Respiratory and lung disease compensation
If you developed a respiratory or lung disease due to your working conditions, you could be entitled to make a respiratory disease compensation claim
How Much Could You Claim?

Respiratory Disease Claims

A respiratory disease can severely impact your overall health, ability to work and enjoyment of everyday life. Such illnesses are commonly linked to occupations such as construction workers, farmers and miners. They include conditions like emphysema, silicosis and lung cancer.

Employers in all industries throughout the UK are legally obligated to keep their staff safe and away from unnecessary risks. For jobs that are particularly vulnerable to respiratory threats, employees should receive adequate protection.

A breach of the duty of care owed to you by your employer can have a devastating impact on your health, life expectancy and earning potential. The solicitors we work with are skilled in securing you the highest compensation levels for your respiratory disease claim. They welcome the opportunity to discuss how they can help you recover the damages that are rightfully and legally owed over a free telephone consultation.

If you would like to discuss your case with a legal adviser, please call 0800 032 3660 today or use our online claim form to request a call back.

What can cause a work-related respiratory or lung disease?

Various irritants at work can cause respiratory and lung illnesses or the worsening of a pre-existing condition. These include:

  • Asbestos. Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to diseases like asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
  • Silica dust. Workers in industries like construction, mining, and manufacturing may inhale silica dust, which can result in silicosis, a severe lung disease.
  • Dust and particles. Inhaling dust from coal, wood, cotton, or grain can lead to occupational lung diseases.
  • Chemical fumes. Exposure to hazardous chemicals, like those used in welding or painting, can irritate the respiratory system and lead to asthma.
  • Metalworking fluids. Inhaling mist from metalworking fluids, like coolants and lubricants, can cause various lung disorders.
  • Animal proteins. Workers in settings like farming, food processing, or healthcare may develop allergies to animal proteins, resulting in asthma.
  • Radiation. Radiation exposure in some jobs can result in lung damage and cancer.
  • Fumes and gases. Workers exposed to welding fumes, diesel exhaust, or other toxic fumes may develop respiratory issues.

If you were exposed to any of these or other irritants due to your employer’s negligence, you may be entitled to claim respiratory disease compensation.

Signs and symptoms of respiratory diseases

Respiratory diseases can manifest with various signs and symptoms, depending on the specific condition, but the most common ones include:

  • Persistent or chronic coughing
  • Difficulty breathing or a sensation of breathlessness
  • A high-pitched or wheezing sound while breathing, especially when exhaling
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Feeling excessively tired, even after minor physical exertion
  • Coughing up mucus or phlegm
  • Frequent chest infections
  • Snoring and poor sleep quality

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit your GP or a hospital. They will perform a physical exam and various tests to diagnose your condition and will ensure you get the treatment you need.

Is my employer liable for my respiratory disease?

Every employer in the UK is legally obliged to prevent avoidable risks and provide safety measures to help ensure that their staff are safe. That is known as their legal duty of care and is set by legislation such as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. If you work in an environment that poses a risk to your respiratory health, your employer must:

  • Carry our regular risk assessments to identify risks of respiratory illnesses;
  • Take all the necessary measures to mitigate or eliminate these risks;
  • Use alternative processes or less risky materials when possible;
  • Install effective ventilation systems;
  • Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks or breathing apparatus;
  • Offer proper training and information to employees regarding the risks of respiratory illnesses and the correct use of protective equipment;
  • Establish monitoring programs to detect early signs of illness in employees.

If they fail to do so, your employer could be found liable for any respiratory disease that you have subsequently been diagnosed with. In this case, you will be entitled to respiratory disease compensation.

What types of occupations are most affected by respiratory disease?

Solicitors have vast experience in processing claims for respiratory problems, and a number of industries are particularly vulnerable to these types of illnesses. Jobs which involve constant contact with dust and fumes are those which are most commonly affected by respiratory complaints, especially when workers do not receive adequate protection.

Some of the most common jobs that are linked to respiratory disease include:

  • Painters
  • Asbestos removal specialists
  • Miners
  • Construction workers
  • Farmers
  • Road workers
  • Transport workers
  • Welders and metalworkers

No matter your job, you are entitled to proper safety measures to be protected from an occupational disease. If your employer has failed to uphold their duty of care towards you, you may be able to make a respiratory disease claim against them.

Can I make a respiratory disease claim?

Working in environments that are dusty, include hazardous materials or substances, or involve extremes in temperatures can all impact your respiratory health. If you have suffered from difficulties breathing, painful breathing, consistent coughing or ongoing cold and flu-like symptoms, you may have developed an occupational lung disease.

In this case, you may be able to start a respiratory disease compensation claim. Before taking on your case, a specialist industrial disease lawyer will verify that:

  • Your employer has breached their duty of care towards you
  • Their negligence led to you being exposed to a hazardous substance
  • You were diagnosed with an occupational lung disease as a result within the past three years

Your solicitor will work with medicolegal experts to prove that your condition was related to your work. They will also gather as much evidence as possible to make a successful respiratory disease claim and secure the maximum compensation for your losses.

If you would like to find out if you can start an occupational respiratory disease claim, you can contact us by calling 0800 032 3660. Alternatively, use our online claim form to receive a call back from an experienced legal adviser.

What evidence do I need to make a lung disease claim?

Solicitors need relevant evidence to prove liability and how the condition has affected your life to make successful respiratory and lung disease claims. The types of proof that could help secure respiratory disease compensation include:

  • Your medical records that show the diagnosis and treatments you received;
  • Doctor’s notes about the prognosis and long-term consequences of your illness;
  • Your working history to help identify where the exposure to the harmful substance took place;
  • Photos or videos of the workplace showing unsafe conditions or the presence of dangerous materials;
  • Witness testimony from colleagues or supervisors about your working conditions and inadequate safety measures;
  • Your notes and statements from friends and family about how the disease has affected you;
  • Records that prove you did not receive adequate training on how to deal with hazardous substances;
  • Proof of the financial damages you have incurred due to your illness, such as medical bills and lost wages.

