While developments in medical science help doctors to identify a huge array of medical conditions, this has been too late for some sufferers who could have claimed compensation. Exposure to various toxic substances such as asbestos has not only impacted the lives of many but caused numerous deaths.
If you have suffered an industrial illness or a partner/family member has died as a consequence of a work-related issue, then you may be entitled to compensation.
It is worth noting that the courts recognise physical and mental injuries in the same light. So, it is now possible to claim compensation for not only the injury but also the mental impact on your immediate family.
There are a number of issues to take into consideration with regards to industrial disease compensation claims which we will cover below.
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You will often hear an industrial disease referred to as an “occupational illness”, but in simple terms, it is a condition/injury which occurs as a result of working in a specific environment.
This can be a physical condition, medical condition or even a mental issue. As long as you can prove that your employer was negligent, then there is every chance that you can claim compensation.
There are many instances of industrial diseases which have emerged many years after sufferers were exposed to them. For example, exposure to asbestos in years gone by led to serious lung injuries with many sufferers dying. We then have various medical conditions associated with mining and other industries where the use of vibrating equipment was commonplace.
This led to a condition known as vibration white finger which brought about numbness/tingling in the fingers and in many cases reduced grip. These are just two examples of industrial diseases which were prevalent in years gone by but not diagnosed until more recent times.
The position for employers is very clear. They have a legal obligation to ensure the physical and mental well-being of their employees while in the workplace. This obligation extends to the supply of safety equipment, health and safety training, upkeep of equipment and much more.
If you are able to prove that your employer was negligent and you developed a condition/injury, there is every chance that you will be able to claim compensation.
There is a general misconception that the employer will personally cover the cost of compensation awarded as a consequence of negligence. Some employers may feed this myth as a means of protecting their finances.
However, in reality, all businesses in the UK are required to have insurance cover in the event of accidents/injuries in the workplace. This includes the development of an array of industrial diseases, and any compensation is funded by the employer’s insurance company.
If you decide to pursue an industrial disease compensation claim the first thing to do is collate as much evidence as possible. You should then approach a claims management company to review your case/evidence and proceed if they believe you have a strong claim for compensation.
If your employer was to admit negligence, then there would likely be an out-of-court settlement with regards to both general damages and special damages. If negligence was refuted, then the case may well go to court, and you may be asked to give evidence.
This is not quite the ordeal that many people suggest. You would have your claims management representative to help and guide you. It is also worth remembering that you are not the one on trial!
While some people will attempt to pursue compensation under their own steam, this can incur an array of costs and expenses - without a guarantee of success. Even the strongest of industrial disease compensation claims can fall foul of legal technicalities and missed timetables.
Therefore, it is worth giving serious consideration to working with a claims management company to proceed with your claim.
The vast majority of personal injury compensation/industrial disease compensation advisers will offer you a “no win no fee” arrangement if, after reviewing your evidence, they believe you have a minimum 60% chance of success.
This effectively removes your liability to cover costs associated with your case, hence the reason for the relatively high 60% cut-off point. In exchange for taking this risk, and there are risks with any legal action, the claims management company will look to agree on a “success fee” with you.
Before beginning your pursuit of compensation, you will need to agree on a success fee with your claims management company. This is an agreement to pay a set percentage of any compensation received directly to the claims management company.
On average it tends to be around 25% of any compensation awarded although it can vary on a case-by-case basis. When you consider that your claims management company is effectively shouldering the potential financial burden of costs incurred pursuing your claim, this is a fair arrangement.
There is a traditional three-year time limit during which you will need to lodge a claim for compensation. However, this three year period does not begin until you have been diagnosed with an industrial disease/injury.
This is very important because, with issues such as asbestos and vibration white finger, many of the symptoms were only diagnosed relatively recently, often years after the individual had retired.
As we touched on above, in the vast majority of cases, it is the insurance company which will fund compensation payments if the employer is found negligent. Therefore, the fact that the employer has gone out of business should have no impact on compensation claims.
If an insurance policy was active at the time of the employer’s negligence, then the insurance company will be liable.
Industrial disease compensation can be a relatively complicated area of the market, simply because medical conditions/injuries can develop years before they are diagnosed. We have seen this with issues such as asbestos and vibration white finger, which are two perfect examples of how improvements in modern-day medicine have helped victims, often years or decades down the line.
If you believe you have suffered an industrial disease/illness as a consequence of your employer’s negligence, then you should take advice from a claims management company.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Industrial illness Claims management companies. They have already helped thousands of people claim compensation for injuries & illnesses they have incurred, and they can do the same for you.
Choosing an independent claims management company means they won’t proceed with a claim unless they are sure it is in your best interests. They are also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
If you would like to speak to one of these claim management companies who can help you make a compensation claim, then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.
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