Weil's Disease Compensation Claims
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by weils disease we can help.
The purpose of this guide is to help anyone who has suffered weils 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
Weil's disease compensation:
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?
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
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 a Weil's disease claim?
A Weil's disease injury claim should be possible if your injury happened:
- in the last three years, and;
- someone else was at fault, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
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 a Weil's disease claim on their own behalf.
Can I claim if the weil\'s disease made an existing injury or condition worse?
Yes, although demonstrating this can be more difficult than proving a straightforward weil\'s disease injury, so legal and medical advice should be sought as early as possible.
The amount of money you could claim for your Weil's 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 Weil's 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 Weil's 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
What is the average injury compensation for a Weil's 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 Weil's disease will depend entirely on your specific circumstances.
Your Weil's 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.
Can I claim for prescription costs?
Special damages are awarded for costs or losses incurred as a result of the weil\'s disease injury. Damages can include loss of earnings, treatment cost and any other 'out-of-pocket' expenses such as prescriptions.
Calculate my Weil's disease compensation
Calculating how much compensation you can claim for a Weil's 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 Weil's disease claim could be worth now:
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?
Caring and sensitive support
Your solicitor will handle your Weil's 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, 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 a Weil's 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 Weil's disease 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 Weil's disease claim?
If your Weil's disease 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.
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, 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
Weil's 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 Weil's disease claim?
In general, you have a time limit of up to 3 years from the date of the Weil's disease to make an injury claim.
The last date you can make a claim is known as the claim limitation date - after which your Weil's disease claim becomes 'statute barred'.
Can I claim for a Weil's 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.
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 Weil's disease compensation.
In reality, there are a number of factors that can affect whether a Weil's 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.
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.