A Guide to Claiming Air Pollution Compensation
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
In the following article we explain everything you must know about making a successful air pollution compensation claim.
According to DEFRA, 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 on your health in both the short and long term.
Air pollution can be caused by working in a factory or plant, and by emissions from construction or engineering activities in the public domain.
If you have suffered because of air pollution, you may be able to claim compensation.
Do I have a air pollution claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make a air pollution claim if you were injured:
- in the last three years and;
- someone else was to blame.
However, if these two points don't apply, a claim may still be possible.
To find out for sure, you can speak to a air pollution claim expert on 0800 612 7456.
A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. You will never be pressured into making a claim.
Alternatively you can try our Online Claim Checker.
What if it was a criminal incident?
If your Air Pollution injury resulted from a criminal incident, you can pursue a claim via the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA must receive your application within 2 years of the Incident Date.
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 a air pollution claim on their own behalf.
The amount of money you could claim for your air pollution 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 air pollution 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.
See a list of what you can claim for:
Examples of special damages include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Find out what your claim could be worth now
Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.
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.
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your air pollution case 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 responsible for air pollution?
If you have experienced ill health because of air pollution in your working environment, it is likely that your employer is responsible. This is particularly relevant if health and safety procedures have not been followed, if you have not been given appropriate training, or if your employer has failed to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and footwear.
If you have become ill as a result of air pollution caused by a site near your home or workplace, the organisation responsible for the site can be held liable. This could be a building contractor or engineering firm. If the firm has dumped chemicals without taking appropriate precautions, for example, you can attribute your illness to their lack of care.
What should you do if you have become ill due to air pollution?
After seeing a doctor, and ensuring that you have received appropriate medical attention, you should contact a solicitor.
Quittance's panel of solicitors have the knowledge and experience to deal with air pollution compensation claims and can advise you on every step of the process. The Quittance panel can give you an indication of whether or not your claim is likely to be successful, and how much it might be worth.
Your solicitor will work with you to prove that you have suffered air pollution as a direct result of the negligence of a person or organisation. Therefore, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. You should also keep receipts for all expenses incurred as a result of your illness, and it is a good idea to keep a diary of your symptoms and how they have impacted on your day to day living.
A claim for air pollution compensation comprises two parts: General Damages and Special Damages.
General Damages include any pain and suffering you have experienced as well as physical limitations. Special Damages are awarded to compensate for financial losses due to your illness, such as not being able to work or additional medical expenses.
It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as you can, as there is usually a time limit applied to claims for compensation.
This is usually three years, although there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, people under the age of 18 usually have three years from their 18th birthday to lodge a claim, regardless of when the injury was sustained. If you are in any doubt, the Quittance panel of solicitors can advise you on how the time limits might apply to your case.
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 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:
Other claim types
Find details on another type of claim:
How does no win, no fee work?
No win, no fee removes the risk from making a air pollution 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 a air pollution claim - even if you don't win your claim.
What do I pay if I win my air pollution 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 air pollution claim?
If your air pollution claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees.
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
No Win, No Fee
to start a claim
Air Pollution 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 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 interim compensation payment?
If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.
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.
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.
Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert