Mesothelioma is a death sentence. There is no cure and suffers usually die in agony, gasping for every last breath and finally suffocating. Terrifyingly, the cause of mesothelioma is all around us, in our homes, schools, government buildings and offices.
Used since ancient times, even Greek geographer Strabo and the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder saw what they described as a "sickness of the lungs" in the slaves that wove asbestos into cloth.
It is now a known carcinogenic and has been fully banned in the UK since 1999.
However, because mesothelioma can take decades to develop, thousands of men and women are still being diagnosed and dying every year, with cases expected to peak in the UK by 2018.
The following activities can increase a person’s chances of developing mesothelioma:
Note that there are no asbestos mines in the UK.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or are the relative of a victim who has died of the disease, you may be able to claim compensation from a former employer. You must prove that the former employer negligently exposed you or your loved one to asbestos and this resulted in mesothelioma developing.
If the employer has died or wound up their business, a claim can still be made on their insurance. An experienced personal injury solicitor will be able to locate the insurer in most cases.
If the employer and/or their insurance company cannot be traced, the British government can award compensation up to an average of £123,000 through a special scheme. The scheme is funded by insurance firms.
Most personal injury claims must be made within three years of the negligence which caused the damage occurring. However, mesothelioma can take up to 40-50 years to develop. Therefore, the general principle is that in most cases, claims must be brought within three years of diagnosis.
The amount of compensation you will receive depends on many factors, but average payouts in the UK range in the six figures.
A majority of personal injury claims are settled outside of court. If your case does reach the litigation stage, your personal injury solicitor will represent, advise and support you throughout the court process.
If you wish to claim compensation for mesothelioma, you will find an expert personal injury solicitor near you by searching through Solicitors Guru.