What is Mesothelioma?
Pleural mesothelioma is an incurable cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. Less commonly it can affect the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) or the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).
Nearly all cases of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos dust. The disease and associated symptoms only present themselves many years after the asbestos exposure occurred, usually between 10 and 50 years.
Who is at risk of developing mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma can develop after minimal exposure to asbestos, either through work or an occupational activity.
The cancer develops in individuals who have been exposed to asbestos during their working life. People who had jobs such as shipbuilders, laggers, joiners, boilermakers, carpenters and fitters, or worked on jobsites where asbestos was used around them are more likely to have been exposed to asbestos and risk developing mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma can also develop following secondary, or “shakedown”, exposure. People who worked with asbestos would often come home to their families covered in asbestos dust, and their wives and partners might wash or shake their overalls, possibly breathing in the asbestos themselves.
In more recent years, it has been found that nurses, teachers and even ex-pupils have developed mesothelioma following exposure to damaged asbestos materials in schools, hospitals and other public buildings.
Who can make a claim for mesothelioma?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the last 3 years, you can make a claim for financial compensation.
It is important to note that the 3 year limitation period for making a personal injury claim for mesothelioma starts from the date you were first diagnosed with the disease, rather than when you were exposed to asbestos, which could have been as long as 50 years ago.
My family member has passed away from mesothelioma, can I still claim compensation?
Yes – If a family member or loved one has passed away from mesothelioma, it is still possible for certain members of their family to claim compensation on their behalf.
There is still a 3 year limitation period to start a claim, however it is extended for a further 3 years past the date of your loved one’s death.
How do you claim for mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to get in touch with Birchall Blackburn Law today to start your claim. Call our team on Freephone 0800 783 8485 or fill in our contact form here and we will get in touch with you.
Our experienced mesothelioma solicitors and industrial disease team will guide you through the civil compensation claims process, taking on all responsibility to let you and your loved ones focus on what is important.
Other industrial disease services
Asbestosis occurs in individuals who have had high levels of prolonged asbestos exposure over many years.
The inhaled asbestos fibres permanently damage the alveoli (the air sacs which supply oxygen to the blood stream) in the lungs.
It only takes minimal exposure to asbestos dust and fibres to cause pleural plaques to develop.
In almost all cases of pleural plaques there are no symptoms and they cause no problems to long term health, which is why in England and Wales there is no compensation available for developing them. Pleural plaques simply indicate that there has been exposure to asbestos.
Hand-arm vibration syndrome affects the joints, blood vessels and nerves around the hand and wrist. The most common symptoms are a tingling, numbness or pain in the fingers, and sometimes a loss of dexterity in the hands, making it hard to grip.
It commonly develops in people whose work involves repetitive tasks, and can make daily tasks, such as driving or getting dressed, difficult.
There are different types of occupational skin diseases, the most common work-related skin disease is industrial dermatitis, which is caused by exposure to certain allergens.
There are certain industries which are linked to higher percentages of workers developing respiratory and lung diseases, including the mining, construction, ship building, insulation and chemical refinement industries.
The damage from the noise could take many years to become serious, but could also happen more quickly.
Age, or general fitness, are no protection – young people can be damaged just as easily as the old.