Find out if you can make an industrial disease claim
If you have been diagnosed with an industrial disease within the last 3 years, you could be entitled to claim compensation.
How Much Could You Claim?

Industrial Disease Claims

Industrial disease is a blanket term that describes a wide variety of conditions or illnesses caused by exposure to unsafe conditions or dangerous substances at work. Some of the most common examples that could result in an industrial disease claim include repetitive strain injury, asbestosis, mesothelioma, industrial deafness and vibration white finger.

All UK employers are legally required to provide their staff with a safe and secure work environment. Under health and safety laws, they must take all steps that can be considered reasonably possible to protect employees from accidents or illness. If your employer has failed to meet their duty of care, causing you to develop an industrial disease or illness, you could be eligible to start an industrial disease claim.

The personal injury solicitors we work with have vast experience in helping the victims of workplace illnesses recover compensation. They will provide a no win no fee service, meaning you do not need to pay any upfront costs to start your claim. You also have the benefit and financial security of knowing that if your case is unsuccessful, you will not be charged a penny.

To find out if you have a valid claim for industrial disease compensation, use our online claim form or call 0800 032 3660 today for a free consultation. An experienced legal adviser will assess your case and let you know if you can make a claim.

Examples of industrial diseases

There are various illnesses and conditions that an employee may be at risk of developing through their duties and working environment. Some of the most common types of industrial diseases that solicitors help clients claim compensation for include the following:

Asbestosis and mesothelioma

Asbestosis and mesothelioma are both lung conditions that are commonly associated with breathing in asbestos fibres within the workplace. Symptoms usually present themselves many years after exposure to the fibres and can ultimately be fatal. Employers need to ensure that specialist equipment, training and safety measures are provided for any members of staff who may be exposed to asbestos at work.

Repetitive Strain Injury

The term RSI covers a range of physical conditions caused by the excessive repetitive movement of body parts. The hands, fingers, wrists and elbows are most commonly affected. For example, if your job involves typing, you may suffer repetitive strain injury to your hands if you work continuously without taking sufficient breaks. Employers are legally obliged to ensure that adequate rest and preventative methods are in place to protect their staff from injuries.

Vibration White Finger (VWF)

Vibration White Finger (VWF) is a condition that may affect workers who use vibrating power tools and machinery for long periods without sufficient breaks or the appropriate protective equipment. Commonly, claims for this illness are associated with workers who are required to use pneumatic tools like drills and chainsaws as part of their job, such as those in the construction and mining industries.

Industrial Deafness

Excessive noise in the workplace can cause total or partial deafness to employees. It may be possible to claim against employers who do not meet their legal duty to minimise risks and observe the required safety measures. To reduce the risk of industrial deafness and similar hearing conditions, employees should be provided with appropriate PPE such as ear plugs or earmuffs.

Occupational Asthma

Occupational asthma is a respiratory condition related to chronic inflammation of the breathing passage that is caused by being exposed to certain triggers in the workplace. Triggers for occupational asthma could include hazardous substances such as chemicals, excessive dust, paint fumes, etc.

Industrial Dermatitis

Dermatitis is an inflammatory reaction to the skin that can be triggered by direct contact with irritants such as chemicals, oils, nickel, rubbers, etc. Employers should carry out risk assessments and ensure workers that come into contact with potentially dangerous substances are provided with appropriate PPE, such as gloves.

This list is not exhaustive, as many other industrial diseases may affect workers. If you have suffered any harm or illness due to your employer’s negligence, an industrial disease solicitor could help you start a compensation claim. Below you can read more about the claims process and how much compensation you could be entitled to.

Can I make an industrial disease claim?

If you have developed an illness due to your working environment or job duties, you might be eligible to make an industrial disease claim. However, your eligibility depends on various factors, so it is recommended to consult with an industrial disease solicitor to assess the validity of your case and to guide you through the claims process.

As a general rule, you should be entitled to compensation if:

  • You have been diagnosed with an illness or industrial disease within the last three years, which is usually the relevant time limit for claiming industrial disease compensation;
  • The disease or illness was due to exposure to a harmful substance or hazardous working conditions;
  • You can provide evidence that your employer was aware or should have been aware of the risks associated with the work environment or job duties;
  • You can provide evidence that your employer has failed to take adequate measures to protect you from the risks associated with the work environment or job duties.

You can also claim on behalf of a loved one who lacks mental capacity or passed away due to an industrial disease. If your case has merit, the solicitors we work in partnership with will offer you a no win no fee agreement and guide you through every step of the claims process. You can learn more about making an industrial disease claim in the section below.

How to make a claim for industrial disease compensation?

To get started with an industrial disease claim, all you have to do is call 0800 032 3660 or enter your details to arrange a free consultation with a legal adviser. They will discuss your situation with you and advise on whether they think you are eligible for compensation.