What kind of respiratory conditions can I claim for?

You may contract various lung diseases because of working conditions or risks associated with specific jobs. It is your employer’s responsibility to provide adequate protection against these risks, and a breach of this duty would make them liable for any harm caused to you. Some of the most common respiratory diseases that solicitors process injury claims for include:

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD may develop when you inhale dangerous particles or gases over an extended period. Many sufferers of COPD contract the illness through smoking, but non-smokers can also suffer from the complaint as a result of their working conditions. Professions such as those in construction, agriculture and masonry are most often affected because workers are subjected to machine fumes and gases, grain dust and welding fumes for long periods.


Emphysema is an incurable respiratory disease which severely impacts the victim’s ability to breathe. Shortness of breath, subsequent exhaustion, tight chest and painful breathing are some of the symptoms of this complaint, and emphysema has significant emotional impacts, too. Sufferers of this disease have often inhaled large quantities of dust, fumes or smoke for long periods. Many sufferers have worked in jobs such as mining, engineering, professional cleaning and construction.

Occupational Asthma

Many substances, such as construction dust, grain dust, egg proteins and latex, can cause occupational asthma. Asthma can cause significant restrictions to breathing and impact quality of life and earning potential. Early detection and effective measures to reduce exposure are crucial in managing and preventing this condition.


Silica dust occurs from many different types of stones and rocks and can cause significant damage to lung health. Sufferers of this condition have thickened lung tissue, which is scarred and causes breathing complications, pains and infections. The disease often affects people in manufacturing, construction or fuel production jobs. It is a serious complaint which often reduces the life expectancy of the victim.


This asbestos-related disease is due to the inhalation of asbestos fibres, which are commonly found in industries like construction and shipbuilding. It is a chronic and progressive lung disease that causes difficulty breathing and other symptoms like coughing and chest pain.

These and other pulmonary industrial diseases can have a significant impact on your life. If you developed a respiratory illness due to your employer’s negligence, an experienced solicitor could help you claim compensation.

How much compensation can I claim for a respiratory illness?

The amount of personal injury compensation you could be entitled to will depend on the type and severity of your illness, how it has affected your life, and the related financial losses.

Solicitors take great care to ensure that they demonstrate the significance of the impact that your condition has had on your life. By demonstrating the severity of your symptoms and the level of the breach in your employer’s duty of care to you, they will always seek to secure the highest levels of compensation available.

The most significant awards will be paid to those who have suffered the most or whose symptoms are the most severe. Your solicitor will aim to recover two types of damages:

  • General damages for the physical and emotional complaints and loss of amenities caused by your condition
  • Special damages for loss of earnings, potential future earning losses, treatment costs and other financial losses and expenses

You could receive the following awards for general damages:

  • £15,100 to £105,850 for asbestosis, based on the severity of symptoms
  • £9,080 to £16,380 for occupational asthma that has mild symptoms
  • £22,440 to £36,700 for chronic asthma with breathing difficulties
  • £4,390 to £61,700 for emphysema, depending on severity
  • £65,710 to £91,350 for lung cancer that has impacted your ability to carry out daily activities

Time limits to claim lung disease compensation

Occupational respiratory diseases can take years or even decades to develop. As such, the time limit to start a respiratory disease compensation claim will begin from the date you became aware of your condition, known as the date of knowledge. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you have three years to claim starting from this date.

The court may allow an extension of this timeframe, depending on the length and reasons for your delay. There are also a few exceptions to this rule:

  • If the claimant cannot start legal proceedings due to their condition or another disability such as Alzheimer’s, the time limit is put on hold. In this case, a litigation friend could claim for them at any time.
  • If you lost a loved one due to a workplace respiratory condition, you could start a fatal injury claim within three years of their death. Alternatively, the three years could begin when a post-mortem has confirmed the cause of death.

How can a solicitor help me make a respiratory disease claim?

Personal injury solicitors have extensive experience in supporting clients in obtaining the compensation owed to them following the diagnosis of various respiratory diseases. They are skilled at processing lung disease claims for many industries and recognise that most clients want hassle-free and swift results. Furthermore, they offer a no win no fee* service, which means that:

  • You do not have to pay them anything upfront.
  • They only receive a success fee of up to 25% of your settlement if you receive respiratory disease compensation.
  • If your case fails, you do not have to pay them anything, and you will not lose a single penny.

Personal injury solicitors offer all new clients a free initial consultation. This provides an excellent opportunity for them to assess your case and answer any questions you might have. At the end of the assessment, they will confirm your eligibility to make a claim and the likely outcome and compensation award for your case.

Your solicitor will assist you in compiling the most robust case, gathering compelling evidence and proving the severity of the impact that your condition has had on your life. In doing so, they will build a stronger foundation to negotiate the highest compensation amount on your behalf.

To arrange a free consultation, call free on 0800 032 3660 or request a call back using our contact form.

* Personal injury claims are offered on a no win, no fee basis. If your claim is successful, your solicitor will receive up to 25% of your compensation as their success fee. Any additional costs, such as legal protection insurance, will be clearly explained to you by your solicitor before you decide to proceed with your claim. Termination fees may apply if you fail to cooperate with your solicitor. This includes deliberately misleading your solicitor, failing to attend scheduled medical or expert examinations, or not appearing at a required court hearing.