as a dependent. If they had a valid Will at the time of their death, then the asbestos claim after death can be started by the executor or executrix of the estate. If there was no Will, then Letters of Administration can be taken out by the next of kin and the claim can be started.
To begin an asbestos claim on behalf of the estate, you must fall under one of the following categories:
- Spouse of the deceased;
- Civil partner of the deceased;
- Child or dependant of the deceased;
- Executor or Executrix named in the deceased’s will.
If you fall into any of these categories, you will have three years from the date of death to make a claim for asbestos compensation. If the deceased had previously received compensation for their disease during their lifetime before their death, it may be possible to make another claim depending on the circumstances.
If you bring a claim, it may be possible to claim compensation for:
- The pain and suffering that your loved one suffered;
- Financial losses suffered because of the asbestos-related disease such as funeral expenses;
- Lost future support and income that dependants would have relied on;
- Cost of both family and private care.
Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976, it is also possible to claim bereavement damages if you have lost a loved one due to a fatal accident or an act of negligence. For asbestos-related diseases, this can be negligent exposure to asbestos by an employer or company which later causes the death of a loved one. The award is fixed under law, and the statutory payment is currently £15,120 if you lost a loved one on or after 1 May 2020.
James Walsh, head of the asbestos compensation claims team at GA Solicitors in Plymouth states: “Approximately a third of my asbestos disease caseload concerns an asbestos claim after death. Asbestos disease deaths are terrible. The whole family suffers and it is right they can be compensated due to the passing of their loved one. I am happy to speak to anyone in this situation for an initial free discussion with a view to running an asbestos claim after death on a no-win no-fee basis.”
James Walsh is an experienced asbestos compensation claims solicitor in Plymouth with more than 25 years of experience. He is recognised nationally for his success in this specialist sector and is an Occupational Disease and Asbestos Disease specialist with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). He is currently one of only two solicitors with this accreditation West of Bristol covering the Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset counties – APIL – Accredited Asbestos & Mesothelioma Lawyers.
For a no-obligation discussion about making an asbestos claim after death, don’t hesitate to call the team on 01752 203500 or email me directly via james.walsh@GAsolicitors.com.
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