Teflon Poisoning Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by teflon 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

Introduction

Teflon® is a brand name for the polymer 'polytetrafluoroethene (PTFE)', which is 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 rare, but if you believe that Teflon exposure has made you ill, you may be able to make a compensation 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 an injury claim?

It should be possible to make an injury claim if:

  • you were diagnosed in the last 3 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.

Can I claim if the teflon poisoning made an existing injury or condition worse?

Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult than proving a straightforward teflon poisoning injury, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.

How much compensation can I claim for an injury?

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

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 an injury? (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 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.

Can I claim for prescription costs?

Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the teflon poisoning injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.

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:

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, 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?

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.

Read more:

Will my injury claim go to court and what if it does?

How does no win, no fee work?

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

No win, no fee - our guarantee

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 an injury compensation 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, 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 injury claim?

If your injury 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.

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:

Call me back
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Injury 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:

Claiming on behalf of another person.

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.

Read more:

Claiming compensation if you were partly responsible for an accident.

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.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

Read more:

Will I have to visit a solicitor's office?

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.

Read more:

How to I get an interim compensation payment?

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

Author:
Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor