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Can I Make a Claim for Asbestos Exposure

Can I Make a Claim for Asbestos Exposure

Can I Make a Claim for Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was used extensively throughout the 20th century across the UK. Its strength, resilience and natural occurrence made it a popular manufacturing material for many years, and it was most commonly utilised in the shipbuilding, manufacturing, and construction industries.

It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that a link between asbestos use and lung problems was identified and it took until 1999 before it was completely banned in the UK.

Scarily enough, the number of people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases continues to rise year on year. This is due to the fact that the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases often take many years and in some cases decades, to develop.

In this blog, we will explore who’s the most at risk, the key diseases that asbestos exposure can cause, and all of the details you need to know about making a claim for compensation.

 

Who’re the Most at Risk?

Exposure to asbestos occurs when a product containing asbestos is disturbed and asbestos fibres are released into the air. If this is breathed in, it can cause a number of lung-related health issues. As such, the greater the exposure to asbestos the higher chance you have of developing an asbestos-related disease later in life.

Those who previously worked in industries where asbestos was commonly used such as shipbuilding construction and maintenance are identified as the most at risk. Even though asbestos became illegal in 1999, those who work in those industries today are still considered high risk for exposure as the material can still be found in many older buildings.

As well as those that worked or work directly with asbestos, it is possible for people to become unwell through ‘secondary exposure’. This occurs when people inhale fibres from the work clothes of a family member, or inhalation from living near a site where asbestos was regularly used.

 

What Diseases Can Asbestos Exposure Cause?

Most asbestos-related diseases are very slow to develop, and it can take years for symptoms to start showing. There are four main diseases associated with the inhalation of asbestos fibres:

  1. Asbestosis

A long term uncurable condition, caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos which causes scarring of the lungs.

  1. Mesothelioma

A rare and fatal cancer that frequently starts in the lining of the lungs. Most cases aren’t diagnosed until the cancer is at an advanced stage as symptoms often don’t appear until later in the development of the disease.

  1. Asbestos-related lung cancer

A form of cancer that originates in the lung tissue. It can be difficult to tell the origin of lung cancer, whether it was caused by asbestos or by other factors such as smoking but it is estimated to have a higher survival rate than mesothelioma.

  1. Non-malignant pleural disease

Diffuse pleural thickening is a non-cancerous lung disease that affects the outer lining of the lung. It causes extensive scarring and thickens the lining of the lungs, reducing lung capacity in the process. Pleural plaques on the other hand are smaller areas of thickened lung tissue, which are commonly benign and don’t cause any symptoms but are still evidence of exposure to asbestos.

 

How to Claim

Compensation for exposure to asbestos is only available to those who have gone on to develop and be formally diagnosed with one of the 4 asbestos-related diseases listed above.

Often people will contact us after finding out that they may have been exposed to asbestos in a previous job, or if their doctor has identified ‘traces of asbestos’ on their lungs. Unfortunately, without a firm diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease, you are unable to make a claim.

If you have been told that you may have an asbestos-related condition or if you are unsure of your diagnosis, get in touch with our of our No Win No Fee solicitors today. If you’ve made a claim previously that was unsuccessful, but your condition has since worsened, we may also be able to help

In Scotland, you have three years to file for compensation for asbestos-related diseases. This three-year period can start either from the date of your medical diagnosis, or from when you were made aware, or should have been made aware, that your asbestos disease-related symptoms were related to previous employment. As such, if you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, it’s important that you seek advice as soon as possible.

If you’re claiming on behalf of a deceased family member, the claim must also be filed within three years of the date of death, or the date of diagnosis if this was discovered sooner.

 

How We Can Help

We understand that making a compensation claim for an asbestos-related disease can be a distressing process, given the serious implications of the medical diagnosis which forms the basis of the claim. We will investigate your claim on a No Win No Fee basis and will ensure that your case is dealt with promptly and sympathetically.

