Exposure to asbestos fibres has been recognised as an occupational health hazard since the early 1900s. As well as those who have been exposed to asbestos at work, family members and others living with anyone employed in an asbestos contaminated workplace may have an increased risk of developing the fatal asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma.
Since the first asbestos related compensation claim in 1929, claims have continued to be made against employers for failing to implement safety measures as soon as the link between asbestos exposure and illness became known.
People are still being negligently exposed to asbestos at work even now.
There are different illnesses and conditions that you can develop after being exposed to asbestos, the most common of which are:
- Pleural thickening
- Asbestos-related lung cancer
A type of cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma is considered a terminal illness. It is normally of three types and can be found on the abdomen, the heart or more commonly, the lungs.
Mesothelioma can develop after receiving only low levels of exposure and only over relatively short exposure periods. Past cases have proven that people have contracted it simply by living close to a factory which releases asbestos fibres, or even washing work overalls belonging to other family members.
Pleural thickening can be caused by asbestos fibres being inhaled into the lungs, then finding their way to the membrane surrounding the lungs, causing scarring and thickening. If these areas of thickening become widespread and cause respiratory difficulties, it is generally known as ‘diffused’ pleural thickening.
Pleural thickening can develop on one or both lungs, preventing them from working correctly and resulting in breathlessness. It can be a painful and disabling condition by itself, but it can also be a warning sign that the sufferer has been exposed to asbestos in the past which may indicate the risk of asbestosis or mesothelioma.
Asbestosis is a form of lung fibrosis caused by inhaling asbestos fibres which can irritate the lungs, causing scarring and thickening to the lung tissue. It normally only affects people who have had high exposure over long periods of time, such as laggers, industrial plumbers or demolition workers.
Asbestosis often puts the victim at a much greater risk of developing other respiratory problems including lung cancer. The vast majority of sufferers diagnosed will have been exposed to high levels of asbestos dust and fibres during the course of their employment.
Asbestos-related lung cancer
Lung cancer is commonly associated with smoking – it can also be caused by inhaling asbestos dust. Statistics have proven that a person working with asbestos could be 5 times more likely to develop lung cancer than somebody who has not. It can however take anywhere between 15-40 years to show.
Any claim for compensation will need to prove past exposure to asbestos was the cause of the lung cancer rather than smoking. This can often be proven by medical investigations including x-rays and more sophisticated scans.
If you suspect you have an asbestos related illness you should make an appointment to see your GP without delay.
Regardless of which asbestos related condition has been diagnosed, if it can be proven that it was caused by exposure to asbestos by a negligent party, then (with the exception of pleural plaques) it may be possible to make a personal injury claim for compensation.
This is why Attwaters Jameson Hill’s Personal Injury solicitors are here.
We pledge to provide every client with outstanding personal service and communication, unrivalled industry knowledge and a proven track record of successfully claiming compensation for clients who have suffered from asbestos-related illnesses.
Firstly, Attwater Jameson Hill’s experienced asbestos case specialists can tell you if you have a potential compensation claim against a current or former employer.
Then, because our renowned Personal Injury team has access to respected specialist medical experts across all fields, we can support medical investigations into your condition and obtain evidence of your past and possible future needs. This ensures that we claim for the highest level of compensation for the disability suffered.
We can also advise in relation to potential state benefits.
We treat every client with individual sensitivity whilst aiming at the same time to achieve the highest financial settlement through the courts.
If you think you may have grounds for a claim involving an asbestos-related illness or condition, Attwaters Jameson Hill will offer you a jargon-free consultation and assessment free of charge. This includes home or hospital visits and out of hours appointments and help when it may be needed the most.
If you have a strong case, please don’t delay. Call us now for free specialist advice and NO WIN NO FEE representation.