1 Asbestos related lung cancer Personal Injury All you need to know about making an asbestos related lung cancer claim from leading personal injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell.
2 My wife and I would like to express our thanks to you for the efficient and courteous way you have handled my claim. At a difficult time in our lives, you have made the whole procedure go very smoothly and for that we are tremendously grateful. We did not imagine that the claim would be settled so swiftly and hope my health will allow me a little more time to enjoy my family. Alan This information relates to the law and procedures in England and Wales. Please contact us if you need advice about the law and procedure in other legal jurisdictions.
3 Contents Introduction Why use Irwin Mitchell? How can we help? Isn t lung cancer caused by smoking? When can I claim? How much does it cost? How much compensation will I get? What happens when I claim? What if the claimant is deceased? What else can we help you with? Useful contacts
4 Introduction We understand asbestos related lung cancer. With years of experience working with fellow sufferers and their families, we appreciate what you are going through and know exactly what needs to be done to help you get the compensation you deserve. I just want to thank you for all your support and patience in dealing with the complexities of my claim your positive approach and reassurance kept me going at the times when I just felt like running away from it all I am sure others are now benefitting from your expertise and caring manner. Marianne
5 5 Many people suffer lung cancer as a result of smoking whilst others may be genetically susceptible to the disease. However, some people develop it because of exposure to asbestos, which causes several other types of lung disease including asbestosis and pleural mesothelioma. If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer and have ever been exposed to asbestos, through your work, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. Of course, money will not cure you of lung cancer but compensation can pay for the best medical care and help for you and your loved ones during a difficult time. If you have had to give up work, for example, you and your family might need financial support to pay the bills. Ultimately, if someone has allowed you to be exposed to a hazardous substance that has caused cancer, we will fight your case for compensation to reflect the amount of pain and suffering that you may experience. Above all, we put you first. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
6 Why use Irwin Mitchell? Irwin Mitchell is one of the largest and most experienced personal injury law firms in the country. Our reputation for helping asbestos related lung cancer sufferers and their families is second to none and every year we recover millions of pounds of compensation for people diagnosed with the disease.
7 7 Employing many of the country s finest personal injury lawyers, our highly specialised team combines powerful legal arguments with care and consideration to ensure the best possible outcome for you. Our friendly professional service includes: An early investigation of who is to blame for your injuries Early compensation payments where possible to pay for private healthcare, rehabilitation and bills if you can t work Expert advice on state benefits, employment rights and other financial issues Help if you need it from solicitors in our other departments such as financial planning, personal injury trusts, wills advice and power of attorney. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
8 How can we help? Seeing the effects of asbestos related lung cancer first hand has led us to campaign for research to improve the quality of treatment available to victims of the disease.
9 9 Our activity includes: Actively supporting the establishment of a National Research Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases, which would create a much needed network for new and existing research groups around the UK and Ireland and allow them to work closely together as a virtual centre Campaigning alongside the Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK and the medical profession for new and improved treatments to be made available on the NHS. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
10 Isn t lung cancer caused by smoking? Inhalation of tobacco smoke and exposure to asbestos can cause all types of lung cancer but doctors cannot determine which is the predominant cause. We just wanted to say thank you. We will never be able to repay you or express how grateful we are to you for all the support and help. There would have been no one in the world that we would have had in preference to you to act for us. John
11 11 Around 90% of lung cancers are thought to be attributable to smoking. Although it is widely accepted that exposure to asbestos may cause lung cancer, in many cases the possibility that asbestos exposure may have contributed to the development of the condition is not explored. Multiplying effect What we can say with more certainty is that for smokers who have been significantly exposed to asbestos, the risk of developing lung cancer is increased dramatically. A study of American insulation workers showed that, compared to a non-smoker who was not exposed to asbestos, the risks of developing lung cancer were increased over 5 times by exposure to asbestos; over 10 times by smoking and over 50 times by smoking and exposure to asbestos combined. Of course, the results of this study cannot be applied precisely to other situations or workers in other industries. Nonetheless, they graphically illustrate how the risks of developing lung cancer are significantly increased by smoking and asbestos exposure. If you are suffering from lung cancer and have been in contact with asbestos at some point in your life, contact one of our friendly professional solicitors today the sooner you get in touch, the sooner we ll be able to tell if you have a claim. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
12 When can I claim? Unlike with mesothelioma, you have to be able to demonstrate significant and prolonged exposure to asbestos to claim successfully for asbestos-related lung cancer. Establishing a link Medical experts believe that evidence of the following would be enough to establish that the exposure to asbestos had contributed to the risk of developing lung cancer, providing that in each case there was at least a 10- year time lag between such exposure and development of the cancer: Fibrosis of the lung(s) 1 year s very heavy exposure through spraying, insulation or demolition 5-10 years moderate exposure.
13 13 Time limits The time limit for claims is three years from the date you first suspected that your lung cancer may have been caused by exposure to asbestos. If the person you are claiming on behalf of has already died within that three-year period, the time limit is usually three years from the date of their death. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
14 How much does it cost? Don t be put off by legal costs there might not be any. Contacting us for initial advice on your claim will cost you nothing even our phone number is free to call. If we advise you to pursue a claim with us, we will review all the options for funding it. Our preferred option is our No Cost To You scheme which you may know better as a No Win No Fee agreement. That means: if you win you keep 100% of your compensation* if you lose you pay nothing** there are no hidden costs. *Does not apply to group actions or accidents and illnesses outside England and Wales, criminal injury claims or untraced driver claims and is subject to compliance with the terms of your funding arrangements. **Subject to entering a No Win, No Fee agreement with us and complying with its terms
15 15 Other options When we discuss your claim in more detail we will tell you if the No Cost To You option is available or if we need to look at other funding options. You may, for example, be able to fund your case through trade union membership or legal expenses insurance. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
16 How much compensation will I get? The amount of compensation you receive will depend on your circumstances. No two people are the same. The consequences of asbestos-related lung cancer vary from person to person, so the trial judge will assess your claim and award compensation based on what he or she finds out about your situation. However, most cases settle out of court by agreement. Reduction in compensation for smokers If you are a smoker, your compensation will be reduced because you will be judged to have contributed towards developing the disease yourself. In recent cases, the High Court has reduced the award of compensation by 15% 20% on this basis.
