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How much compensation can I claim for an Hazardous Materials Accident injury?

A Guide to Hazardous Materials Accident Claims

Whether out in the public domain or at the workplace, there is a wide range of different substances and materials which people can come into contact on a daily basis which can cause you harm or which can lead to illnesses. A hazardous materials accident or contact with many of these materials or substances can cause people serious harm, or even long-term diseases. Often this contact is not the fault of the victim and can result in the grounds for a compensation claim. If you have suffered from an injury or long-term illness as a result of contact with or exposure to a hazardous materials accident, you could be able to make a hazardous substances claim. Being exposed to hazardous materials and substances, at home, in the workplace or in public spaces can be damaging or even life-changing. It can result in illness leading to physical, emotional and even financial strain on you and your family.

As with many kinds of personal accident and injury claims, there are criteria and time limits for you to bring about your hazardous substances or industrial disease compensation claim. To be eligible to make an accident or injury compensation claim after you have been exposed to an accident involving hazardous materials, you need to:

  • Have sustained your hazardous materials accident within the last three years. It needs to be the result of an accident either at your workplace, whilst working for your employer or in a space someone else is responsible for.
  • Be able to clearly demonstrate that someone else, whether an employer, company, authority or individual is legally responsible for your accident.
  • Be able to prove that your injuries or illness were caused by the exposure or accident.

In putting together this guide we have endeavored to make it as comprehensive as possible. If after reading it you still have any questions you can contact our expert team and discuss any accidents involving hazardous materials you have had.

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A Guide To Hazardous Materials Accident Claims

hazardous materials accident claim

hazardous materials accident claim

In this guide, we will take you through everything you need to know about hazardous substances claims for the workplace or other spaces. We have put together a complete and comprehensive resource covering the causes of these types of accidents and provide you with the resources to put a claim together, maximising the amount of compensation you could receive.

Hazardous materials, such as chemicals, are used in a wide variety of work and other environments. Prominent workplaces can include farms, factories, laboratories and industries such as pest controls. Other everyday environments include homes, offices, and schools as well as shops, hairdressers and beauty salons. Common reasons for hazardous substances claims include workplace exposure, passive smoking or even food poisoning.

In working environments employers are required to make sure the use of hazardous substances and materials are controlled and that exposure to such materials is minimised. Risk assessments must also be carried out. Any employer, company owner or another responsible person must follow the risk assessment, implement and maintain effective measures to control the use of such chemicals or materials. Incidents resulting in industrial disease compensation claims can result in people being poisoned and can lead to long-term conditions such as dermatitis, certain cancers, and asthma.

If you have been affected by exposure to a hazardous substance or material as a result of a working environment or other situation which is not your fault, you may be entitled to a compensation claim.

What is a hazardous materials accident?

According to the Health and Safety Executive, a hazardous material is one which is hazardous to your health. They include any material or materials which can cause damage to a person such as personal injury or illness. Some of the most common causes of hazardous materials accidents and resulting claims are those below.

Carbon monoxide: Accidents involving hazardous materials such as carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a highly dangerous substance and exposure to it can be life-changing. Victims of exposure to carbon monoxide should be entitled to compensation for their resulting illness.

Toxic Torts Compensation: This covers a wide range of hazardous environmental substances. These types of claims cover illness or injury caused by exposure in a public place.

Food poisoning: Food poisoning is one of the most common kinds of accidental exposure to a hazardous substance. If you have had food poisoning you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation for any resulting losses that you incur if you have to take time off from work.

Passive smoking: Hazardous materials accidents statistics show that second hand and passive smoking causes around 165,000 new cancer cases each year in the UK. If you have experienced passive smoking in your workplace, you will be entitled to make a compensation claim.

Contaminated Soil: Hazardous materials and substances need to be disposed of in a safe way and within the guidelines laid out by the Health and Safety Executive. When people dispose of materials in accordance with the correct guidance, and soil is contaminated you could be able to make a claim for an accident involving hazardous materials.

Hazardous substances can be found in and out of the workplace. In 2015 there were 382 reported cases of Legionnaires disease. The disease is caused either by drinking infected water or inhaling air which contains Legionella pneumonia. Toxic waste which is dumped illegally or otherwise incorrectly can result in serious illness to employees and the public at large. Negligence is the primary cause of exposure to toxic waste in the UK. Thousands of employees across the UK experience pain, illness or injury each year as the result of contracting conditions such as lung disease, cancers and other conditions as a direct result of exposure in the workplace.

Remember, under ‘The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations’ (COSHH) every employer has a legal responsibility to protect employees from exposure to hazardous substances.

