Hydrocarbon Poisoning Compensation Claims

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

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


Hydrocarbons are produced 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 hydrocarbons can result in varied symptoms which can be severe. If you have been made ill following exposure to hydrocarbons, a compensation claim may be possible.

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.

Do I have a hydrocarbon poisoning claim?

It should be possible to make a hydrocarbon 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 376 1001.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

What can I claim compensation 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.

How much compensation can I claim for hydrocarbon poisoning?

The amount of money you could claim for your hydrocarbon 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 hydrocarbon 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 hydrocarbon 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 hydrocarbon 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 hydrocarbon poisoning will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your hydrocarbon poisoning compensation will be calculated based on the unique impact your injuries have had on your life and your ability to work, and on the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

Calculate my hydrocarbon poisoning compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a hydrocarbon 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 hydrocarbon poisoning claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a hydrocarbon poisoning claim take?

How long it can take to settle a hydrocarbon poisoning claim can vary significantly.

If your employer or responsible party accepts liability, a claim could be completed in a matter of weeks. If the employer denies liability, a claim can take significantly longer. On average a hazardous substance injury claim takes 6 to 9 months. For more information on how long your claim could take, read: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your hydrocarbon 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.

No win, no fee - the facts

With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay whatsoever if your claim is not successful.

Our no win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of claiming compensation for your hydrocarbon poisoning injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

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

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, only after your compensation is awarded. 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 hydrocarbon poisoning claim?

If your hydrocarbon 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.

What is Legal Aid available for?

In 2000, the government abolished the right to legal aid in personal injury and industrial disease cases. Depending on an individual's circumstances, Legal Aid may be available for discrimination cases, criminal cases, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.

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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Hydrocarbon 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 hydrocarbon poisoning claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a hydrocarbon 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 hydrocarbon poisoning compensation.

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

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor