Radiation Exposure Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by a radiation exposure injury we can help.

The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered a radiation exposure injury 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 radiation exposure compensation:

Introduction

In the UK, radioactive and nuclear waste is strictly controlled. Few opportunities for radiation exposure to occur exist in day-to-day life. Those individuals who do sustain radiation sickness are most often found to have been exposed to the radioactive material through their occupation.

Radiation exposure can be categorised into two types: high intensity, acute radiation, and low level, chronic radiation. Most commonly radiation sickness occurs due to low level, chronic radiation exposure. Symptoms may not develop for years or even decades after exposure. Symptoms of radiation exposure include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Symptoms associated with failing blood count including infection and bleeding
  • Cancer
  • Neurological effects

If you have been exposed to radiation which has led to the development of any of the above symptoms, you may have ground to make a claim for hazardous substances exposure.

Investigating radiation exposure

Do I have a radiation exposure claim?

It should be possible to make a radiation exposure 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 does radiation exposure occur?

Radiation exposure most commonly occurs when working with nuclear or radioactive machinery or materials. This could include:

  • X-rays and medical machinery
  • Working within the nuclear energy industry
  • Working within the nuclear weapons industry
  • Nuclear explosions
  • Escape of radioactive waste

Employers have a duty of care to keep their employees safe from unnecessary harm. Some roles and some workplaces are inherently dangerous, but employers have a duty to ensure the risks are minimised wherever possible.

If radiation exposure occurs due to defective machinery, insufficient safety training or improper protective equipment, the employer may be found to have been negligent. Compensation claims may be made through the Courts, but there is an alternative option for some employees, known as the Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases (CSRLD).

What is the CSRLD?

The CSRLD is a scheme that was set up between a number of companies within the nuclear industry and their employees unions in order to settle radiation exposure compensation claims outside of the usual Court process. It was established in 1982 with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL). Since then a number of other companies have joined the CSRLD scheme, including:

  • United Kingdom Anatomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)
  • Urenco (Capenhurst) Ltd
  • Maghox Electric
  • Nuclear Electric and Scottish Nuclear Ltd (SNC)
  • The Ministry Of Defence (MOD)
  • Anatomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)
  • Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd (DRDL)
  • Rosyth Royal Dockyard Ltd (RRD)
  • Babock Naval Services
  • GE Healthcare

The nuclear workers compensation scheme has been in operation for 23 years, and has processed over 1200 claims, awarding a total of £5.3million in claims. The scheme gives access to legal advice and to people who might not otherwise have the means.

The majority of successful claims have been below the 50% causation probability - meaning that in normal court proceedings they would be unlikely to result in a successful compensation claim.

Can I claim through the CSRLD scheme?

In order to make a compensation claim through the scheme, you must:

  • Have been employed by one or more of the scheme employers or predecessor companies
  • Have experienced occupational radiation exposure with a scheme employer
  • Be a member of a scheme trade union (unless employed by the MOD or HM Forces)
  • Have been diagnosed with a disease associated with radiation exposure.

What can I claim compensation for?

As with any compensation claim, the factors taken into account will include:

  • Pain and suffering caused
  • Loss of enjoyment of hobbies, sports and other amenities
  • Age
  • Income lost due to incapacitation

How much compensation can I claim for radiation exposure?

The amount of money you could claim for your radiation exposure 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 radiation exposure 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 radiation exposure? (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 radiation exposure 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 radiation exposure will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.

Your radiation exposure 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.

Radiation exposure compensation

Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a radiation exposure 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 radiation exposure claim could be worth now:

Calculate compensation

How long does a radiation exposure claim take?

The length of time needed to secure compensation for radiation exposure can vary considerably.

For instance, if your employer or responsible party accepts liability, a claim can settle in a few weeks. However, if liability is denied a compensation claim can take longer. Typically, a hazardous substance injury claim will take 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 radiation exposure 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

'No win, no fee' means that if your radiation exposure claim is not successful, you will not have to pay any legal fees whatsoever. Known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA', no win, no fee is a legal agreement between you (the 'claimant') and your solicitor.

No win, no fee promise

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 radiation exposure injury. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my radiation exposure claim?

Your injury solicitor will receive a success fee which is deducted from your compensation, once 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 radiation exposure claim?

If your radiation exposure claim is not successful then you won't have to pay your solicitor any fees. 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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Radiation exposure 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 radiation exposure claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a radiation exposure 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 radiation exposure compensation.

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