A significant period can often elapse between exposure to asbestos and development of an asbestos related disease. For most people, symptoms do not begin to occur until around 20 years after exposure and often victims will no longer be employed by the negligent employer.
This leads many to believe they can not bring a claim against their former employers as it happened a long time ago. This is a common misconception, victims of asbestos can make a claim for compensation if they have been diagnosed in the last three years.
So while exposure to asbestos is no longer common in the workplace, those who have been exposed up to 50 years ago can still make a claim for compensation. Occupations where workers may have been exposed include builders, plumbers, electricians, Insulators, roofers and construction workers.
There is also a further risk of second hand asbestos exposure. This would occur when asbestos fibres attach to a worker’s clothes and were later handled by a partner or loved one. Damages were recently awarded in Scotland to a mother who had contracted mesothelioma when coming into contact with asbestos from her husbands’ overalls.Asbestos related diseases include but are not limited to:
- Mesothelioma – This is a form of cancer that can be diagnosed between 20 to 50 years after being exposed to asbestos.
- Lung cancer – this is caused through inhaling harmful asbestos fibres and again can be diagnosed a long time after exposure.
- Asbestosis – This is another form of lung disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. It develops long after exposure and is virtually incurable.
- Pleural Plaques – This is caused as a result of inhaling asbestos fibres and effectively it causes scarring to the lungs and typically arises 20-30 years after exposure.
Making a claim
- Our personal Injury solicitors have a high level of expertise in industrial disease claims and can offer professional legal advice and representation. We will help identify where and when our clients were exposed to asbestos and establish a timeline from exposure to eventual diagnosis.
- At PA Duffy and Company we understand that this can seem like a difficult step to take, particularly if you are unsure where you were exposed to asbestos. Our legal team will engage with you in a friendly and effective manner in order to help you to get the compensation you deserve.
- If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease you should seek legal advice promptly as you are limited to three years following your diagnosis for making a claim for compensation.