Warehouse accidents caused by hazardous materials

Industrial disease compensation claims can cover a variety of accidents such as poisoning at work. This can occur in warehouses or other industrial areas. Generally, a warehouse accident involving hazardous materials are caused by ingesting, inhaling or otherwise absorbing toxic chemicals through the skin. There are a wide variety of hazardous materials and chemicals which can result in poisoning accident compensation claims. These chemicals and materials include;

  • Arsenic.
  • Carbon monoxide.
  • Chlorine (in swimming pools and other areas).
  • Benzene, which can be a cause of lung cancer.
  • Chromium, a toxic chemical.
  • Diesel and hydrocarbons.
  • Dioxin. This is a highly toxic and environmentally persistent organic pollutant.
  • Mercury.
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly known as PCB’s.

You do not have to have come into contact with a hazardous material in a workplace. If you are a member of the public and have come into contact with a toxic or hazardous substance, such as industrial waste due to the inappropriate disposal of this waste, you could have a hazardous substance claim. You can find out more information on government recommendations and controls on hazardous substances in this guide from the government.

How to claim for a hazardous materials accident at work

If you have been exposed to a hazardous substance or material and have suffered either a personal injury or an illness as a result, you may be entitled to make a hazardous substances claim. Whether your exposure was at work or in the home, someone will be to blame.

Starting your claim for any accidents involving hazardous materials can be easy to do once you have the right solicitor and expert legal team to represent you. To be sure of winning your case and maximising your compensation claim, you should choose a reputable firm which has the necessary expertise and experience.

In order to win your industrial disease compensation claim, you will need to be able to prove the accident was the result of negligence caused by someone other than yourself. You and your solicitor will need to demonstrate that the accident or negligence resulted in either an injury or illness of some kind.

As a claimant, you could be an employee or a member of the public visiting a place or even at home. The principle holds that you need to have suffered an injury which is not your fault. Remember, those who are responsible for the contamination have a duty of care. If those responsible do not do this, they can be held to account for a compensation claim.

At Legal Expert, we have a team of dedicated personal injury solicitors who are able to deal with some of the most complicated hazardous materials accident claims. We will work with you too;

  • Collect any evidence such as CCTV footage, accident reports and logs and witness statements.
  • Obtain the correct and necessary medical reports.
  • Help you to ensure all paperwork is correctly filled out and is collated.

Hazardous materials accidents can be extremely serious. We strive to take care of your case and care of you. We can provide you with our legal advice and services on a no win, no fee basis. We will assess your toxic materials case and take you through its merits before you have to sign any contracts us. Choosing the right solicitor can be a problem, but we take the hard work out of it so you can sit back and recuperate.

What to do if you have suffered a hazardous materials accident

If you have suffered an illness or injury as a result of a hazardous materials accident that you were not responsible for, these are the next steps you need to take.

Before you start making a hazardous materials accident claim, you need to get some answers. Make sure you are armed with as much information about the claims process as you can be. You should also find as much information on the culpability of person or persons responsible. This all helps you to make a more informed choice later. Our resources and web chat are all excellent resources to start you on your claims journey.

The second step is to compare legal services. Many solicitors such as Legal Expert are willing to work with clients on a no win no fee basis. One of the first questions you should ask early in the process is what their eventual fee will be in the case of a win. Your choice of solicitor could affect how much compensation you end up receiving.

Our specialized personal injury and illness solicitors have years of experience in processing complex and complicated injury and illness claims. Our team will help you gather all the evidence you need. We will assemble medical reports and get the right paperwork. They will also work with you to ensure it is all correctly filled out.

Following this, we will ensure that we do everything to ensure that you can spend your time relaxing, resting and recovering from your illness or injury. The results of hazardous materials accidents and toxic substance can be extremely serious. In some cases, they can even be fatal. Our hassle-free, no win, no fee legal services take the hassle out of making a claim.

How much could I claim following a hazardous materials accident?

No too accidents, injuries or illnesses are ever the same. Being able to estimate your entitlement to compensation claim at an early stage can be difficult. Whilst common injuries or accidents might look the same on paper, there can be a variety of different small circumstances which can affect the case and your compensation entitlement. Your claim can be affected by aspects of your case such as medical notes, as well as your long-term prognosis and seriousness of any illness/ injury. Below is a table with historical compensation awards based on different accidents and injuries.

Part of body Mild - SeriousAmount of CompensationComment - estimates are given depending on the type and severity of the injury.
Facial DisfigurementVery Severe£36,800 - £74,000Factors affecting compensation include the severity and subjective effect on the person. This can include chemical burns.
ScarringSerious£6,575 - £7,230The compensation amount reflects the operation necessary and the scar left over.
DermatitisMild - Severe£10,450 - £16,060Dermatitis on both hands, includes cracking and soreness. Can affect employment and domestic capability may have some psychological consequences. Can last indefinitely
Knee InjurySerious-Moderate£20,250 - £33,200Higher payouts are awarded to disabilities such as muscular and cartilage damage and soft tissue damage. Claims also cover pain and suffering.
Arm InjuryMild Injury£4,500 - £30,250This amount covers injuries such as restricted movement and/ or disability over the arms. It covers injuries which will get better.
Neck InjuryMild Injury£1,800 - £ 6,200This covers injuries akin to whiplash. Payments depend on the severity and long term prognosis.
Finger InjurySevere - Mild£375 - £69,330This covers injuries such as the amputation of one or more fingers through to broken fingers that will make a complete recovery.
Foot InjuryExtremely Serious£64,000 - £152,750Higher payouts cover the amputation of both or one feet. These are severe injuries which affect a person’s life.
Back InjuryMild Injury£350 -£9,850This covers strains, soft tissue damage, muscle pain and slipped discs.
Wrist InjurySevere - Mild£2,550 - £44,500Ranging from wrist damage which will recover through to full loss of wrist functions.