17 17 Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit If you have lung cancer and have been exposed to asbestos at work, you may also be eligible to claim Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit from the government. To qualify for this you need to have lung cancer and asbestosis or lung cancer and a history of working in: the manufacture of asbestos textiles spraying asbestos asbestos insulation work shipbuilding for 5 years pre-1975 or 10 years post Irwin Mitchell can assist you and your family with all benefit applications, which should be made as soon as a diagnosis is suspected. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
18 What happens when I claim? Once you have instructed us to claim on your behalf, we will investigate your case thoroughly by gathering witness statements and other relevant details about your illness and ongoing requirements. Thank you for managing my father s claim so quickly and efficiently. The whole process was carried out with total professionalism resulting in a stress-free time for him, for which I am truly grateful. Now I can ensure he gets the best care for the rest of his life and I will never forget your part in making that possible. Thank you so much. Jill
19 19 Insurance Once we have all the details of your case, a claim will be made against the relevant person or company, who usually have insurance cover. We will then wait for a response from the insurance company you are claiming against. This can go one of two ways - either they decide to meet your claim or they do not. Don t worry if an insurance company turns down your claim at first as this often happens - it does not mean that your claim will fail. What if the company no longer exists? If your claim is against a former employer and they no longer exist, it may still be possible to pursue compensation by tracing the insurer of the company. We have fought for many clients on this basis and have secured compensation for them. In cases where the company no longer exists and it is not possible to trace the insurers, it may still be possible to obtain compensation under a government no fault scheme designed for such cases. Out of court The vast majority of cases are settled before they go to court. However, if your case is one of the few that is to be decided by a trial judge, don t worry: it s perfectly normal and we ll be there to help you every step of the way. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
20 What if the claimant is deceased? If someone has died from asbestos-related lung cancer, it may still be possible to make a claim on behalf of their estate or dependants.
21 21 When someone dies from asbestos-related lung cancer, their executor the person appointed to carry out the wishes set down in their will can bring a claim for compensation against the person or company suspected to have contributed towards causing the disease. If the person died intestate [without making a will], the administrator dealing with the deceased s estate can also bring a claim. Dependants Dependants such as husbands, wives, partners or children of someone who has died from asbestos-related lung cancer can also make a claim for compensation via the administrator or executor of the will. Irwin Mitchell is hugely experienced in this area of law and would be pleased to help if you think you may have a claim under these circumstances. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
22 What else can we help you with? We don t just specialise in asbestos related lung cancer claims. Irwin Mitchell has dedicated teams working in all areas of personal legal services, enabling us to deliver quick and efficient legal advice on anything from settling family disputes and wills or buying a house. Our ability to offer clients a wide range of such specialism under one roof is one of the key benefits of our services.
23 23 Our friendly professional staff give straightforward honest advice in all areas of personal legal services including: Divorce, children and family matters Buying or selling a house Wills, trust and probate services Personal injury or illness Questioning social, education and health care provision Support on making decisions about personal welfare and healthcare matters and how the Court of Protection can assist Employment difficulties Financial Planning including tax and trusts Planning or environmental decisions Whatever your legal issue our specialist staff will be pleased to help you sort it out all you need to do is pick up the phone and give us a call. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
24 Useful contacts Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK Tel: Web: British Lung Foundation Goswell Road London EC1V 7ER Tel: Web: E mail: June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund c/o Riverside East 2 Millsands Sheffield S3 8DT Tel: Web: E mail: Mesothelioma UK Glenfield Hospital Groby Road Leicester LE3 9QP Tel: Web: E Mail:
25 25 Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund c/o British Lung Foundation Sir G B Hunter Memorial Hospital The Green Wallsend NE28 7PB Tel: Web: E mail: Campaigning Organisations International Ban Asbestos Secretariat Web: E mail: Hazards PO Box 4042 Sheffield S8 2DG Website: To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back
27 To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on or text CLAIM to and someone will call you back 27
28 Looking for help with a claim? Freephone Text claim to and someone will call you back Irwin Mitchell Birmingham Imperial House, 31 Temple Street, B2 5DB Bristol One Castlepark, Tower Hill, BS2 0JA Glasgow 5th Floor, 150 St Vincent Street, G2 5NE Leeds 2 Wellington Place, LS1 4BZ London 40 Holborn Viaduct, EC1N 2PZ Manchester Bauhaus Rossetti Place, 27 Quay Street, M3 4AW Newcastle upon Tyne Gainsborough House, Grey Street, NE1 6AE Sheffield Riverside East, 2 Millsands, S3 8DT Irwin Mitchell Consulting Office Leicester Suite 122, 1st Floor, Gateway House, 4 Pennman Way, Grove Business Park, Enderby, LE19 1SY Irwin Mitchell Abogados Madrid Torre Picasso, Plaza Pablo Ruiz Picasso 1, 11B, Madrid 28020, Spain Málaga Calle Puerta del Mar 15, 2º, Málaga, Spain 2011 Consultations are by appointment only. Irwin Mitchell LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England & Wales, with number OC343897, and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. All Scottish cases will be handled by a separate Scottish legal practice, Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP, which is regulated by the Law Society of Scotland.