If you have a valid case, a specialist industrial disease solicitor will start working on your case to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. The main stages of an industrial disease claim are listed below:

Information gathering

You will need to collate as much evidence as possible to show that your employer or another party is responsible for your industrial disease. You also need clear proof of what condition you are suffering from and your recovery prospects. The following pieces of evidence could help support your claim for industrial disease compensation:

  • Medical records from your GP or the hospital you visited, stating the type and extent of your condition, the treatments you received and your recovery prospects;
  • A medical examination with a specialist in your illness that your solicitor will be able to arrange for you. A medical diagnosis is necessary to establish a link between your condition and your work environment or duties;
  • Statements from co-workers or supervisors about your workplace conditions;
  • Your notes about how you developed an industrial disease and how it has affected your life;
  • An accident report showing that you informed your employer about your illness and how you believe it is related to your work environment or employment duties;
  • Your employment records and other documents showing the training you received and your responsibilities;
  • Photographs or a video showing your working conditions and the equipment and machinery you use;

Rehabilitation

As well as helping you claim compensation, your solicitor may also be able to assist you in getting access to private healthcare services. While your condition may not be curable, there may be various medications and physical therapies that can alleviate your symptoms that are not available through the NHS. An industrial disease solicitor can help you access these services.

Compensation

Your solicitor will calculate how much industrial disease compensation you are entitled to receive for your pain, suffering and financial losses based on the following considerations:

  • The nature and extent of your injuries
  • Your physical pain and suffering
  • The cause of your injuries
  • Their impact on your daily life
  • Any medical aids you might need
  • The impact on your mental health
  • The long-term or permanent effects of your injuries
  • The medical expenses you have had to pay
  • The impact on your ability to work
  • Any other financial losses and expenses related to your industrial disease

Your solicitor will then contact your employer and inform them of your intentions to start an industrial disease claim. They have three months to investigate your allegations and either admit or deny responsibility for your illness.

Conclusion

If your employer and their insurance provider admit that they caused your illness by breaching their duty of care, a settlement can then be negotiated. Most claims settle out of court, but if you have to take legal action, your industrial disease solicitor will be there to support you.

If your claim is successful, you will be awarded the industrial disease compensation you deserve. This is usually a lump sum payment minus a few disbursements, such as the success fee paid to your solicitor and any interim payments you have already received.

It has been estimated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that 2 million workers within the UK are affected by industrial illness and diseases each year.

Employer responsibilities to protect workers from industrial diseases

Employers have a duty of care to protect their workers from industrial diseases. This includes providing a safe and healthy working environment, assessing and managing risks, providing appropriate training and protective equipment, and monitoring workers’ health. Employers should comply with relevant health and safety regulations and guidelines and ensure that they keep up to date with any changes or updates to these.

If a worker develops an industrial disease, employers must investigate and address the cause of the disease and take measures to prevent it from occurring in the future. They may also be liable to compensate the affected employee in an industrial disease claim.

The primary UK law that protects workers from industrial diseases is the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. Under this Act, employers should take the following measures to adequately protect their employees:

  • Carry out regular risk assessments to identify and manage risks in the workplace;
  • Provide information, instruction, training and supervision to their workers to ensure their health and safety at work;
  • Provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) or respiratory equipment, such as gloves, respirators and protective clothing;
  • Ensure that all the equipment provided is fit for the task and properly maintained;
  • Provide sufficient and regular breaks to employees, or rotate to different tasks;
  • Monitor the health of employees and take steps to investigate and alleviate any issues that are highlighted.

In addition to this, there are other regulations and guidelines that apply to specific industries and activities, such as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, which aim to protect workers from hazardous substances.

If your employer has failed to take all reasonable measures to safeguard your health and safety, you might be able to claim industrial disease compensation. An industrial disease solicitor will offer you a free initial consultation to assess your case and let you know if you can start a claim.

How much industrial disease compensation will I receive for my claim?

The term industrial disease covers such a broad spectrum of illnesses and injuries that the compensation awarded in these cases can vary widely. As with all personal injury claims, the damages awarded for an industrial disease depend on your circumstances.

The Judicial Studies Board (Judicial College) provides recommended minimum and maximum industrial disease compensation amounts for each type of injury and illness. These guidelines are used by solicitors, insurance companies and the Courts to determine how much compensation an injury or illness should warrant.

On top of damages for the pain and suffering caused by your industrial disease (known as general damages), you can also claim for any financial losses you have incurred (called special damages). If your illness or injury has meant you have had to take time off work, you would be able to claim back your loss of wages. Other costs you can recover include:

  • Travel expenses, such as taxi fares to medical appointments
  • Costs for doctor visits, hospital stays, medication, surgeries, and other medical treatments required for the illness
  • The cost of care and assistance needed due to the illness
  • Expenses for physical therapy and counselling
  • Cost of adaptations to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability

It is important to note that the type of damages that can be claimed will depend on the individual circumstances of the case, and a skilled solicitor can help determine what types of damages you may be able to recover.

