The use of all types of asbestos has been illegal for nearly two decades; a voluntary industry ban took some of it out of use in the 1960s and then all asbestos was banned by law in 1999. Although the use of asbestos has been banned, it still exists in buildings we use every day such as in our schools, our offices, our shops and in other old buildings. The existence of asbestos in our workplaces and public buildings has unfortunately led to asbestos-related diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Historically, it was industrial, factory, and construction workers who encountered the most asbestos and were affected by asbestos-related illnesses, leading them to seek compensation. However, because of its use in so many buildings, people who work in other industries are now also suffering from these illnesses and seeking the asbestos compensation due to them.
The trauma of finding out later in life that businesses and companies you worked hard for did not take the necessary safety precautions for your health can be devastating. Asbestos-related illnesses often take decades to present themselves, meaning retirees are most likely to face the reality of being diagnosed at a time when life should be about relaxation, family and enjoying retirement.
At Your Legal Friend, we understand how difficult it can be making a claim after receiving a life-altering diagnosis, but we will ensure we do everything we can to make the process as simple for you as possible, utilising our years of experience fighting for compensation for asbestos victims.
Due to the length of time it takes for an asbestos-related disease to present itself, you may not realise where you were originally exposed, or if there were multiple jobs where you encountered the substance. Our specialised team of asbestos solicitors and case handlers will help piece together your work history in order to find the responsible party, or parties and fight for your claim. We also never underestimate the impact an asbestos diagnosis can have on mental health, ensuring you are kept in the loop with your case and every step is carried out with the least amount of stress caused.
If you are a family member of a loved one who has passed away, it is possible to pursue asbestos claims after death. This may be a very difficult time for you and your family, so we will ensure your case is handled with the utmost care and sensitivity whilst still making sure you can pursue the justice you are seeking on their behalf.
The time limit on making an asbestos claim
With any claim, it’s helpful to start the process as quickly as possible as the information is fresh in your mind and medical records and investigations are readily available. The asbestos claims limitation period is under the umbrella of occupational illness law. In these cases, there is a time limit of 3 years from the date where you first experienced asbestos illness symptoms and were diagnosed with an illness, or first became aware an employer may be responsible for your illness - this is known as the ‘date of knowledge’.
If you attempt to bring a claim more than 3 years after this date, it may be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ under the Limitation Act of 1980, Section 11. However, asbestos symptoms sometimes take decades to appear, meaning it is difficult to determine exactly when the date of knowledge is, and thus when your claim may be ‘out of time’.
Due to the 3 year timeframe, you will need to begin pursuing your asbestos claim as soon as you feel able. We understand that contacting specialist asbestos claim solicitors may be the last thing on your mind as you deal with such stressful circumstances. We will try to make the process as easy for you as possible while making sure you know exactly how your case is progressing.
If you are within the asbestos claims statute of limitations, or would like to confirm if you are, you can chat with us and we’ll be able to advise you as best we can based on the information you provide. You can do this during a free initial phone consultation with us, where we will spend as much time as is needed going over your circumstances. If we feel something in your work history may responsible for your current illness, we may ask your permission to request medical records and HMRC employment details which our experienced asbestos lawyers will investigate. We will then work as thoroughly and as quickly as possible to tell you if we think you have an asbestos claim that will succeed, and more importantly, if you do not.