Respiratory and Lung Disease Compensation Claims
If you have been affected by lung disease we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered lung disease 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
respiratory and lung disease compensation:
Lung disease, or respiratory disease, encompasses a range of disorders affecting the lungs - from asthma and infections such as pneumonia to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer.
Compensation claims for lung disease typically involve chronic respiratory disorders brought on by hazardous work environments through exposure to harmful dust or chemicals. In many cases, a worker's injuries could have been avoided if their employer had adequately managed the risks.
If you have developed a respiratory disease because of your job role or working conditions, you may be able to claim compensation.
Understanding work-related respiratory disease
Work-related lung disease can affect any employee carrying out their duties in an environment where certain hazardous substances - such as dusts and chemicals - are present. Some of the most susceptible industries include mining, manufacturing, construction and farming.
Exposure can happen over a period of many years, or short-lived but intense enough exposure to cause someone to develop a lung condition. Factors which heighten exposure include confined spaces, insufficient ventilation and inadequate protective equipment.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have identified (using figures by THOR-SWORD and IIDB) some of the top causes of for lung disease:
Work-related asthma can develop following exposure to a very wide range of substances, including:
- Flour/grain dust;
- Wood dust;
- Welding dust;
- Latex dust.
COPD (which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema)
Exposure to many potentially-harmful particles can cause COPD, including: Coal dust; welding fumes; cotton dust; flour dust; wood dust; silica; isocyanates, cadmium, vanadium, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Occupational lung cancer can be caused following exposure to numerous toxic and harmful substances, including asbestos fibres, silica dust or diesel engine exhaust fumes.
Pneumoconiosis and Silicosis
Asbestos, coal dust and silica can all cause pneumoconiosis and silicosis.
Dust or spores from mouldy hay, grain and straw are a common cause of farmer's lung and related respiratory conditions.
What lung disease symptoms can I claim for?
You can claim for any and all symptoms associated with your lung condition that cause you pain and suffering, and that affect your daily life.
Symptoms can range from restricted breathing and persistent coughs to mucus secretions, wheezing and chest tightness. Depending on the disorder they can also be severely debilitating and even life-threatening.
Some diseases, such as COPD, is a long-latency disease, meaning symptoms tend to develop years after first exposure, often becoming manifest in later life.
Your solicitor will arrange for a medical assessment to work out how your symptoms have affected your life and ability to work. They will also assess how your condition could worsen in the future, to ensure you receive the full compensation you are eligible to claim.
How do I prove my employer was responsible for my lung condition?
Whether your employer has knowingly or unknowingly exposed employees to harmful substances and they have suffered lung disease as a result, your employer could be held liable.
Employers have a legal responsibility to reasonably ensure that employees do not come to harm. This ‘duty of care' extends through a number of legal regulations which govern the health and safety of a workplace.
If your employee fails to follow their legal duty, they may be negligent and therefore liable for your injuries.
Your solicitor will gather evidence to prove your employer's negligence. This evidence can take the form of medical reports and prognosis, company records and witness accounts.
Occupational lung disease regulations
One of the most relevant to lung disease compensation claims is The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. These regulations require to employer to:
- Carry out an assessment of hazardous substances, including their risk to health
- Take steps to adequately control exposure where prevention is not possible
- Inform staff on the risks and review procedures
- Control exposure and use controlling methods such as installing extractor fans
- Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as breathing masks
Other relevant legal statutes include the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974; the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (PPE); Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.
Should I make a claim for lung disease?
Making a compensation claim for lung disease can be a lengthy process. Although the prospect of it can be a worrying, with the right legal advice, it need not be. Your solicitor will handle all the complexities, and ensure you receive fair compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Quittance's panel of specialist injury solicitors have a wealth of experience in compensation claims resulting from employer negligence. They offer guidance through every step to help achieve a realistic pay-out to cover pain and suffering, medical fees and rehabilitation costs.
The amount of money you could claim for your respiratory and lung disease 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 respiratory and lung disease 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 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 for financial losses and expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident.
What can I claim for after a respiratory and lung disease? (see list)
Examples of special damages (losses you can claim for) include:
- Lost earnings (including future earnings)
- Medical treatment costs
- Travel costs
- Costs of care
- Costs of adapting your home or car
Respiratory and lung disease compensation amounts
The following respiratory and lung disease payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Fifteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
|Lung disease||Minor||Short-term aggravation of bronchitis or other chest infection||£1,760 to £14,420|
|Lung disease||Moderate||Non-permanent lung conditions||£4,240 to £14,420|
|Lung disease||Moderate||Slight breathlessness recovery in a few years||£8,480 to £24,950|
|Lung disease||Serious||Bronchitis and wheezing||£16,580 to £24,950|
|Lung disease||Serious||Emphysema||£43,670 to £55,830|
|Lung disease||Serious||Breathing difficulties needing use of an inhaler||£24,950 to £55,830|
|Lung disease||Severe||Life-threatening disease affecting a young person||£80,250 to £108,370|
|Lung disease||Severe||Lung cancer causing severe pain and impairment||£55,830 to £108,370|
What is the average injury compensation for a respiratory and lung disease 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 respiratory and lung disease will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your respiratory and lung disease 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.
See the injury table above for some examples.
Should I set up a personal injury trust?
If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a respiratory and lung disease injury, your benefits could be affected. In order to ring fence your compensation and protecting your benefits, you may be able to set up a "Personal Injury Trust" or "PI Trust". Read more: Should I set up a personal injury trust?
Can I claim for prescription costs?
Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the respiratory and lung disease injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.
Calculate my respiratory and lung disease compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a respiratory and lung disease 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 respiratory and lung disease claim could be worth now:
How long does a lung disease claim take?
The length of time needed to secure compensation for a lung disease can vary considerably.
For instance, a simple liability accepted injury claim could be settled in a matter of weeks. If the defendant denies liability, a claim can take substantially longer. Normally an injury claim takes 4 to 9 months. Read more: How long will my claim take?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your respiratory and lung disease 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 did your injury occur?
The claims process that your solicitor follows will vary, depending on how the injury occurred:
No win, no fee - the facts
With a no win, no fee agreement, your solicitor agrees that you will have no legal fees to pay if your claim is not successful.
No win, no fee guarantee
Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is zero financial risk in making a respiratory and lung disease 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 respiratory and lung disease 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%. You and your solicitor can agree the success fee before you start your claim.
What do I pay if I do not win my respiratory and lung disease claim?
If your respiratory and lung disease 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.
Is there a penalty if I withdraw?
Under a No Win, No Fee Agreement (CFA), fees may apply if a claimant refuses to cooperate, or abandons their claim after the legal work has started, or if the claim is fraudulent.
How can Quittance help?
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, and 9.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Call us FREE 0800 376 1001 or arrange a callback:
if you can claim
to start a claim
Respiratory and lung disease 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.
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.
How long do I have to make a respiratory and lung disease claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the respiratory and lung disease to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your respiratory and lung disease claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a respiratory and lung disease 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 respiratory and lung disease compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a respiratory and lung disease claim will be taken on by a solicitor.
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.
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.
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.
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.