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These problems arise as a result of exposure to a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of fibres which can be separated into thin threads. The fibres may be easily inhaled and become trapped in the small air sacs (bronchioles) of the lungs, resulting in serious health problems. The symptoms of asbestos related disease may not become apparent for many decades after exposure. An asbestosis compensation solicitor can male a claim many years after exposure provided that not more than 3 years have elapsed since the condition was confirmed by a medical specialist.
Four types of this material have been used commercially:
These variants have been used in many industries, particularly the construction and building industries and the shipbuilding industry. People who become ill are usually those who were/are exposed to it on a regular basis. This is usually the case with those who work directly with the material for example, in the building or construction industries and in mining or manufacturing of asbestos products. Recent studies however, suggest that asbestos related disease can occur in individuals with only brief exposure to the product, for example, those who have been exposed to the product whilst undertaking self-renovations of their family home. Whether or not you were working for an employer or exposed at home or some other location, an asbestosis compensation claim may still be possible against the manufacturer.
Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term, incurable, chronic disease of the lungs which is not cancer. It is most likely to occur because of exposure to high concentrations of fibres or exposure for long periods of time and/or more frequent exposure. Most cases are diagnosed 15 years or more after the person was first exposed.
Sufferers develop shortness of breath, cough and in advanced cases, blue lips and swollen finger tips. As the disease progresses the patient may have little or no exercise tolerance and suffer symptoms similar to severe asthma.
The industry groups with the highest incidence rates are construction (including insulation work and stripping), extraction, energy, water supply and manufacturing. Other categories of occupations at risk include :-
Early signs of this illness can include:
Even after exposure to asbestos has ceased, symptoms may continue to progress. If you have been exposed and you are a smoker, your chances of developing lung cancer are greatly increased.
If your asbestosis compensation solicitors can prove on the balance of probabilities (the civil standard of proof) that unlawful exposure to fibres occurred at the work place and has caused the illness complained of then the courts will award compensation (damages) against the employer.
General damages and special damages are the main types of compensation that can be awarded. General damages compensate for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Special damages cover actual quantifiable losses and may include but are not limited to the following:-
When asbestos fibres are inhaled or swallowed, most fibres are expelled, but some can become permanently lodged in the lungs. Fibres can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation. Enough scarring and inflammation can affect breathing, leading to disease. Persons with significant exposure to asbestos are at risk for developing pleural plaques, pleural thickening, pleural calcification, lung cancer, mesothelioma and non-malignant lung conditions such as asbestosis. Compensation claims can be made for most of these conditions and damages awarded can be substantial.
Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term chronic disease of the lungs. The severity can vary from asymptomatic (no symptoms) to disabling symptoms with potentially fatal consequences. Here are some of the signs and symptoms :-
If your doctor suspects that you may have this condition, there are several diagnostic tools available to confirm the diagnosis:
Treatment of non-malignant (non-cancerous) conditions which includes asbestosis involves preventing further complications and treating symptoms. Individuals should ensure that any further exposure is prevented. The disease symptoms can remain stable for many years.
The time in which to take legal action in relation to an injury can be limited by legislation (statute of limitations). For this reason, it is important not delay seeking legal advice if you contract any associated condition.
An asbestosis compensation solicitor can still make a successful application for damages in respect of exposure to asbestos decades earlier, provided proceedings are started within three years of the "date of knowledge" of the medical condition and its causes. This date will be the occasion when the individual was first informed by their doctor(s) that they were suffering from an asbestos related condition. You may be entitled to lump sum compensation which includes components for pain and suffering, medical treatment expenses, loss of income.LAWYER HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 339 958
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here