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Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects about five times more men than women, largely due to the fact that most cases are caused by exposure to asbestos at work. It’s is an awful disease from which many sufferers face the most serious of consequences. Mesothelioma is also known as ‘asbestosis’ and this is the term commonly used when people are claiming industrial disease compensation as a result of inhaling asbestos fibres.
Asbestos was originally intended to be used as a material to make life safer as it offers a fire retardant material that will not burn. It was because of the perceived benefit to health and safety – in that it would prevent or minimise fire risk – that it was often used in the building of schools, hospitals and office blocks built from the mid 1940’s onwards. It was easily worked with, so was used as a fireproof material on walls or around pipework. People were working without the knowledge of the risks to health and without breathing apparatus or protective equipment, clothing or training.
What is mesothelioma and who can get it?
Mesothelioma can affect anyone who has come in to contact with asbestos dusts or fibres. The disease has resulted in a considerable amount of deaths and serious health implications to those who worked with the material from the middle of the 20th century. In 2011, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) reported that asbestos fibres and mesothelioma was linked to over 4,500 deaths. It is now believed that it kills around 5,000 people annually.
The dangers to health from exposure to asbestos have been known since the 1960’s. When asbestos panels or sheets are cut or broken, some fibres are released in to the air that if then inhaled, attach to the lining of the lungs like little hooks and cause scarring. This will then either cause pleural plaques or mesothelioma. The symptoms of people suffering from these conditions are known to be ongoing coughs, shortness of breath and chest pain.
Health and safety law dictates that employers ensure all staff working with asbestos materials were given specific training and personal protective equipment to minimise the risk of inhalation of asbestos dust or fibre. The majority of our mesothelioma claimants were exposed to asbestos through:
- Workplaces where asbestos was used on a regular basis, such as the building industry, heavy industry such shipbuilding, and also in the manufacturing sector.
- Working in public buildings with a large volume of asbestos, such as schools, hospitals and local government.
- Childhood – many children went to school in buildings laden with asbestos and played in fields next to factories or manufacturing plants where asbestos was regularly used.
- Secondary inhalation claimants – spouses and partners of workers who worked in or near asbestos rich areas. Many such mesothelioma sufferers inhaled asbestos dust/particles when washing or handling work clothes. Some even inhaled such fibre directly from the skin or hair of their loved one.
Why claim mesothelioma compensation?
There are many motivating factors as to why anyone would wish to pursue a claim for compensation. With mesothelioma, the reason is obvious. At best, someone with mesothelioma will suffer a loss in lung function and physical ability that will reduce their quality of life, and at worst, it becomes a terminal illness.
Anyone who has been given the shocking diagnosis of an asbestos related disease like mesothelioma will need expert medical care and support. They will also need to know that their loved ones will be looked after once they are no longer able to care for them. Claiming compensation will ensure that all of these needs are met.
We understand that compensation settlements don’t remove the pain or distress caused by mesothelioma, but they can greatly ease the stress levels faced by the sufferer and their family. A compensation settlement can help:
- Give peace of mind that any funeral costs will be met
- Allow a sufferer to provide for their loved ones’ futures
- Provide finance to get better care or make amendments in the home to improve quality of life
- Pay for the cost of living whilst undergoing health treatments or recovering from surgery
At Direct2Compensation we understand just how dire and distressing life with mesothelioma can be. Not only does it seriously reduce the quality of life for those living with the condition, it almost always leads to an earlier death than normal. We can’t fix the problem, but we can offer a small glimmer of hope and positivity. We can help you to understand your rights, take the first steps in claiming compensation, and our expert solicitors will ensure that you obtain a maximum settlement.