Once you have provided proof of your diagnosed asbestos-related disease, any information you have that could help us link your asbestos exposure to a specific workplace as well as any evidence you may have that proves your employer was aware of the risks and failed to take reasonable steps to protect the workforce from exposure can help your claim tremendously.

However, we understand that asbestos-related diseases can take decades to develop and it’s very common in these situations that your former employer may have ceased trading, or that you can’t quite remember when you were exposed. Not to worry, we can still help. We have extensive experience investigating these types of claims and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the best financial settlement possible.

If you or a loved one need advice on filing a compensation claim for an industrial disease caused by exposure to asbestos, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

Top 5 Most Common Myths about Personal Injury Claims: Debunked

Top 5 Most Common Myths about Personal Injury Claims

 

If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, we understand that you might feel hesitant to file a personal injury claim, even if you are entitled to compensation. Sadly, many people decide not to make a claim because of the many misconceptions that are fuelled by the so-called ‘compensation culture.

In fact, in a recent study commissioned by the National Accident Helpline, it was found that almost a third of British people would be reluctant to file a personal injury claim for compensation, after an accident that wasn’t their fault. Even though an overwhelming 85% felt it would be fair to do so.

In this blog, we have debunked five of the most common myths with an aim to highlight the realities of making a genuine personal injury claim.

 

  1. If I make a claim against my employer, I could lose my job

If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, don’t be afraid to make a claim. Employers by law, have to have insurance that covers employees making a claim following an accident at work so it will be an insurance company that you are likely to be dealing with. Additionally, it is actually illegal for your employer to fire you purely on the basis that you made a claim for an injury at work. If this were to happen, you may then have a further case against your employer for unfair dismissal and could pursue legal action against them.

 

  1. I’ll have to go to court to settle my claim

The vast majority of personal injury claims will never see the inside of a courtroom. If your insurance company rejects your claim, if liability is genuinely in the dispute or if the value of the settlement claim cannot be agreed upon, then at that point court proceedings could be raised. We understand this may seem daunting however, your appointed solicitor will be on hand every step of the way.

 

  1. I can’t afford to make a claim

Many people worry that if their claim isn’t successful, they’ll be left with extortionate solicitor fees. We can assure you that is absolutely not the case, and as the name suggests, we work on a No Win No Fee basis which means we cover all the upfront costs associated with your case, giving your claim the best chance of success. Should we lose, you don’t have to pay a penny.

 

  1. Personal injury claims are complicated and can take years to settle

The process to claim for compensation is relatively straightforward and if we take on your case you can be assured that our solicitors have the expertise and experience to guide you through the claims process step by step. In some cases, if your claim does go to court or for claims involving serious injuries, the process can take longer however, this is so your solicitor can ensure that you receive the maximum level of compensation possible.

 

  1. Most people who claim are just making it up for the money

It’s unfortunate that within the UK there is a ‘claims culture’ that perpetuates this idea that people who claim for compensation are doing so as an easy way to make money. Regrettably, this can create the impression that it’s wrong to seek compensation and can make people with genuine cases feel guilty about making a claim.  At Bonnar Accident Law, we don’t believe this to be true and the vast majority of people who contact us have genuine claims. Just remember, that compensation is there to help people who’ve been in an accident that wasn’t their fault, to put them back in the position they were in, prior to the accident. Compensation can help cover the costs of bills, lost savings, treatment, care and medical equipment.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

 

 

 

Making a Claim Against Uninsured Drivers

Making a Claim Against Uninsured Drivers

Making a Claim Against Uninsured Drivers

 

It is estimated that every year there are over 1 million uninsured drivers on the roads in the UK. Even more shocking, is the fact that uninsured drivers are involved in more than 25,000 road traffic accidents each year.

Car insurance is there to protect people who are involved in road traffic accidents, as insurance makes sure that the driver at fault is able (through their insurance company) to cover the cost of any damage, loss or injury and help put the victims back in the position they were in, prior to the accident.

