Legal Advice

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is very likely that you will be able to claim compensation. You will need expert legal advice from a solicitor who is a specialist in mesothelioma claims. Many solicitors, even those that work in personal injury, may not be specialists in mesothelioma claims. A specialist will help you get the right amount of compensation without charging you for the work that they do so that you get 100% of what you are owed.

Asbestos was used widely in the UK from the 1930s to the 1970s in buildings and in products. Some asbestos is more dangerous than others. For example, asbestos in pipe lagging is more dangerous than asbestos in roofing sheets. All asbestos fibres are dangerous. Some of the products that contained asbestos include:

  • Insulation around pipework and on boilers
  • Asbestos sheets used as partitions or fire breaks
  • Soffits and fascias
  • Asbestos rope
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Corrugated roofing sheets
  • Asbestos gloves, blankets and mitts

You may know how your asbestos exposure occurred. But frequently, people don't recall where they were exposed. It may not have been you who handled or disturbed the asbestos you were exposed to, but you may have been nearby when someone else did.

A specialist solicitor will see you at home and go through your work history to find out when, where and how you had exposure.

Disclaimer: If you would like information or advice about your particular circumstances please contact Mesothelioma UK and one of our specialist nurses or our benefits advisor will be happy to help you.

Mesothelioma UK does not accept any responsibility relating to the appointment of a law firm. 

Compensation claims

What do you have to prove to win?

In order to get compensation you have to prove that you had exposure to asbestos at a time when you ought not to have been and that your mesothelioma was caused by asbestos fibres. It has been known for many decades that asbestos was dangerous and from the mid 1960s that it caused mesothelioma even after breathing only small amounts of asbestos dust. Mesothelioma is almost always due to asbestos exposure. A solicitor will be able to advise you as to prospects of winning.

What will your claim be worth?

Compensation does not compensate for what has been lost but it can and does make a difference. The aim of compensation is to put you in the same financial position as though you hadn't developed mesothelioma. Although the amount awarded in each case is different, the amount of compensation is usually substantial. Younger people who are in work with dependents are likely to get much more than an older person on a small pension. You will probably get at least £100,000 and often more than that.

How long should your case take to conclude?

Mesothelioma cases should be dealt with swiftly. There are fast track procedures in courts to allow cases to be concluded within 3-6 months of contacting a solicitor. Some cases will take longer than this if complications arise. Your solicitor should advise you if your case has unusual features which may mean it will take longer.

Can you get compensation if my employer has gone out of business?

If your former employers insurance company can be traced then you can claim against them. Alternatively it may be possible to bring the claim against some other party for example, the occupier of the site where you worked. Or your solicitor may advise you to make an application under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS). In order to apply you have to have mesothelioma diagnosed after 25 July 2012, the employer who exposed you negligently must be out of business and their insurance untraceable. Their website is www.mesoscheme.org.uk

Can you get compensation after your husband or wife has died?

Yes. You will be able to bring a similar compensation claim in the courts.

What are the time limits for bringing a claim?

A claim should be brought within three years of the date of diagnosis or within three years of the date of death. However, if there are good reasons as to why the claim was not brought in time then it may be possible to bring a successful claim but you need to get legal advice quickly.

How are your legal fees met?

If the case is successful then the person paying your compensation will also pay your legal costs. If your case is unsuccessful then you shouldn't have to pay a bill. You must check with your solicitor that this is the position.

Will you have to go to court?

The vast majority of cases settle before you get to court. However, court proceedings should be started to put pressure on the defendants to settle, you may even get a date for trial. There is likely to be opportunity for your solicitor to apply to the court to get a decision about whether the defendant should pay you compensation before trial. This is known as the 'show cause' procedure.

Disclaimer: Mesothelioma UK does not accept any responsibility relating to the appointment of a law firm.


Finding a solicitor

It is important to find a solicitor that specialises in asbestos claims. Click here to download a leaflet on 'Choosing the right solicitor'.

We think it is important that if you decide to take legal advice that you use solicitors that specialise in asbestos disease claims. Asbestos disease law is a distinct area of law and the procedures and practice are specific. Specialist solicitors have dealt with asbestos claims in the past and can handle your case swiftly and sensitively.

You can locate asbestos solicitors via your local asbestos support group, your lung cancer nurse or through your Union.

Click here to find a list of solicitors that have been accredited as specialists by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers

Disclaimer: Mesothelioma UK does not accept any responsibility relating to the appointment of a law firm.

 

Questions to ask a potential solicitor

Important questions to ask are:

  • How many mesothelioma cases has the law firm dealt with?
  • Has the law firm taken any cases like yours to settlement and if so, how many?
  • How long does it usually take the law firm to conclude mesothelioma cases?
  • Does the law firm have specific knowledge of the employers involved in your claim?
  • Will they arrange to visit you at your home at a time convenient to you to discuss the claim?
  • Will all medical details of your case be gained from your medical records or will it be necessary for you to have a medical examination?
  • How will you be kept informed of your claim’s progress and how often will you be updated?
  • Will they deal with the claim at no cost to you?
  • Will you receive 100% of the sum of compensation agreed or awarded?

Disclaimer: Mesothelioma UK does not accept any responsibility relating to the appointment of a law firm following the use of this list of questions. These questions are suggested only.