Chromium-Related Illness Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by chromium related illness we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered chromium related illness and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
In our guide to claiming
chromium-related illness compensation:
Chromium is a naturally occurring element found in rocks, dust, gases, plants and soil. It comes in various forms which are described by numbers in parentheses. Many types of chromium, such as Chromium (III), are benign and do not pose a risk to health.
Other chromium compounds are known to be toxic. Chromium (VI), for example, presents a significant risk to health as it is both an irritant, a corrosive and a carcinogen. Inhaled or ingested, chromium (VI) can cause breathing difficulties, lung irritations and, possibly, lung cancer.
Industrial exposure to chromium falls within the category of hazardous substances compensation claims. Anyone who has suffered a chromium-related illness after being exposed to chromium compounds at work may be eligible make a claim against their employer.
Do I have a chromium-related illness claim?
It should be possible to make a chromium-related illness claim if:
- you were diagnosed in the last three years and;
- someone else, such as your employer, was to blame.
Even if these two points don't apply to you, you may still be able to make a claim.
To get impartial advice on whether you have a claim, speak to injury claims expert on 0800 376 1001.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.
The amount of money you could claim for your chromium-related illness will depend on:
- the extent of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your chromium-related illness has affected your life. Your solicitor will take all of these effects into account to calculate the correct compensation award for you.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special damages'.
General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a chromium-related illness? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Chromium-related illness compensation amounts
The following chromium-related illness payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Asthma||Moderate||Bronchitis and wheezing||£15,300 to £20,950|
|Eye injury||Moderate||Minor but permanent loss of vision in one or both eyes||£7,270 to £16,720|
|Lung disease||Minor||Short-term aggravation of bronchitis or other chest infection||£1,760 to £14,420|
|Lung disease||Moderate||Non-permanent lung conditions||£4,240 to £14,420|
|Lung disease||Moderate||Slight breathlessness recovery in a few years||£8,480 to £24,950|
|Lung disease||Serious||Bronchitis and wheezing||£16,580 to £24,950|
|Lung disease||Serious||Emphysema||£43,670 to £55,830|
|Lung disease||Serious||Breathing difficulties needing use of an inhaler||£24,950 to £55,830|
|Lung disease||Severe||Lung cancer causing severe pain and impairment||£55,830 to £108,370|
What is the average injury compensation for a chromium-related illness claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following a chromium-related illness will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your chromium-related illness compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Can I claim for an existing chromium-related illness that has got worse?
Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.
Can I claim for physiotherapy and private care costs?
Private treatment can be expensive, but funding towards the cost of this treatment frequently comprises part of a compensation award. Your solicitor may even be able to arrange access to private medical care as soon as your claim is accepted.
Calculate my chromium-related illness compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a chromium-related illness injury can be complicated.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Find out what your chromium-related illness claim could be worth now:
How long does a chromium-related illness claim take?
How long it can take to settle a chromium-related illness claim can vary significantly.
For instance, a simple liability accepted injury claim could be settled in a matter of weeks. If the employer denies liability, a claim can take substantially longer. Normally an injury claim takes 4 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your chromium-related illness claim from the initial consultation through to the financial settlement. In addition, your solicitor will work with other specialists to help you with:
- Financial support: interim payments while you are unable to work.
- Advice: on personal injury trusts, tax and welfare benefits.
- Coordination: with rehabilitation providers and therapists.
- Access: to treatment and therapies not always available on the NHS.
Who is at risk of contracting a chromium-related illness?
The health effects of chromium exposure are varied because each compound has a different toxicity. Chromium (VI) presents the biggest risk as it can be inhaled or ingested, especially if food is consumed in chromium-contaminated areas. All chromium compounds can be absorbed through the skin.
Workers in industries that use chromium may have a higher level of exposure and thus have a greater risk of developing a chromium-related illnesses. High-risk industries include:
- Chromium plating
- Spray painting
- Chemical manufacture
- Dyeing and tanning
- Stainless steel and alloy manufacture.
