Mesothelioma Asbestos Cancer Claims – How Much Compensation Can I Claim?
By Stephen Taylor. Last Updated 25th January 2022. Are you looking to claim mesothelioma compensation after being exposed to asbestos? Mesothelioma is one of the lung diseases that can manifest as a result of exposure to asbestos. In this guide, we look at how to make Mesothelioma claims and how much compensation for Mesothelioma you could be awarded.
Asbestos was a fire retardant material frequently employed in construction and manufacturing. It is now known to be a deeply harmful and dangerous material.
Since 1985 there has been a ban on the use of Asbestos. Despite a ban existing for a number of decades, mesothelioma continues to affect people. According to the Health and Safety Executive statistics, in 2019 there were 2,025 new cases of mesothelioma assessed for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB). 88% of the cases were male.
If you have contracted Mesothelioma then it could be because your rights to be protected from asbestos exposure have been violated. This issue can potentially happen at work, in public places, or even in your own home. This is where Legal Expert comes in. We can offer you free advice and potentially the assistance of our solicitors as well. Our solicitors have a lot of experience in winning mesothelioma compensation cases.
Are you’re wondering “how much mesothelioma compensation could I claim?” Would you like to know more about the mesothelioma claims process? You can call us on 0800 073 8804 and we’ll be happy to discuss these things with you. Alternatively, continue reading our guide for more information.
Select a section:
- What Is Mesothelioma?
- What To Do If You Have Contracted Mesothelioma
- How To Claim Mesothelioma Compensation
- How Much Mesothelioma Compensation Can I Get?
- No Win No Fee Mesothelioma Compensation Claims
- Helpful Links
- Mesothelioma Compensation FAQs
Mesothelioma is a form of aggressive cancer that can affect multiple vital organs. This includes the lungs and heart. As such, the condition is commonly regarded as being terminal. While mesothelioma is technically not always a fatal condition, the survival rate among people who get this disease is poor.
According to the NHS, around half of people with mesothelioma will live for at least a year after being diagnosed with the illness. About 1 in 10 people with mesothelioma will live for at least 5 years after they are diagnosed.
Stages of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma can be organised into four different and distinct stages as the disease progresses and worsens:
- The first stage of mesothelioma is categorized as the time when the cancerous cells (or neoplastic tumours) are localised to a single area of your body, such as your lungs. This is the most treatable stage of mesothelioma, typically through a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. But it can still be very dangerous.
- The second stage of mesothelioma is categorised as the time when the cancerous cells begin to spread around your body, particularly in the lymph nodes surrounding the initially affected area. This stage of mesothelioma is more difficult to treat than stage one, commonly requiring a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
- The third stage of mesothelioma is categorised as the time when the cancerous cells begin to spread to the lymph nodes surrounding organs (other than the initially affected area). This stage of mesothelioma is not easily treatable and is often considered to be terminal.
- The fourth stage of mesothelioma is categorised as the time when the cancerous cells have spread to organs throughout the body and the entirety of the lymphatic system. This stage of mesothelioma – also known as diffuse mesothelioma – is almost always terminal and is treated through hospice care if found. It is typically compensated through a diffuse mesothelioma payment scheme.
Understanding the illness and your category of illness should you contract it can help in planning and filing a mesothelioma compensation claim. It can also help you understand how much compensation for Mesothelioma you could be due to claim.
How is Mesothelioma Contracted?
Mesothelioma is almost always contracted as a result of individuals coming into contact with asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral which was commonly used as a construction material before the discovery of its many harmful effects in 1999. Before this point, it was used for the insulation of floors, ceilings, and walls.
The usage of the material was banned in the United Kingdom in 1999 after it became linked with cancer and scarring of lung tissue. Despite this, asbestos can still be found in some construction projects that were completed before the ban was introduced.
Mesothelioma is contracted when individuals come into contact with asbestos fibres. The fibres then get caught inside a person’s organs, such as their lungs or heart.
Certain groups, professions and trades are at high risk of contracting mesothelioma through coming into contact with asbestos. This includes plumbers, insulation workers, and air conditioning/electrical mechanics. Such workers are likely to work in older buildings and they could be exposed to the insulation inside the walls of said buildings. Work-related illnesses, including those caused by asbestos, are therefore a risk.
However, the risk of contracting mesothelioma can be minimised by taking preventative measures, which are advised and enforced by the Health and Safety Executive. These measures include carrying out a risk assessment if you are at risk of encountering asbestos. Another example is ensuring anyone working with asbestos removal is properly licensed and trained to do so.
