Farmer\'s lung claims

Introduction

Updated: October 8, 2018

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.

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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.

How much can you claim for Farmer's Lung?

For the purposes of an injury claim, the Courts do not recognise Farmer's Lung as a specific category of illness in the way that mesothelioma or epilepsy is treated. That said, a claim can still be made using guideline compensation amounts for respiratory diseases generally.

Depending on the severity of a respiratory condition such as Emphysema, the Judicial College recommend general damages of between £44,275 and £56,650.

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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.

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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.

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Do I have a claim for farmer's lung?

If you have suffered farmer's lung in the last three years and someone else was to blame, then we can help you make a compensation claim.

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100% No Win, No Fee - No Catch

Typically a no win no fee agreement (more correctly known as a CFA or Conditional Fee Agreement) is entered into between a claimant and a specialist injury lawyer.

A CFA is the terms under which the solicitor acts for the client.

The CFA sets out what the solicitors will do as well as how the solicitor will be remunerated if your claim is successful.

If you instruct a Quittance solicitor for your farmers lung compensation claim there will be no sneaky hidden costs in the terms and conditions , nothing to pay up-front and the complete peace of mind that you will never be financially out of pocket.

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Calculate my farmers lung compensation

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

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Meet the team

Quittance's national network of solicitors help injured people with all types of personal injury claims and have a wealth of expertise with short-term, serious and life-changing injury claims. Our solicitors are selected for their professionalism and their success rate in winning claims.

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Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Emma Bell Employers and Public Liability Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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