Passive smoking claims

Introduction

Most people are aware of the serious health risks associated with smoking.

Unfortunately second-hand or passive smoking may carry the same risks as smoking itself. Although less smoke is inhaled, the toxins may still enter the lungs.

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Non-smokers should avoid spending time in a smoky atmosphere to avoid developing health problems, but people whose jobs require them to work around smokers may find it difficult or impossible to avoid cigarette smoke completely.

If a non-smoker develops any of the illnesses, diseases or complaints associated with tobacco smoke, they may be able to claim compensation from their employers.

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Illnesses associated with secondary smoking

Lung cancer is the most well-known but smoking has been linked to many other cancers. Quittance's panel of solicitors have represented clients suffering from respiratory conditions such as emphysema, pneumonia and bronchitis.

As well as compromising the immune system, reducing resistance to colds, flu and infections, inhaling tobacco smoke is also linked to impotence, infertility, heart disease, stroke, stomach ulcers and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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What about the ban on smoking in public places?

Prior to the ban on smoking in all public places in 2007 there were many instances where people were exposed to second hand cigarette or cigar smoke at their place of work.

Waiters, waitresses and bar staff are typical examples. Although the incidence of exposure to second-hand smoke in the workplace is much lower since the implementation of the smoking ban, some people may still be experiencing health problems as a result of previous exposure.

In addition, there are still a number of workplaces where smoking is still permitted, such as residential homes, care homes and prisons. Staff such as care assistants, nurses and prison officers may still be exposed to second hand smoke and may suffer ill health as a consequence.

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Do I have a passive smoking claim?

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Employers have a duty not to expose their workers to hazards and must therefore take appropriate steps to prevent or minimise any risks of passive smoking.

Anyone who has developed a condition, or disease that may have been caused by passive smoking may be able to make a claim.

There is a standard 3 year time limit in which a personal injury Claim may be brought. The 3 year deadline begins either from the date of the accident or from the date that the Claimant knew the injury or illness was linked to the original accident or exposure (the date of knowledge).

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How much compensation can I claim for a passive smoking illness?

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Personal injury compensation guidelines are laid out by the Judicial College. The awards are proposed with reference to an injury's extent and nature. Recommended compensation amounts consist of minimum and maximum figures for an injury or other medical condition.

These guideline ranges are not legally binding yet insurance companies, solicitors and the Courts will follow them in the majority of cases. A Compensation Claims Report (CCR) predicts the amount of compensation you could get in reference to the circumstances of your accident or illness and also the Judicial College guidelines.

It may be possible to claim for existing injuries or medical conditions that have worsened as a result of the exposure to cigarette smoke.

Special damages can also be claimed for. These can include travel expenses, the cost of medical treatment and ongoing care and lost earnings.

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Guaranteed No Win No Fee

Typically a no win no fee agreement (technically known as a Conditional Fee Agreement or CFA) is put in place between a claimant and a personal injury lawyer.

A CFA is basically the terms and conditions under which the solicitor represents the claimant.

The agreement outlines what the solicitor will do and how he or she is remunerated if your case is won.

If you instruct a Quittance solicitor for your passive smoking compensation claim there are no sneaky hidden costs , nothing to pay up-front and the comfort that you will not be financially out of pocket.

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Meet the QLS team

Quittance Legal Services' national panel of solicitors take on all types of road accident claims, including short-term, serious and life-changing injury claims. Our solicitors are selected for their track record in recovering compensation and their professionalism.

Meet the team - click here.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Rakhi Chauhan Road Accident Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
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.

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