“Obviously, before my diagnosis I had no knowledge or experience of what was going to happen to me.” Mr Bryan Brown, Scunthorpe Click Here DownLoad Asbestos and Mesothelioma: An introduction to claiming compensation Even after the potentially lethal dangers of asbestos were identified it was widely used in power stations, steel works, shipbuilding, the automotive trade and in construction. Click Here DownLoad A Silent Threat Asbestos is a health risk when fibres are present in the air that people breathe. Today, it is the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK and a damning indictment of previous corporate negligence. Mesothelioma, the subject of this leaflet, is a fatal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibres. The importing and use of asbestos has been banned in the UK. But symptoms from asbestos-related illnesses can Click Here DownLoad take a long time to appear - between 10 and 40 years after exposure has ceased, sometimes longer. Many people suffering now were exposed to asbestos way back in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Once Mesothelioma has developed, symptoms can sometimes be eased but there is no cure. For a person or their family in this terrible situation, claiming compensation can both help by providing financial security and bring some sense of acting against a grievous injustice. What follows here is a brief guide to how Thompsons can help you pursue such a claim. Here is the story of one of our recent Mesothelioma clients. “The Thompsons’ representative was like a Jack Russell with a rat – she may not find that flattering but ” I mean it to be – she wouldn’t let go. “In the summer of 2005 I had 4 litres of fluid drained from my chest and was told my condition was non-malignant. But on Sep 5 that changed and I was diagnosed as having Mesothelioma. It came as a real surprise – and knocked the stuffing out of me. A specialist Macmillan nurse got me leaflets and various documents. One was a booklet with a list of contacts of Click Here DownLoad people who were familiar with the disease, if that’s what it is. Thompsons Lawyers was mentioned in that and I noticed they had offices in Leeds, not too far away from me in Scunthorpe. Again, a few days later, I was talking to a Department of Work and Pensions man, and he knew of Thompsons, too. So I phoned them and asked someone from there to contact me. They phoned back within a couple of hours – and within another hour of that I was called by a Thompsons representative, asking if she could visit me. It was impressive. The Thompsons representative came and stayed a couple of hours and after that, took control of the situation. She was brilliant – she wrote and phoned me regularly and kept me in the picture. She was like a Jack Russell with a rat – she may not find that flattering but I mean it to be – she wouldn’t let go. Her name was Helen Tomlin and she handled my claim throughout. I’d heard rumours of what settlements were in my circumstances but I also heard about a House of Lords debate where it was suggested such settlements should be cut back by 50% Eventually, a court date was set for April 19 this year – but I wasn’t going to go, I was too ill. As it worked out it didn’t matter. Neither of my 2 old employers contested my case and they settled in line with my original expectations. In fact, they even added a further amount to compensate for the same amount deducted from such settlements by the government. Click Here DownLoad I am satisfied with my settlement, which will go to my estate and children and, again, grateful for the efficiency and dedication of Thompsons Solicitors.” Bryan Brown, Scunthorpe Thompsons’ Helen Tomlin handled Mr Brown’s claim, earning his accolade of being “like a Jack Russell with a rat!” Claiming compensation – how Thompsons can help you. Over the last five years alone, we’ve dealt with hundreds of claims for Mesothelioma. We’ve achieved substantial compensation levels for our clients. And done so with the least possible upset to them. Indeed, though we have a formidable reputation for fighting hard for the maximum compensation in the minimum time, we also never forget that the diagnosis of Mesothelioma causes shock, anger and deep distress. We conduct ourselves with respect for that too. Here are 5 vital points for you to consider. 1. Have you been diagnosed with Mesothelioma? If so, seek legal advice promptly - there are time limits on making a claim. Click Here DownLoad Generally, court proceedings should be commenced within three years from the date of your diagnosis. If you are, or were, a member of a Trade Union, claiming compensation should be free through your Union’s legal assistance scheme. (If you are unsure which Union you were in when you were exposed to asbestos contact us and we should be able to help.) If you are not a member of a Union, or are not covered by their scheme, we offer a free initial interview to assess your case. Should we proceed with your claim it will also be on a no-cost-to-you basis. So either way, you will not pay anything for us to act for you. You’ll get 100% of the settlement achieved and not a penny less. 2. Where were you exposed to asbestos? As mentioned, asbestos related illnesses, including Mesothelioma, can take anything from 10 to 40 years or more to develop after exposure to asbestos. Click Here DownLoad So it’s important to think back to the time, or times – possibly in more than one job, when you believe you were exposed. Some of the jobs where asbestos exposure may have occurred include: Construction workers Plumbers Electricians Boilermakers Shipbuilders Demolition workers Carpenters Joiners Engineers But you could have worked in other jobs where asbestos was present. Or merely lived near an asbestos factory. Further, family members of people who worked with asbestos and brought the dust home on their clothes have sometimes developed Mesothelioma. Thompsons have won groundbreaking cases in this field. Including the first ever successful asbestos compensation claim in 1972. 