Occupational Asthma Claims
Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition and causes a narrowing of the bronchial walls. Some people suffer from the condition as a naturally caused complaint, whereas others are diagnosed following their employment in an environment that does not make adequate provisions for the risks of respiratory complaints.
There are a number of industries and environments that can cause occupational asthma due to the allergens, chemicals and pollution found on site. If you have been diagnosed with occupational asthma and your employer may be at fault for not having taken adequate care to prevent the condition, you could be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that approximately 177 cases of occupational asthma are diagnosed each year. It is likely that this figure could be over ten times higher when undiagnosed cases and other work-related asthma symptoms are taken into account.
Am I eligible to make an occupational asthma claim?
If your working environment caused you to be diagnosed with asthma and your employer has not taken adequate steps to prevent respiratory complaints, it is likely that you will be successful in a claim for compensation. The claim must be made within three years of your diagnosis of the condition in order to be considered as a valid claim. It is highly unlikely that you will be eligible to make a claim for compensation if more than three years has passed since your initial diagnosis of occupational asthma.
In order to make a successful claim for occupational asthma, the court will need to be satisfied that you have been diagnosed with the condition and that the liability lies with your employer. Your solicitor will work closely with you to establish and gather evidence to prove this.
What will I need in order to make a successful occupational asthma claim?
To make a successful claim, your solicitor will need to prove that your employer did not adequately observe their duty of care to you and are therefore liable for your condition. The solicitor will also be required to prove that you have been diagnosed with occupational asthma and the severity of the condition. This will be done by having your illness assessed by an independent medical expert, which your solicitor will arrange on your behalf.
To assist your solicitor in building a strong claim, the following documents may be used where available:
- Proof of diagnosis including any test results, medical records and treatment plans
- Photographic evidence of your work environment, highlighting any vulnerabilities in safety and where possible, any specific causes for respiratory complaints.
- Copies of any work records relating to your illness.
- Copies of receipts for prescriptions, treatment and related travel expenses.
Once the solicitor has collected all necessary evidence and supporting documents, they will begin to build the strongest possible case with the aim of winning for you the highest compensation award possible.
How much compensation can I get for occupational asthma?
The amount of money that you are awarded following a successful claim for occupational asthma will depend upon the individual details of your case. Your solicitor will offer you a free, no obligation consultation to review the details of your employment and diagnosis. Once they have evaluated your case, the solicitor will be able to use their knowledge and experience to offer you a realistic guideline of the likely award that you will be offered. This will allow you to manage your expectations throughout the claim.
To achieve the amount of compensation that you rightfully deserve, your solicitor will gather as much evidence as is available to prove the liability of your employer and the severity of your condition. As well as receiving an amount for the pain and suffering caused by your condition, you can also claim for financial losses sustained. This can include loss of earnings if you have been unable to work, the cost of any medical treatment required and other associated costs.
Can my employer penalise me for making a claim against them?
All employees are legally entitled to make a claim against their employer in the event of them being injured at work through no fault of their own. This means that your employer is legally obliged to ensure that your working terms and relationship are not adversely affected by you making a claim for compensation.
If your employer makes it difficult for you to continue working for the company following a claim or if they try to dissuade you from progressing with the case, they are breaking the law, and you will be able to make a further claim against them under employment laws.
All UK employers are legally obliged to take out liability insurance, and this covers them against such claims. This means that you can rest assured that any compensation awarded will be paid by the employer’s insurance company, rather than the business directly.
Do solicitors offer a no win, no fee service for workplace asthma claims?
Yes, most injury solicitors are pleased to offer clients the opportunity to make an occupational asthma claim on a no win, no fee basis. This means that you will not be at any financial risk in your pursuit to access the compensation that you rightly deserve. If they are unable to win your case, you won’t pay any solicitor fees.