Benzene Poisoning Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by benzene poisoning, 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

Introduction

The World Health Organisation has declared that exposure to benzene is 'A major Public Health concern'. People are at risk of ingesting benzene in some working environments, and in their own homes. Industrial environments include those involved in the production of petroleum products and coal.

Other working environments that can cause people to absorb benzene include factories that produce chemicals such as toluene.

Toluene is a chemical that is found in many hair dyes that are produced for use at home, so Benzene can make its way into the domestic environment. Tobacco smoke contains benzene. Therefore, if there is any tobacco smoking in the home or workplace, there is a high risk of exposure to Benzene. This is largely because Benzene enters the body through the air we breathe.

What happens if you are poisoned by benzene?

The way that your body reacts to ingesting benzene is dependent on several variable factors. This includes:

  • The duration of exposure
  • The frequency of exposure: was it a single occasion or have you been at risk for some time?
  • Your general health prior to being poisoned, particularly any pre-existing weaknesses

A single incident in which you are exposed to a large amount of benzene can cause you to feel sick and disorientated. You might also find that you are suffering from a headache, and feeling generally exhausted.

If you have been inhaling benzene through the air in your working or home environment for a long period of time, there could be serious consequences for your long term health. The presence of benzene in the bloodstream interferes with blood cells. This can cause a variety of disorders, including anaemia and white blood cell abnormalities.

In general, breathing air that contains Benzene over time will stop the bone marrow from functioning properly. This can result in Leukaemia, a form of cancer which is debilitating and life threatening.

What can you do to protect yourself against benzene poisoning?

At home, you should ensure that you limit exposure as much as possible, such as by avoiding smoking. If you are at risk of benzene poisoning at work, you should ensure that you use all the protective equipment provided, such as gloves and masks. Your employer is obliged to ensure you have access to the necessary protective equipment, and to ensure that it is maintained to meet safety requirements.

Your employer should also protect staff by means of undertaking regular risk assessments. This involves analysing exactly how tasks are completed, and identifying any potential safety concerns. If it is possible for a job to be made safer, the employer is obliged to make alterations as far as they are reasonably practicable.

What action should you take if you think you have been poisoned by benzene?

If you are in any doubt about potential exposure to benzene, particularly over a sustained period of time, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. There is no medicinal cure for benzene poisoning, however, it is possible to improve your quality of life by treating your symptoms.

The efficacy of any treatment will be very much dependent on the individual, which highlights the importance of seeking the advice of qualified and experienced doctors.

Having started the process of managing the effects of being poisoned by benzene, you may start to consider whether or not you could pursue a claim for compensation. If you were exposed to this chemical at work, or in some other area over which you had no control, it is possible that you could have a case. The Quittance panel of solicitors can advise you further.

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.

Read more:

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

No win, no fee, no risk

Under a no win, no fee agreement (referred to as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA') you can make an injury claim without needing to worry about upfront legal fees. If your injury claim is unsuccessful you won't have to pay any money to your solicitor.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero 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 do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Can I get Legal Aid?

Legal aid is no longer available when making a personal injury claim, but a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee) can reduce the financial risks of making a claim.

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:

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Injury 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:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

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.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor