Asbestosis Claims Solicitors
Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease which leads to long-term breathing complications. The disease does not have a cure. It is caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos, but may not be diagnosed until decades after the exposure occurred.
On this page, you’ll discover general information on asbestos claims and the requirements for filing a claim. To speak with one of our asbestosis claims solicitors, contact:
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What is Asbestosis?
Asbestos is a group of minerals with thin microscopic fibres. These fibres are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity. These desirable properties made asbestos a very widely used material, and its use continued to grow throughout most of the 20th century until the carcinogenic effects of asbestos dust caused its effective demise as a mainstream construction and fireproofing material in most countries.
It should be noted that you can no longer buy, use or re-use asbestos products in Ireland, i.e., under EU legislation, there is now a ban on asbestos and asbestos-containing products being placed on the market.
Types of Asbestos Disease
Asbestos exposure becomes an issue if asbestos containing materials become airborne – if products containing asbestos are disturbed, the tiny fibres are released into the air. When they are breathed in, they can become trapped in the lungs and stay there for many years. Over time these fibers can accumulate and lead to serious health problems.
- Asbestosis: an inflammatory condition of lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and eventually scarring of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe.
- Mesothelioma: a rare cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest cavity, or abdomen.
- Pleural plaques: One of the most common indicators of significant exposure to asbestos. Characterised by areas of fibrous thickening on the lining of the lungs (pleura) or diaphragm, the condition typically arises 20 to 30 years after asbestos exposure. The plaques can calcify over time, but they do not cause long-term health problems. Pleural plaques are always benign and will never become cancerous but scientific evidence suggests that the presence of pleural plaques increases the risk of developing mesothelioma.
- Lung cancer
- Other lung problems
When is Asbestos Hazardous?
When left undisturbed asbestos containing materials do not present a risk to people working or living in buildings with asbestos.
It is harmful if it is releasing dust or fibres into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested. Asbestos is extremely dangerous when it is friable. “Friable” means that the asbestos is easily crumbled by hand which then releases fibres into the air. Sprayed on asbestos insulation is extremely friable whereas asbestos floor tiles are not.
How do I make a Medical Negligence Claim?
Consult a Asbestosis Claims Solicitors
It is advisable for you to speak to an experienced Asbestosis Claims Solicitors to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe that you were not provided with an adequate or appropriate level of medical care under the care of a medical professional, which resulted in you sustaining an injury or illness due to any acts or omissions by a medical professional.
Obtain medical records
In order for the medical negligence claims to have merit, it must be proven that the injury or illness you have sustained was caused by the negligence of the medical practitioner/professional who provided your medical treatment and care.
After the consultation with your medical negligence solicitor, your solicitor will request access to your medical records and engage an independent medical expert to assess your records. The purpose of engaging in an independent expert is to establish whether there was any negligence on the part of the medical professional, and whether or not the medical professional’s negligence was the cause of your injury and illness. This independent third party will also be able to determine, in his opinion, whether the injury or illness sustained was avoidable or not, if the appropriate level of medical care had been provided.
Depending on the complexity of the injury or condition, it is oftentimes necessary to get two separate experts; one to determine the liability of the medical professional, and another to determine whether the negligence caused the injury (causation).
Medical Negligence Litigation
In the case where the independent medical expert has established that medical negligence did occur, upon your instructions your solicitor will commence the process of issuing legal proceedings in Court against the medical professional and/or hospital with a view to securing compensation for you either by way of Court Judgment, or settlement.
The person who has been injured as a result of negligence is called the ‘plaintiff’. The medical professional/hospital or other professional against whom the allegations are made is called the ‘Defendant’.
The process is as follows:
A letter of claim will be sent to the Defendant(s) setting out the allegations and injuries sustained by you. This letter invites the Defendant(s) to admit liability to you and to compensate you for the injuries sustained. If no meaningful response is received on foot of this correspondence, a personal injuries summons will be drafted by a barrister nominated by your solicitor setting out the particulars of negligence and breach of duty, and particulars of the injuries sustained. The personal injuries summons will set out the reliefs claimed by the plaintiff, which will include compensation for pain and suffering (known as General Damages), compensation for additional losses suffered; for example any expenses incurred by you as a result of the injury such as medical expenses, loss of earnings, care costs needs etc. (Known as special Damages).
The personal injuries proceedings will be issued in Court and litigation will thereby be initiated.
Depending on the complexity of the particular case, the litigation process can oftentimes take a minimum of two years to reach Hearing before a Court. This does not mean to say that the Defendant(s) will not seek to settle a claim prior to the Hearing of the action. However, it can be a lengthy process and oftentimes involves a lengthy discovery process whereby medical records and other relevant documentation is exchanged between the parties, an element of the process known as ‘Discovery’.
Your solicitor will advise you throughout the entire process, ensuring your best interests are met, and that you achieve the best outcome available in your particular case.
