A Guide to Claiming Welding Illness Compensation

The following article looks at what you need to know about making a welding accident compensation claim.

Introduction

The Health and Safety Executive has estimated that approximately 40-50 people who are engaged in welding for a living require hospitalisation each year. Welding illness is relatively random: some welders are unaffected by their occupation, while others can suffer a range of symptoms.

Welding illness can range from minor complaints that resolve within a short period of time, to major conditions that drastically alter quality of life.

Do I have a welding illness claim?

A welding illness injury claim should be possible if the injury happened:

  • in the last three years and,
  • someone else was at fault.

Even if these two points don't apply to you, a claim may still be possible.

It costs nothing to find out - speak to a welding illness claim expert on 0800 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. You will never be pressured into making a claim.

You can also find out if you have a claim with our Online Claim Checker.

What if the injury was diagnosed years after the event?

Typically, the dates of the injury and accident are the same. However, some injuries manifest themselves months or even years after the accident or exposure.

In this case, the clock starts ticking on the date of discovery (the date of diagnosis) of the injury rather than the date of the accident.

Read more

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How much compensation can I claim for a welding illness?

The amount of money you could claim for your welding illness 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 welding illness 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.

See a list of what you can claim for:

Examples of special damages include:

  • Lost earnings (including future earnings)
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Physiotherapy
  • Travel costs
  • Costs of care
  • Costs of adapting your home or car

Find out what your claim could be worth now

Assessing a claim's value at the outset can be complicated.

If you would like a FREE claim estimate with no obligation to start a claim, call 0800 612 7456.

Alternatively, our compensation calculator will give you an instant estimate of what your claim is worth.

Calculate my injury claim

Caring and sensitive support

Your solicitor will handle your welding illness case 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.

What causes welding illness?

A welding accident, in which ultra violet and infra red radiation affects the welder, can cause serious burns to the skin. 'Arc eye', in which the surface of the eye is eroded by radiation, can also be caused by a welding accident. Both burns and 'arc eye' can be the result of an employer failing to provide effective personal protective equipment, or as the result of an employee neglecting to use such equipment correctly.

Welding illness can also be caused by the production of fumes during the welding process. A lack of appropriate ventilation or failure to use the correct personal protective equipment can cause welders to ingest toxic amounts of fumes. This ingestion can be extremely detrimental to the health of the welder, and may result in the necessity to change careers, or an inability to work in any capacity.

What conditions can be caused by welding fumes?

Welding fume fever can appear very similar to the 'flu. It usually resolves after a period of time, and it is unlikely to cause long term effects on the health of the welder.

The function of the lungs can be temporarily affected by the ingestion of welding fumes. This can mean that you have difficulty breathing that escalates over the course of your week at work. If exposure is limited thereafter, you may not experience any lasting effects.

If the area in which you are welding is not appropriately ventilated, you may develop chronic bronchitis or occupational asthma. This is caused by the fumes irritating the lining of the lungs, and can drastically affect your day to day life, making breathing difficult and laborious. The inhalation of rosin, a resin sometimes used by welders, can also be a precursor to occupational asthma. Unfortunately, the effects of this can be permanent and risk your life.

Welder's Siderosis, also known as Welder's Lung, can occur when tiny pieces of iron get into the lungs. This can happen to people who are involved in welding carbon steels. This condition can also make breathing difficult, and reduce your ability to complete simple tasks or engage in exercise.

Manganism can result from welding carbon steel. Also known as manganese poisoning, the effects of this can be extremely debilitating. Symptoms often mimic those of Parkinson's Disease, and may include trembling, shaking, difficulties with balance, slurred speech, problems with walking, impotence, feeling tired all the time, and leg cramps during the night.

Can welding illnesses be prevented?

Your employer has a duty to prevent welding illness from occurring. Employers are obliged to ensure that the area in which you are working is well ventilated, and to provide appropriate personal protective equipment. Organisations that employ welders are also responsible for conducting regular risk assessments in order to protect the safety of all staff, and prevent welding illnesses from developing.

No win, no fee

No win, no fee takes all of the risk out of making a welding illness claim. If you don't win any compensation, you won't have to pay your solicitor any legal fees.

No win, no fee guarantee

If you have been injured and it wasn't your fault, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making a welding illness injury compensation claim.

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

What do I pay if I do not win my welding illness claim?

If your welding illness claim is not successful then you do not have to pay any legal fees .

Read more about how no win, no fee works

How can Quittance help?

Our highly experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning industrial disease claims. Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you.

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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Welding Illness 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 will my claim take?

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

For example, straightforward car accident claims can settle in a matter of weeks, whereas complex medical negligence cases can take years.

Injury claims can also take longer if it is not clear who is responsible for your injury, or if liability is denied by the defendant.

Taken from average case times, this table sets out approximately how long personal injury claims take to settle:

Personal injury claim type

Estimated claim duration*

Road accident claims

4 to 9 months

Work accident claims

6 to 9 months

Medical negligence claims

12 to 36 months

Industrial disease claims

12 to 18 months

Public place or occupiers’ liability claims

6 to 9 months

MIB claims (uninsured drivers)

3 to 4 months**

CICA claims (criminal assault)

12 to 18 months**

*RTA and other claims processed through the Ministry of Justice portal can settle faster.
**Official Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) Government agency and Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) figures.

Read more about how long personal injury claims take.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. The vast majority of claims that are settled by Quittance’s 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 interim compensation payment?

If you suffer financial hardship as a result of an injury, you may be able to claim interim compensation payments.

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.

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert