Mesothelioma Making a Claim

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1 Mesothelioma Making a Claim INJURY & NEGLIGENCE SPECIALISTS

2 Injury & Negligence Nothing short of excellent Quote about Pannone part of Slater & Gordon, from Mr G. Essex

3 WELCOME TO PANNONE PART OF SLATER & GORDON When choosing a law firm, what do you look for? Quality service? Great reputation? Specialist solicitors at the top of their profession? Or simply friendly and approachable people? We offer all of these things. We focus on providing the highest standard of service with a personal touch that makes the difference. Our clients describe us as honest, professional and committed and in the words of the Legal 500 independent legal guide, we are excellent in every way, and never falter in support and availability. Our lawyers are easy to talk to and will keep you fully updated with no legal jargon. Whether you are entitled to legal aid, no win, no fee or legal expenses insurance, we ll find a way to fund your case and fight for you. This booklet explains what is involved with Mesothelioma claims. Call us on to set up a free consultation. Richard Scorer National Manager of Serious Injury 03

4 Injury & Negligence I am so grateful for the kind, compassionate and efficient way in which my solicitors dealt with my husband s claim Quote about Pannone part of Slater & Gordon, from Mrs C. Derbyshire WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU. Being diagnosed with Mesothelioma can be both shocking and devastating news for the sufferer and their family. Having specialised in cases of mesothelioma for many years, we understand just how much life can change at this time and it is our aim to make the claims process as easy as possible for everyone concerned. Whether helping with benefits or protecting any compensation awarded, it is our aim to help reduce the burden of dealing with any worrying issues you may have at such a difficult time. For more information on other ways we can support and help you, please see our Mesothelioma - Supporting Sufferers & Their Families Guide.

5 WHAT IS MESOTHELIOMA? Mesothelioma can be caused by a very small exposure to asbestos dust, but the greater the exposure, the greater the risk of developing the disease. Inhalation of asbestos dust causes damage to the cells of the pleura, the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, and it is thought that over time this damage results in changes which can eventually turn them into cancerous cells. The average time for mesothelioma to develop after exposure to asbestos dust is around 40 years, but it can develop (or cause symptoms) after 10 years from the initial exposure. WHERE MIGHT I HAVE COME INTO CONTACT WITH ASBESTOS? Most people who suffer from mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos dust at work. They need not have handled asbestos themselves but they may have worked near others who were dealing with it. We have handled claims where family members working with asbestos have carried it home on their clothing, and their wives have breathed in the asbestos dust when washing or handling their work clothes. Just some of the products which may have contained asbestos include: Sprayed asbestos coatings Lagging used to insulate pipes and boilers Millboard Asbestos paper Asbestos cement sheets Continued over 05

6 Injury & Negligence Asbestos cement pipes Asbestos partitions/roofs Fire doors Artex wall coverings/textured paints Soffits, guttering and drainpipes Linoleum and floor tiles WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MESOTHELIOMA? Many people with mesothelioma experience sudden breathlessness, especially if they exert themselves. This can be coupled with chest pain and/or back pain. Other symptoms may include: Weight loss Fever Sweating (especially at night) Hoarseness in the voice A cough that doesn t go away Abdominal pain and swelling HOW CAN MESOTHELIOMA BE DIAGNOSED? A diagnosis of mesothelioma will be made by a chest consultant following investigations which will normally include x-rays, CT Scan and biopsy.

7 WHAT TREATMENT IS AVAILABLE FOR MESOTHELIOMA SUFFERERS? Although there is no known cure for mesothelioma, there are treatments available which may ease your suffering. Talc Pleurodisis - This procedure is performed to relieve breathlessness caused by the build-up of fluid around the lungs. The fluid is drained and talc or a chemical powder is put into the body cavity surrounding the lungs to prevent further build-up of fluid Radiotherapy - The aim is to kill cancer cells and prevent the track of the disease. This may relieve the sufferer s pain, breathlessness and discomfort. Chemotherapy - This is sometimes helpful but is only recommended in certain cases. Chemotherapy involves the sufferer taking anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is no cure but can help reduce symptoms Extrapleural Pneumonectomy - This is radical surgery and is only suitable for a small number of patients. It aims to remove the visible tumour, or as much as possible. Pleurectomy-Decortication - This operation removes all or part of the pleura and lung tissue close to it to reduce the mesothelioma. Surgery usually leads to better lung function, however it is only rarely recommended New treatments - Clinical trials are carried out to research new treatments all the time. Participation in clinical trials is an important treatment option for many patients but sufferers should discuss the option with their doctor first Physiotherapy - Physiotherapy is often recommended to help maintain exercise tolerance, strength and functional ability as much as possible 07

8 Injury & Negligence MAKING A CLAIM Kim Harrison, Principal Lawyer in our Industrial Disease Team, talks through what is involved with making a mesothelioma claim. TALK TO US Call us for a free consultation with one of our team of specialist solicitors who will discuss your diagnosis of mesothelioma with you and let you know how we can help. INVESTIGATION Your solicitor will initially take details of your working history and your exposure to asbestos. If they think you have grounds to make a claim, they will then obtain medical evidence on your behalf to proceed with your claim. Your case will be dealt with by a solicitor experienced in mesothelioma cases and will be completed quickly, as we will ensure it is heard by a judge who specialises in mesothelioma claims.

9 Excellent in every way Quote from Legal 500 (Independent Legal Guide) Kim Harrison, Principal Lawyer INTERIM PAYMENTS Where the employer admits fault, it may be possible to get you an interim payment. SUPPORTING YOUR CASE We know from years of experience how developing an asbestos illness can change your life and affect your family. We are here to support you. It is important that you instruct a specialist solicitor who understands such claims and will be able to get you the best possible result. Our team of specialist solicitors are very experienced in dealing with mesothelioma claims and have been involved with some of the most important and groundbreaking Industrial Disease cases over the last 30 years. 09

10 Injury & Negligence THE COMPANY WHERE I WORKED HAS GONE OUT OF BUSINESS. WHAT DO I DO? Don t worry if the company has gone out of business. It is often still possible to trace their insurers. We have a team with unrivalled expertise in tracing insurers of companies which have been out of business for many years. We often take over cases and succeed in tracing the company s insurers, where other firms have failed. WHAT CAN I RECOVER IF MY CLAIM IS SUCCESSFUL? Compensation is awarded for pain and suffering to reflect the nature and severity of the condition. Other losses and expenses can be claimed such as: Loss of income caused by your illness Private treatment costs Loss of pension caused by your illness Cost of medication and/or aids and equipment incurred as a result of your illness Nursing care costs Travelling expenses incurred as a result of your illness

11 WHAT WILL IT COST? We understand that the cost of legal advice can be a worry, but if you do have a claim there are options available to fund your case, including no win, no fee. You may have legal expense insurance under an existing insurance policy which will entitle you to free representation. We will check this for you. If you do not have legal expense insurance under an existing policy, we will represent you under a No Win, No Fee Agreement. This means if your case fails, you do not have to pay anything. For further information on funding, please refer to our funding booklet. Despite the sad circumstances that necessitated the claim, it was made easier for us by our solicitor s helpful understanding and advice. The settlement enabled us to face the future, however long or short, free from financial worries. Quote about Pannone part of Slater & Gordon, from Dennis and Rosina, Surrey 11

12 Injury & Negligence WHAT IF I DIE BEFORE SETTLEMENT? In the event of your death, your claim can be continued by your estate s legal representative (the person named as executor in your Will if you leave one, or otherwise by a family member). WHAT IF A FAMILY MEMBER HAS ALREADY PASSED AWAY FROM MESOTHELIOMA? It may still be possible to claim compensation after a family member has died from mesothelioma. If you suspect that a loved one has passed away from mesothelioma we can offer the correct advice and support at this difficult time. WHAT IF I LIVE OVERSEAS? We act for expatriates in Europe, Canada, USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. If you worked with asbestos in the UK before you moved overseas, you can bring a claim for compensation in the usual way, even if some exposure took place in the country to which you moved. LUMP SUM PAYMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT If you are awarded Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit for your asbestos related disease, you may also be entitled to a one off lump sum payment from the Government.

13 TIME LIMITS Please note, you must make your claim within 3 years from the date you were diagnosed with mesothelioma. If you leave it longer than this, you may lose the right to make a claim. In the event that you are claiming on behalf of someone who has died, the claim must be brought within 3 years from the date of death. Please note that there are occasions when it may still be possible to make a claim even if diagnosis of death has been more than 3 years. Please call us to discuss this further. STATE BENEFITS As well as making a compensation claim you may be able to claim state benefits. We have a specialist Welfare Rights Team who can advise you about the benefits you are entitled to and help you make the claim. Don t worry that any compensation you receive will affect your means tested benefits. Our dedicated Trusts Department can provide you with specialist advice to ensure that any compensation you receive does not affect your benefits income. 13

14 Injury & Negligence I was totally satisfied with my solicitor s service. It was First Class. Quote about Pannone part of Slater & Gordon from Norman Fletcher, Merseyside

15 CONTACT US Highest quality advice (ranked in top tier by leading independent legal guides Chambers and Legal 500) Free no obligation consultation Experienced specialist solicitors and principal lawyers who are Leaders in their field Range of funding options including no win, no fee National UK coverage and home visits For more information, or to discuss your claim, please contact Alicia Rendell on Pannone part of Slater & Gordon have offices nationwide. To find your local office visit For further information, please go to:

16 For more information, please contact Alicia Rendell on or Slater & Gordon (UK) LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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