Based on the Judicial College guidelines, you could receive the following amounts of industrial disease compensation:

  • £16,000 to £108,370 for lung diseases
  • £36,060 to £99,330 for severe asbestosis and pleural thickening
  • £26,300 to £49,270 for mild chronic pain caused by a hernia
  • £13,360 to £25,220 for severe cases of vibration white finger with symptoms impacting work and daily life
  • £6,910 to £132,040 for industrial deafness ranging from minor tinnitus to deafness in both ears

The above examples are the recommendations for general damages only. If you had an industrial disease that fell within one of these compensation brackets, your special damages for lost wages and other financial losses would be calculated on top of this.

What is the time limit to make an industrial disease claim?

In the UK, the time limit to make an industrial disease claim is usually three years from the date of diagnosis or the date you should have reasonably known that your condition was related to your employment.

The last date you can start legal proceedings is known as the claim limitation date. If you fail to start your claim before this date, your case may be considered statute-barred, and the court may no longer accept your claim. However, there may be some exceptions to this rule depending on the specific circumstances of the case:

  • If a person dies due to an industrial disease, the family of the deceased has three years to make a claim starting from the date of their death or when the post-mortem results are received.
  • If the injured person lacks the mental capacity to handle their case, the time limit is suspended, and a litigation friend (a family member or close friend) could claim on their behalf at any time.
  • The time limit might be shorter for industrial diseases that develop while working outside the UK, depending on the specific laws of each country and where the company is registered.

It is best to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you may have an industrial disease claim. This will ensure that no essential evidence is lost and will give your solicitor enough time to talk to witnesses and build a strong compensation claim.

Can I claim on behalf of a loved one?

Yes, you may be able to make an industrial disease compensation claim on behalf of a loved one under certain circumstances. The most common of these is when the injured person is a child or lacks mental capacity due to a medical condition, such as Dementia, Autism or Down’s Syndrome.

To make a claim, you will need to establish that your loved one suffered an industrial disease as a result of their job and that their employer was negligent in providing a safe working environment. If you want to claim for a loved one, you should:

  • Collect information related to their employment history, including details about the industry, the employer, the duration of employment, and any work-related health and safety incidents;
  • Obtain medical evidence to support the claim, such as a diagnosis of the industrial disease and any medical reports or test results that relate to your loved one’s condition;
  • Consult with an industrial disease solicitor with experience handling these types of claims. They can help you determine whether you have a strong case and file the necessary documents with the court to be appointed as your loved one’s litigation friend.

Once you are appointed as a litigation friend, you will have several duties and responsibilities, such as:

  • Attend court hearings
  • Participate in negotiations and consider any settlement offers
  • Act in the best interest of the injured party
  • Provide instructions to your solicitor and take legal advice
  • Keep the claimant informed about the claims process and ask for their input
  • Pay any fees requested by the court

If you start an industrial disease claim on behalf of a loved one, your role as litigation friend will end if:

  • You manage to secure compensation for their industrial disease
  • The case comes to an end, even if it is unsuccessful
  • You or someone else applies to the court for a replacement with a valid reason

How does the no win no fee service work?

No win no fee (also known as a conditional fee agreement) is a type of service that allows individuals to pursue a claim without having to pay any upfront legal fees. Instead, your solicitor agrees to take on the risk of the case and only gets paid if they win your injury claim.

Here is how the no win no fee service works:

  • Free consultation: The first step is to schedule a free consultation with a legal adviser who specialises in the area of law related to your claim. During the consultation, they will assess your case and determine if you have a strong chance of winning.
  • Conditional fee agreement: If the injury lawyer believes you have a strong case, they will offer legal representation under a conditional fee agreement. This means that they will not charge you any upfront fees but instead will take a percentage of the compensation you receive if you win the case. This is known as a success fee and is capped at 25% of your settlement.
  • Legal proceedings: If you agree to the conditional fee agreement, your solicitor will begin the legal proceedings. They will investigate your case, gather evidence, and contact the other side to negotiate a compensation award.
  • Settlement: If your case is successful, you will receive industrial disease compensation for your damages. Your injury lawyer will take their percentage of the award as agreed in the conditional fee agreement.
  • No win, no fee: If you lose the case, you will not be required to pay any legal fees to your solicitor or the defendant. This is because your solicitor will take out After the Event (ATE) insurance before starting legal proceedings, which provides financial coverage for these expenses if the claim is unsuccessful.

To find out more information or to start an industrial disease claim on a no win no fee basis, call 0800 032 3660 today to arrange a free case assessment with an experienced solicitor. Alternatively, please use the contact form below if you would prefer to have a legal adviser give you a call.