Farmer's Lung Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by farmers lung we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered farmers lung 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 farmer's lung compensation:

Introduction

According to a report compiled by the Health and Safety Executive in 2014, approximately 28,000 employees have experienced respiratory problems as a result of their working environment.

7% of cases were identified as being caused by allergic reactions to dust from animal feed, straw, grains or flour. People who are employed in agricultural environments can be particularly vulnerable to these reactions, known as 'Farmer's Lung'.

Lung x ray

Does the law recognise Farmer's Lung

Farmer's Lung is a respiratory condition that can be contracted by agricultural workers. Those who work with cattle are particularly at risk.

The condition is also often caused by hay that has been stored when it is still damp. The hay develops mould which contains bacteria; and when it dries, the resulting dust releases that bacteria into the air. The consequences of inhalation of this bacteria range from short term illness to having a significant impact on quality and length of life.

Contracting Farmer's Lung

If you have been exposed to mouldy spores for a period of hours, you might feel generally unwell, with symptoms that appear to present as a severe case of flu. You might also find that breathing is difficult and that you experience a tight feeling in your chest. The severity of your symptoms will depend on the length of exposure and on how sensitive you are to the allergen.

By avoiding coming into contact with this bacteria again, your symptoms are unlikely to recur. However, if you cannot avoid exposure, and your employer does not take appropriate safety measures, you could develop a chronic case of Farmer's Lung.

Safety measures

Safety measures should include mechanizing the handling of hay or grains, ventilating the area as much as possible, and supplying personal protective equipment (PPE). A failure to provide adequate PPE, including effective face masks, is likely to form part of the case against an employer when the risk of Farmer's Lung is known.

Proving Farmer's Lung for the purposes of a compensation claim

Your GP can refer you for tests for Farmer's Lung. You should describe your working environment as well as your symptoms to ensure you get the correct diagnosis. Farmer's Lung can be diagnosed with a blood test, x-ray of the lungs and a test of your breathing capacity. Treatments such as corticosteroids can be effective at alleviating your symptoms. However, the condition will almost certainly worsen if exposure to the mould spores continues.

Do I have a farmer's lung claim?

It should be possible to make a farmer's lung 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 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

How much compensation can I claim for farmer's lung?

The amount of money you could claim for your farmer's lung 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 farmer's lung 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

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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a farmer's lung? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Farmer's lung compensation amounts

The following farmer's lung 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.

Example Amount
Lung disease
Short-term aggravation of bronchitis or other chest infection £1,760 to £14,420
Non-permanent lung conditions £4,240 to £14,420
Slight breathlessness recovery in a few years £8,480 to £24,950
Bronchitis and wheezing £16,580 to £24,950
Emphysema £43,670 to £55,830
Breathing difficulties needing use of an inhaler £24,950 to £55,830
Life-threatening disease affecting a young person £80,250 to £108,370
Lung cancer causing severe pain and impairment £55,830 to £108,370

What is the average injury compensation for a farmer's lung 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 farmer's lung will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your farmer's lung compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

Will I have to pay tax on my farmer\'s lung compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a farmer\'s lung injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Farmer's lung compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a farmer's lung 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 farmer's lung claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a farmers lung claim take?

The length of time needed to get compensation for farmers lung can vary significantly.

A simple liability accepted injury claim could be settled in a matter of weeks. If liability is denied, however, 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, see: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your farmer's lung 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 pays for this specialist help?

The cost of treatment will be factored into your compensation settlement paid by the defendant or their insurance company. Should you require private treatment before the case settles, an interim payment to cover treatment costs may be possible.

No win, no fee

'No win, no fee' means that if your farmer's lung claim is unsuccessful, you won't have to pay your solicitor any money. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal contract between you and the solicitor.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a farmer's lung injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my farmer's lung claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once your claim is settled. 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 farmer's lung claim?

If your farmer's lung claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. 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, 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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Farmer's lung 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.

Read more about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a farmer's lung claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the farmer's lung to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your farmer's lung claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a farmer's lung 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim farmer's lung compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a farmer's lung claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

Read more: Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

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.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert