Showing posts with label Claims. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Claims. Show all posts

Monday, October 15, 2012

Special Case Plea Made For Mesothelioma Claims Under Legal Aid Bill

Voting for or against amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill has begun in Parliament. Included, are those provisions in personal injury awards, and changes affecting payments for mesothelioma compensation, as part of government measures to save £350 million a year and also speed up legal proceedings.

It can often be a long and challenging process for an asbestosis lawyer to bring a former employer and / or their insurers to court and establish liability for a claimant's mesothelioma or related asbestosis disease. Under the proposed government changes to the 'no-win, no fee' arrangements, it would be the successful mesothelioma claimant who would be required to pay up to a maximum of 25 per cent of the damages awarded and not the losing defendant.

The Review of Civil Litigation Costs 2009, which was set up to provide recommendations to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill also proposed that general damages awards for personal injuries and other civil wrongs should be increased by 10 per cent.

However, a sustained campaign has been mounted in a bid to make justice ministers reconsider their proposals aimed at preventing false or excessive claims, so that an injury payment awarded under an asbestosis or mesothelioma claim would be exempt for the time being from the changes.

Recognition is being sought from ministers of the special case for mesothelioma sufferers. There is an exceptionally long latency period of up to 50 or 50 years from the initial exposure and breathing in of asbestos fibres to the eventual appearance of asbestosis symptoms. Almost invariably, a patient can often have just few months to live from a confirmed diagnosis of mesothelioma, an incurable and fatal cancer - and at a time when both patient and their families need financial support and security.

Accordingly, while a delay to changes, which would affect an asbestosis claim is being considered, alternative, easier ways to track down former employers' insurers are also being put forward by justice ministers and an announcement is expected in July 2012.

However, the results of the voting in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill have already seen the House of Lords calling for the reinstatement of amendments that had been earlier rejected by the House of Commons. Consequently, members of Parliament will now have to decide whether to accept the results of the peers' vote or seek to overturn the amendment once again.

Asbestos Victim Advice
Expert advice and information on mesothelioma and asbestos related illnesses.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

All About Asbestos Cancer (Mesothelioma): Types, Symptoms and Compensation Claims

Of the many injuries and work related diseases, mesothelioma is perhaps the one that draws much attention. Every other day a case is reported or a compensation claim is filed. Mesothelioma is a cancer that is almost always caused by earlier exposure to asbestos, approximately in ninety percent of cases.

People normally working in industries where asbestos was used extensively, such as construction work, plumbing, ship yards, old houses and at power stations, were more likely to have been exposed to breathing in asbestos fibrous materials often over a period of years and thus are more likely to suffer from either asbestosis or mesothelioma among others.

In the United Kingdom alone almost 2300 people a year are diagnosed with mesothelioma. At least 3,500 people in Great Britain die every year from asbestos related lung cancer and mesothelioma as a result of past exposure to asbestos fibers.

Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancerous disease that affects the Mesothelium, which is a thin membrane that covers the lungs or the lining of the abdomen. There are two main types of mesothelioma.

1. Peritoneal (if present in abdomen)

2. Pleural (if present in the chest wall)

Pleural Mesothelioma is more common than peritoneal mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers are microscopic and once swallowed or breathed in tend to stay in human body. With time they undergo changes and start damaging the body. Thus mesothelioma does not appear suddenly but takes several years before the symptoms start becoming evident.

Mesothelioma is often confused with asbestosis. Asbestosis is also a disease of the lungs that is caused by again the presence of deadly asbestos fibres but it is not cancerous and thus can be treated more effectively if diagnosed at an early stage.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma symptoms are difficult to spot as they are very comparable to pneumonia. It is important for a doctor to ask a patient if he has a history of being exposed to asbestos related materials. Early diagnosis can prolong life and improve the chances of survival. The main symptoms of mesothelioma are:

• Shortness of breath, especially during excercise

• Coughing

• Chest pain

• Weakness

• A feeling of tightness in the chest.

Other symptoms that sometimes occur are vomiting, nausea, nail abnormalities, constipation or diarrhea and clubbing of the fingers.

After Diagnosis

The occurrence of mesothelioma is constantly increasing and is expected to surge in the next 15 years. Once the diagnosis is confirm the doctor will decide to start treatment. The main treatment used in asbestosis is oxygen therapy but surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are also used to increase the life span of the patient. The survival from mesothelioma is improving but is still not very promising and varies by area of diagnosis.

Asbestos Compensation Claim

Once a patient has been properly diagnosed and have started treatment he will need specialist care and support. The family should look for the services of a solicitor who specializes in these cases. The matter should be investigated and the responsible party should be held accountable. If needed an asbestos compensation claim should be filed so as to provide monetary help to the suffering family who have to struggle with pain, bills and loss of wages.

Sabeen Nadeem writes about legal and financial matters. She is currently working for Peregrine Claims which offers personal injury compensation services in UK. They have experienced and competent Asbestos Compensation Claims Solicitors and Slips and Trips Experts in UK.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Future Of Mesothlioma Claims Under The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill

The process of successfully holding a former employer and / or their insurers to account by an asbestosis lawyer for determining lawful liability for a claimant's mesothelioma or related asbestos disease and /or asbestosis symptoms, such as pleural plaques, can be lengthy and complicated and subject to different rulings at different times.

One recent example is the reinstatement - first in Scotland and then in Ireland - of the ability to make a mesothelioma for the presence of pleural plaques (raised fibrous scarring of the lungs) in late 2011, just four years after the House of Lords ruled that individuals with the confirmed condition would no longer receive compensation.

Now the process is to be subject to financial cutbacks, which would actually leave those claimants ( or more likely, their surviving spouses / family members) who win their mesothelioma claim with damages reduced to below current figures.

Concern over the cost of civil justice in England and Wales, particularly in certain cases when the costs were often disproportionate to the issues involved led to The Review of Civil Litigation Costs - or Jackson Review - in 2009. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill currently being discussed in Parliament, draws upon the recommendations of the Jackson Review, which could see a maximum claimable success fee, widely expected to be 25 per cent of the damages awarded.

The Jackson Review also include the following proposals:

The costs system should be based on legal expenses that reflect the nature/complexity of the case. Success fees and after the event insurance premiums should not be recoverable in no win, no fee cases. General damages awards for personal injuries and other civil wrongs should be increased by 10%. Claimants should only make a small contribution to defendant costs if a claim is unsuccessful (if behaviour is reasonable).

Under the above proposal, it is recommended that all future fees for a successful claim be paid out of the claimant's damages and not by the losing defendant. However, to offset the more adverse affects from the above change, a general damages award for 'pain, suffering and loss of amenity' is to rise by 10 per cent.

At present, and according to the 2010 publication of the JSB Guidelines 10th edition, the range of mesothelioma award payments was amended from the 9th edition figures of £52,500 - £81,500 to a new range of £35,000 - £83,750 with a lower end guidance figure heavily reduced for unusually short periods of pain lasting around three months.

Irrespective of the additional 10 per cent, the lower end figure recommended for mesothelioma is still over £10,000 lower than the previous Guidelines figures.

An obvious consequence of the above proposals, if they pass into law, is the reduced damages received by mesothelioma claimants who have conditional fee agreements ( CFAs) with their asbestosis lawyers. However, there could also be concern for the willingness of some solicitors to take on cases where proving liability is potentially complex and asbestos exposure was light or 'low risk'.

Asbestosis Victim Advice
Offering clear information, advice and FAQ's on mesothelioma and asbestos related illnesses.

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