3. The liability of your employer or ex-employer. Your employer is, or was, responsible for protecting you from exposure to asbestos at work. In most cases, we can claim compensation from your employer or past employer, for failing to provide such protection and the consequences suffered by you. Even if your employer no longer exists it may still be possible to pursue a claim – by Thompsons tracing your defunct employer’s insurers. And in rare cases where we are unable to locate an employer’s insurer, you may still be entitled to claim under the Government’s Workers Compensation Act 1979. Thompsons only work for injured people, never for insurance companies or employers. 4. How much compensation might be awarded? Compensation payable varies in each case and is calculated by considering factors including: Click Here DownLoad • Pain and suffering • Disability • Financial losses • Care costs • Other expenses incurred as a result of asbestos- related illness. We will claim compensation for all past and future losses. Our aim is to maximise your compensation. 5. What about State Benefit claims? You may be entitled to industrial injuries disablement benefit and/or other State Benefits. Thompsons can provide advice as, of course, can your local DWP office and asbestos-related support group. Any such claims are made separately to your claim for compensation. On the inside back cover of this leaflet are the phone numbers for the DWP benefit enquiry freephone, the DWP freephone number relating to claims under the Workers Compensation Act 1979, the phone number for Mesothelioma UK and for the Forum of Asbestos Victim Support Groups. e and guidanc ank you for all your help ou “I want to th teful for all y ’s case and I am ver y gra h during Robin for being wit to thank Clare I’d also like p to did for me. n we came u on April 5th whe ver y kind an d *David and I Click Here DownLoad London for th e Court ca fter me so w ” ell. se. She was ELL MRS R CAMB son looked a *her Mrs Cambell’s husband, Robin, was exposed to asbestos as a firefighter and developed Mesothelioma. Following his death, she made a claim for compensation on Robin’s behalf through Thompsons. She received a substantial settlement. The “Clare” Mrs Cambell mentions above is the Thompsons’ solicitor who handled her case. “ The amou … nt received fa and gave me r exceeded m the security y expectation future that m and peace o s y husband w f mind for th have. I would ould have so e like to thank wanted me to work you ha you most sin ve done… I h cerely for th staff to be ex ave found yo e tremely unde u and your you have kep rstanding an t me informe d courteous, have explain d ever y step ed matters in of the way an to understan a way that I h d d. This has c ave been able a difficult tim ertainly help e. ” ed me throu gh MRS SELBY The above is taken from Mrs Selby’s thank-you letter to Thompsons. She received substantial compensation on behalf of her husband who died after contracting mesothelioma. Click Here DownLoad His ex-employers were responsible for exposing him to asbestos fibres many years before. ily, st of my fam f my fath er and the re e “On behalf o l thanks for th to expre ss our gratefu s case was I would like w ay my father' and sensitive l outcome wa s professional and successfu handled. The speedy g and it has sa t the beginnin all our hope rms with the way beyond ll come to te ed us a certainly help himself in” father found THE DOHER TY FAMILY situation my A thank you letter to Thompsons from the family of Mr Doherty who was a boiler cleaner from 1966 for over ten years. In 2005 he was diagnosed as having Mesothelioma and made a successful claim through Thompsons against his former employers. Useful contacts Department for Work and Pensions benefit enquiry line: Mesothelioma UK Freephone 0800 88 22 00 (the National Macmillan Textphone 0800 24 33 55 Mesothelioma Resource Centre): 0800 169 2409 Forum of Asbestos Victims Support Groups: 0161 636 7555 DWP - Pneumoconiosis (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 Freephone 0800 279 2322 Thompsons Solicitors Offices North East North West 18 Lawford Street, St Nicholas Building, Martins Building, Water Bristol BS2 0DZ St Nicholas St, Street, Liverpool L2 3SX Telephone: 0117 304 2400 Newcastle-upon-Tyne Telephone: 0151 224 1600 Fax: 0117 941 1460 NE1 1TH Fax: 0151 236 2141 The New Union House, Telephone: 0191 269 0400 Acresfield, 2 Harbour Avenue, Click Here DownLoad Fax: 0191 232 2324 202-206 Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, 8 Exchange Street, Manchester M2 7HA Telephone: 0161 819 3500 Plymouth, Devon, PL4 0BJ Telephone: 01752 675 810 Cleveland TS1 3QW Fax: 0161 832 1676 Fax: 01752 603 825 Telephone: 01642 554 162 Midlands 30-31 Castle Street, Fax: 01642 243 283 The McLaren Building, Swansea, SA1 1HY 60 Fowler Street, 35 Dale End, Telephone: 01792 484 920 South Shields, Birmingham B4 7LF Fax: 01792 301 971 Tyne & Wear NE33 1PG Telephone: 0121 262 1200 South East Telephone: 0191 4974 440 Fax: 0121 236 6715 Congress House, Fax: 0191 4276 966 City Gate (East), Tollhouse Hill, Great Russell Street, Miners' Hall, Flass Street, Nottingham, NG1 5FS London WC1B 3LW Red Hill, Durham DH1 4BB Telephone: 0115 989 7200 Telephone: 020 7290 0000 Telephone: 0191 3845 610 Fax: 0115 958 4700 Fax: 020 7637 0000 Fax: 0191 3847 493 Bethesda Chambers, Lower Queens Keep, Yorkshire Bethesda Street, Hanley, 1-4 Cumberland Place, 17 Wellington Street, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 3TA Southampton SO15 2NP Leeds LS1 4DL Telephone: 01782 406 200 Telephone: 02380 212 040 Telephone: 0113 205 6300 Fax: 01782 201 244 Fax: 02380 633 691 Fax: 0113 234 2161 Wales & South West Northern Ireland Arundel House, Agincourt House, Victoria Chambers, 1 Furnival Square, 14-18 Newport Road, 171-175 Victoria Street, Sheffield S1 4QL Cardiff, CF24 0SW Belfast BT1 4HS Telephone: 0114 270 3300 Telephone: 029 2044 5300 Telephone: 028 9089 0400 Fax: 0114 273 8519 Fax: 029 2048 0028 Fax: 028 9032 6020 Click Here DownLoad Further Information Simply call 0800 783 0266 for free expert legal advice. You can also visit our website at www.thompsons.law.co.uk, for more detailed information about mesothelioma and some useful links to other sites. Or, if you prefer, contact one of our local offices listed on the previous page.
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