What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma symptoms develop over a long period of time and are often misdiagnosed as other illnesses. It is important to stay vigilant after having come into contact with asbestos and to be aware of any of these symptoms:
- Tightening chest pains, shortness of breath, and a cough that lasts for an extended period of time. These symptoms suggest that your mesothelioma is affecting your lungs or heart. You should seek medical assistance if you believe you could be suffering from mesothelioma and have had contact with asbestos.
- Swelling of the stomach, nausea, and long-term loss of appetite. These symptoms are less common but would suggest that mesothelioma may be affecting your stomach.
Being able to recognise the symptoms of mesothelioma can help you guard against the illness and can help you in preparing a mesothelioma compensation claim.
The Health Risks of Asbestos
There are significant health risks if you have been exposed to asbestos fibres. These include (but are not limited to):
- The worst health risk related to asbestos – excluding mesothelioma – is asbestos-related lung cancer. This form of lung cancer is particularly aggressive and can easily result in long-term lung issues if not properly treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. However, the chances of survival are much higher with asbestos-related lung cancer than mesothelioma, due to the possibility of an earlier diagnosis.
- Another health risk directly related to asbestos is asbestosis. This condition occurs as a result of asbestos fibres clinging to the lining of your lungs, causing major scarring across your lung tissue. This lung scarring then creates long-term health problems for you. This often includes shortness of breath and heightens the chance of you contracting other lung issues.
- A third health risk that is directly related to asbestos is pleural thickening. This involves the lining of your lungs swelling as a result of asbestos fibres causing irritation. This swelling then causes shortness of breath and chest pain when attempting to breathe.
For those considering mesothelioma claims, a thorough medical examination is usually essential in terms of properly diagnosing any and all health conditions.
The NHS Resolution Annual Report keeps track of many different kinds of mesothelioma claims processed by the NHS. The figures in the chart below are based on the 2020/21 report. They show the number of claims made for conditions caused by asbestos exposure. Therefore, the figures are not just for mesothelioma claims but cover asbestosis claims too.
As you can see, there were 157 claims processed by the NHS in 2013/14. Since then, there has been a gradual decline in this figure overall. In 2020/21, this figure had fallen to 44 cases.
Fatal Accident Claims
Statistics from the HSE show us how many people died as a result of their injuries in Great Britain in 2020/21. As you can see from the graph below, the construction and manufacturing industries are responsible for a combined 59 of the cases.
Whilst it’s not stated how many of these deaths (if any) were people diagnosed with mesothelioma, it does show how often fatalities can occur from injuries in these areas of work.
If you’re diagnosed with mesothelioma, the diagnosis is likely to come about after a long period of time has passed from your initial contact with asbestos. This could make it difficult to provide appropriate evidence linking your mesothelioma to the asbestos contact. However, if exposure to asbestos (and subsequent consequences) occurred due to negligent behaviour by a party that owed you a duty of care, then it’s worth exploring the possibility mesothelioma compensation claim.
You will first need to prove that the account of your asbestos exposure is accurate and honest. This can be made difficult by the typical length of time between said exposure and diagnosis but is far from impossible. CCTV footage of the incident may exist. Also, witness statements from others who were with you when you were exposed are generally good pieces of evidence to provide.
You will then need to prove that it was this exposure to asbestos that caused your current issues with mesothelioma. Evidence could include an assessment by a doctor on how much the mesothelioma has progressed.
You will also need to prove that the initial exposure to asbestos was as a result of another party’s negligence. For instance, this other party will likely be your employer if the exposure occurred at work. Examples of negligent behaviour might include your employer failing to brief you on the potential dangers of asbestos contact. Or you might be able to establish through your case that your employer failed to warn you about asbestos exposure when it was realistically possible. Or you may also be able to provide evidence that your employer failed to provide you with suitable protection against asbestos when it could reasonably have been expected to be provided.
Beginning your claim for mesothelioma can appear difficult if you have little previous experience within the legal system. However, such claims can be made much simpler if you hire an experienced solicitor to support you.
When you’ve gathered the evidence needed to support your claim, the next step we recommend is contacting Legal Expert for a consultation that will be free. We have a lot of experience with supporting personal illness claims, including asbestos-related illness claims.
We could help you determine the strength of your claim. If you have a strong case, we may also be able to connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. They can support your claim, including gathering any additional evidence you may still need to acquire. This could include arranging a local medical assessment, for instance.
