The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently published statistics which reveal that sadly 2,523 people died from mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer in 2017.
The figures reveal that over the past five years the number of deaths has been similar following a dramatic incline since 1968. The HSE report that the current figures are largely a consequence of occupational asbestos exposures that occurred before 1980. Mesothelioma is one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly. It is expected that the number of deaths per year will remain stable for the rest of the decade before they begin to reduce in number.
Provisional figures on male and female mesothelioma deaths 1968-2017. Graph taken from HSE report.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and can take many years to develop in a person. Once diagnosed, treatment is available to control the disease for as long as possible and keep symptoms under control. Sadly, there is currently no cure for the disease, making it a terminal illness.
Cancer Research UK’s statistics confirm that 94% of mesothelioma cases in the UK are preventable and 94% of mesothelioma cases are caused by workplace exposure.
Obtaining compensation for developing mesothelioma
Once a doctor has diagnosed you with mesothelioma, the health service may refer you to a local asbestos victims support group which can help with applying for welfare benefits and support for your family. Such support groups often receive financial support from panel solicitor firms, but you are reminded that you are free to instruct a firm of solicitors of your own choosing and you are not under any obligation to instruct a particular firm.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace which has led you to develop mesothelioma, you could be entitled to compensation. Getting the right legal advice is vital, call our specialist mesothelioma solicitors on 01616 966 229 for free initial advice.
To obtain compensation, we will need to prove that you were a victim of “negligent exposure” to asbestos in the first place. This means having evidence of where and when you worked without the right type of protection and came into contact with asbestos.
Mesothelioma cases require proceedings against only one employer to get you the full amount of compensation. This tends to speed up the progress of court cases compared to legal action for other industrial illnesses.
Making a claim does mean tracing your former employers and their insurance companies but, if this is impossible, there is a government scheme which will meet the compensation claim if you were a victim of negligent exposure.
As soon as you are diagnosed with mesothelioma and decide that you want to make a claim it is important you contact our specialist solicitors without delay so the relevant investigations and proceedings can take place as soon as possible.