Industrial Disease Claims Solicitors
If you have been diagnosed as having an industrial disease, such as Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, repetitive strain injury (RSI), a hernia, dermatitis or a respiratory condition, our specialist industrial disease solicitors can help.
Our personal injury solicitors can advise you on starting a claim and will support you throughout the claims process and beyond, ensuring that you and your loved ones get the compensation you deserve.
Our specialist personal injury lawyers work with clients all over the UK from our offices across Bristol and the surrounding area in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury.
What is an industrial disease?
‘Industrial disease’ is an umbrella term for almost any illness or health condition caused by exposure to dangerous substances or unsafe conditions in the workplace.
The most common types of industrial disease or injury, and the ones you have most likely heard of, are RSI, asbestos disease, skin conditions such as dermatitis, and Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).
Your employer has a duty of care to protect their employees’ health, safety and well-being in the workplace. If they fail to do so, and you suffer from injury or a condition as a result, you may be eligible to make an industrial illness claim against your employer.
Why choose Barcan+Kirby for help with industrial disease claims?
Our industrial disease solicitors specialise in helping those who have suffered illness/injury as a result of their working conditions to claim compensation. We work with clients all over the UK from our offices across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
We are accredited by the Law Society for Personal Injury law, and are recognised by the top client guides to the legal profession for our expertise. Our personal injury lawyers are band 3 ranked by Chambers and Partners UK, and tier 3 ranked for the South West by Legal 500.
We offer practical and sensitive support throughout the claims process, from the moment you first speak to our personal injury team to when your compensation claim is settled.
You will be assigned a dedicated solicitor specialising in industrial disease claims, who is supported by a team of experienced paralegals and legal secretaries. As well as acting on your behalf, our solicitors will ensure you have access to any support services you need for your ongoing treatment or rehabilitation and can advise you if you may be entitled to any Industrial Illness Disablement Benefits (IIDB).
Our industrial disease and injury expertise includes:
- Asbestos-related illnesses including Mesothelioma and Asbestosis
- Manual handling injuries, including Work-Related Upper Limb Disorders (WRULD)
- Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
- Vibration injuries
- Exposure to chemicals/dusts, leading to skin or respiratory conditions such as Dermatitis and Asthma
What is classed as an industrial injury or disease?
Working with and/or disturbing asbestos creates microscopic fibres which, if inhaled or ingested, can eventually cause serious illness.
There are four main health conditions linked to asbestos:
- Mesothelioma (where cancerous tumours form in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart)
- Asbestos-related lung cancer
- Asbestosis (a chronic lung condition)
- Pleural thickening (where the pleura, a thin layer of membrane that covers the inside of the rib-cage and outside of the lungs, thickens)
If you believe that you have been exposed to asbestos during your working life and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition, our specialist asbestos lawyers may be able to help you claim compensation.
Manual handling injuries
Manual handling injuries happen in almost every workplace; from lifting heavy boxes in an office, to moving machinery in a factory. Typical manual handling injuries include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Muscular damage or injuries
- Aggravation of existing conditions or injuries
In line with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, it is an employer’s responsibility to reduce manual handling as far as practicable and ensure adequate measures, such as providing training or lifting hoists are in place to avoid these handling injuries from happening.
If your employer has failed to provide adequate equipment and training and you have sustained a manual handling injury at work, you may be able to start a compensation claim against your employer.
Repetitive strain injury (RSI) claims
Repetitive strain injury occurs when the same task is repeated over and over again. For example, production line work, butchery tasks, small intricate repetitive hand movements required for close work, use of operating machinery and other repetitive manual handling tasks.
The most common types of RSI are:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Tenosynovitis (Trigger Finger)
Common signs of RSI include stiffness, pain, cramp and numbness in the affected part of your body. The symptoms of RSI can seriously affect your well-being and quality of life, so if you believe you have suffered repetitive strain injury as a result of your employer failing in their duty of care, you could be eligible to make a claim for RSI.
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) and Vibration White Finger (VWF) claims
Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) is the term used for a group of vibration-related industrial injuries, including Vibration White Finger (VWF), Whole Body Vibration (WBV) and Dupuytrens Contracture.
Vibration injuries are caused by prolonged use of handheld vibration tools such as power drills used on building and construction sites. The main symptoms of HAVS and VWF injuries are tingling in the fingers, loss of strength in the hands and experiencing ‘white fingers’ in the cold. These types of industrial injuries can be extremely uncomfortable and can affect people’s well-being far beyond the workplace.
Your employer has a responsibility to ensure the time you spend using vibrating tools or machinery is limited. If you feel that your employer has failed to do so, and you have suffered as a result, you can speak to our industrial disease solicitors about starting a claim.
Dermatitis and other skin conditions
Occupational dermatitis is a generic term used to describe skin irritation in the workplace. Also known as eczema, dermatitis can be caused by a whole host of different factors, including extensive contact with chemicals. The more severe examples of occupational dermatitis are where irritants such as chemicals, degreasers and cleaning products, come into contact with the skin and lead to hives or even, in rare cases, skin cancer.
These skin conditions can often be avoided by your employer providing gloves or other barrier products such as protective clothing. If you have suffered from dermatitis or any other skin condition in the workplace, your employer could be required to provide you with compensation for failure to issue you with suitable PPE (personal protective equipment).
