Mesothelioma. Personal Legal Services

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1 Mesothelioma Personal Legal Services

2 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. Very many thanks for all your hard work on our behalf. We certainly couldn t have done this without you and you guided us through a difficult process with kindness and compassion. The final settlement will certainly help Mum in the future and we can now move forward with more security. - Kevin 2

3 All you need to know about making a mesothelioma claim from leading personal injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell. Introduction When you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is highly likely that you will already be in the safe hands of an expert medical team including a consultant and a specialist nurse. When considering whether to seek legal advice, you should consult a dedicated team of solicitors who are experts in supporting mesothelioma patients to obtain welfare benefits, legal compensation and other advice and support. Irwin Mitchell s years of experience working with sufferers and their families enables us to understand that every mesothelioma patient is different and the impact of the condition on your life and those around you will be unique. We make every effort to understand your own situation so that we can provide the tailored support you and your family need. 3

4 How can we help you? Irwin Mitchell is one of the largest and most experienced Personal Injury law firms in the country, and every year we recover millions of pounds for people who have suffered in this way. Financial support We understand that following a diagnosis of mesothelioma you will be focused on getting the best treatment immediately. You may also have concerns about how you and your family will manage through this time and beyond. Although we know that money is not your first consideration, it is important that you have access to the best financial support available to you. Legal claim The purpose of a legal claim is to recover sufficient money to meet any cost that might arise from your condition and to support you and your family financially into the future. Each case is unique and our expertise as specialist lawyers is in understanding your individual circumstances and maximising the financial support available as quickly as possible. Home visit We will visit you at home in every case and at a time to suit you and your family. State benefits You may never have claimed anything from the Government before or you may not think you will qualify for any state benefits. Every mesothelioma patient will receive state benefits. We will complete the application forms and ensure you receive your full entitlement. No cost to you You will not have to pay anything for our services. If we bring a legal claim on your behalf and win you keep 100% of your compensation, our bill is paid separately by your opponent. If we do not win, then you pay nothing. 4

5 Why choose Irwin Mitchell? Irwin Mitchell are the largest national firm of solicitors with dedicated mesothelioma teams in all of our offices. We have built our reputation over many decades as leaders in winning cases and supporting our clients. We have represented clients with asbestos related disease for over 30 years We won the first environmental exposure case in 1995 on behalf of June Hancock who contracted mesothelioma by living and playing near an asbestos factory as a child We changed the law to allow hospices to recover their costs associated with caring for mesothelioma patients from a company that caused a patient s condition We were successful in the Supreme Court where insurance companies tried to avoid their responsibilities by claiming that their policy did not apply at the time our client was exposed to asbestos by their policyholder. This has ensured mesothelioma sufferers continue to obtain justice Because of our experience and as a leading law firm we frequently speak at medical conferences, support group meetings, and other educational events on matters affecting patients and their families Irwin Mitchell have supported extensive research into mesothelioma and the charities connected with assisting mesothelioma patients for many years. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on: or visit: you can also follow us on 5

6 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. - Alan 6

7 Your questions answered I am still working can I apply for state benefits? Yes most are not means-tested. Our specialist team will be able to advise you further. My old employer went out of business many years ago. Can I still bring a claim? Yes we are regularly successful in tracing an appropriate insurance company. In the event that we cannot trace insurance you may claim for a payment under the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme. Can I claim state benefits and make a legal claim through the courts? Yes you are entitled to both. Our specialist team will be able to advise you further. How long will a claim take? State benefits usually take only a few weeks to be paid. A legal claim can vary in the time it takes to conclude. Some can take only a few months, others longer, we will give you an estimate once we have spoken to you further. You can be assured that we will always endeavour to conclude a case as soon as possible and always in your best interests. Can a claim continue if anything happens to me? Yes if a claim is started during a sufferer s lifetime. He or she will be uniquely placed to provide information about the circumstances in which their exposure to asbestos occurred. However, it is still possible to pursue a claim after the sufferer has died on behalf of his or her estate and any of their dependants. When should I contact a specialist solicitor? As soon as possible. State benefits are only backdated for a limited time. Also, in the vast majority of mesothelioma cases, the time limit for pursuing a claim is three years from the date of diagnosis. However, if you miss that deadline or even if the mesothelioma sufferer has already passed away, it may still be possible to pursue a claim. Just contact one of our highly qualified solicitors for advice on your particular circumstances. 7

