Victims suffering from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, will now, thanks to a recent government scheme, be able to claim up to £123,000 in Asbestos Compensation Amounts.
A Fund for Justice
The £380m fund will allow mesothelioma sufferers diagnosed after 2012, and their families, to seek damages if they were not able to claim from employers or insurance companies. This particular form of cancer can take several years to develop but once symptoms become apparent, decline is rapid with the majority of mesothelioma sufferers dying within three years. Ministers declare the fund goes some way to “ending years of injustice”. Work and Pensions Minister Mike Penning said, “This will end years of injustice for mesothelioma victims and their families – who have had to endure this terrible disease with little hope of any compensation from the insurance industry. We have made it an absolute priority to bring in the scheme as soon as legislation will allow.”
A Work-Related Cancer
The Majority of those suffering with mesothelioma developed the cancer due to a high level of exposure to asbestos in their working environments. Up to the 1980s, those working within construction, power generation, ship building and engineering faced high levels of exposure to asbestos. It was only in the 1980s that the true dangers of asbestos exposure was brought to the public’s attention on a massive scale.
The Mesothelioma Act
Previous legislation allowed sufferers and families to seek compensation, but the amount awarded did not usually exceed £20,000. This new fund will also contribute £7000 towards the legal costs of successful appicants. Those diagnosed before 25th July 2012, the date The Mesothelioma Act was announced, will not be able to apply for a portion of the fund.
In order to make a successful claim, applicants must be able to prove they were exposed to asbestos due to negligence. They will also have to prove that they are unable to apply for compensation by other means such as not being able to locate the employer responsible, or the relevant insurance company.
More Research Needed
The news is welcomed by sufferers and campaigners alike, and Dr John Moore-Gillon, honorary medical adviser at the British Lung Foundation reacted to the news by saying, “Mesothelioma is a particularly devastating disease, killing over 2,400 people every year in the UK, most of whom were innocently exposed to asbestos in the work place.” He went on to say that the news “is therefore a positive move for mesothelioma patients and their families, many of whom struggled to gain any compensation at all until recently.” However, Dr Moore-Gillon emphasised the need for further research into Mesothelioma, saying, “What we urgently need to see now is greater commitment to funding research into new treatments for mesothelioma.”
Making a Claim for a Work-related Illness
Employers are required by law to ensure employees have a healthy and safe working environment. If you have been involved in an accident at work or have contracted an illness due to employer or colleague negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation. For further details about how you can make a claim, call us today on 08000 430 430.
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Our experienced personal injury solicitors Burnley know what it takes to make a successful claim. Our dedication and commitment to getting you the compensation you deserve makes us one of the UK’s most prestigious legal firms. For an informal chat and to find out more, speak with one of our friendly advisers. If you would prefer us to call you, simply complete the contact form and one of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.