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Abestos Related Illnesses

Asbestos Related Illnesses

Industrial Diseases – A Legal Point of View

Asbestos Cancer Victims Could Be Treated Same As Whiplash Claimants

A Newbury solicitor has criticised proposals which could mean victims of asbestos related diseases receive reduced payments in compensation.

Brigitte Chandler of Newbury law firm, Charles Lucas & Marshall says proposed changes to the ‘no win, no fee’ legal system could result in grouping compensation pay-outs to victims of asbestos related cancer with claimants for whiplash injuries or bruising.

“This is simply ridiculous,” she says. “Many people making asbestos related claims are terminally ill or their families are making a claim after a horrendous death. It is insulting to try to group these claims with minor car accidents.”

The Government is considering extending a digital ‘portal’ scheme for low value accident claims to include mesothelioma cases, a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. This would set down one uniform formula by which all cases would proceed.

Lawyers, who until now have claimed their fees from the insurers of defendants, normally employers, may also have to deduct their fees from the compensation awarded to their client.

For now the Government has agreed to exempt mesothelioma sufferers from the reforms but a further report is due in the autumn.

“At the moment a successful claim results in a lump sum of compensation plus the award of legal costs,” says Brigitte Chandler, one of the UK’s leading legal experts on asbestos related disease and who has fought many hundreds of cases in the last 30 years.

“The amount of compensation is already lower than in most western countries and compensation in England is lower than Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“The reforms might discourage families from seeking the best legal advice because they may end up having to foot the legal costs themselves. Many of these cases are very complicated and are not appropriate for inexperienced, junior lawyers.

“It will create an unfair system with the reforms trying to over-simplify what is a complicated area of law.”

You can contact Brigitte Chandler on 01793-511055 or brigitte.chandler@clmlaw.co.uk

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Brigitte Chandler
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Brigitte Chandler

August 16th, 2013 at 1:50 pm

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