How Long Does an Asbestos Claim Take to Settle?

Posted on: 3 mins read
Anthony Waddington

Partner, Industrial Disease Claims

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Article Updated 31/10/2022

A compensation claim for an asbestos related disease can take on average up to 18 months to complete, but more complex claims that need more evidence could take as long as 3 years.

Some cases involving terminal illnesses, like Mesothelioma, where someone has limited time left can be settled in only a few months.

In addition, government scheme claims for Mesothelioma can settle within a matter just a couple of months.

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Ultimately, the length of time it takes to settle an asbestos claim depends on a number of factors such as:

  • What asbestos related condition you have
  • Whether we can easily trace the company responsible or its insurer
  • Whether they admit liability (fault)
  • Getting all the evidence of and calculating your financial losses

Our Industrial Disease Solicitors have a successful track record of helping people with asbestos related diseases get compensation, so they can get the care and support they need.

For free initial legal advice get in touch so we can assess the details of your claim and let you know if you have a good chance of being awarded compensation. We may be able to visit you at home, or manage your claim on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Making an Asbestos Claim

Our Industrial Disease Solicitors specialise in handling asbestos claims and can explain all the options available to you at the outset. If we take on your case, we’ll begin putting together a detailed picture of your work history by obtaining your National Insurance records and speaking to you about your previous jobs.

This will help us understand the conditions you may have been exposed to throughout your working life. With this information, we may then be able to pinpoint exactly when you were exposed to asbestos, and whether your employer at the time may have been negligent.

How long this takes will depend on many different factors, such as the number of jobs/employers you’ve had and the nature of the work you did with them.

Asbestos related conditions are particularly common among people who once worked as shipbuilders, boiler workers, insulators/laggers, pipe fitters, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. However, anyone could potentially have been exposed to asbestos if it was present in their place of work, as asbestos was routinely used as a construction material for many years. We are now seeing a rise in claims from people such as teachers, doctors, nurses, cleaners and maintenance workers too.

Medical Assessment

As part of our investigations, we’ll arrange for you to be examined by an independent medical expert (often this is by way of telephone appointment), so a full report outlining your condition can be put together. The medical expert will state in their report whether they believe exposure to asbestos at work is the likely cause of your subsequent illness and how that illness will affect you in the future.

It may be that you need more than one medical opinion, for example from a respiratory expert and an oncologist or expert radiologist, which could mean this stage of the process takes a little longer.

Contacting the Employer or Insurer

When we have the medical reports in hand, we may then be able to approach the company, or their insurer, to request appropriate compensation. But there’s no guarantee that they will admit liability (fault), which could potentially delay conclusion of your claim.

If we discover that the employer responsible is no longer trading, this doesn’t mean we can’t proceed with your claim. Our Industrial Disease Solicitors have access to databases containing information on insurance policies for UK businesses dating back to the 1950s which means we can pursue claims by dealing directly with the relevant insurance company. These insurance searches can provide instantaneous results, but sometimes extended searches are required which can cause a minor delay.   

In the unlikely event that we can’t trace an insurance policy for a dissolved company, we may instead be able to pursue your asbestos claim under a UK government scheme.

Calculating Your Losses

Another key part of our investigation will be the financial impact that your asbestos related disease has had on you and your family.

For instance, you may be unable to work, or you could be relying heavily on voluntary care provided by friends or loved ones.

Gathering evidence of these losses will be crucial in enabling us to calculate an amount of compensation that meets your needs, both now and in the future. This may require us to obtain expert evidence such as a professional report from a care expert with an at home assessment of your care needs being undertaken, which can take some time to arrange.

While there are several stages to go through to help you get compensation, we’ll aim to reach a conclusion as soon as possible, so you can feel that justice has been done.

It’s important that you know that the vast majority of cases are settled out of Court but if we do need to take your case there, we will support you every step of the way.

Get in touch with our expert Industrial Disease Solicitors to see how we can help you.

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