Larcomes have a long-established record of obtaining compensation for sufferers of Asbestos related Diseases. We speak to Richard Hopgood, senior solicitor and director at Larcomes, who specialises in representing asbestos disease victims and their families and in dealing with compensation claims for asbestos related pleural thickening, asbestosis, asbestos related lung cancer and mesothelioma.
What is an Industrial Disease Compensation Claim?
Industrial Disease is a name given to illnesses that are historically linked to substances or working practices that have been found to be harmful to health while at work, examples being exposed to toxic substances such as asbestos or working in noisy environments.
In many cases the employer ought to have taken steps to protect the employee and if the failure to do so has caused a disease or illness to develop, the employee can claim damages (compensation) for the disease and the issues that this may cause to the employee and, in many cases, their family.
How long do I have to make a claim?
Generally, you have three years from the date of diagnosis to make a claim (to formally issue court proceedings) and therefore, if you have received a diagnosis that may be linked to your past employment or work, then we would urge you to obtain advice as soon as possible, and Larcomes can provide this advice free of charge.
In some cases, it can be difficult to assess when the three-year period has started, so I recommend seeking advice as soon as possible.
What can I claim for?
Each case is unique, and compensation is valued on the type of illness you may have, the severity and impact that it may have on you or your family now or in the future.
As an example, if your illness prevents you working in the future, you may have a claim for your future loss of earnings.
You may have care needs as a result of your condition that have to be paid for or you require help from family members. Such costs can be included in a compensation claim.
What expertise does Larcomes offer that makes them different from other Solicitors?
Larcomes has over 30 years of expertise in dealing with complex cases, we deal with the trickiest cases and take on matters that other solicitors have turned down.
How much will pursuing a claim cost me?
If we feel that you have a possible claim, we will work with you under a “No win, no fee” agreement and you will not have any costs to pay if the claim is unsuccessful. Further, if the claim is successful you will receive 100% of the compensation that is agreed.
What sort of claims do you deal with?
We have a long history of dealing with asbestos related illnesses and these conditions make up a large part of our practice and cover cases of mesothelioma, asbestosis, pleural thickening, and asbestos related pleural effusions We also have expertise is dealing with other respiratory illness cases such as occupational asthma.
What are the main steps taken in a claim?
The main steps involve putting together evidence of your employment and how your illness has been caused, for example in an asbestos related claim, working out when, where and how you were exposed to asbestos.
We can then prepare a statement setting out your working life and how, for example you were exposed to asbestos.
We will obtain medical records to instruct an expert to prepare a report to confirm your diagnosis, how it was caused and your prognosis to work out how to value your claim and future losses.
Once a Defendant employer has been identified they or their insurers will be put on notice of the claim and we will argue your case with them.
What should I do if I think I have got a claim?
Given that you only have three years to make a claim from your diagnosis, we would urge you to contact us as soon as possible and we will arrange to meet with you at your home strictly adhering to government guidelines on Covid-19, free of charge, to assess your potential claim and to discuss how we will deal with the case and also the “no win, no fee” funding.
You will not be charged anything during the course of your claim.
A few questions about you
- How long have you worked at Larcomes?
I have been working at Larcomes since 1998
- What has been some of your most rewarding cases?
I take pride in successfully completing all of the cases I am instructed to deal with.
However, those cases that were difficult at the outset, often in asbestos cases where the client could not recall how the exposure to asbestos occurred and being able to establish a material or process that the client worked on that they did not realise that involved asbestos is rewarding.
The most rewarding are those difficult cases turned down by other firms that you can negotiate a settlement on, knowing that the client or their family will have financial security as a result.
- Sum up working at Larcomes in three words?
Need more coffee!!!!
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Please note that this article is not intended as legal or professional advice, it is for general guidance only and updates to the law may have changed since it was published.