A Guide to Claiming Farmer's Lung Compensation
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a fatal accident we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a fatal accident and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.
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'.
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 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 an injury claim?
As a basic rule, you can make an injury claim if your injury occurred:
- in the last three years and;
- someone else was to blame.
However, there may be other considerations that mean you have a valid claim - even if the above points do not apply to you.
To confirm whether you are eligible to claim you can speak to a legal expert on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will confirm whether you have a claim. We will never put you under pressure to start a claim.
You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.
What if a child was injured?
The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.
A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury 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 injury 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 an injury? (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
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury 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.
Find out what your injury claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated, particularly if you have multiple injuries.
If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.
Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.
How long do I have to make an injury claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the injury to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your injury claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for an injury after 3 years?
For adults, the general rule is no, you cannot start a claim more than three years after an injury.
However, if you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I still be able to claim for an injury after the law changes in April 2020?
The law relating to personal injury claims is changing in April 2020.
You will no longer be able to claim no win, no fee compensation using a solicitor for lower value claims (under £5,000).
In addition, compensation for whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries will be reduced.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your injury 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.
How did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
If you are thinking of making a work accident or injury claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
In a road accident
If you are thinking of making a road accident claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
In a public place (e.g. supermarket, pavement)
If you have been injured in a public place, there are some key points you need to be aware of:
According to the latest figures published in 2019, there were over 17,000 clinical negligence claims in the year 2016-17. This increase is largely down to an overstretched NHS.
If you are thinking of making a medical negligence claim, there are some key points to be aware of:
Other claim types
Find details on another type of claim:
No win, no fee - the facts
No Win, No Fee is an agreement with your solicitor (known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) that means that you can make an injury 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
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 an injury compensation claim.
What do I pay if I win my injury 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 injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees at all.
Please note, 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?
Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.
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:Call me back
if you can claim
to start a claim
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 will my claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation can vary considerably.
For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.
Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.
Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:
Personal injury claim type
Estimated claim duration*
4 to 9 months
6 to 9 months
12 to 36 months
12 to 18 months
6 to 9 months
3 to 4 months**
12 to 18 months**
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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.