Weil's Disease Compensation Claims

If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by weils disease, 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

Weil's disease, a severe form of leptospirosis, is rare in the UK. According to the NHS, less than 40 cases are reported each year. Only 10 percent of these go onto develop Weil's disease. For those that do, the symptoms are very unwelcome and can impact hugely on a person's life and health.

If an individual contracts Weil's disease through exposure caused by third party negligence they could be entitled to compensation. Certain working environments are the most common culprits. But who is liable?

Doctor discharging patient

Understanding Weil's disease

A bacterial infection caused by the bacteria leptospira, Weil's disease can infect all the major organs, including the kidney, liver, heart, lungs and brain. Animals, such as cattle, pigs and rats, are the main carriers of the bacteria, however they can pass it to humans - predominantly through infected urine.

Humans can develop it when infected water or soil comes into contact with their eyes, nose, mouth or an open cut. It is also possible to contract it through rodent bites, drinking contaminated water or, rarely, animal blood.

In leptospirosis' milder form, diagnosis can be difficult as similar symptoms present in many illnesses. For Weil's disease diagnosis can be much easier.

Diagnosing Weil's disease

Establishing a clear diagnosis of Weil's disease is an important first step in any Weil's disease compensation claim. As Weil's disease is most common in people who come into contact with animals, including rodents, or fresh water sources such as lakes or rivers, a personal history is helpful in a diagnosis.

If a person displaying the symptoms of Weil's disease is employed in a work environment which exposes them, occupation would usually be identified as the cause. Other possible causes include leisure activities, such as freshwater fishing or private ownership of animals.

Common occupations in Weil's disease compensation claims include:

  • Farmers Vets
  • Sewerage workers
  • Abattoir workers
  • Pest control experts
  • Professional freshwater divers
  • Waste disposal workers
  • Construction workers
  • Butchers

Who is liable in Weil's disease compensation claims?

Once a medical diagnosis of Weil's disease has been confirmed, and the cause identified, liability can be apportioned. In cases where the infection was contracted in the workplace -which is the most common type of claim - the employer is usually liable if it can be proved that the disease was contracted as a result of their negligence.

Employers have a legal duty to protect their employees. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, requires that employers carry out a full risk assessment of the work environment, identifying possible dangers and people at risk and putting safety and control measures in place.

For leptospirosis and Weil's disease specifically, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides specific guidance on what can be done to minimise risk. This includes:

  • Consulting with vets about cattle/animal infection
  • Dealing with rat infestations
  • Advising employees to wash cuts and graze immediately and wear waterproof plasters
  • Providing protective clothing

If an employer failed to carry out these requirements, and an employee contracts Weil's disease as a result, they could be held liable. Once advised of a claim, an employee may admit or deny it. They may also argue ‘contributory negligence', for example if they believe the person affected may have not been following procedures as instructed.

How they respond will affect how the compensation process progresses. A personal injury solicitor will usually try to aim for an out of Court settlement.

Why compensation is vital in Weil's disease cases

For those that do contract leptospirosis, the affects can be very unwelcome. Initially leptospirosis is flu-like in its manifestation. However it can develop, over just a few days, into Weil's disease.

Recognised symptoms include: jaundice; decreased urine; painful swelling of the liver, breathing difficulties, weight loss and swollen ankles, feet or hands. Urgent medical attention is often required. If treatment is not sought, it can result in meningitis and organ failure.

Whatever kind of symptoms the person affected has experienced, they will likely require medication, such as penicillin or corticosteroids, and supportive care. They will also have to take time off work and spend time away from their daily life and activities. Compensation will help cover these associated losses.

How much is received will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the symptoms and the prognosis.

Do I have an injury claim?

AN injury claim should be possible if your injury happened:

  • in the last 3 years, and;
  • someone else was at fault, and;
  • that person owed you a duty of care.
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Do I have a claim? - 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 the other party denies liability?

If the defendant denies liability, your solicitor will build the strongest possible case in order to prove that the defendant is responsible for your weil\'s disease. Ultimately the solicitor will issue court proceedings on the defendant. Often this prompts an admission of liability before proceedings begin.

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 an existing weil\'s disease that has got worse?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a claim in the event that a pre-existing medical condition, illness or injury is made worse or aggravated by an accident or someone else's negligence.

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:

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How long does a weils disease claim take?

The length of time needed to process a Weils disease claim can vary significantly.

For example, a simple liability accepted injury claim could be settled 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. For more information, 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.

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

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

No win, no fee promise

Our no win, no fee guarantee means there is no 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, once your claim is settled. 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 do not have to pay any legal fees at all. Your solicitor may take out insurance to ensure there will be nothing to pay.

Is there a catch?

The Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) sets out the terms between you and your solicitor., No Win No Fee is a regulated activity and as such there should be no nasty surprises in the agreement. Nevertheless, it is recommended that you read the agreement carefully and ask any questions if you are unsure.

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:

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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