Jumat, 28 Maret 2008

Obtaining Compensation For Asbestos Related Diseases

There are a number of illnesses that are caused by workplace exposure to asbestos fibres.

These are mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. Mesothelioma and lung cancer are usually terminal and whilst many asbestosis sufferers can continue with a reasonable quality of life, the disease is progressive and can be very debilitating. Because the latency period between asbestos exposure and disease symptoms and diagnosis can in some cases be up to forty years or even longer, it is very difficult to establish when the exposure took place. For instance if a person has worked in a car maintenance depot where he/she has been exposed to asbestos fibres from car brake linings, and subsequently worked in the building industry where asbestos was used for insulation purposes, it is extremely difficult to prove which employer was responsible for the exposure.

Furthermore, if the person used asbestos privately, for example in the construction of a car garage which were often made from asbestos, then this could also have been the cause of the fatal exposure. As the compensation claims can be for very large sums of money, which is completely justifiable, it is also reasonable to assume that the employers in question along with their insurers will vigorously defend their positions in order to prevent such claims being successful. Furthermore, it is quite possible that the company in question is no longer in existence.

On the other side of the fence, it is a fact that there has been a substantial number of false asbestos compensation claims made, which has increased the caution of insurance companies and governments alike.

Obtaining compensation in these circumstances can be extremely difficult, and is likely to be particularly distressing for sufferers and their families. Despite there being several precedents both for and against the awarding of claims, along with several different acts of parliament concerning compensation for asbestos related diseases, a simple route to obtaining compensation remains far from being clear and straightforward thus excellent legal assistance is a necessity.

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