The Claims Process

The process of claiming compensation for an asbestos illness can be an emotional journey for many and whilst not an exact science in terms of predicting settlement times and compensation award values what will remain constant is the level of effort your experienced Solicitors will give to your case to bring it to its earliest conclusion.

With over 140 years legal experience and based upon traditional values they will keep you informed as your cases progresses and will be on hand to deal with any issues that might arise.

No two compensation claims are alike and will vary in time and value according the nature of your illness, your age, effect upon your lifestyle and any reduced life expectancy etc. At the start of your claim your solicitors will provide an indication as to the ‘expected value’ and ‘settlement period’ of your claim and they will discuss with you any issues they feel might arise.

Call us today if you have lost a loved one from an asbestos related illness or you have either been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness or are undergoing medical investigations which could relate to asbestos dust exposure.

As you might expect we need to understand about your former employment in particular your specific role in order to appreciate how this working environment exposed you to asbestos dust which has now affected your health. We want to know how you came to become diagnosed or why you now find yourself going through tests and investigations all of which can be quite frightening. It would help if you have a medical report or letter dealing with your condition or investigations and which might include correspondence from previous Solicitors or The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The more information we have the better placed we are to advise on your case.

Initial consultations are normally conducted on the telephone to FREEPHONE 0808 164 7740 but we understand some might prefer to email details to Alternatively a letter can be sent to FREEPOST, Scottish Asbestos Helpline.

It is likely at some stage we will write to you for your written authority to enable us to;

  • contact your GP and/or Consultant to obtain more information regarding your condition and
  • to obtain your full employment history from HMRIC.

In order to succeed in your claim we need to demonstrate that you are suffering from an asbestos illness caused through work which is having an impact upon your health.

We recognise there will be instances where it is necessary to have certain cases dealt with immediately by your solicitors thereby avoiding the time consuming process of writing for medical reports and employment history. We will not hesitate to fast track any case to solicitors if the situation requires and we always fast track cases involving mesothelioma and those which involve gravely ill clients.

Your experienced Solicitors need to consider important features of your case to ensure that it is likely to succeed and some of this information will become apparent during initial discussions. Before commencing any claim your appointed Solicitor will speak with you to confirm;

  • You have been diagnosed with an asbestos related illness
  • Your diagnosis was made within the last three years
  • The nature and extent of your exposure is in keeping with the type of illness you have been diagnosed with
  • They have identified a responsible employer and in cases where the company no longer trade their relevant insurance policy.

Why obtain a second legal opinion?

There could be many reasons why your solicitor has decided not to progress or has discontinued with your asbestos-related compensation claim but it is important to remember you are always entitled to seek a further independent opinion on the merits of your case. This is generally termed as ‘getting a second opinion’.

Whilst a second opinion might confirm the original decision, importantly it allows for an opportunity to fully review all aspects of your case to ensure previously considered information and conclusions have not been misunderstood and that the decision to reject your case was correct.

It is likely your solicitor agreed to investigate and take instructions from you on a ‘no win no fee’ basis which means that you are unlikely to owe the solicitor for any time spent dealing with your case.

Once your solicitor has told you they are no longer prepared to act of your behalf you should ask them to confirm all matters in a letter.  Keep this letter safe – it could be important!

Why might my claim be rejected or discontinued?

Every claim is individual and involves establishing certain legal and medical facts in order to demonstrate a compensation claim is justified.  Whilst every solicitor would like to win every case their allocated time and resources are limited which inevitably means certain cases in their workload receive more attention than others.

The speed a case can be dealt with by a solicitor depends very much upon the level of information and evidence to hand at that time and it is most likely your solicitor will have already written several letters requesting various information and facts to enable a comprehensive assessment of your claim.

If a solicitor reaches a point where they are no longer confident in winning your case they must let you know in plenty of time to enable you to seek a further opinion, if desired.  Opinion between solicitors will inevitably vary and differ in many instances, often according to their level of experience and specialism.  Some solicitor’s are inclined to ‘hold onto’ a potential claim until late in the day before they decide to close your file which denies valuable time to locate and discuss with another solicitor.

Common reasons for rejecting/discontinuing an asbestos-related claim might include;

  • Insufficient medical evidence to support case
  • Insufficient level of ‘exposure to asbestos’ to support a particular disease claim which might include a deceased case brought by Executor/family member
  • Insufficient time left in which to bring a claim through the court or claim already ‘out of time’
  • Denial by Defendant (person responsible for causing your injuries ie. former employer)
  • Inability to recover compensation from Defendant who is no longer trading and/or without Employer Liability insurance

Other practical factors

When a solicitor considers your case they will take into account other practical factors which will include:

  • Any complexities of the case, existence of previous solicitor opinion
  • Identity of all potential Defendant(s) and in appropriate cases, any earlier views expressed
  • Evidence presented by yourself and/or other witnesses
  • Their existing workload

How do I get a second opinion?

