Siderosis Compensation Claims

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

If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.

Claiming injury compensation with a solicitor

You can make a compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.

Your solicitor will ask you about what happened, and they will collect evidence to prove what caused your injuries. Your solicitor will also work out how much money you can claim, based on your injuries, lost earnings and other expenses.

We can help you make a personal injury compensation claim on a No Win No Fee basis.

In this article

Introduction

Siderosis is one of a group of lung diseases known as pneumoconiosis. It is caused by iron overload in the lungs as a consequence of inhaling iron dust, usually over a long period of exposure. According to the British Medical Journal, around 7% of arc welders are diagnosed with the disease.

Siderosis claims fall within the category of industrial disease compensation claims. If you have been diagnosed with siderosis, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation against your employer or a former employer.

Welder at work

Do I have an injury claim?

As a basic rule, you can make an injury claim if your injury happened:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was to blame, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
Check my claim online

Injury claim eligibility - Common questions

What if a child was injured?

The 3 year rule does not apply to minors.

A claim can be pursued for anyone under the age of 18 by a parent, guardian or litigation friend. The injured child has up to the age of 21 to start an injury claim on their own behalf.

Read more about claiming injury compensation on behalf of a child.

What if there is no evidence?

Evidence can take the form of eyewitness accounts, CCTV footage, photographs etc. It will be difficult to win a siderosis claim with no evidence at all. You may feel that there is no evidence but a solictor may well be able to assist in collating evidence that you, as a claimant, were unaware of.

What is siderosis?

Siderosis is caused by the inhalation of iron particles. The disease typically presents in metalworkers who might breathe in the iron dust that is emitted in welding fumes when there is insufficient ventilation in the area. For this reason, siderosis is commonly known as welder's lung.

For many patients, siderosis is a benign disease. This means that the patient may experience only minor symptoms and lung function is not usually affected. Other patients may display a variety of chronic symptoms including:

  • Coughing
  • Chest pains
  • Asthma symptoms
  • Breathing difficulties.

In severe cases, welders may develop pneumonia, a serious lung infection or total body iron overload. Diagnosis is by way of chest X-ray, scans and breathing tests. Treatment will depend on what, if any, symptoms emerge.

Getting an independent medical assessment of the potential symptoms of siderosis is a key step in the claims process. This ensures that the compensation settlement reflects the long-term prognosis for the condition and the effect it will have on the claimant's life.

The conditions of employment, the severity of the illness and the effect the siderosis will have on the claimant's quality of life will all be factored into the compensation award. The claimant's age is also relevant. Younger claimants typically receive more compensation than older claimants to reflect the fact that they must live with the condition for a longer period of time.

Employers have a 'duty of care'

Employers have a legal 'duty of care' to minimise a worker's exposure to fumes and dust in the workplace. If a potentially hazardous work task cannot be eliminated, employers should take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of a worker developing siderosis, for example by:

  • Ensuring that the work area has sufficient extraction equipment
  • Supplying personal protective equipment such as a mask and respiratory aids.

Where an employer has not done everything they reasonably could to provide a safe working environment, and the employee has developed welder's lung as a result, a claim for compensation may be brought. Failing to provide suitable protective equipment is likely to be such a breach.

Siderosis claims must be brought within three years of:

  • The date of exposure to iron dust; or
  • The date the claimant first became aware of the illness following a diagnosis.

What if my employer has gone out of business?

Siderosis can take ten years or more to develop. By the time a diagnosis is made, the claimant's former employer may have gone out of business.

In this scenario, a claim may still be made. The injury lawyer can help with tracing the parties responsible for the illness and their insurers using the Employers' Liability Tracing Office and records held at Companies House. The insurance company will be responsible for paying the compensation.

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

Siderosis compensation amounts

The following siderosis 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.

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
Neck injury
Fractures or dislocations or severe soft tissue damage £36,240 to £44,630

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.

Should I set up a personal injury trust?

If you are receiving means-tested benefits and are awarded compensation following a siderosis 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?

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 my claim

How long does a siderosis claim take?

How long it can take to get compensation for siderosis can vary significantly.

For example, a simple liability accepted injury claim might be concluded in a month or two. However, if liability is denied it could take considerably longer. On average an injury claim should take 4 to 9 months. See: 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.

Will I have to go to court?

Highly unlikely. Solicitors settle the vast majority of claims out of court.

Around 2% 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 - the facts

No win, no fee means that your solicitor will not charge you anything at all if your injury claim is unsuccessful. 'No win, no fee' is also known as a 'Conditional Fee Agreement' or 'CFA'.

No win, no fee promise

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, our no win, no fee guarantee takes the risk out of making an injury compensation 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 claim is settled. 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 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.

Why do most solicitors charge 25%?

25% success fees are charged by most law firms as this is the maximum fee that the Ministry of Justice allows them to charge. siderosis claims can take a solicitor hundreds of hours work and they receive nothing if the case is lost. The success fee will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may vary. Call us for more information.

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 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
  • 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.

If you were injured as a child, you do have up until your 21st birthday to make a claim.

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