Air Pollution Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an air pollution injury, we can help.
Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor
You can make a hazardous substances compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist solicitor.
Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove that the exposure caused your injuries or illness. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.
We can help you make a hazardous substances exposure claim on a No Win No Fee basis.
In this article
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide every year due to ambient air pollution,
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) state that air pollution can cause breathing problems, damage to the heart, and some types of cancer. Although air pollution has decreased in recent years, it still has the potential to impact your health in the short and long term.
If you have been injured or made ill following exposure to air pollution, you may be able to claim compensation.
Who is responsible for air pollution?
If you have experienced ill health because of air pollution in your working environment, it is likely that your employer will be liable - particularly if:
- health and safety procedures were not followed
- appropriate training was not provided
- your employer failed to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, and footwear.
If you have become ill as a result of air pollution from a site near your home or workplace, the organisation responsible for the site (e.g. the building contractor or engineering firm) could be held liable.
It may be that an industrial plant has dumped chemicals without taking appropriate precautions.
What should you do if you have become ill due to air pollution?
After seeking medical assistance you should seek legal assistance. A free consultation with a personal injury solicitor will give you an indication of whether or not your claim is likely to be successful, and how much it might be worth.
If you decide to proceed with a claim, your solicitor will work with you to prove that you have suffered air pollution as a result of the negligence of another party.
Proving that another party's negligence polluted the air and led to your illness or injury can be difficult. If possible, you should gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. Evidence could include:
- A diary of events
- A medical diary (chronology of your symptoms and how they have impacted your day-to-day life.)
- A medical report from a doctor or specialist
- Witness statements
- Accounts from other people affected by the air pollution
- Photographs from the suspected source of the pollution
You should also keep receipts for all expenses incurred as a result of your illness.
Do I have an injury claim?
It should be possible to make an injury claim if:
- you were diagnosed in the last 3 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.
How much compensation can I claim?
Compensation is broken down into two parts; General Damages and Special Damages.
General Damages include any pain and suffering you have experienced as well as physical limitations. Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury.
Special Damages are awarded to compensate for financial losses due to your illness, such as not being able to work, medical expenses, and financial losses.
Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.
Will I have to go to court?
Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.
Less than 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 decided by a judge or magistrate, not a jury.
Even if the claim does go to court, it is very unlikely you will have to attend.
How does no win, no fee work?
No win, no fee removes the risk from making an injury claim. If you don't win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.
Our no win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no financial risk in making an injury 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 injury claim?
Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, after 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 won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
What is Legal Aid available for?
In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in personal injury and industrial disease cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.
How we can help you
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
- 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday
Call us for FREE advice on 0800 376 1001, or arrange a call back from a friendly, legally-trained advisor:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
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 feel I was partly responsible for my accident?
Yes. You may still be able to claim compensation even if your actions may have contributed to the accident.
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 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?
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 injury compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether an injury claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
Will I have to visit a solicitor's office to start a claim?
No. You will not need visit a solicitor's office. Personal injury claims are handled by email, post and phone.
Should you need to have a medical, this will be arranged at a medical centre near you or at your GP's surgery.
I need the money now - what are my options?
If you are unable to work and have bills to pay, you may be able to claim an interim compensation payment.
An interim payment is an advance on your compensation payment. Any amount you receive in interim payments would be deducted from your final compensation payment.
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.