In July 2020, we Solicitors were contacted by the family of a former client. We have acted on his behalf in 2012 and brought a successful claim for asbestosis against British Rail, Crewe.
In late 2019 our former client was diagnosed with lung cancer and sadly, in July 2020, he passed away. The local coroner advised the family that in view of the previous asbestos exposure and the possibility that this had caused/contributed to his passing, there would need to be an inquest. The coroner requested a witness statement from the family setting out the work history of the deceased.
The family recalled their father had previously made a claim for compensation and contacted us to obtain a copy of the evidence for the coroner. They were unaware that the initial claim had been settled on what is called a provisional basis which allows the victim to reopen the case should their condition worsen or they contract another asbestos related condition.
Steven Evans who dealt with the matter said “in this case, whilst the victim had passed away his family were able to re-open the case on behalf of his estate. After obtaining further evidence, the case was settled some months later for a significant sum, without further need for court proceedings. The family were thankful to my firm for our sympathetic and professional help with the case.”
It is crucial that anyone diagnosed with an asbestos condition seeks specialist advice so they can be advised on the best method of settlement.
A full and final settlement, once agreed and concluded, does not allow the victim or their family to reopen the claim. If their condition deteriorates or they are diagnosed with another asbestos related illness as in this case, they would be unable to claim a further amount and could potentially lose out on tens of thousands of pounds in compensation and financial security for those loved ones left behind.
A provisional settlement allows the case to be partially concluded with the victim receiving some compensation but it leaves open the opportunity to restart the case in years to come should their condition deteriorate or another asbestos related condition be diagnosed.
Provisional settlements are not appropriate in every situation nor for every asbestos illness. It is crucial that you seek the advice of a solicitor who has a proven track record of dealing with these types of claims.