Making Industrial Disease Claims
When it comes to accidents at work, many people believe that personal injury solicitors are only set up to help with more serious cases involving severe injuries.
However, what you may not know is that they can also help if you develop a long-term disease that affects your ability to work, and may even impact upon your life as a whole.
Industrial diseases are often caused by an unsafe working environment, and if your employer can be shown not to have taken the proper precautions, you could be entitled to compensation.
For example, if they knew the area was unsafe but still allowed you to work there, or failed to provide you with the necessary protective equipment, there could be grounds for a compensation claim.
Industrial diseases most often affect people who work in hazardous environments, such as jobs that require you to work with chemicals, while workers who regularly use heavy machinery may also develop a condition over time.
Those who work with chemicals and are not given sufficient protection may develop a skin condition, and in the worst case scenario can even suffer from skin cancer. Poisoning may also occur, while prolonged exposure can cause asthma to develop, or aggravate a pre-existing condition.
Using heavy machinery such as drills at work could lead to an upper limb injury if sufficient precautions are not taken. Repetitive strain injury is a common occurrence, while vibration white finger is a serious condition that affects the sensation in your hands and can cause acute pain during cold weather.
The most serious cases could see employees lose a sense, with industrial deafness a possibility for those who aren’t given equipment to protect their ears when working in noisy environments. In some specific cases, exposure to radiation may put workers at risk of cataracts or industrial blindness.
Finding a personal injury solicitor
If you feel you have developed an industrial disease due to the negligence of your employer, you may wish to consult trained personal injury specialists in order to ascertain what you should do next.
One important factor to note is the time constraints placed on an industrial disease claim. A standard personal injury claim requires action within three years of the incident occurring, but as an industrial disease can remain undetected for some time, the law here is slightly different.
If you do wish to proceed with a claim, you must do so within three years of your condition being diagnosed.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on the likely success of your claim, as well as outlining the risks involved in proceeding. You can be certain that your employer will do everything they can to defend themselves against your claim, so it is important to find a personal injury solicitor who will be honest and up front with you about this to avoid any nasty surprises.
Once your claim is underway, they will then work to secure compensation for the injury you have suffered, including any medical bills or loss of earnings incurred. This can be achieved either through a settlement or employment tribunal.
Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are a group of specialist personal injury solicitors based in Manchester, UK. They help clients secure successful outcomes in a range of cases, including injuries at work, road traffic accidents and industrial disease claims.