Benzene Poisoning Compensation Claims

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered benzene poisoning and is considering a legal claim for compensation. If you are looking for medical advice, please see the NHS website.

In our guide to claiming benzene poisoning compensation:

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.

Do I have a benzene poisoning claim?

It should be possible to make a benzene poisoning claim if:

  • you were diagnosed in the last three 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 612 7456.

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 for benzene poisoning?

The amount of money you could claim for your benzene poisoning 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 benzene poisoning 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

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

Special damages are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.

What can I claim for after a benzene poisoning? (see list)

Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

What is the average injury compensation for a benzene poisoning claim?

The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.

However, the money you would receive following a benzene poisoning will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your benzene poisoning 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.

What if I am not yet sure of the extent of my injury?

If you have not yet sought medical attention, your solicitor will arrange a medical assessment for you ASAP. If you are awaiting test results, a claim can still be started. Once the extent of the injuries are known, the settlement can be calculated.

Benzene poisoning compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a benzene poisoning injury can be complicated.

Our injury compensation calculator tells you if you may have a claim, how much compensation you could claim, and what you can claim for.

Find out what your benzene poisoning claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a benzene poisoning claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation for benzene poisoning can vary considerably.

If your employer or responsible party accepts liability, a claim could be settled in a month or two. If the employer denies liability, it could take significantly longer. Normally a hazardous substance injury claim should take 6 to 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your benzene poisoning 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.

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.

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 a benzene poisoning claim without needing to worry about upfront legal fees. If your benzene poisoning 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 a benzene poisoning 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 benzene poisoning 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 benzene poisoning claim?

If your benzene poisoning 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 can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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Benzene poisoning 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 about claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more about claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

How long do I have to make a benzene poisoning claim?

In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the benzene poisoning to make an injury claim.

The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your benzene poisoning claim becomes 'statute barred'.

Can I claim for a benzene poisoning 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim benzene poisoning compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a benzene poisoning claim will be taken on by a solicitor.

Calculate your claim limitation date

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by the 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.

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

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.

Read more: Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert