How to make a claim if you’ve been exposed to asbestos?
Many people don’t realise that they are able to make a compensation claim as a result of asbestos exposure. So, if you’ve been exposed to asbestos at some point in your career, then you may be entitled to make a claim if your exposure has resulted in an asbestos related illness, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening, or lung cancer.
Alternatively, if you’ve not directly experienced asbestos exposure, but have lost a loved one as a result of this, you may also be entitled to a compensation claim.
Unsure whether you can make a claim, or don’t know where to start when it comes to making an asbestos claim in Plymouth or further afield? We appreciate this may be daunting and this helpful guide will provide you with the steps you need to take if you think you’ve been exposed to asbestos.
Step 1 – Do you have symptoms?
If you think you were previously exposed to asbestos, the first step is to identify whether you are experiencing any symptoms related to that exposure. This can include one or more of the following:
- Lack of energy
- Chest pain
- Clubbed fingers
- Difficulty swallowing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain or swelling
These symptoms can obviously relate to a lot of other illnesses, so the next step you need to take is to consider whether you have previously been exposed to asbestos.
Step 2 – Have you been exposed to asbestos?
If you have previously worked in construction, dockyards, power stations, or the motor industry where asbestos exposure was prevalent more than 10 years ago, then you may be entitled to make a claim if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above.
Do not consider only primary exposure to asbestos. You should also take into account secondary exposure. Perhaps a family member was the one working with asbestos and you were exposed due to the dust on their clothing. Secondary asbestos exposure can often be missed as the victim didn’t directly work with the substance, however it’s important to get checked out if you were in contact with somebody who did work with asbestos. Victims of secondary exposure have increased significantly in recent years. Based in Plymouth, our specialist asbestos solicitor team is able to advise you on taking the necessary steps to get a diagnosis, potentially leading to making a compensation claim.
You may have already made a claim after being exposed to asbestos, however it is important to remember that if your illness worsens or develops into a more serious health condition (such as mesothelioma) then there may be the opportunity to open a second claim for compensation.
Step 3 – Contact a solicitor
The next step would be to contact our asbestos team to discuss your situation and get some specialist advice.
During your initial meeting with our team of asbestos solicitors in Plymouth, we will discuss your work and family history as well as details of the symptoms you are experiencing.
If you think you may be entitled to make a claim, but the company that exposed you to asbestos is no longer trading, we can still identify their insurers and start the claim process. Even if the insurer is no longer in business, we can still help, so don’t be afraid to get in touch. As the effects of asbestos take so long to take effect, this happens more often than you would expect.
Step 4 – Get a diagnosis
If you haven’t already been officially diagnosed with an asbestos related illness then you will need to visit a medical professional. You need a diagnosis to start the claims process. We can advise on what questions to ask your GP.
Most victims of asbestos exposure worked in the 50s, 60s and 70s, where the use of asbestos was extensive. Thousands of people were diagnosed each year with asbestos related illnesses and it has become the single biggest cause of work-related deaths in the UK.
The asbestos law team at GA Solicitors can work on a no win, no fee basis. We have decades of experience in the industry and can also look to seek early payments for any necessary care, equipment or adaptations to your home.
Getting a diagnosis does not have to be during the person’s lifetime who has been exposed to asbestos. A family member or close relative can claim compensation for a loved one who has lost their life as a result of an asbestos related illness.
Alternatively, if you already have a diagnosis and are unsure what to do next, contact our team who will be able to help you begin the claims process and find out the level of compensation to which you are entitled.
Following asbestos exposure and visiting the doctor for a diagnosis, you are likely to have been diagnosed with one of the following injuries:
If you haven’t been diagnosed with any of the above but are experiencing other life altering outcomes from asbestos exposure, then you may also be able to claim for compensation or state benefits. Claim outcomes or interim payments can often provide help with making adaptations to your home, fund necessary care and more.
Once we have a diagnosis, the claim process can begin. This will all be taken care of by our specialist asbestos team who can provide you with reassurance that you have the most effective team on your side to help win the claim.
Whether you’re right at the beginning of these steps, or are part of the way through and need some help to move forward, contact our asbestos and industrial disease expert and head of team James Walsh, on 01752 203500 or email james.walsh@GAsolicitors.com.