Mesothelioma is an asbestos related disease which occurs from prolonged exposure to asbestos or inhaling asbestos dust. This disease does not appear overnight: there is an incubation period of 20 to 50 years before the symptoms show.
Mesothelioma cannot be cured.
If you have been exposed to asbestos then you are at high risk of contracting this disease or lung cancer. If this is the case and you can prove that your disease has been caused by this exposure than you may be able to claim compensation.
This is a form of cancer which develops within the lining inside the lungs known as the pleura. Asbestosis fibres or dust particles lodge within the pleura and over time produce cancerous cells. These cells then multiply and spread to other areas of the body.
They damage tissue within the lungs, the lining within the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) and the lining that protects the heart (pericardium).
This results in the following symptoms:
- Weight loss
- Unexplained cough
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain: if mesothelioma has spread to the peritoneum.
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Hoarse voice
In some cases these symptoms are confused with those for pneumonia.
The outlook for sufferers of mesothelioma is poor: around 85% of people who develop this form of cancer will die within 3 years of the initial diagnosis.
There have been, on average, 1,800 deaths each year in the UK as a result of mesothelioma. But this figure is set to rise as more and more people develop this disease. This is due to the gap between initial exposure to asbestos and the onset of the symptoms.
(Source: NHS Choices: Conditions: Asbestosis)
Impact of mesothelioma
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma then you are all too aware of the consequences that has for you and your family. This type of disease forces many people to give up work which then leads to financial pressures and additional stress.
There are likely to be additional expenses such as cost of travel to hospital, medication, specialist nursing care and support.
Whilst compensation cannot pay for a cure it can help to provide security for your family and cover the cost of any additional expenses caused by your disease.
Making a claim for compensation for mesothelioma
You will require the services of a personal injury lawyer, claims handler or solicitor who has years of experience in dealing with these types of claims.
Mesothelioma along with other asbestos related claims falls under the industrial disease category of claims. There will be a person, or persons who have knowledge and expertise in this area.
They should handle your claim with sensitivity and understanding and discuss the likely outcome. They are there to ensure that you receive the payout that you are entitled to.
How does the claims process work? Find out more in our making a claim for compensation section.
Time limit for claiming compensation for mesothelioma
Personal injury compensation claims have a time limit of 3 years from the date of the accident or illness. But industrial diseases are different.
There is a long period of time - often 30 to 40 years of more –from the first exposure to asbestos through to the appearance of the disease.
The time limit for a mesothelioma claim will be discussed between you and your personal injury lawyer/solicitor.
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