Asbestos Lung Cancer Compensation Claims – An Introduction
Asbestos lung cancer compensation claims can often be made against the third party responsible for exposing the victim to asbestos when lung cancer has been diagnosed. Since asbestos exposure is most likely to have happened at the place of work, and employers have a duty of care to safeguard their employees against the risk of developing occupational cancers such as asbestos ling cancer, such claims are often made against the former employer – and can be possible even when the former employer has ceased trading.
As with any claim for personal injury* compensation, a compensation claim for asbestos lung cancer can only be made if it can be shown that there was third party negligence involved. A breach in the third party’s duty of care must be deemed to be the cause of the injury sustained and, in the case of asbestos lung cancer claims for compensation, it must be demonstrated that an employer is liable through their action – or lack of action –for the illness developing.
History of Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer Cases
Asbestos-related respiratory problems have been recognised since the start of the twentieth century and asbestos has been associated with lung cancer and lung diseases for many years. Many industries carried out procedures to decrease the degree of asbestos dust and fibres in the air in an effort to protect wormers as early as the 1930’s, although it was not until the 1960’s that the link was made between asbestos and lung cancer.
The use of asbestos in Ireland was not halted until the 1980’s under the European Communities (Protection of Workers) (Exposure to Asbestos) Regulations when strict guidelines were brought in regarding working anywhere in the vicinity of where asbestos might be present. Most cases of asbestos-related diseases involve asbestos exposure before these regulations were introduced; however, where it can be demonstrated that “on the balance of probabilities” an employer or other third party knew of the risks associated with asbestos and nonetheless failed to protect you from the risk of injury, you still may be able to claim compensation for asbestos lung cancer.
Eligibility for Making a Compensation Claim for Asbestos Lung Cancer
Asbestos lung cancer compensation claims are generally made by employees, who worked in industries where there has been a protracted and heavy exposure to asbestos. Any level of asbestos exposure can cause lung cancer and those who have been exposed to asbestos at work are most at risk, although asbestos dust and fibres can be transferred from place to place via clothes, shoes and hair, meaning that family members of workers are also at a higher risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.
When it can be shown that a third party was responsible for exposure to asbestos, and that that exposure caused lung cancer, a compensation claim for asbestos lung cancer can be made, although such cases – particularly those involving the relatives of workers – can be extremely complex and it is recommended that you seek the advice of a specialist compensation injury solicitor experienced in handling claims for asbestos lung cancer compensation.
There is a time limit in which to claim compensation for asbestos lung cancer, and if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with asbestos lung cancer, it is imperative that you seek the advice of a solicitor as soon after the diagnosis has been made as possible. He or she could evaluate your case and determine whether it falls within the correct period of the Statute of Limitations.
Claims for Asbestos Lung Cancer Victims who Smoke
The combination of cigarette smoking and asbestos exposure has been recognised universally by doctors to be lethal. There had been suggestions that smoking escalates the risk of asbestos lung cancer significantly; a smoker could in fact be 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than a non-smoker.
A compensation claim for asbestos lung cancer made by a victim who has never smoked will probably see the lung cancer credited to asbestos. It can, however, be more difficult to establish whether lung cancer has been contracted through exposure to asbestos or from smoking. It could be argued that a smoker has increased the chances of developing lung cancer through their own lack of care and that the patient’s smoking has contributed to the extent of the disease.
Medical experts will need to be consulted to help establish how the cancer was caused, therefore, in order to determine whether the disease was developed due to asbestos exposure. The likelihood of a successful claim for asbestos lung cancer compensation will rise considerably when there is evidence of additional asbestos-related diseases such as pleural thickening, pleural plaques and asbestosis – which is only caused by exposure to asbestos.
Amount of Asbestos Lung Cancer Compensation
Unless a thorough assessment of any asbestos lung cancer compensation claims is completed, it is difficult to calculate how much may be awarded. Many factors must be considered that will affect the amount of compensation for asbestos lung cancer that a victim may be eligible for, including their age, sex and general state of health, along with any contributory negligence that may be attributed to the patient – such as being a smoker.
The severity of the lung cancer and the impact it has had on the victim’s quality of life, and the possibility of making a full recovery will also be taken into account. A compensation claim for asbestos lung cancer may not be as high as one for mesothelioma – which is apt to cause far greater pain and suffering.
After evaluating your case, a personal injury* solicitor who specialises in asbestos-related disease cases would be able to give a preliminary indication of the amount of compensation you would be likely to receive if you decide to claim compensation for asbestos lung cancer.
Gaining Specialist Asbestos Lung Cancer Compensation Claim Advice
It is highly recommended that any asbestos lung cancer compensation claims should only be made with professional legal representation. Claims involving asbestos are a highly specialised area of compensation claims law, and legislation changes frequently. A specialist personal injury* solicitor’s experience will be instrumental in ensuring that when you claim compensation for asbestos lung cancer, your case will have the best chance of being successful, and that the maximum amount of compensation can be claimed.
A solicitor with experience in making compensation claims for asbestos lung cancer will also be well aware of all of the elements involved in the complicated process and of other areas of compensation which can be claimed, and will be in the best position to recommend their client on how much they are eligible to claim and how to do so.
Claim Compensation for Asbestos Lung Cancer: Conclusion
The possibility of making asbestos lung cancer compensation claims will depend on whether the negligent employer can be found, and if cover is still provided by the employer’s insurance company. Additionally, identifying and contacting employers and insurance companies can be problematic when decades have passed between the exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of lung cancer. This is one of the principle reasons why hiring a specialist compensation solicitor experienced in asbestos lung cancer cases is vital, as their experience in handling such cases can make all the difference in the success of a claim and receiving a complete and reasonable compensation settlement.