I was diagnosed with occupational emphysema six months ago. I had thought about making a claim for compensation but have not acted on it yet, however a friend just told me that there is a three year time limit for occupational emphysema claims, is this true?
Yes, in accordance with UK law those who are making occupational emphysema claims have a maximum of three years from the ‘Date of Knowledge’ (that is the date you first become aware of your injury) to claim compensation, in your case this will be the date you were officially diagnosed with occupational emphysema. There are some exceptions to this rule but generally it applies in all circumstances bar the most extraordinary.
However you should still have enough time to claim occupational emphysema compensation, it is recommended though that you contact a personal injury solicitor without delay so you can begin building your claim for compensation.
Occupational emphysema claims can be complex and your personal injury claims solicitor will ensure the necessary steps are taken to give you the best chance possible of making a successful compensation claim. You should also inform your employer of your illness and record your condition in the employer’s ‘Accident Report Book’ referencing the fact that you believe it to be work related.
Commonly emphysema is associated with smoking and occupational emphysema claims can be complicated if you are a smoker or have been in the past. If this is the case, you should notify your solicitor as they must be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that your illness was sustained as a result of your working conditions.
Your employer has a duty of care to provide staff with safe working conditions and provide adequate safety equipment, for respiratory illnesses such as emphysema, this would mean providing breathing apparatus or masks to limit the inhalation of dust as well as ensuring the area is ventilated as much as possible.
Your solicitor will likely seek information about work colleagues to investigate if any of them are suffering from emphysema also as this will help substantiate your claim for occupational emphysema compensation.