If legionnaires' disease has set you back, we'll help you move forward
Contracting Legionnaires' disease, often due to contaminated water systems or air conditioning systems, can lead to severe respiratory illness. Compensation claims may include medical costs, long-term care, and financial losses due to time off work.
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by legionnaires disease, we can help. If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
You are not alone
Legionnaires' disease is a potentially lethal lung infection caused by the Legionella pneumophila bacteria. Legionnaires' disease causes up to 2% of pneumonia cases in UK hospitals.
If you need information on Legionnaires' disease symptoms and treatment, visit: Legionnaires' disease (nhs.uk).
Who is liable for my Legionnaires' disease claim?
Legionnaires' disease is caused by the presence of dangerously high levels of Legionella pneumophila bacteria in water. Legionnaires' disease is most frequently contracted by:
- Drinking contaminated drinking water
- Inhaling contaminated water vapour or droplets - such as from fountain spray
Legionella pneumophila bacteria are naturally present in small, non-toxic quantities in lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Because the bacteria do not thrive, it is extremely rare for Legionnaires' disease to be contracted in natural, outdoor surroundings. Legionnaires' disease is also not contagious.
Legionnaires' disease is most often contracted in large, public access facilities, such as:
- Cruise ships
- Nursing homes
The cause of Legionnaires' outbreaks is inadequately cleaned and maintained water systems and equipment. Poor hygiene provides the conditions for Legionella pneumophila bacteria to multiply to toxic levels.
Likely sources of outbreaks
Typical sources of Legionnaires' disease outbreaks include:
- Air conditioning systems and humidifiers
- Cooling towers
- Hot and cold water systems
- Spas and pools
The property owner, landlord, employer or local authority has a legal responsibility to have health and safety procedures in place to prevent the spread of Legionnaires' disease. Health and safety procedures should include:
- Regular inspections, cleaning and disinfecting of water systems
- Regular elimination of build-up of rust, algae, lime scale and any organic matter which could encourage bacterial growth
- Maintaining cold water temperatures below 20ºC (68ºF) and hot water temperatures above 60ºC (140ºF) to inhibit bacterial growth. Legionella pneumophila bacteria cannot reproduce below 20ºC (68ºF) or above 60ºC (140ºF)
Legionnaire's disease claims can be made where negligence in cleaning and maintaining systems and equipment is identified as the cause of a Legionnaires' outbreak.
Liable parties in Legionnaires' disease claims can include those responsible for:
- Design, construction and manufacture of systems and equipment
- Cleaning, maintenance and repair
- Owners of the building or ship
- Operational management team of the building or ship
If you contracted Legionnaires' disease while on holiday abroad, or on a cruise ship, you may still be able to make a personal injury compensation claim.
Am I eligible for legionnaires disease compensation?
You should be entitled to legionnaires disease compensation if your injury resulted from the negligence or actions of another person or organisation, or from an accident that was not your fault.
Use our injury claim calculator to find out if you can claim. Or you can call 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor. Find out in minutes if you have a claim.
How much compensation can I claim for a legionnaires disease?
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.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
Compensation Calculator v3.04
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 are awarded to compensate you for any costs or losses you've incurred or might incur as a result of your accident. These costs might include loss of earnings (including future earnings loss and retraining costs), or any other out of pocket expenses.
Special damages may also be awarded for medical treatments or procedures that you might need to treat your legionnaires disease, including antibiotics, fluid resuscitation, monitoring and oxygen therapy.
How did your injury happen?
The compensation claims process will depend on where and how your legionnaires disease occurred. Click the icons below for more information:
How we can help you with your injury claim
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.
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Handled with the utmost professionalism... extremely kind, courteous and empathetic.
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.