Our specialist asbestos team have been acting for victims and their families who have been affected by asbestos disease for over 20 years. Our team have proven expertise in order to pursue successful mesothelioma claims in the East Anglia region.
We travel to see all of our clients within their homes and work under a Conditional Fee Agreement (No Win, No Fee).
In terms of pursuing successful mesothelioma claims, Ashtons Legal is experienced in gathering the required evidence and working hard to bring justice for our clients.
Our team will assess the prospects of a claim by gathering evidence in order to successfully pursue a claim.
- Duty of Care – what should your employer have done to protect you?
- Statutory Duty – what laws were there at the time?
- Have your former employers been in Breach of their Duty of Care or Statutory Duty
- Negligent Exposure to asbestos
- Causation – how were you exposed?
Many people, after being diagnosed with an asbestos disease, do not immediately recall working with asbestos or how they could have been exposed. Our dedicated specialists are trained in interviewing clients in order to obtain relevant information.
It is important that you choose a solicitor who is experienced in dealing with complex industrial disease claims. Our team have worked for a number of different trades, including carpenters, joiners, plumbers, painters and decorators, construction workers, electricians, shopfitters, computer and data installers, general maintenance staff, e.g. caretakers and building surveyors.
We have secured successful claims for families where the victim has sadly passed away from an asbestos disease.
Where was I exposed to asbestos?
On some occasions, our clients are diagnosed with an asbestos disease and they have never knowingly worked with asbestos, but upon questioning them, it is established that there has been a secondary exposure to asbestos. Secondary exposure is caused by dust being brought into the home on an employee’s clothes being released into the home environment. We are also experienced in environmental exposure claims where people have been diagnosed with asbestos due to living in close proximity to factories and asbestos-producing industries.
How long does mesothelioma take to develop?
As mesothelioma develops between 15-40 years from exposure, it is often difficult for victims or their families to understand how and when they were exposed to asbestos as there are no immediate symptoms until much later on in life, often during retirement.
With other conditions, including asbestosis, repeated exposure to asbestos continue to increase the risk of developing an asbestos disease such as asbestosis, which is a dose, related disease.
With mesothelioma claims, it is widely accepted that there is no safe level of exposure, and mesothelioma can develop after relatively minimal exposure to asbestos only for a short period of time.
The statistics produced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) are alarming, and there are up to 4,000 deaths per year associated with asbestos disease, approximately 2,500 of these are deaths due to mesothelioma and sadly, the figures continue to rise despite epidemiological evidence indicating that this asbestos claims legacy would be declining by mid-2000.
Asbestos was banned in the UK after 1999, but we are now seeing many different types of professions being diagnosed. More recently, a significant number of former teachers, hospital workers and pupils are being diagnosed with mesothelioma where there is no obvious exposure to asbestos, other than they attended a specific school or worked at a hospital public building known to contain asbestos in a degrading state.
The Court Process
Mesothelioma compensation claims are dealt with in a specialist way by The Royal Courts of Justice. There is an asbestos list that deals with all asbestos claims under the fast-track procedure to ensure swift justice for victims with a short life expectancy.
The show-cause procedure that solicitors instigate is a useful way of securing an early admission of liability and a standard interim payment of £50,000, which enables patients and their families to access the best quality of care and for them to improve their quality of life.
Most mesothelioma claims do not reach trial, but on occasion, we do proceed to trial and on rare occasions, we obtain evidence on commission. All throughout each court process, we support our clients and provide regular assessments of prospects and always seek to fulfil our client’s expectations.
Whilst we understand that compensation does not bring anything other than financial security, it does make a difference and brings peace of mind.
In recent months, the courts have been awarding sufferer’s costs for immunotherapy and other non-NHS treatments which are shown to have benefits to the patient where supported by medical evidence. We can assist you in exploring your treatment options, and we regularly signpost our patients to Mesothelioma UK for second opinions.
Dissolved Companies & Insurance
Ashtons Legal is experienced in restoring dissolved companies to the Register of Companies where they have since been dissolved.
We are also in communication with a number of insurance archaeologists who are able to assist us in locating historic insurance policies that have not been readily made available from the Employers Liability Tracing Office. Of note, Employers Liability Insurance only became compulsory after 1972.
Sadly for some mesothelioma sufferers their former employers cannot be traced or no policy of insurance can be located. In 2014 however, the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme was set up for sufferers diagnosed with mesothelioma after 25 July 2012. The team are experienced in submitting successful DMPS schemes and in appealing to the tribunal where decisions have not been favourable in the first instance, and you should contact the team for advice.
How much will I receive?
The levels of compensation awards for mesothelioma vary, but the average award for pain suffering, loss of amenity (general damages) is in the region of £61,410 to £110,380 (14th Edition Judicial College Guidelines including 10% uplift.)
We always seek the best possible settlement for our clients and regularly instruct leading barristers and QCs in order to achieve settlement on the best possible terms.
Added value services
Our asbestos team also provides guidance on access to statutory services.
Our asbestos team is caring and compassionate and is backed by the Legal 500.
Our client testimonies are a testament to the work that we do for victims of asbestos and their families.
Our clients also have access to Anglia Asbestos Disease Support Group as to members of the general public who have also been affected by mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases.