Dioxin Poisoning Compensation Claims

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

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered dioxin 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 dioxin poisoning compensation:

Introduction

Dioxins are a group of highly toxic chemicals, used in industrial processes, that are harmful to health. Dioxin poisoning is a recognised cause of industrial disease and of resulting claims for hazardous substances compensation. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified the most toxic forms of dioxin as carcinogous. However comprehensive data on the harmful effects of many other compounds is not yet available.

Dioxin poisoning compensation claims and industry

When dioxins are ingested in small amounts, they are not considered to be harmful. However, if an employers negligence results in an employee being exposed to larger concentrations, serious illness can result.

Industrial sectors at risk of harmful dioxin exposure include:

  • People who work in paper mills
  • Those employed at water treatment plants
  • Employees of chemical manufacturing plants
  • People who work near industrial incinerators
  • Those whose work involves coming into contact with burning coal, oil or wood
  • Miners and people who work or live near mining activity
  • Recycling plant workers
  • Firefighters

How does poisoning occur?

Dioxin is an umbrella term for a group of 210 compounds that comprise similar structures. These structures are differentiated by the amount of chlorine in each molecule, and the positioning of the chlorine within that molecule.

The most poisonous dioxin is 2,3,7,8 -tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Dioxins are a by-product of some industrial processes, such as chlorine bleaching and drinking water treatments.

Longer term exposure

Dioxin poisoning can occur when harmful levels are swallowed or inhaled. Dioxins can also enter the bloodstream via skin contact, which is particularly relevant if you work in and around these chemicals.

Everyone is exposed to small levels of dioxins over the course of their lives, often with no ill effects. However, if your work or living environment results in prolonged exposure, toxicity can reach dangerous levels.

What are the symptoms of dioxin poisoning?

In the immediate aftermath of being exposed to harmful levels of dioxin, individuals may experience severe pain in the stomach and vomiting, and a general feeling of being unwell.

The most common indicator of dioxin poisoning is a condition known as 'chloracne'. Chloracne results in a break-out of lesions on the face and upper part of the body; and can include a rash, discoloured skin and an excess of body hair.

Dangerous levels of dioxin in the bloodstream can also cause deterioration of the kidneys. In addition, your immune system may be compromised, making you vulnerable to many kinds of illness and infection.

Male fertility can be affected by dioxin poisoning. There have been suggestions that harmful levels of dioxin can be attributed to some cancers, as a cumulative effect of exposure over time.

How should the law protect you from dioxin poisoning?

The Control of Hazardous Substances to Health (COSHH) regulations are designed to protect the health of anyone who works with or around chemicals or materials that are potentially damaging. The law states that employers have a duty to ensure that staff who are exposed to such substances receive the most minimal levels possible, and that personal protective equipment should be used when needed.

Quittance's network of solicitors have assisted with claims for inadequate protective equipment and offer expert advice regarding potential claims.

Can you claim compensation for dioxin poisoning from an employer who is no longer in business?

It is possible to pursue a claim for compensation for dioxin poisoning even if the organisation responsible no longer exists. This can be done through the Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO). Your solicitor can advise you on how to proceed in this circumstance and will handle correspondence with the ELTO.

No win, no fee - the facts

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you any fees if your dioxin poisoning claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your dioxin poisoning injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my dioxin 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 dioxin poisoning claim?

If your dioxin 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.

Is there a penalty if I withdraw?

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?

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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.

Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:

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Dioxin 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 dioxin poisoning claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a dioxin 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 376 1001 to find out if you are still able to claim dioxin poisoning compensation.

In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a dioxin 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

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor