What is Mesothelioma?
It is a specific type of cancer that most often affects the lining of the lungs. This cancer can also start in the abdomen but this is not as common. Recent studies show that more than 2,500 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK each year.
What causes Mesothelioma?
Most cases are caused by exposure to asbestos fibres in the workplace. It is now known that asbestos causes most cases of this cancer and the risk increases if a person was exposed to large amounts of asbestos for a long period of time. The most common industries related to asbestos exposure over the years are: Building industry, painters and plumbers, ship building, motor industry, power stations, telephone exchanges and manufactures of household appliances.
The number of cases of mesothelioma in the UK each year is expected to rise sharply for the next few years because of the heavy use of asbestos in industry between around 1940 to the 1970s. Symptoms can take many years to present themselves and many people are first diagnosed more than 20 or 50 years (sometimes longer) after first being exposed to asbestos.
Remember that many people who develop mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure may be able to claim compensation. It is important to talk to a solicitor about this as early as possible.
Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme Regulations 2014
A new compensation scheme is being proposed by the government for people diagnosed with Mesothelioma. The scheme will make payments to people with mesothelioma and to eligible dependants of people who have died from the condition before making an application to the scheme.
Under the current draft regulations you may qualify to claim payment under the scheme if the first diagnosis of mesothelioma was on or after 25 July 2012 and this was as a result of negligent exposure to asbestos at work in the UK.
The scheme will only be open to those who have not brought an action for civil damages against a relevant employer or an employer’s Employers’ Liability insurer because they were unable to do so. This is most common where an employer and its insurer has ceased to exist.
In addition no claim must have been made under any other scheme and no damages payment must have been received at all in relation to the Mesothelioma diagnosis
An application will have to be filed within 3 years of first diagnosis of Mesothelioma.
The lump sum payment awards under the scheme range from a maximum sum of £203,778 for those aged under 40 to a minimum of £65,735 for those aged over 90.
The Scheme has an appeal process and its requirements are complex and onerous.
It is strongly recommended that you seek immediate independent legal advice in the event you (or a family member) are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Harris Fowler has a team of specialist personal injury solicitors who can offer advice to anyone who has suffered as a result of working with asbestos. Free and confidential legal advice is available on 0800 213 214 or contact us online.