Valid car insurance is a mandatory requirement for motorists in the UK, it is illegal to drive without it. Yet sadly, thousands of drivers continue to take to the roads each year without insurance, putting others and themselves at risk.

It’s important to know that regardless of whether or not the driver at fault has insurance, you may still be eligible for compensation. Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we have significant experience handling these types of claims and can help you every step of the way.

How do I know if I’ve been hit by an uninsured driver?

It may happen that the other driver is upfront and honest with you. However, as driving without insurance is illegal, it’s, unfortunately, more likely that they will be reluctant or outright refuse to pass on their insurance information.

If the other party does refuse to give you any information, or you’re sceptical about the insurance information they have provided, you can check for yourself at the time of the accident by using the Motor Insurance Database (MID). There’s a small charge for a one-off search, but all you need from the other driver is their registration number and the MID will tell you instantly whether a vehicle is insured or not.

 What should I do if I’m hit by an uninsured driver?

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it’s vitally important that you gather as much information and evidence as possible at the time. This includes

  • The registration, make and model of the vehicle
  • The date, time and location of the accident
  • The other driver’s name, address, contact details
  • Videos or photographs of the scene if possible, to back up your claim

We understand that, regrettably, uninsured drivers are less likely than most to stick around in the event of a road traffic accident. In this case, still take as much information as you can as this will help your case.

If you discover the other driver is uninsured, or if they refuse to give you their details or leave straight after the accident, you must notify the police. Refusing to give insurance information is as much of an offence as driving uninsured is.

Can I claim against an uninsured driver?

If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you can claim through your insurance company only if you have fully comprehensive cover. Unfortunately, this means that if you only have a Third Party, Fire or Theft policy, you won’t be covered for claims against an uninsured driver regardless of whether it was your fault or not. Not to worry though, in this case, you can make a claim through The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

MIB was set up to help drivers in the event they’re involved in a road traffic accident with an uninsured driver. MIB will carry out investigations, like an insurer, to establish the facts and may access police reports and witness statements, before they issue their response. There are certain criteria you have to meet, such as how quickly after the accident you file a claim, but they can assist you and may be able to compensate you in the absence of an insurance company. 

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, we can make a claim on your behalf via MIB and are well versed in dealing with claims against uninsured drivers.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.

Think Motorbike: Safety on the Road (Part Two)

 

Think Motorbike Safety on the Road

In January, we brought you part one of our Safety on the Road series: Think Bike, which explored the increased risk to cyclists as an increasing number of people take to their bikes as a cost-effective, healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around. In the first part of the series, we provided our top tips for how to stay safe.

This month we are focusing on motorcycle safety. Although motorcyclists only account for 1% of road traffic, they account for a staggering 19% of road users involved in fatal accidents.

Motorbikes are a popular mode of transport for thousands of people across the UK who get great enjoyment from the sense of adventure riding a motorcycle brings, alongside the financial and environmental benefits.

However, motorcyclists are amongst the most vulnerable road users, as in comparison to cyclists, motorcyclists travel at the same high speeds as cars, yet without any of the protective features, a car offers such as seat belts and airbags. As such, it means that if you’re involved in a road traffic accident on a motorcycle, you’re at considerably more risk of serious injury.

In this blog, we’ll explore the steps that motorcyclists can take to stay safe on the roads, as well as the steps other road users can take to play their part in making the roads safer for those who are most vulnerable.

 

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

 

  • Suit up – the notorious motorcycle leathers are there not just to look stylish, but to protect riders as they can help to prevent serious injury. A DOT-approved helmet is also crucial.
  • Ride defensively by always staying as visible as possible. Make sure you avoid drivers’ blind spots, drive with your headlights on even during the day and wear high visibility clothing.
  • Look out for hazards on the road such as potholes so you can take the appropriate action to avoid these.
  • Avoid cycling in poor weather conditions these can seriously compromise your ride.
  • Obey traffic rules and speed limits, and always make sure to use your turn signals and hand signals.
  • Stay focused, as any lapses in concentration could have serious consequences. Likewise, make sure you aren’t driving impaired.

 

Safety Tips for Drivers

 

  • Look – failure to look is one of the top reasons for road traffic accidents between cars and motorcycles.
  • Pay particular attention to junctions and roundabouts.
  • Take extra care to check for motorcyclists when changing lanes, as a motorcycle may be in the space you’re moving into or be fast approaching it.
  • Leave plenty of space when overtaking a motorcyclist, as much space you would leave a car if not more, as motorcyclists often need to move suddenly to avoid dangers on the road such as potholes.
  • Be aware of Advanced Stop Lines. These allow increased visibility for vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists. You must stop at the first white line if the traffic light is amber or red and when the green light shows, allow the road user time and space to set off
  • The lower your speed, the less risk you are to a motorcyclist. As motorcyclists are more sensitive to changes on the road and can manoeuvre much quicker, if you’re behind or passing a motorcyclist, be sure to do so slowly and carefully.

 

If you do find yourself injured due to a motorcycle accident, you may be due compensation if the accident was caused by the actions of another road user, if the road was in poor condition, or if your injury was due to an equipment failure.

 

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

Fatal Road Accidents: What Happens Next?

Fatal Road Accidents What Happens Next

If a loved one has been involved in a fatal accident, we understand that the thought of making a legal claim may seem impossible at what will already be an incredibly difficult time. Whilst there is no sum of money that will ever begin to compensate you for your loss, we understand that you may be worried about how you will cope financially going forward.

 

That’s why at Bonnar Accident Law, our experienced solicitors will always treat our bereaved client’s relatives with compassion and care.

 

Tragically there were 1,752 fatalities from road traffic accidents reported in the UK in 2019. We understand that behind each statistic, is a family dealing with the devastating aftermath. We have significant experience handling fatal road traffic accidents and we are here to help every step of the way.

 

Am I Entitled to Claim?

 

If someone else was at fault in causing the accident we can help you to claim compensation to ensure that you and your family don’t suffer any unnecessary financial hardship. The law allows close relatives of the deceased to make a claim, which can be any of the below:

 

  • A spouse or a former spouse
  • Civil partners of the deceased.
  • Children, grandchildren, adopted children and other descendants
  • Parents and grandparents of the deceased
  • Brothers and sisters

 

In certain circumstances, other relatives who were financially dependent on the deceased may also be entitled to claim.

 

What Does Compensation Cover in a Fatal Road Traffic Accident Claim?

 

The amount you could be awarded in a successful claim can vary greatly, as it’s very much dependent on a variety of factors.

 

  • Bereavement Award

This covers grief, distress and suffering for the loss of a loved one.

 

  • Actual Losses

This covers the expenses if you were caring for your loved one between their accident and the time of their passing such as any medical costs. It also covers the cost of the funeral and the legal cost of dealing with your loved one’s estate.

  • Loss of Earnings and Services

If you or your loved one were unable to work in the period between their accident and when they passed away the loss of earnings can be covered. Services include any duties your loved one may have performed such as childcare or caring for another family member.

  • Dependency Losses

If you and your family depend on the income of your loved one, the long-term financial loss will be carefully calculated to ensure the deceased dependents are financially supported in the future. This can include income, pensions and benefits.

 

How Can We Help?

 

Following a fatal road traffic accident, the police will have carried out a detailed investigation into the circumstances that caused the accident. We will gain access to these reports and speak to the police offers involved, whilst also instructing our own independent road accident investigators to review the police evidence and findings.

 

Here at Bonnar Accident Law, our solicitors have the expertise and experience to guide your family through the claims process step by step and we will work tirelessly to achieve the maximum amount of compensation for each family member who has a claim.

 

If you would like to discuss your options for making a compensation claim as a result of a fatal accident, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.