Workplace Cancer Compensation Claims

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

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a specialist industrial disease solicitor.

Your solicitor will collect evidence to prove that your work 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. By law, your employer or former employer will have insurance to cover the cost of illness claims, and your compensation will be paid out of this policy. It should be possible to claim even if the company has shut down.

We can help you make an industrial disease claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have estimated that there are around 13,500 new cases of cancer caused by work every year. This figure is likely to be an underestimate, as many links between working environments and some cancer illnesses are not yet proven.

If an individual has been exposed to a known carcinogen, or cancer-causing substance, in the workplace, and the individual is diagnosed with cancer, they could be entitled to make a claim.

Patient with nurse

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.

What if I want to make a multi-party or group claim?

A multi-party claim (sometimes referred to as a 'group claim' or a 'class action') brought by a group of people who have sustained the same or similar injuries due to the negligence of the same defendant. How you start a multi-party claim will depend on the circumstances and we recommend you speak to a solicitor for more information.

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 workplace cancer 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 workplace cancer claim take?

The length of time needed to settle a workplace cancer claim can vary considerably.

For instance, if your employer accepts liability, a claim can settle in a matter of weeks. However, if liability is denied a claim can take considerably longer. On average an industrial deafness claim takes 6 to 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.

What are the common carcinogens in workplace cancer claims?

Carcinogens come in many forms, including: vapours; liquids; gases; solids and dusts. Damage can occur through inhalation, swallowing or if they come into contact with bare skin.

All potentially carcinogenic substances are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRAC) as ‘definitely', ‘probably' or ‘possibly' carcinogenic (versus not classifiable or probably not carcinogenic).

What industries are most at risk?

According to the HSE, the construction industry has the largest number of occupational cancer cases, with 5,500 registered each year.

Other high risk industries include: plastic, textiles, rubber, pesticide/fertiliser manufacturers; glass and metal production; tyre making; gasworks; aerospace; petrol and diesel; paint production; leather treating plants; dentistry; printing; and chemical manufacturing and processing.

What type of cancer does each carcinogen produce?

The type of occupational cancer diagnosed varies depending on the causal agent the person was exposed to. According to the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH), common carcinogens and their corresponding cancers include:

Confirming a diagnosis of work-related cancer In order to pursue a claim, a cancer must be seen as a direct result of workplace exposure to a known carcinogen. Unfortunately, for the individual affected, it can be hard to accurately conclude that a specific chemical or radiation caused a cancer.

Doctors are aware of many of the known carcinogens and the types of cancer they can produce. Any medical examination will include asking certain background information, including work history. This will help establish a link.

As cancers can take ten years or more after exposure to appear, it is important to look at past jobs as well as more current ones. A solicitor can help a claimant gather supporting evidence, such as company health and safety records, as well as witnesses, to help build a case.

What are the responsibilities of employers?

Employers are required to protect their employees from harm in the workplace. This legal responsibility is provided for in a range of legislation including the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work 1999.

In addition, when a known carcinogen is used in a workplace, an employer is required to identify it, then either remove it or implement appropriate measures to control it. This guidance is set out in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).

In many industries, removing the carcinogen completely is not possible, as the substance is a necessary component of a process. In these instances, the employer must carry out a full risk assessment and ensure that exposed workers are sufficiently protected by:

  • Installing adequate safety measures including barriers, warning signs and ventilation and regularly checking and maintaining them
  • Providing good quality, industry approved personal proactive equipment (PPE) such as safety clothing, breathing masks and eye wear and showing them how to properly use it
  • Training staff on the potential risks of the known carcinogen and the correct safety procedures
  • Providing health surveillance to check for cancer or pre-cancerous cells

If an employer fails to adhere to any of these requirements and a worker is later diagnosed with cancer they could be held liable - provided the diagnoses confirms that the cancer is likely to be a result of the carcinogen in that particular work environment.

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?

No win, no fee, no risk

Under a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if you do not winn your claim .

No win, no fee guarantee

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero 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, 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.

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 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 industrial disease 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
  • Tick icon FREE consultation
  • Tick icon Find out if you can claim
  • Tick icon No obligation to start a claim

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