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:

Introduction

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. For the sufferer, significant pain, discomfort and breathing difficulties can be a daily battle.

Compensation claims for lung disease typically involve chronic respiratory disorders brought on by hazardous work environments through exposure to harmful dust or chemicals. Unfortunately, these injuries could have been avoided if the employer had adequately managed the risks.

Do I have a respiratory and lung disease claim?

It should be possible to make a respiratory and lung disease claim if:

  • you were diagnosed in the last three 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 612 7456.

A brief phone consultation will tell you exactly where you stand. There is no obligation to start a claim.

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 be long or short lived, but intense enough 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 offenders for lung disease according to disorder:

Asthma

Isocyanates; flour/grain dust; wood dust; welding dust; latex

COPD (which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema)

Coal dust; welding fumes; cotton dust; flour dust; wood dust; silica; isocyanates, cadmium, vanadium, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Lung cancer

Asbestos; silica; diesel engine exhaust fumes

Pneumoconiosis/Silicosis

Asbestos; coal dust; silica

Farmer's lung

Dust or spores from mouldy hay, grain and straw

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.

How can employer negligence be proved?

Whether an employer has knowingly or unknowingly exposed employees to harmful substances and they have suffered lung disease as a result, the 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.

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.

If an employee fails to follow these legal guidelines, resulting in employer harm, a case can be built around it. Evidence is vital in proving employer negligence and can take the form of medical reports and prognosis, company records and witness accounts.

Seeking professional advice

Making a compensation claim for lung disease can be a complex and lengthy process. Although the prospect of it can be a worrying, with the right legal advice, it need not be.

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.

How much compensation can I claim for respiratory and lung disease?

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

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 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
  • Physiotherapy
  • 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, Fourteenth Edition by the Judicial College.

These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.

Example Amount
Lung disease
Short-term aggravation of bronchitis or other chest infection £1,760 to £14,420
Non-permanent lung conditions £4,240 to £14,420
Slight breathlessness recovery in a few years £8,480 to £24,950
Bronchitis and wheezing £16,580 to £24,950
Emphysema £43,670 to £55,830
Breathing difficulties needing use of an inhaler £24,950 to £55,830
Life-threatening disease affecting a young person £80,250 to £108,370
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, your ability to work, and the actual financial losses you have incurred as a result of your injuries.

See the injury table above for some examples.

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.?

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:

Calculate compensation

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.

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 can Quittance help?

Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, 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 612 7456 or arrange a callback:

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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.

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 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 612 7456 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.

Calculate your claim limitation date

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.

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 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.

Read more about interim compensation payments.

Howard Willis, Personal injury solicitor

About the author

Howard qualified as a solicitor in 1984 and has specialised in personal injury for over 25 years. He is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and is a recognised Law Society Personal Injury Panel expert.

Read more about this Quittance Legal Expert