This list is not exhaustive. Anyone exposed to chromium, including members of the public who come into contact with chromium after a spillage, may be eligible to make a compensation claim.
What are the health problems associated with chromium poisoning?
Low levels of chromium are typically removed by the body and may not produce any obvious symptoms. Acute exposure may lead to a number of health problems, including:
- Occupational asthma
- Inflammation of the nose and upper respiratory tract
- Coughing and wheezing
- Renal damage
- Lung diseases and lung cancer.
As a preliminary step, the injury lawyer will arrange an independent medical examination to assess whether chromium is present in the body and to establish the level of damage. The medical expert will also recommend any palliative care that is needed such as mechanical ventilation and cardiovascular support.
The medical report is used as a basis for the compensation claim.
Is my employer liable?
Any employer who uses chromium is required to follow the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH). COSHH places legal obligations on employers to control exposure to hazardous substances with a view to minimising the impact they might have on a worker's health. With specific reference to chromium, an employer must:
- Carry out air emissions tests to confirm whether chromium species are formed as a result of work activities.
- Keep exposure within the maximum exposure limits (MEL) specified by law for each type of compound. For Chromium (VI), MEL is defined as 0.05mg/m3 averaged over an 8 hour working day.
- Take such other protective measures as are necessary. For example, an employer might install extraction systems, use chemical spray suppressants at plating baths or issue personal protective equipment such as masks and breathing apparatus.
- Train employees in the proper use of safety measures.
An employer who fails in their duty to protect staff from chromium exposure may be liable for any illness that arises as a result.
No win, no fee, no risk
No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make a chromium-related illness claim with:
- no upfront legal fees
- no solicitor's fees payable if your claim is not successful
- a success fee payable only if your claim is successful
No Win, No Fee is the most common way to make a compensation claim.
No win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a chromium-related illness claim, even if you don't win your claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim
What do I pay if I win my chromium-related illness claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after your compensation is awarded. The solicitor's success fee can be up to 25%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my chromium-related illness claim?
If your chromium-related illness claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How can Quittance help?
Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
If you have any questions, or would like to start a No Win No Fee claim, we are open 8am to 9pm weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Chromium-related illness FAQ's
Can I claim for someone else?
Yes. In certain circumstances, it is possible to claim compensation on behalf of another person in the capacity of a 'litigation friend'.
If an injured person is either too young or vulnerable, too injured or otherwise unable to claim on their own behalf, their litigation friend can handle the claim process on behalf of the injured person.
The litigation friend will be responsible for communicating with the solicitors, and for making decisions in respect of the claim.
Can I claim if I was partly responsible for an accident?
You may still be able to claim compensation even if you contributed to your accident or to your injuries.
However, if you were partly to blame (known as contributory negligence), your compensation may be reduced and it may be more difficult to prove liability.
How long do I have to make a chromium-related illness claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the chromium-related illness to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your chromium-related illness claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a chromium-related illness after 3 years?
Possibly. The general rule for adults is that a claim must be started within three years.
However, the three-year countdown starts on the day you learned of your injury or illness. This will usually be the date of the accident, but could be the date your doctor gave you a diagnosis.
There other circumstances that can also impact the limitation date. Call us now on 0800 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim chromium-related illness compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a chromium-related illness claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the solicitor panel are settled out of court.
Only a very small percentage (approx. 5%) of personal injury claims go to court. Generally, only very complex cases, or those where liability cannot be resolved, end up in court.
Cases that do ultimately go to court are held in front of a judge, not a jury.
Will I have to go to a solicitor's office?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. As with most professional services, it is no longer necessary to meet face to face with your solicitor. Personal injury claims are dealt with via email, post and telephone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
Can I get an early compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is a partial settlement of your claim which is paid before your claim is concluded. The amount you receive in interim payments would then be deducted from your final compensation settlement or award.
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor
About the author
Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.