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If you’re thinking about making a claim for an industrial disease or illness then it’s likely that you’ll have lots of questions you’ll want to ask us – and that’s perfectly fine. The team at Smith Jones Solicitors are here to help you every step of the way throughout the process and of course, we’ll always do our very best to answer any specific questions or concerns you might have.
Listed below are a few of the most frequently asked questions we get relating to industrial disease and illness. Of course, no two cases are ever the same but here just a few of the initial concerns you might have:
What is Classed as an Industrial Disease or Illness?
For the purpose of claiming Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, there are currently over 70 different conditions which are classed as being an industrial disease or illness. These include conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (‘COPD’), vibration white finger and most asbestos-related diseases. If you’re not sure whether you’re entitled to claim, simply give us a call and one of our team will take further details from you.
How Much Compensation Might I Recieve?
Unfortunately, whilst this is a commonly asked question it’s almost impossible to answer. The reason for this is because all cases are assessed on their own merits and the ultimate outcome will depend on numerous factors, such as whether you were partly to blame, the severity of your illness/disease, whether your condition can be treated easily or whether it might need long-term rehabilitation etc.
For a very basic idea of the figures involved, you can use our online compensation calculator but do bear in mind that your final settlement amount could be much more (or even less) than the predicted figure shown.
Will I Lose My Job If I Claim Against My Employer?
This is a very common question but there are legal safeguards in place to ensure that your employer doesn’t unfairly dismiss you simply for making a claim against them. Remember, all employers are legally obliged to carry sufficient insurance should a claim be made against them, so it is actually your employer’s insurers who will ultimately settle the claim and not your employer.
What’s more, if you decide to return to work whilst your claim is still ongoing then your employer must make any reasonable adjustments to the workplace as considered necessary – for example, by providing any physical aids you might need, or by allowing you to take regular/extended breaks from your workplace. They must also allow you sufficient time to attend any GP or hospital appointments you might need.
How Quickly Do I Need to Make My Claim?
Whilst there’s always a temptation to ‘wait and see’ how your injury or disease progresses, it’s imperative that you make a claim as quickly as possible. Of course, in the case of industrial diseases, some symptoms aren’t often obvious for a long period of time after the incident (or incidences) first occurred and this is perfectly understandable. It may even be, of course, that you’ve since left that particular job. In cases like these, you should still make a claim as soon as possible and certainly no more than 3 years from when you first became aware of the condition.
Neither insurers nor the Courts will usually consider a compensation claim for any condition which you’ve known about for more than 3 years and from a legal perspective, it can also make it much more difficult to obtain supporting evidence on your behalf – particularly if any witnesses are involved.
Can I Still Claim If I Moved Jobs?
If you’re self-employed, then unfortunately you’re not entitled to make a claim since you’re ultimately responsible for your own health and safety. However, if you’re a long term contractor, recent legislation means that you might now be able to bring a claim if you can prove that another person was in control of both your work and your working environment.
Will I Have To Take My employer To Court?
The team at Smith Jones Solicitors are highly experienced in the negotiation process and will always deal with both your employer and any other third parties (such as their insurers) on your behalf. Most claims are capable of being settled out of Court – and without the need for you to give evidence.
However, if your employer defends the claim and Court proceedings become necessary, then you certainly won’t be on your own and we’ll guide you every step of the way to ensure a successful outcome for you.
How Much Will it Cost Me to Make a Claim?
We should be able to operate your claim on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means that you won’t have to pay us a single penny up front. For more information, get in touch and we’ll tell you exactly how it all works.
How Do I Find Out More About Work Injury Claims?
Making a claim for an industrial disease or illness isn’t straightforward but Smith Jones Solicitors will be with you every step of the way. You can either call us on Freephone number 0800 195 95 90 or even chat with one of our online advisors. We look forward to hearing from you!