Compensation for Weil's disease
If you have contracted Weil's disease due to the negligence of a third party, you could be entitled to make a personal injury compensation claim
How Much Could You Claim?

Weil’s Disease Compensation Claims

Weil’s disease is a rare condition and a serious form of leptospirosis. The NHS reports that there are fewer than 40 cases of leptospirosis reported in the UK each year, and around only 4 of these cases continue to develop into Weil’s disease. This bacterial infection has very unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms, which can have a significant impact on the quality of the patient’s life.

In some cases, Weil’s disease is contracted because of another person’s actions or neglect. In these instances, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation against the person or company at fault.

The most likely third party to be responsible for another person suffering from Weil’s disease is an employer, as the infection can be linked to certain working conditions and environments.

If you have contracted Weil’s disease and believe that it was caused by someone else’s negligence or breach of duty, you could be entitled to compensation. To find out if you have a valid claim, you can arrange a free case assessment by calling 0800 032 3660 or using our online claim form.

The solicitors we work in partnership with provide a no win no fee* service. So making a claim for Weil’s disease won’t involve any upfront costs or the risk of a bill for legal fees if your claim is unsuccessful. You only pay your solicitor if they win your case, and this is a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation (up to 25%), known as a success fee.

What is Weil’s Disease?

Weil’s disease is a bacterial infection that develops from the bacteria Leptospira. A person who contracts Weil’s disease and does not receive swift treatment can suffer from infected internal organs. In serious cases, this can lead to organ failure.

The primary carriers of the responsible bacteria are animals, usually cows, pigs and rats. Humans can contract Weil’s disease through contact with such animals and contact with the urine of a carrier animal.

If a human works in an environment connected to infected animals, they can easily catch Weil’s disease through direct contact with animals, their urine or through water or soil that is contaminated with the bacteria. The bacteria can enter the human system through ingestion, open cuts or from a bite from an infected animal.

Symptoms of Weil’s Disease

Some cases of leptospirosis are more difficult to diagnose as the symptoms presented are shared by several other illnesses. Weil’s disease is easier to diagnose as the symptoms, particularly when coupled with the patient’s job, make the condition clearer.

Some of the most common symptoms of leptospirosis and Weil’s disease include:

  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sudden and severe headaches
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Muscular aches and pains
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Swollen and red eyes
  • Stomach pain

Doctors will be better placed to diagnose Weil’s disease once they understand the patient’s job or leisure pursuits. Those who come into contact with animals or freshwater sources are more susceptible to the disease.

Treatment for Weil’s disease typically involves a course of antibiotics, such as doxycycline or penicillin. The specific antibiotic prescribed may depend on the severity of the infection, the patient’s medical history, and any allergies they may have.

In addition to antibiotics, supportive care may also be necessary to manage the symptoms of the infection. This may include intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration, pain relief medication, and close monitoring of vital signs.

Occupational Links to Weil’s Disease

There are a number of occupations that pose a higher risk to workers for the contraction of Weil’s disease. They include:

  • Farmers
  • Abattoir staff
  • Vets
  • Pest control workers
  • Sewerage engineers
  • Butchers
  • Freshwater divers
  • Waste disposal staff
  • Construction workers

Those who partake in leisure pursuits in similar environments are also at risk. This includes activities such as fishing, diving, some farm-based outdoor pursuits and freshwater water sports.

Can a claim be made following a Weil’s disease diagnosis?

If it can be proven that Weil’s disease was contracted because of third party neglect, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation. Most claims are made against an employer who breaches their duty of care by failing to maintain a safe working environment.

Employers all have a legal duty of care to ensure that their staff are safe in their jobs. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 sets out an employer’s responsibility to conduct regular and thorough risk assessments of the workplace to remove hazards and minimise risks.

Part of the employer’s legal duty is to ensure that staff are protected against potential risks. If the employer did not provide adequate protection or equipment, they may be liable if an employee contracts Weil’s disease as a result.

Legislation Relating to Weil’s Disease

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has specific guidelines for employers to follow in order to minimise the risk of leptospirosis and Weil’s disease being contracted by their staff. The guidance sets out that employers should:

  • Discuss potential risks and receive advice from a vet regarding animal infection
  • Provide staff with protective clothing and equipment
  • Provide staff with thorough training to ensure that protective clothing and equipment are used properly
  • Provide staff with training on risks and prevention
  • Taking prompt action against pest and rat infestations.

If an employer breaches their duty of care to their staff and an employee contracts Weil’s disease, a claim for compensation could be brought against them.

How do I make a Weil’s disease compensation claim?

The process of making a claim for Weil’s disease is generally the same as claiming for any other accident or injury caused by somebody else’s negligence.

The first step in making a personal injury claim is to consult with a solicitor who specialises in these types of cases. They will be able to evaluate the details of your case and determine whether or not you have a valid claim.

If they determine that you have a claim, they will offer you a no win no fee service. They will then begin gathering the evidence available to support your case. This could include medical records, witness statements, photographs of working conditions and any other relevant documentation.

Once the evidence has been collected, your solicitor will submit a claim to the defendant, either directly or through their insurance company. The defendant will have a certain amount of time to respond to the claim and either accept liability or dispute it.

If liability is accepted, your solicitor will work with the defendant’s insurer to negotiate a settlement that fully compensates you for your losses, including any medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

If liability is disputed or a settlement agreement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to court. Your solicitor will represent you in court and present the evidence in support of your claim. A judge will then decide on whether the defendant is liable and, if so, how much compensation you should receive.

How long do I have to make a claim?

If you are considering making a claim for Weil’s disease, it’s important to act fast. As with all personal injury claims, there is a time limit within which a claim must be made. In most cases, this time limit is three years from the date that you suffered your injury, or the date that Weil’s disease was diagnosed.

The time limit for personal injury claims is governed by the Limitation Act 1980. Failing to claim within the applicable timeframe will usually result in forfeiting your right to claim compensation. The Act does give the Courts the discretion to extend the time limit, but this is generally reserved for cases with exceptional circumstances, so it should not be relied upon.

Although the three year time limit is rarely extended, the Limitation Act does include some exceptions to the standard claim limitation period. For example:

  • If the person with Weil’s disease lacks the mental capacity to claim their own accord, a friend or family member could make a claim on their behalf. In this situation there is no time limit. If the person regains their mental capacity, the three year time limit will begin to countdown from that point.
  • If a child suffers from Weil’s disease due to the negligence of a third party, the time limit only begins when they become an adult on their 18th birthday. While they are still a child, a parent, guardian, or somebody else acting as their litigation friend could make a claim on their behalf.

Will I be offered a no win no fee service?

Yes, all of the solicitors we work in partnership with will be able to offer you a no win no fee service. This is also known as a conditional fee agreement and basically means that you will only pay a fee if your compensation claim is successful.

The beauty of the no win no fee service is that you don’t have to pay any fees upfront. You can start your Weil’s disease claim without worrying about costs or taking any financial risk. If, for any reason, your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t have to pay a penny.

If your injury lawyer wins your case, they will deduct a success fee of up to 25% from your compensation award. This fee is discussed during your free consultation, so there are no hidden fees or costs to worry about.

To find out more, speak to a legal adviser by calling 0800 032 3660 or requesting a call back using the contact form below.

* 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.