8 Our client Paul Foicik, Electrician Paul Foicik loved his job as an electrician s mate at Bow Power Station in East London. As a 17-year-old thankful for escaping the boredom of an office job in Wapping, he enjoyed the challenge of working with big industrial machinery and had no idea that the substances he was working with might be dangerous. Most of the pipes in the power station were wrapped in asbestos to keep the heat in, he explains. I came into contact with them every day but there were no protective masks or anything because people had no idea it was dangerous in those days. After working at the power station for four years, Paul joined the merchant navy in 1967 and went on to enjoy a variety of jobs including driving a fork lift truck and then working for an electrical supplies company. It was whilst he was working there that he found out he d become ill. I started having breathing problems in 2013 and one morning I went for an X-ray, he says. They called me back within a couple of hours to say there was a shadow on my lung. It was full of fluid. I had more tests and a CT scan and two months later it was confirmed as mesothelioma. Once he d received his diagnosis, one of the nurses at the hospital gave Paul a collection of legal brochures. Impressed by the track record of Irwin Mitchell s dedicated mesothelioma team, he gave us a call and hasn t looked back since. Paul was successful in his legal claim so the compensation was awarded. That money, plus the sale of their old house, has allowed Paul and his wife Beryl to start planning for the future. The first step has been to move away from their house in Bishop s Stortford into a brand new low maintenance property in Hertfordshire. Everything s on one level so it ll be easier to manage when my illness progresses, Paul explains. I can t speak highly enough of Irwin Mitchell. Rosemary came to see me at work and made it clear that we could proceed on a no cost to us basis. She laid out exactly what would happen and everything she said has come to pass. I got a payment from the government, weekly benefits and later a compensation payment from the company who d employed me at the power station. My gross payment amounted to 152,500. 8

9 I can t speak highly enough of Irwin Mitchell. Rosemary came to see me at work and made it clear that we could proceed on a no cost to us basis. - Paul 9

10 The money has allowed me not to worry if I need to pay someone to help out. It was settled out of court but at least it was some form of recognition. Clive would have been pleased with that. - Sue 10 8

11 Our client Clive Beck, Teacher Sue Beck pursued a claim for compensation after her husband Clive, a teacher at Ratton School in Eastbourne, died following contraction of mesothelioma. He was 71 when he died but he was definitely robbed of a few years, she says. He never smoked and he wasn t overweight. He was very fit and healthy. We used to go for a two-mile walk along the beach every day and he spent a lot of time in the garden. Sue recalls. After he fell ill Clive remembered there had been a cupboard at the school where he kept books and pencils that he used every day for 16 years. One day the school asked him to empty the shelves so they could be removed because they were made of asbestos, but he wasn t given any protective clothing to wear whilst he did it. Yet, when the experts came, they had suits and masks, they obviously knew how dangerous it was Clive had suddenly found it difficult to breathe or find the energy to walk. It was confirmed as mesothelioma a few months later. Clive wanted nothing more than to have the comfort of knowing that his family would be provided for after he passed, and he contacted Irwin Mitchell to pursue a successful claim against East Sussex County Council. Irwin Mitchell helped us through the process, it was straightforward which meant we were able to focus on spending time together as a family. My daughter had to walk down the aisle a week after Clive s funeral and I had to give her away. But I know he had great comfort in the end knowing that we were all going to be taken care of. 11

12 What else can we help you with? We don t just specialise in mesothelioma cases. 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 to buying a house. Our friendly and professional staff give straightforward, honest advice in all areas of personal legal services, including: Buying or selling a house Divorce, children and family matters Employment difficulties Financial planning including tax and trusts Personal injury or illness Planning or environmental decisions Questioning social, education and healthcare provision Support with personal welfare and healthcare matters and how the Court of Protection can assist Wills, trust and probate services. To talk to a specialist advisor today simply call free on: or visit: you can also follow us on 12

13 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 call. 13

14 Useful contacts British Lung Foundation Goswell Road London EC1V 7ER Telephone: Website: International Ban Asbestos Secretariat Website: June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund c/o Riverside East 2 Millsands Sheffield S3 8DT Telephone: Website: Macmillan Cancer Support 89 Albert Embankment London SE1 7UQ Telephone: Website: Mesothelioma UK Glenfield Hospital Groby Road Leicester LE3 9QP Telephone: E Mail: Website: Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund c/o British Lung Foundation Sir G B Hunter Memorial Hospital The Green Wallsend NE28 7PB Telephone: Website: 14

15 Notes

16 Freephone For a list of our offices visit our website To see a list of our offices please visit our website. Irwin Mitchell LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. PLS-PI-ARD-0001-B

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