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An asbestosis claim arises as a result of a lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos which is usually due to the negligence of an employer in failing to provide a safe system of work, failing to provide adequate safety equipment or failing to ensure a safe working environment. Most victims of this disease are entitled to seek justice and financial redress by instructing an asbestosis solicitor to make a claim for compensation in a court of law against a former employer.

Irritant Fibres

Asbestos consists of extremely small fibres which when breathed in can become lodged inside the lungs and lung cavities. The irritant properties of asbestos subsequently cause scarring or thickening of the lung tissue which restricts oxygen capacity. This serious medical condition may eventually affect substantial areas of tissue and is called diffuse pulmonary fibrosis which makes the lungs shrink and stiffen causing breathlessness, chest pain, tightness, coughing and fatigue.


The severity of the symptoms, which also increases the risk of contracting other lung diseases, varies from mild to severe including a significant number of fatalities as a result of respiratory failure. Smokers who are exposed to asbestos fibres have a much higher risk of developing other lung diseases including lung cancer than smokers who are never exposed to the substance. Victims who have contracted a serious illness partly through exposure to asbestos and partly through smoking can make a successful asbestosis claim for compensation.

Lung Cancer

Those who suffer from asbestosis are at greater risk of developing lung cancer. A smoker who has been exposed to asbestos fibres is 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than a non-smoking person who has not been exposed. Smokers who have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives are at much greater risk of developing lung cancer than smokers who have never been exposed. A solicitors asbestosis compensation claim will also include an application for damages for any associated illness such as lung cancer.

Building Material

This product was used extensively as a building material for over 30 years starting in the 1950s however its use is now illegal in the construction or refurbishment of any premises. Some of this material has been removed however it is estimated that it is present in over half a million non-domestic premises amounting in total to many thousands of tons. Removal work will continue for the foreseeable future and those involved are now potentially at the highest risk, as are workers involved in the refurbishment, repair or maintenance of these buildings including plumbers, joiners and electricians.

Time Lapse

The time lapse between exposure and diagnosis is usually between 10 and 20 years however there are cases where the latency period exceeds 50 years. This time lapse inevitably means that the process of dealing with these cases can be complex and it is advantageous to be represented by an experienced asbestosis solicitor.

Secondary Exposure

It is not only those who have been directly exposed who are at risk of asbestos related diseases. There have been a number of cases where those in contact with someone who has been directly exposed also become victims of asbestos related disease. This particularly applies to the close family of asbestos workers who may also become contaminated by asbestos fibres carried home on clothes, hair and skin. Any family members who are affected should urgently seek legal advice from an asbestosis solicitor.

At Risk Occupations

Notwithstanding the fact that over 3,500 people die each year in the United Kingdom from illnesses related to exposure to asbestos there are very few asbestos claims. Categories of occupation at particular risk include:

  • laggers
  • merchant navy seamen
  • refractory bricklayers
  • turbine/boiler operators in power stations
  • dockers
  • lab technicians
  • asbestos factory employees
  • building site and construction workers
  • aerospace workers
  • insulation engineers
  • boilermen

1999 Asbestos Ban

Asbestos has been banned throughout the EU since 1999 and whilst the dangers of this mineral have been known for several hundred years it was not until 1960 that a direct link was proven. Due to the lengthy period between exposure and symptoms it is anticipated that cases of asbestos related diseases in the EU will continue to increase until about 2020 at which point they will start to decline. It is estimated that as many as 250,000 will die in Europe due to exposure with countless millions suffering serious debilitating illnesses.

Time Limits

Asbestosis can occur as a result of exposure to asbestos that occurred decades before the disease became significant. An asbestosis claim must be settled or proceedings must have been issued in a court of law within three years of the "date of knowledge". This date is when the individual was first told by medical professionals that they were suffering from an asbestos related illness.

Negligent Employers

Specialist solicitors begin by considering a chronology of the victim's employment. Most exposure occurs in a work environment and the responsibility often lies with the employer. Individuals who are likely to come into contact with asbestos tend to have many different employers between the time when they were exposed and when they are diagnosed. It is part of the solicitor's role to trace employers and their insurer. A medical report is commissioned with the intention of confirming the diagnosis and the probability that the exposure was caused by working conditions. If an insurer can be found, or if the employer is still in existence, then the case can proceed. An asbestosis claim can also be made by the family of a victim who has died from an asbestos related disease.

Asbestosis Claim Solicitors

Our asbestosis claim solicitors have extensive experience of asbestos related disease compensation claims. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client. For advice at no cost just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices and a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority panel of personal injury experts will speak to you with no obligation. We will asses you claim and give you an early indication of the value of any likely award and whether or not we see any difficulties with establishing liability or tracing employers or insurers. If you instruct our asbestosis claim solicitors to represent you they will leave no stone unturned in their quest for compensation and will zealously protect your interests.



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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here