In all cases it is important to remember that strict time limits are running and the sooner you contact us the more time we have to fully investigate your compensation eligibility.  Even if you believe your case is close to limitation or has lapsed beyond three years from diagnosis please speak with us on FREEPHONE 0808 164 7740, email to, or visit our LIVE CHAT.  In certain situations a court has the discretion to disregard time limits.

In the first instance we would wish to speak with you to learn more about your case and assess the merits of your claim with totally fresh eyes.  Wherever necessary we will seek to overcome any earlier issues and get your compensation claim back on track. We understand how important a compensation claim can be in terms of providing some financial security for you and your loved ones.

If you have copies of any correspondence with previous solicitors this would be helpful including any discontinuance letter which confirms why they are no longer acting for you.  This will enable us to quickly focus attention on those apparent crucial areas of concern affecting your claim. Wherever necessary we will write to your previous solicitor for a copy of your discontinued file of papers.

If you are able to supply us with a written diagnosis of your condition this would be helpful and might include a letter, medical report or other correspondence including x-ray or scan report relating to your asbestos-related illness and those investigations which have been made. If you are unable to provide any correspondence, with your written permission we can write to your GP and/or Consultant for details of your most recent investigations and diagnosis.

Second Opinion – generally

  • We offer a FREE second opinion in ALL asbestos-related disease cases including, mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural effusion, pleural thickening and pleural plaques. In particular we help and support our client’s in their efforts to obtain an accurate diagnosis of their condition whether that is an asbestos-related issue or some other work related respiratory complaint.
  • We are experienced in handling deceased claims brought by Executors and family members.
  • If you are a sufferer of pleural plaques and experience breathing issues, chest pain, coughing, fatigue or unexplained weight loss it might be an indication your condition has changed and that further investigation is required to look into the cause of your symptoms. Contact us today so we might help you to understand more about your present state of health and wherever appropriate, claim compensation.
  • If you believe your claim was rejected or discontinued based upon medical evidence or opinion from either your GP, hospital doctor, Consultant or other person and you have cause to question any elements of their opinion or feel your symptoms have worsened or changed, please speak with us today.

Once your Solicitor is satisfied your case has merit they will make arrangements to visit you at your home or some other place to obtain a detailed statement in support of your claim. Your statement is a comprehensive document and key to your compensation claim. It will include many details including your employment history, job description, exposure history, diagnosis information, effect upon your health and impact upon your lifestyle and any financial losses.

All potential witnesses to your case, family, friends and work colleagues will be contacted and further statements obtained.

Your Solicitor will also seek expert witness opinion in support of your claim which will be obtained from a:

  • Medico-legal expert, normally a specialist chest consultant who will provide opinion upon the extent, nature, cause and effect of your asbestos illness
  • Expert evidence from a Consultant engineer might also be considered where it is necessary to comment upon the nature and extent of asbestos exposure. Evidence of this nature is used to support certain illnesses which are associated to high levels of asbestos dust exposure.

From your perspective this starts when your Solicitor sends a ‘Letter of Claim’ to the other side which is a formal summary of facts on which your claim is based together with details of your illness and estimated financial losses. A letter of Claim is sent to all potential Company Defendants/insurers who are required to give an indication as to their views on liability within three months.

Given the nature and costs associated to court proceedings most cases are settled outside of court by agreement of both parties. Throughout the case it is our aim to convince a Defendant insurer to recognise their liability at the earliest opportunity and deal with your compensation claim without undue delay.

If a case is denied by the other side, your Solicitor will prepare the matter for hearing in court at the earliest opportunity. Please remember that it is very unlikely you will be required to attend court and throughout you are protected by our NO WIN NO FEE arrangement.

Making a Will might be something you have never considered or thought necessary but there are several important reasons why you should consider making one.

A Will is the only sure way to ensure your savings and possessions reach those people you care about whether they are a family member, a friend or charitable trust.  The existence of a Will not only provides you with reassurance but it serves to clarify your wishes and remove any potential areas of family dispute.

Aside to saving on inheritance tax your Will can also express specific wishes you might have in terms of the type of funeral service you want and/or any music you would like to have played or other specific requests.

If you pass away without making a Will there are rules which dictate how your estate should be allocated.  Unmarried partners and partners not registered by Civil Partnership cannot inherit from each other without a Will and where children are involved a Will provides an opportunity to express arrangements for the children if either parent passes away.

We are experienced in Will writing and will help draft your Will to suit all your needs.

Your solicitors can deal with your enquiry even if you were employed or exposed to asbestos in England, Ireland or Wales

Call us today for free on:

0808 164 7740

(mobile network rates may vary)