Please note that until all the evidence has been collected, it will be difficult to give an accurate estimate of the amount of your compensation. These damages are set by the Judicial College. They publish recommendations for compensation guidelines. These are referred to by solicitors, courts and insurers alike. The guidelines take into account things like the type of injury, its severity and recommended amounts of compensation. This then creates a minimum and maximum amount for each category of injury. On top of this, you may also be entitled to what is called ‘special damages’. These cover things such as loss of earnings, property damage and other types of expenses. We would be happy to talk to you and provide basic estimates.

How To Start Hazardous Materials Accident Claims

After we have reviewed all the evidence and information related to your claim, such as hazardous materials accident reports, the next step is starting your case. Obtaining and filing all the necessary reports can be stressful for you to do yourself, so we always aim to do this for you. We can start by chatting over the phone to establish the validity and veracity of your case. If your injury or illness is still causing you pain, we will ensure you receive the medical attention you require. This also helps to diagnose the full extent of your injuries and case.

Some personal injury claims can be straightforward with the claimant getting their compensation in a short period of time. More complex cases or those where the claimant has a more serious or longer-term injury can take more time for us to resolve. If the other party you are making the claim against does not accept responsibility or if there is an apportionment of blame between the person bringing the claim and the defendant, it can take longer to resolve your case.

There is not an exact formula for how long these processes will take and when a settlement will be reached. Sometimes it can even be in the interest of the injured party to reject an initial offer. This has the chance to result in a larger total payout later.

Why choose us for your hazardous materials accident claim?

Clients choose to work with Legal Expert for a variety of reasons. We like to think that it is our excellent customer service the lengths we’ll go to to get our clients compensation as well as looking after them. If you need to make a claim for compensation following an illness or personal injury we are able to help. We can help you get compensation if you are suffering pain, losses, and suffering.

The main things we have found that you need to do to get your claim going include the following steps. Start by finding a solicitor who can help you to maximise the value of your compensation payout. You also want to find one who will leave you with as much of your financial settlement as possible, taking as low legal fees or insurance costs as possible. Your solicitor needs to be someone who is experienced in personal injury law and has expertise in that area. You also want to ensure that your chosen solicitor is available for you to meet with.

No win, no fee hazardous materials accident claims

There have been a lot of adverts in the papers, on TV and online promoting ‘no win no fee’ legal services for personal injury and accident claims. All these services promise to help you make a claim for damages or compensation, without you having to make upfront or ongoing payments for their legal services. You will only pay if your solicitor wins your case.

No win no fee claims are made on what is known as a conditional fee agreement or a CFA. These often comprise an important part of personal injury and illness claims. No win no fee agreements mean that you won’t have to pay a penny up front and that you also won’t have to make any kind of payment if you lose your case.

The CFA or no win no fee agreement is a contract between your lawyer and you. The agreement will detail the work your solicitor will carry out and the fee if the case is successful. Thanks to a no win no fee agreement, you can get complete peace of mind in the knowledge that you won’t need to pay anything at the outset and that no matter the outcome, you won’t end up out of pocket. We make sure that you won’t be faced with any hidden costs.

Call today for free advice and to start a claim

If you still have any questions about making a hazardous materials accident claim, need some advice or would like to inquire about making a claim, our dedicated solicitors are on hand to offer a no-obligation consultation where you can discuss your case and your options. At Legal Expert, we regularly handle all kinds of personal accident, injury and illness claims on a regular basis. Where and however you have suffered your hazardous materials accident, we have the advice and expertise you require. We can start by organizing a free advisory call over the phone with one of our experts.

You can get in contact with us today by using the chat feature on our website, requesting a call back using the contact form, or by calling us today on 0800 073 8804. We are waiting to start helping you get the compensation you deserve today.

Useful links

Separating hazardous materials

The best ways to separate hazardous materials as directed by the Health and Safety Executive.

Storing Chemicals

Government advice on storing chemicals.

How Much Could I Claim For A Chemical Burn Injury?

Find out how much you could claim for a chemical burn injury.

Accident At Work Claim Compensation Amounts?

Find out how much compensation you can claim after an accident at work.

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