Mesothelioma Claim - How Much Compensation will I Receive in the UK?
When somebody has been diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by their exposure to asbestos dust, they are entitled to pursue a compensation claim.
The compensation which a sufferer receives in their claim is intended to put them back in the same financial position they would have been in if they had not been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
A claim can provide a sufferer and their family with financial security for the future.
Mesothelioma compensation is made up of several parts.
Compensation for pain and suffering (General Damages).
This is compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity of the sufferer. It is compensation for the condition itself and how it has affected the sufferer in the past and how it will affect the sufferer in the future.
The Judge will decide on the amount of compensation a mesothelioma sufferer should receive based on a set of guidelines called the ‘Judicial College Guidelines’ and using decisions from past cases. Your asbestos solicitors will know what these guidelines are and will have details of all the past decisions to be able to value your claim.
When deciding on the amount of compensation in a claim the courts take into account the length of the illness, the type of investigations carried out, the treatment the sufferer has received or is likely to receive and the symptoms they have had.
In a mesothelioma claim, the Judge can have some difficulty as he or she does not know for certain how long a sufferer is likely to have symptoms for or what those symptoms will be.
The ‘Judicial College Guidelines’ for compensation in a mesothelioma claim for pain suffering and loss of amenity are between £53,000 and £96,000.
Care, Nursing and Assistance.
Those with mesothelioma usually require additional care and support from family and close friends as their illness gets worse.
Sometimes sufferers prefer to be cared for by nursing staff but they want to remain in their own home. You can claim for the cost of care which has or will be provided by close family and friends and also for the cost of having nurses care for the sufferer at home if that is what they want.
When appropriate, your asbestos solicitors will arrange for a care expert to provide a report about the amount of nursing care which will be helpful to you. Your solicitor may also speak to your family and take statements from them about the amount of care you are receiving to help value your claim.
The compensation for care varies but in a mesothelioma claim brought by the sufferer they are typically about £15,000 but they can sometimes be a lot more.
Some mesothelioma sufferers go into a hospice for care. This can be during the course of their illness for example for pain control or to provide their carer with a break. Some sufferers go into a hospice for end of life care.
Hospice care is provided free to anyone who needs it.
Hospices are often funded partly by the NHS and partly by donations. The hospices often rely on these donations to keep their doors open for future patients.
Whilst care is provided free, it costs the hospice, often significant sums of money to provide it.
In a mesothelioma claim, it is possible to recover this money for the hospice and it is then paid to them to allow them to continue with their work.
With your permission, your solicitor will contact the hospice and ask for details of the costs they incurred caring for you or your loved one.
Extra Equipment at Home.
You may need equipment to help you in the home. Sometimes this is provided free of charge by local authorities or charities but there can sometimes be long waiting lists for certain equipment for example a stair lift.
If you believe that you need equipment in the home, you can ask your local authority to carry out a care and support needs assessment. Even if they do not provide any equipment, they should be able to provide you with details of other organisations that can help and details of the equipment that may help you.
If you choose to buy any equipment, your mesothelioma solicitor may be able to recover the cost of this for you in mesothelioma claim.
What equipment you many want or need varies. The things you may want to consider include: –
Motor rise reclining chair
Additional hand rails on the stairs
Adjustable single bed
It is also sometimes necessary to make adaptations to your home such as for example installing a walk-in-shower rather than a bath. It is sometimes possible to claim the cost of these adaptations from your opponents and your mesothelioma solicitor can advise you about this.
Often those diagnosed with mesothelioma incur additional expenses as a result of their condition. For example they may have travel and parking, laundry, heating, telephone and food costs.
Family members may incur additional travel expenses as they visit the mesothelioma sufferer more often due to their illness. Sometimes family members live abroad and incur significant travel costs, flying back to the UK.
Sometimes mesothelioma sufferers want to go on holiday. They are likely to have to take out expensive travel insurance to cover them whilst they are away.
In a mesothelioma claim it is possible to recover the expenses which a sufferer or their family has incurred. Your asbestos solicitors will be able to advise you about this.
Some mesothelioma sufferers decide to undergo additional treatments. Sometimes sufferers decide to go abroad for treatments which are not offered in the UK. The cost of these additional treatments may not be covered by NHS funding. If this happens, it is often possible to recover the costs of these treatments in your mesothelioma claim. Again your asbestos solicitors should be able to advise you about this.
Loss of Earnings
If you were working at the time of your diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer and you have to stop work as a result of your illness, it is possible to claim your loss of earnings from your opponent.
Your solicitors will obtain details of the loss of earnings you have incurred from your pay slips and by contacting your employer, with your permission.
Future income and pensions.
i. Claim brought by the mesothelioma sufferer
When a claim is brought by the mesothelioma sufferer, they are entitled to claim for the income or pensions they would have received in the future if they did not have mesothelioma.
This is usually 50% of the mesothelioma sufferers yearly income multiplied by a number of years. The number of years depends on the medical evidence.
ii. Claim by mesothelioma sufferer’s family.
If a mesothelioma claim is brought after a person has died , then their dependant can pursue a claim for their financial dependency on the mesothelioma sufferer.
The period over which the dependency claim can be made will depend on the medical evidence.
A formula is usually used to work out the dependency claim. The formula is different depending on who the dependants are. Your solicitor will advise you about this.
Who a dependant can be has been defined by Parliament. Under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 a dependant is:-
a) The wife or husband or former wife or husband of the deceased.
b) Any person who –
i) Was living with the deceased in the same household immediately before the date of death and
ii) Had been living with the deceased in the same household for at least 2 years before the date; and
iii) Was living during the whole of that period as husband or wife of the deceased;
c) Any parent or grandparent of the deceased
d) Any person who was treated by the deceased as his parent
e) Any child or other descendant of the deceased
f) Any person (not being a child of the deceased) who, in the case of any marriage to which the deceased was at any time a party, was treated by the deceased as a child of the family in relation to that marriage.
g) Any person who is or is the child of, a brother, a sister, uncle or aunt of the deceased.
Things you can no longer do in the home.
These are claims for things that the mesothelioma sufferer used to do but is now unable to do because of his or her illness. These are typically claims for DIY, gardening, housework or driving.
They can be claimed for the period of their illness and they can be claimed by their widow or widower if they are bringing the claim.
There can sometimes be a significant claim if for example the person with mesothelioma was a carer for their husband or wife or another family member who has their own illness or medical condition such as dementia or sight problems.
This is a complicated area of law and you need specialist mesothelioma solicitors to advise you about this and the best way of pursing your mesothelioma claim to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation.
Bereavement damages are paid to the husband or wife of someone who has died from mesothelioma in a claim for compensation. They are a fixed amount, currently £12,980.
Loss of Love and Affection.
In a mesothelioma claim brought by a widow or widower, it is possible to claim for the loss of the special support, services, care and advice provided by their husband or wife. The awards in a mesothelioma claim are often around £2,500.
If you are bringing a claim on behalf of someone who has died, it is possible to recover the cost of the funeral.
Smoking does not cause mesothelioma and is not relevant to your case.
This page was last updated on: 9 May 2017, 4:05 p.m.