Teflon Poisoning Compensation Claims

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

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

Introduction

Teflon® is a brand name for the polymer polytetrafluoroethene (PTFE), synonymous with non-stick cookware and other coatings.

Although Teflon® has been established as a generic term for PTFE, the polymer itself is a unique substance. The material does not react with many chemicals and is used in a wide range of domestic and industrial applications - including clothing, pipes and containers for chemicals.

Compensation claims relating to Teflon poisoning are relatively uncommon, but if the substance does relate to the cause of your injuries, you may be able to make a claim.

Is Teflon toxic?

When used normally, products made with PTFE are safe; however heating Teflon-containing products above 250°C causes the polymer to begin to decompose, releasing harmful fumes.

Polymer fumes can cause fever

A person inhaling these fumes may experience chills, headaches, and fevers, with chest tightness and a mild cough within a few hours of exposure. Usually the symptoms subside within 24-48 hours, and may be dismissed as being an influenza-like infection.

In more severe cases, the toxic effects may cause permanent lung damage. These are often heat dependent - heated to over 450°C PTFE releases further fumes and ultrafine particles, which may result in acute lung injury.

Exposure to polymer fumes in the workplace

Although it is possible to be exposed to polymer fumes in the home, polymer fume fever is most commonly recorded through exposure in the workplace.

Employees who work in plastic and chemical manufacturing plants, or those using electronic instrument boards may be at risk.

The risk is increased where smoking is allowed in an area that may be contaminated with polymer particles.

How can exposure be minimised?

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) detail an employer's duty to protect employees from exposure to chemicals and other substances in the workplace.

Where a process involves heating of PTFE the employer should conduct a rigorous assessment to identify the risks and precautions needed to protect employees' health.

This includes protecting employees from exposure to polymer fumes. Fume and dust extraction controls must be maintained to work efficiently and employees should be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Inadequate protective equipment may be sufficient grounds to support a successful claim.

Monitoring risks

All employees should be monitored for exposure by an occupational health professional, and any necessary health checks arranged. Employers should inform, instruct and train all employees who may be exposed to polymer fumes.

Employees have a duty to limit their exposure by using the protective clothing and equipment provided, ensuring that respirators fit properly and are in working order. They should always use extraction or other control methods correctly and report any defects in enclosures, extraction equipment or other control measures.

Always using the washing facilities and not eating, drinking or smoking in areas where polymer particles may be present will prevent oral ingestion.

If any of these issues are overlooked in a workplace with a known risk of exposure, a claim for resulting polymer-related illness has a good chance of success.

Do I have a teflon poisoning claim?

It should be possible to make a teflon 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 612 7456.

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

How much compensation can I claim for teflon poisoning?

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

Your teflon poisoning 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.

Will I have to pay tax on my teflon poisoning compensation?

If you receive financial compensation following a teflon poisoning injury, specific legislation ensures that you do not have to pay tax on it. This is the case no matter whether the compensation is received as a lump sum or as staggered payments.

Teflon poisoning compensation

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

Calculate compensation

How long does a teflon poisoning claim take?

How long it can take to win compensation for teflon poisoning can vary considerably.

For example, if your employer or responsible party accepts liability, a claim can settle in a month or two. If liability is denied, however, it could take considerably longer. Normally a hazardous substance injury claim should take 6 to 9 months. To read more about how long your claim could take, see: How long will my claim take?

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your teflon 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.

How does no win, no fee work?

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

Our no win, no fee promise

If you have been injured and someone else was to blame (even partially), our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a teflon poisoning injury compensation claim. Read more about making a No win, no fee claim

What do I pay if I win my teflon poisoning 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%. Your solicitor will agree a success fee with you before you start your claim.

What do I pay if I do not win my teflon poisoning claim?

If your teflon poisoning 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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Teflon 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 teflon poisoning claim?

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

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

Can I claim for a teflon 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 612 7456 to find out if you are still able to claim teflon poisoning compensation.

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

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