Occupational asthma is a respiratory condition which affects the lungs, causing breathing problems. Allergic occupational asthma is the most common type; this is caused by breathing in chemical fumes, gasses or other airborne substances on the job.
Irritant-induced asthma occurs when you breathe in airborne chemicals in the form of gas, vapour or smoke. Although less common, even brief exposure can be extremely dangerous.
Employers should protect workers from breathing in these harmful particles by providing protective gear such as face masks. If you believe your employer has failed to do so, and you have been diagnosed with occupational asthma, our industrial disease solicitors can help you start a claim.
Industrial disease claims FAQs
Industrial disease refers to health conditions or illnesses that arise as a result of exposure to hazardous substances or working conditions. The UK has a legal framework in place to protect workers and provide compensation for those who suffer from industrial diseases.
To make a claim, you must be able to prove that your illness or condition was caused by your work environment or exposure to harmful substances. It is important to gather evidence such as medical records, witness statements, and employment history to support your claim. Additionally, you should consult with an experienced industrial disease claims solicitor who can guide you through the legal process and help maximise your chances of a successful claim.
It’s worth noting that there are time limits for filing industrial disease claims, so it’s advisable to seek legal advice as soon as possible. With the assistance of our solicitors, you can navigate the complexities of the legal system and pursue the compensation you deserve for your industrial disease.
The process of filing an industrial disease claim involves several key steps. Firstly, it’s important to consult with our experienced industrial disease claims solicitors who specialise in this area of law. They will evaluate the merits of your case and advise you on the likelihood of success.
Next, your solicitor will gather relevant evidence to support your claim. This may include medical records, witness statements, employment history, and expert opinions. They will also assess the financial losses and impact on your quality of life caused by the industrial disease.
Once the evidence is compiled, your solicitor will draft a formal claim letter outlining the details of your case and the compensation you are seeking. This letter will be sent to the party responsible for your illness, typically your employer or their insurance company.
The other party will then have a specified time to respond to the claim. They may accept liability and make an offer of compensation, or they may dispute the claim, in which case negotiations may be necessary.
If an agreement cannot be reached, your case may proceed to court. A Judge will hear the evidence from both sides and make a decision regarding liability and the amount of compensation to be awarded.
Throughout the process, your solicitor will guide you, provide legal advice, and represent your interests to achieve the best possible outcome for your industrial disease claim.
As with other personal injury claims, you have three years from the date of knowledge of your injury to claim. The date of knowledge is the date when you knew you had the injury and that it was capable of being attributable to your employment or should reasonably have known this.
With industrial disease claims, the date of knowledge can be years after the employment comes to an end, for example, in asbestos claims. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on time limits and whether you are eligible to start an industrial injury claim.
Gathering relevant evidence to support your industrial disease claim, is crucial. The specific evidence required may vary depending on the nature of your claim and the industrial disease you are seeking compensation for. However, there are some common types of evidence that can strengthen your case, such as:
- Medical records: comprehensive medical records documenting your diagnosis, treatment, and any related conditions are vital evidence.
- Expert opinions: expert reports from medical professionals specialising in the relevant field can provide objective assessments of your condition and its link to your work environment.
- Employment history: providing evidence of your employment history, including job descriptions, dates of employment, and work conditions, can establish a connection between your industrial disease and your workplace.
- Witness statements: statements from colleagues, supervisors, or others who can attest to the hazardous conditions or exposure to harmful substances in your workplace can be valuable evidence.
- Safety records: any safety reports, incident reports, or other documentation indicating negligence or breaches in safety protocols at your workplace can support your claim.
- Photographs or videos: visual evidence, such as photographs or videos, showing the work environment, hazardous substances, or safety violations, can be compelling evidence.
It’s important to consult with an experienced industrial disease claims solicitor who can guide you on the specific evidence required for your claim and help gather and present it effectively to support your case.
Whether or not you will have to go to court for your industrial disease claim depends on various factors. In many cases, industrial disease claims are settled outside of court through negotiation and agreement between the parties involved. This allows for a faster resolution and avoids the time and costs associated with a court proceeding.
However, if the other party disputes liability or refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to take your claim to court. This typically occurs when there is a significant disagreement on key aspects of the case, such as the amount of industrial injury compensation sought.
If your case does proceed to court, a Judge will evaluate the evidence presented by both sides and make a decision regarding liability and compensation. It’s important to note that the majority of industrial disease claims are settled before reaching this stage.
Your solicitor will guide you throughout the process and represent your interests, whether it involves negotiation or litigation, to ensure the best possible outcome for your industrial disease claim.
The costs involved in making an industrial disease compensation claim will be dependent on the individual circumstances of the case. If you have a suitable basis for a claim, we can normally offer a ‘no win, no fee’ arrangement. You may even have an existing insurance policy that will cover the cost of your claim. Speak to our personal injury solicitors who will advise you of your options and the best way to fund your claim.
As with other personal injury claims, you have three years from the date of knowledge of your injury to claim. The date of knowledge will be from when you knew you had the injury and that it was capable of being attributable to your employment.
With industrial disease claims, the date of knowledge can be years after the employment comes to an end, for example, in asbestos claims. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on time limits and whether you are eligible to start a claim for an industrial injury.
Get in touch with our industrial disease solicitors today
Our specialist personal injury lawyers work with clients all over the UK from our offices across Bristol and the surrounding area in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood, Queen Square and Thornbury.