Hydrocarbon poisoning claims

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Paul Carvis

Panel Personal Injury Solicitor

A guide to making a No Win No Fee hydrocarbon poisoning claim

Hydrocarbons are produces by vehicles, in the mining industry, during refuse incineration and in the oil refining process. The hydrocarbons cited in harmful exposure claims include:

  • Benzene
  • Toluene
  • Propane
  • Butane
  • Methane
  • Ethylene
  • Acetylene
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Exposure to different hydrocarbons can result in different symptoms, and it is the symptoms, injury and illness that determines the amount of compensation that a Claimant is likely to receive.

Symptoms of hydrocarbon poisoning

If ingested or inhaled, hydrocarbons can cause lung problems such as pneumonia. They can also affect the central nervous system, the heart, bone marrow and kidneys. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are highly carcinogenic and can result in various types of workplace-related cancer. The symptoms may include:

  • Severe coughing
  • Stomach problems
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Poor coordination
  • Seizures

If you have experienced any symptoms as a result of hydrocarbon exposure that result in injury or illness, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

Hydrocarbon exposure

Exposure to hydrocarbons may occur in a number of ways. Hydrocarbons may be ingested, inhaled, or come into contact with skin.

At work

Exposure may occur at work if incorrect or insufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been issued.

In public

If inadequate health and safety measures during disposal or incineration are followed, site visitors and members of the public may be exposed to hydrocarbons in the atmosphere, water or soil.

Hydrocarbon exposure compensation claims

To make hydrocarbon poisoning or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure claims, you must be able to prove that a third party is responsible for the exposure. This may be your employer if you were exposed to hydrocarbons at work, or the company responsible if the exposure occurred in public.

There are regulations in place to prevent workers from excessive exposure to PAHs in the workplace, including the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations is the most powerful regulation. A breach of these regulations may amount to a criminal offence.

All employers have a duty to provide protective clothing, specialist equipment, and training and risk assessments to prevent exposure. If your employer has failed to do so, you may have grounds to make a claim.

What can be claimed for?

You will be able to claim compensation for the injuries or illness that resulted from hydrocarbon exposure. If the injuries or illness has impacted on your ability to work, you may also be able to claim for the income lost due to incapacitation.

A medical professional will assess the impact the illness or injury has had on your health long-term, and if your health is likely to be affected for the rest of your life. The amount of compensation will be calculated based on these factors.

What to do next

Get answers to your questions

Before you decide to instruct your solicitor arm yourself with information about the process. Find out more in our Help and Advice section.

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Most injury lawyers covering hydrocarbon poisoning normally work on a No Win, No Fee arrangement. For a better idea of how much of a difference the best injury solicitor might make to the level of compensation you pay in solicitor success fees, compare compensation claim quotes here.

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