What is Asbestos and What Diseases Does it Cause?

Asbestos is a mineral that was used widely in the last century as insulation. Asbestos is made up of tiny needle-shaped fibres.  These fibres are easily breathed in, and if they become lodged in the lungs, they can cause a number of respiratory conditions each varying in severity. Asbestos was banned in 1991, but for those who were exposed the symptoms may not develop for up to fifty years. Pleural plaques are areas of scar tissue that develop on the lungs.  They are the least severe asbestos-related condition and it’s not possible to make a claim on the basis of pleural plaques alone, but they can form the precursor to more serious conditions:

Pleural Thickening The pleura is a fine membrane that surrounds the lungs.  Exposure to asbestos can damage the pleura and cause scar tissue to form resulting in breathing difficulties and chest pain.

Mesothelioma This is a cancer that often begins in the pleura and is a common side effect of asbestos exposure.

Lung cancer Lung damage from asbestos exposure can cause various kinds of lung cancer.

Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory lung condition which develops after asbestos fibres are inhaled and become lodged in the lungs. Symptoms usually begin with breathing difficulties, chest pain and a persistent cough.  In many cases, people with asbestos-related conditions were exposed to asbestos whilst at work.  If that exposure was somebody else’s fault or due to negligence on the part of the employer, you may be entitled to make a claim.

How Can I Claim for a Deceased Person?

Some of the above-mentioned conditions can prove fatal, which can mean that the person affected doesn’t have the chance to see a compensation claim through to completion.  In some cases, diseases arising from asbestos exposure may not be established as the cause of death until the post-mortem. In cases where the person managed to initiate a personal injury compensation claim before death but succumbed to their illness before it could be settled, it is possible for the family or a relative to take over and pursue the claim on their behalf. If the person dies before initiating a claim, or if the asbestos-related illness was not discovered as the cause of death until the post-mortem, it may still be possible for the family to submit a claim for compensation. If you or a relative has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and you wish to make a claim, it’s important to seek legal advice straight away. If the exposure was due to negligence on the part of the employer, then you have a good basis for a claim.  However, there are strict time limits called Statutes of Limitations within which you must submit your claim in order for it to be accepted. For more information on how Cute Injury can help, get in touch today.

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