ASBESTOSIS & MESOTHELIOMA
- Will my former employers compensate me?
- Can I claim when my former employers have gone out of business?
- Making an Asbestos claim after leaving the UK
- How long does a claim take?
- How much am I likely to receive?
- What are the time limits for making a claim?
- What if I develop a further asbestos related condition once I have claimed?
Will my former employers compensate me?
If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition you should seek legal advice from us as soon as possible.
There are time limits for making a claim for state benefits and through the court system. The time limit generally for bringing court proceedings is 3 years from when you were told about your asbestos related condition. If you are outside of this 3 year time limit then the courts have a discretion to still award you damages, provided there is good reason for the delay.
Time is running and you should contact us as soon as possible. We have a freephone out of hours number which is 0800 264 3065.
If your former employer has gone out of business then you can still make a claim. They can be restored to the Register of Companies for the purpose of starting a court action. They will probably not have any money but your compensation will come from the insurers of the company at the time you worked for them. There are many checks that a solicitor can do to locate the insurers of your former employers.
During the course of your claim you will have to decide how you would like to settle. In non mesothelioma claims such as asbestosis or pleural thickening you can either accept a once and for all payment where you would not be able to return to court if you went on to develop any other asbestos related condition, or;
You can accept a much lower payment but with a right to return to court should you develop a further asbestos related condition in the future. This is known as a provisional settlement.
Which decision to follow depends on the circumstances of each case. It is a decision you will ultimately have to make and we can explain fully the advantages and disadvantages of each.
It is also important to note that if you are in receipt of certain means tested benefits then receiving any lump sum compensation may put you at risk of losing these benefits. You are able to preserve your benefits if you place your compensation in a special needs trust. Again we can discuss this with you at the appropriate stage of proceedings.
One last thing to note, do not become anxious or worried at instructing a solicitor. A good solicitor will always have your best interests in mind and will guide you through the whole process. It has always been very important to us that our clients do not suffer any further anxiety than they are already experiencing at this difficult time.
Former employers gone out of business
If your former employer has gone out of business you can still claim.
We will immediately obtain a copy of your Schedule of Employment from the Inland Revenue, which will give us the full trading name of any company you worked for. If necessary we can restore a company to the Register of Companies for the purpose of starting a court action.
They will probably not have any money to pay however your compensation will come from the insurers of the company at the time you worked for them.
As experts in this field we have a very comprehensive database of former employers who we have brought actions against and details of their insurers. This is crucial as it can save time and result in quicker settlement times.
Even if we do not have the insurance details already, there are many checks that we can do to locate the insurers of your former employers such as contacting the Association of British Insurers, researching previous cases, tracing former directors etc.
It is important that you contact us as soon as you have been diagnosed with an asbestos condition in order that these checks can be carried out sooner rather than later.
Making an Asbestos Claim after leaving the UK
WE Solicitors represent a growing number of mesothelioma sufferers and their families who have left the UK to live abroad. We have represented sufferers from all over the world including Spain, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Cyprus, New Zealand, and Greece.
In most cases, sufferers worked with asbestos over 20 years ago and do not realise they may have an asbestos related condition until they are diagnosed. This can be extremely worrying and distressing, especially in a country without your friends and family for support.
It does not really matter where you are now living. If you were exposed to asbestos whilst working in the UK then we can help you. Despite living outside the UK you are still entitled to compensation through civil courts and may be entitled to compensation under the 1979 Workers Compensation Scheme.
We can arrange to speak to you via telephone, Face Time, WhatsApp, Skype etc. and talk you through the claims process. We are also able to obtain your medical records and in most cases arrange for a medical expert to review the notes here in the UK or arrange for local chest physician to prepare a report detailing your condition.
In some cases we will also come and see you in person depending upon the circumstances and availability of flights.
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one. If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition then please contact us today.
How long does a claim take?
This depends on many factors such as what asbestos related condition you have and whether the company or its insurers can be easily traced.
With the more serious conditions, such as mesothelioma, there are special court procedures to speed up the process. (In such a case we aim to have your case to court within 6 months of receiving instructions and completed within 12 months at the most.)
Judges are generally quite sympathetic to people who have developed such serious illnesses and will do everything possible to have your case heard quickly.
- Mr A instructed us in November 2007, we secured a £143,000 payout at the beginning of May 2008.
- Mr L instructed us in July 2007, we secured more than £60,000 compensation in October 2007.
How much you are likely to receive
The amount of compensation payable varies widely in each case and is calculated by considering factors including:
- The type of asbestos related condition you have.
- Pain and suffering.
- The amount of disability the condition causes.
- Various financial losses.
- Care costs.
- Other expenses incurred as a result of asbestos-related illness.
We will claim compensation for all past and future losses. Our aim is to maximise your compensation.
Time Limits for Making a Claim
You must contact us as quickly as possible. This applies to both obtaining compensation from your former employers and with regards claiming Government Benefits.
The general rule is that you must start court proceedings with 3 years from when you knew or ought to have known about your condition and you knew or ought to have known it was caused by exposure to asbestos in your former workplace.
Generally this 3 year time limit starts to run once you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition.
If you are outside of this 3 year time limit then the courts have a discretion to still award you damages provided there is good reason for the delay.
Time is running and you must contact us sooner rather than later.
What if I develop a further asbestos related condition once I have claimed?
This is something you may need to consider during the course of your claim. You can either accept a once and for all payment where you would not be able to return to court if you went on to develop any other asbestos related condition, or;
You can accept much lower payment but with a right to return to court should you develop a further asbestos related condition in the future. This is known as a provisional settlement. Our chosen medical expert will report on the likelihood of developing a further condition.
Which decision to follow depends on the circumstances of each case. It is a decision you will ultimately have to make but we will explain fully the advantages and disadvantages of each decision.
If you have already made a claim against your former employers you will need to contact us immediately and we will obtain your file from your previous solicitors in order to find out how your original claim was settled.
“ Thank you to Steven [Evans] for his kindness, patience, efficiency and professionalism throughout this process. I didn’t think my dad would cope well with the requirements but Steven’s calm nature and knowledge made a fairly grim situation much easier to bear. We contacted other solicitors at the start of this process, and their hard-sell approach was dreadful – thank goodness for you and your team! ”
If you or a family member have recently been diagnosed with an asbestos related condition and want to know more about your right to claim and the process involved, click the button or call us on 0800 294 3065.