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Asbestosis
Asbestos-related diseases take many years to develop. The average interval between inhaling asbestos fibers and the onset of symptoms is around 35 years and can be as long as 50 years or more. The shortest latency period is between 10 to 15 years.
If you worked with asbestos, even if it was many years ago you may be affected. The asbestos-related diseases also occur among the wives and children of those who come into contact with the relative’s overalls worn whilst working with asbestos.
There are many different types of asbestos-related conditions and they each vary in severity. The conditions include Pleural Plaques, Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, and Asbestosis. Asbestosis is often misused as a term for any asbestos-related disease.
If you have developed an asbestos-related condition (with the exception of pleural plaques) and, if it can be proven that you were exposed to the asbestos due to someone else’s fault then you would be entitled to bring in a personal injury claim for compensation.
The chance of developing an asbestos-related illness from a one-off incident of low-level exposure is not impossible but very unlikely. One point to remember is that the earlier an asbestos-related disease is diagnosed, the better the condition can be monitored or treated.
X-rays, scans, and lung-function tests can diagnose an asbestos-related disease and monitor its progression.
Information About Pleural Plaques
What are Pleural Plaques?
Pleural plaques are a form of scarring of the outer lining of the lung. Although pleural plaques do not normally cause any symptoms they are an indication of previous exposure to asbestos.
People diagnosed with pleural plaques, often become anxious about whether they will develop a fatal asbestos-related illness in the future, such as mesothelioma
What is Pleural Thickening?
Pleural Thickening or Diffuse Pleural Thickening
Pleural Thickening can be caused by exposure to asbestos. The asbestos fibres which are inhaled through the nose or mouth into the lungs, can make their way out to the pleura (the two-layered membrane surrounding the lungs) and cause scarring and thickening.
If the areas of thickening are not widespread and are isolated to small areas they do not generally cause any symptoms and are known as pleural plaques; however if they cover a large area where they may make breathing difficult, they are known as diffuse pleural thickening.
Pleural Thickening can develop on one lung or on both lungs and causes the tissue to harden, which in turn prevents the lungs from working correctly, making the sufferer feel breathless.
Pleural Thickening can be a disabling condition by itself; however, it also proves that the sufferer has been exposed to asbestos in the past which puts them at risk of developing other asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis or mesothelioma.
If you have been diagnosed with pleural thickening, you may be able to make a claim for pleural thickening compensation.
Identifying Asbestos Product
Many products that contain asbestos state the fact on the label. However, if you are unsure as to whether a product contains asbestos, you can contact the manufacturer or supplier directly to find out if asbestos is contained in the product. If you are still unsure, you should contact a competent person or consultant who will identify if the product is asbestos containing and will assess the risk associated with the material. Advice can be obtained from the asbestos removals contractors, asbestos consultants, the Department of the Environment and Local Government. Where concerns relate to the workplace or work activities, the Health and Safety Authority can also give advice.
The following is a list of products that are presumed to contain Asbestos**:
- Sprayed on fire proofing and insulation in buildings
- Insulation for pipes and boilers
- Wall and ceiling insulation
- Ceiling and floor tiles
- Cement wall joint compounds and ceiling textures in older buildings
- Brake linings and clutch pads
(** Note: The following list does not include every product/material that may contain asbestos. It is intended as a general guide to show which types of materials may contain asbestos)
Time is of the essence in progressing an asbestos related claim
Asbestos-related diseases can range from mild and benign to malignant and life-threatening and when it comes to a claim, time is of the essence. At Coleman Legal we have extensive experience in progressing asbestos related cases within the limited timeframe required to achieve either a judgment or settlement.
As experienced medical negligence solicitors our expertise means that we can assess your claim efficiently and in a timely manner. Our Medical Negligence and Asbestosis Claims Solicitors are happy to meet with you to explain the legal options available to you.
How We Can Help ?
Pursuing a medical negligence claim in Ireland can be daunting, especially if you are still recovering. Our experienced team of Asbestosis Claims Solicitors in Dublin and nationwide can advise you of all legal remedies available to you at this stressful time. By easing as much of the stress associated with medical negligence claims as possible, our aim is to help you through the trauma of your experience with empathy and understanding.
If you have sustained an injury or contracted an illness due to a situation involving medical negligence and have questions surrounding an incident, please contact our Asbestosis Claims Solicitors today at Coleman Legal.
Coleman Legal can help you find out if you are eligible for compensation. If you are eligible for compensation, we will fight for you while you recover, ensuring your best interests are met and that you receive the best settlement or Court Award that is fair to you in the entirety of the circumstances.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.
About Coleman Legal
Our highly experienced team of Asbestosis Claims Solicitors has assisted many clients in recovering maximum damages and we believe in putting the needs of our clients first. We are committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for you and take pleasure in our sensitive approach.
AvMA, a nonprofit dedicated to patient safety and justice, has given Coleman Legal its seal of approval. On their website, they provide helpful advice on how to choose a specialised solicitor for your clinical negligence claim, which may assist you in making your decision.
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