Asbestos: compensation can still be claimed

When we think of asbestos we usually associate it with the building industry and factories. However, asbestos compensation can still be claimed.

The tiny dust particles that floated around factory sites in the 1960’s and 1970’s are still very much with us, and it is not just the workers who were put at risk.

The small village of Bowburn in County Durham was home to an asbestos factory. As children, the residents of the village played in the street, marking out hopscotch grids with lumps of asbestos, rather than chalk. It was freely available from the factory, with no precautions for workers or the village residents and no one knew the associated risks of exposure to this deadly substance.

There are reports of windows covered in a film of dust and if they were not cleaned it was difficult to see out of them. Workers came home with the dust particles trapped in their clothes, only to be released in the house when they were taken off for washing. For many years the dust particles and Bowburn co-existed alongside each other.

One Bowburn resident who now sadly lives with the terminal condition of Mesothelioma recently received an impressive out-of-court settlement from the parent company of the Bowburn based asbestos company. However, no amount of money will bring her lungs back to health or increase her left expectancy.

The main illnesses contracted as a direct result of working with or being exposed to asbestos are mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, plural thickening and pleural plaques. Despite healthier building practices the legacy of asbestos still plays a part in many people’s future. Deaths from asbestosis continue to increase in Great Britain and although the actual number of mesothelioma related deaths slightly decreased in 2011, it is expected to increase and peak towards the end of this decade.

Claiming compensation for asbestos related illnesses can sometimes be problematic if the insurers of the employers who exposed them to asbestos cannot be traced. However, the Government has approved a scheme that will pay compensation to mesothelioma victims who fall in this bracket. Novertheless APIL (Association of Personal Injury Lawyers) argues that the scheme does not go far enough to help sufferers as they will only receive 75% of their compensation, whereas if they had been able to go to court, they would most likely receive more.

Anna Watson at Blackwater Law is highly experienced in the dealing with asbestos related claims and can assist you with your compensation claim. Call Anna on 0800 083 5500 for a free consultation.