I worked in a quarry all my life, a couple of years ago I retired but recently developed a persistent cough and a shortness of breath, my wife thinks it may be silicosis. Would I be entitled to make a compensation claim for contracting silicosis at work?
Before you consider pursuing a compensation claim for contracting silicosis at work, you must first determine if you have the disease. You should visit your GP or a doctor who will be able to ascertain if indeed you have been unfortunate enough to contract silicosis. This will ensure you receive adequate care for your illness and also means that the condition will be recorded in your medical history which you can use to substantiate your claim for compensation.
Silicosis is one of the oldest recognised forms of lung disease and develops overtime when dust from Silica is inhaled; it is the most common mineral in the world and makes up 27.8 per cent of the earth’s weight. Silica causes the lining of the lungs to become inflamed which subsequently leads to irreversible thickening and scaring of the tissue, this condition is known as Fibrosis.
Suffers of silica will be more vulnerable to lung infections especially tuberculosis, which is why you should contact a personal injury solicitor once you become aware of your condition as there are many external factors which could alter the amount of compensation you are eligible to claim. A solicitor will be able to advise you on the necessary steps you are advised to take in order to build a strong claim such as contacting workers who have also spent a similar amount of time working in the quarry to investigate if they have any respiratory difficulties.
Employers have a duty of care to provide workers with adequate working conditions and to protect the health of their employees, you will have to demonstrate that your employer failed to do this and their negligence resulted in you contracting silicosis.
It is important to be aware that silicosis cannot be cured but treatments can be given to help with its symptoms. This is why you must seek to have your claim for contracting silicosis at work evaluated by a personal injury solicitor once you have sought professional medical attention.
Taking the nature of the illness and its severity into account along with the impact it has and will have on your personal life your solicitor will be able to tell you the potential value of your compensation claim and whether it is worthwhile pursuing it. This will ensure you are aware of the risks in accepting a direct offer of compensation from the negligent party’s insurance company as you will know if you are being under compensated.
As you only have three years from the ‘Date of Knowledge’ (that is the date you first diagnosed with the condition) you are advised to contact a personal injury claims solicitor without delay once you are aware of the condition to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to in your claim for contracting silicosis at work.