Asbestos is a metal which, when inhaled, can damage internal organs such as lungs. They are fine metals with thin fibers and can resist fire, electricity and heat.
It is commonly used in industries and commercial establishments. In recent years, the use of asbestos has declined due to the dangers posed. However, some products still contain this metal.
For instance, old buildings in schools, hospitals, and homes may have this metal.
It is a dangerous metal, quite hazardous, and when disrupted can lead to ingestion or inhalation, resulting in numerous asbestos injury claims.
Asbestos-related diseases are conditions that affect the lungs and the layers covering them when asbestos fibres are inhaled.
These disorders can be non-malignant, including asbestosis, diffuse thickening of pleura, excess fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity, and closure of the lungs.
In other cases, this dangerous metal can cause malignant disorders such as lung cancer, ovarian, laryngeal cancers, and mesothelioma.
The higher the amount inhaled over a long period, the higher the risk of developing cancer-related diseases.
Duties of employer
Under the safety health and welfare at work regulations, every employer should exercise the duty of care to employees working in an environment that directly or indirectly exposes them to dust and materials containing asbestos.
The employer is required to assess the degree of exposure and come up with adequate measures to keep workers safe and healthy.
Such measures would include reducing the exposure limit to the lowest possible limit. An employer should also limit the number of employees likely to be exposed and manage all assets and equipment contaminated.
Collection and disposal of wastes containing asbestos to be carried out as soon as possible healthily and safely. Additionally, there should be clearly labelled warning signs and the provision of protective gear.
Who can make an Asbestos Injury Claim?
If you have been exposed to dust containing asbestos and asbestos fibers and, as a result, contracted asbestos-related diseases at work, you may be eligible to make an asbestos injury claim. If you attend with a solicitor, they will furnish an opinion to you in terms of negligence.
To succeed in an asbestos work injury claim it must be proved that the exposure was due to negligence of the employer. You can seek financial redress from your employer for not exercising due care to safeguard your health and safety at work.
The next of kin can also file an asbestos injury claim and it is necessary then to prove that the patient developed the occupational illness and negligence arose.
How to make an Asbestos Injury Claim
Persons exposed and affected to asbestos should obtain a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disorder to determine if they have this type of injury. The injured party should also establish when and where they were exposed and whether a third party was at fault.
For example, did your former employer act contrary to the law governing the duty of care and workplace safety? After that, an asbestos injury claim can be filed with the Injuries Board to make what is termed an Assessment, which is in essence a monetary sum.
If the defendant disputes the amount awarded as compensation, then the board will issue an authorisation which permits initiating court proceedings to prove the case.
Legal time limits in Asbestos Injury Claims
Asbestos-related diseases take decades to manifest themselves after initial exposure. Therefore, the date you were diagnosed and became aware that you have a disorder associated with asbestos marks the start of your two-year limitation to launch a claim.
Where the affected person dies, family members should also ensure to initiate an asbestos injury claim within two years after the death. In our opinion you should instruct a solicitor with experience of this area to assist you.
8(b) “In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement”.
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