You may be asking questions such as ‘How much compensation for Mesothelioma could I claim?’. The below table includes compensation brackets which can give you a rough guide in regards potential mesothelioma compensation amounts. The figures have been taken from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a legal publication which solicitors may use during a claim to help work out the value of injuries and illnesses.
|Disability and premature death in a young person||£94,470 to £127,530|
|Lung cancer in an older person||£65,710 to £91,350|
|Emphysema||£51,420 to £65,710|
|Breathing difficulties||£29,380 to £51,460|
|Bronchitis||£19,510 to £29,380|
|Slight breathlessness with no effect on working life||£9,990 to £19,510|
|Provisional awards for the above two categories where there is fear of malignancy||£5,000 to £16,980|
|Temporary aggravation of pre-existing issues||Up to £5,000|
The amount you could receive can vary a lot. It depends on the severity and types of injuries and illnesses involved. The compensation for your potential claim will be unique to your own case. However, the table can at least provide you with a general estimate based on past claims.
General and Special Damages
The compensation brackets shown in the table above can compensate for general damages only. General damages and special damages are the two main types of damages which you could potentially be compensated for when claiming for mesothelioma. Below we’ll explain what these terms actually mean:
- General damages – this can include pain and suffering that’s both physical and psychological and are a direct result of the illness you’re claiming for. Your prognosis and the effect of your injuries/illness on your day-to-day life are taken into account when general damages are valued during a claim.
- Special damages – these damages can include financial losses or the loss of property. An example could be loss of future earnings from work caused by your injury/illness. It’s important to highlight that special damages cannot be claimed during all personal injury claims. It may only be possible to claim for special damages if you’re eligible to claim for any general damages.
If you have grounds to make a mesothelioma compensation claim, then contact our advisors and they may be able to help estimate the value of your claim. There are many factors which can influence your potential compensation amount. Our advisors may be able to give you a clearer picture of how much you could receive based on the specifics of your case.
When you begin your mesothelioma illness claim, you may be afraid of the potential costs that you could incur. However, if we support your claim, we will do our best to minimise the stress related to it. If one of our solicitors supports your claim, they will work under a No Win No Fee policy.
This policy is also known as a ‘Conditional Fee Agreement’. It provides a solid base for any claimant seeking compensation for asbestos-related disease. Under such an agreement, our solicitor will only receive payment to cover their legal fees if your case is successful.
Call for Free Advice and To Start a Claim
- You can begin the process of your claim through our online contact form
- We can also be reached online via our live chat service
- Or you can call us on 0800 073 8804
Mesothelioma Cancer Research UK: Find out more information on mesothelioma by visiting this cancer research website.
Mesothelioma – NHS Choices: Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. It can be caused by the workplace environment. Read the NHS’s guide on your health.
Asbestos health and safety: HSE advice on managing asbestos in the workplace and what employers should do about it.
How much compensation can I claim for a Misdiagnosis?: Have you been misdiagnosed with Mesothelioma? Contact us today and find out how much compensation you could claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Cancer Misdiagnosis?: A further guide to help you, in addition to the above, if you were misdiagnosed with cancer.
Accident at Work Claims Guide: If you were subject to an accident at work, caused by someone else’s negligence, this guide might be able to help.
Other personal injury claim guides
- How long after an injury at work can I claim compensation?
- How to find No Win No Fee solicitors
- Carbon monoxide poisoning claims
How long do mesothelioma claims take?
The length it takes for claims to resolve varies from case to case. One of our advisors can discuss yours with you with no obligation to proceed with our services.
I received compensation through the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) Act, can I still make a claim?
You could still be eligible to make a personal injury claim. However, claiming IIDB may affect your entitlement to other state benefits. Examples can include jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit.
Will I need to have a medical report?
Seeing a doctor is an important part of a personal injury claim. Mesothelioma cases will require a medical report which shows that you do have the illness. This will be an important part of showing that you were exposed to asbestos at work.
Could I get an interim payment?
In some circumstances, it may be possible for you to get an interim payment to cover costs, such as medical bills.
Can you claim for asbestosis on behalf of a deceased victim?
You can make an asbestos compensation claims for a loved one or family member who died from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease. You may be able to claim if you were financially dependent on the deceased, or if you were their child or spouse.
Can I claim against a company that has ceased trading?
If the people who ran the company and/or their insurers can be found and the illness linked to the workplace it may still be possible to make a claim. We should note that claims against businesses that have closed down are harder to pursue.
Thank you for reading our guide on mesothelioma compensation.
We hope you now know more about mesothelioma claims and how much compensation for mesothelioma you may be owed.