Pleural thickening claims
This condition is caused by exposure to asbestos and over time, can reduce your quality of life.
If you have worked in an environment where you may have inhaled asbestos fibres or have handled materials which contain asbestos dust particles then this can lead to pleural thickening.
This develops when asbestos fibres are inhaled into the lungs which then damage the lining known as the pleura. This lining is comprised of delicate membranes which are scratched by these fibres as they pass through on their way into the lungs.
Another name for this disease is ‘fibrosis’ which means scarring.
This penetration of the pleura causes them to thicken over the lungs and prevents them from fully expanding. This restricts normal breathing which is especially noticeable during periods of exertion.
This disease is similar to pleural plaques except for one difference: it presents with symptoms such as breathlessness which pleural plaques doesn’t.
Pleural thickening increases the risk of developing a serious asbestos related disease later on in life.
Pleural thickening prognosis
Impact of pleural thickening
The impact of this cannot be underestimated. Breathlessness is the most obvious symptom of this disease which affects your ability to function on a day to day level.
If you have developed this disease then you may find it difficult to breathe, particularly when you engage in any physical activity. It may reduce your ability to do your job which causes additional stress. In some cases you may have had to give up work altogether which can result in financial hardship and difficulties for your family.
You may require specialist medical equipment to help with your breathing, for example oxygen apparatus. Another option is a type of medicine called a ‘bronchodilator’ which expands your airways and enables you to breathe more easily.
There may be personal costs associated with these which can place a financial burden on you and your family.
Another factor is the risk of this disease worsening, for example developing into mesothelioma which is far more serious. This is a constant fear and one that will be experienced by your family as well.
This is where compensation can help.
Making a claim for compensation for pleural thickening
Make sure you choose a personal injury lawyer, claims management firm or solicitor who has expertise in this type of claim. He or she will have several years of experience in dealing with asbestos related claims and will be able to advise you about the compensation process.
They will obtain impartial advice from a neutral source, usually an industrial safety expert who has knowledge of the safety procedures regarding asbestos. Plus they may approach colleagues of yours to help provide important evidence that will support your claim.
There is more information about the claims process within this guide. Visit our making a claim for compensation section.
Something to bear in mind: if you have received compensation for your pleural thickening disease and unfortunately, this worsens over time then you may be entitled to further compensation.
This type of claim is known as ‘provisional damages’.
Time limit for claiming compensation for pleural thickening
Many compensation claims have a 3 year time limit but this is not the case with industrial disease claims. These differ due to the long period of time between the initial exposure and the onset of the disease.
The deadline for making a claim and any other related information will be discussed with you by your personal injury lawyer, assessor or solicitor.
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