Lead Poisoning Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by lead 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
Occupational exposure is one of the most widespread causes of lead poisoning in adults. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) there were 4,534 workers under medical surveillance for work with lead in 2019/20.
The Courts recognise that the severity of symptoms vary with exposure. Lead poisoning is known to cause headache, memory loss, abdominal pain, anaemia, irritability, infertility, kidney failure and seizures and any of these symptoms can form the basis of a claim.
If a person suffers lead poisoning due to exposure to hazardous substances caused by a third party, they could be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Identifying lead poisoning for the purposes of a claim
Lead poisoning can be difficult to diagnose. Some of the symptoms are non-specific and can relate to a number of other illnesses. During the medical examination arranged by your solicitor, an independent medical expert will:
- Discuss medical and work history, including the work environment and role
- Ascertain any symptoms or changes in behaviour
- Explore possible routes of exposure
- Initiate testing of the blood lead level (symptoms can occur at levels above 40 µg/dL, but are more likely to occur above 50-60 µg/dL)
Where lead poisoning is diagnosed, swift action should be taken to identify the source and prevent further exposure. If blood levels are high, chelation therapy may be needed to excrete the lead. Treatment may also be needed for calcium, iron and zinc deficiencies.
A claim can include any costs incurred during treatment, including prescriptions for calcium and other deficiencies.
What are the legal requirements of employers regarding lead?
Employers have a legal duty of care to protect employees from harm - a duty provided for in a wide range of regulations, including:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
This includes ensuring they carry out comprehensive risk assessments of the work environment and implement sufficient health and safety measures to control them.
In relation to lead, employers are guided specifically by:
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)
This requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. In the case of lead, this includes identifying its presence in the work environment and putting measures in place to control exposure. Measures could include:
- Fitting adequate ventilation
- Providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as goggles, respiratory protection and gloves
- Conducting routine blood level testing for workers
- Providing effective lead removal products
If an employer failed to follow the guidance in any respect, such as providing inadequate PPE, the employer could be held liable for injuries that result from this negligence.
The amount of money you could claim for your injury will depend on:
- the seriousness 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 injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
This calculation will factor in 'general damages' and 'special 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 are for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after an injury? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
What is the average injury compensation for an injury claim?
The Judicial College injury tables give a approximate idea of the ranges awarded for different injuries.
However, the money you would receive following an injury will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your injury 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.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a lead poisoning injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Can I claim for physiotherapy and private care costs?
Private treatment can be expensive, but funding towards the cost of this treatment frequently comprises part of a compensation award. Your solicitor may even be able to arrange access to private medical care as soon as your claim is accepted.
Calculate my injury compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for an 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 injury claim could be worth now:
How long does a lead poisoning claim take?
The length of time needed to win compensation for a lead poisoning injury can vary considerably.
For instance, if your employer or responsible party accepts liability, a claim could be settled in a couple of months. However, if liability is denied the process might take longer. Usually, a hazardous substance injury claim takes between 6 and 9 months. See more: How long will my claim take?
How else can a solicitor help me?
Your solicitor will handle your injury claim from the initial FREE case evaluation, through to the financial settlement.
Your solicitor will work with other specialists to provide caring and sensitive support and 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.
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.
No win, no fee, no risk
'No win, no fee' means that if your injury claim is not successful, you will not have to pay any legal fees at all. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal agreement entered into between you and a solicitor.
No win, no fee promise
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no 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, 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 injury claim?
If your injury claim is not successful then you will not have to pay any fees. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.
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:
- Find out
if you can claim
- No obligation
to start a claim
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.