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Lung cancer claims

Who is this page for?

Exposure to asbestos in the workplace can lead to lung cancer in later life. If you or a loved one are diagnosed with lung cancer and think it may be related to asbestos exposure, then you may be able to make a lung cancer compensation claim.
For information around cancer compensation claims resulting from medical negligence, please visit our cancer compensation claims page.

What is lung cancer? 

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that starts in a lung, windpipe (trachea) or the main airway (bronchus). It can be caused by many different things and develops when certain cells escape from your body’s control and start to change. These cells then grow and form a tumour. Around 47,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK each year.
It is closely related to, but different from, two other types of lung cancer and diseases:
  • Mesothelioma – a type of a cancer that occurs in the lining of the lung (the pleura) and is also associated with exposure to asbestos in the workplace
  • Asbestosis – a chronic lung disease, also caused by exposure to asbestos. This is a fibrosis of lung tissue – a long-term disease of the lungs caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres and dust. This can progress and lead to shortness of breath, serious health complications and even death. 

Ready to talk? Contact our lung cancer lawyers about your claim. Call 0800 6895854 or

Can asbestos exposure cause lung cancer? 

Asbestos is one of many potential causes of lung cancer. It’s thought that around 70% of all lung cancers may be caused by smoking. But, it is well established that people who smoke and are exposed to asbestos have a higher risk of developing lung cancer than smokers not exposed to asbestos.  
If lung cancer develops in the presence of asbestosis then doctors will normally accept that asbestos has played a role in causing the cancer. If asbestosis is not present then you will need to be able to prove that you were exposed to substantial quantities of asbestos to make a lung cancer compensation claim.
The Health and Safety Executive research implies that there may be about twice as many asbestos-related lung cancer cases as there are cases of mesothelioma. 
There are about 2,500 cases of mesothelioma annually, but in recent years there have only been about 300 cases of asbestos related lung cancers recognised by the government in relation to applications for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit. This suggests that sufferers of asbestos-related lung cancer might not be opting to pursue a lung cancer claim and be going under-compensated. 

Lung cancer symptoms

Symptoms of lung cancer can develop and change as the condition progresses. Many people will go on to develop some or all of the following symptoms, as outlined by the NHS. These may include:
  • Coughing up blood
  • A persistent cough
  • Persistent breathlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • An ache or pain
  • Recurring chest infections 
If you do notice any worrying symptoms, you should make an appointment with your GP immediately.

Lung cancer diagnosis

A lung cancer diagnosis usually starts with an appointment with your GP. They will ask about your health and any symptoms you’ve had. You may also have to do some breathing and blood tests as well as a chest x-ray.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published new guidelines in 2019 to help GPs recognise the signs and symptoms of lung cancer and ensure patients are quickly referred for the correct tests
A chest x-ray is usually one of the first tests to try to diagnose lung cancer, although it may not provide a definitive diagnosis. You will normally be referred to a specialist at a hospital and further tests may be carried out, such as a CT scan, PET-CT scan, bronchoscopy and biopsy. 
A bronchoscopy is a procedure that allows a small sample of cells to be taken from the lungs.  Other types of biopsies may be carried out in some circumstances.
These tests will normally confirm the:
  • Official diagnosis of lung cancer
  • What stage it is at
  • Whether it has spread elsewhere 
  • What this means for your treatment.

Making a lung cancer claim 

If you are diagnosed with lung cancer and believe it may have been caused due to previous asbestos exposure, you might have strong grounds to make a claim for lung cancer compensation. 
Our specialist team of asbestos solicitors are experienced in acting for asbestos sufferers. They will listen to your case and advise you on whether you have a possible claim.
It may be possible to prove a claim for asbestos related lung cancer where you have been exposed to heavy levels of asbestos at work or to moderate levels over a prolonged period (usually five to 10 years or more). 

Lung cancer claims after death

Claims can be brought if a loved one passes away from suspected asbestos related lung cancer. It’s important that the Coroner is notified if it’s believed they suffered from asbestos related lung cancer, so special medical tests can be carried out as part of the post-mortem process to try and assess the levels of asbestos fibres present in the lungs.
It can sometimes be difficult to prove the link between asbestos exposure and lung cancer. If a post-mortem is not carried out and these tests are not undertaken, it may prove difficult to establish whether or not the lung cancer was asbestos related and it may not be possible to bring a claim as a result. 
There are time limits for bringing lung cancer claims for personal injuries such as asbestos diseases. Therefore, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible.

How to start a compensation claim

To start your compensation claim with Leigh Day, discuss your case with one of our expert team and they’ll advise on whether you have a claim and the best next steps.
We may need to  gather supporting evidence, such as:
  • Medical records and documents
  • Witness statements from colleagues and medical professionals
  • Photographs of your working environment
  • Financial records

Ready to talk? To start your claim, call 0800 6895854  or

Lung cancer compensation 

Compensation levels for lung cancer claims vary considerably depending on individual cases.
If your life expectancy has been reduced then you may be able to claim for the loss of income that you would have received in the future. Should your claim be successful, you will recover compensation for the impact that the illness has on your lifestyle and the physical impact it has on your life. This is known as damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity. 
You may also be able to claim compensation for:
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Loss of earnings 
  • Care you received during your illness
  • Loss of services if you are no longer able to do DIY, gardening and other domestic tasks
  • Medical treatment, including the cost of new treatments which might not be available on the NHS such as immunotherapy

Why choose Leigh Day? 

At Leigh Day, we have more than 30 years’ experience fighting for many lung cancer claims and successfully securing compensation for our clients. We have expert solicitors across the UK who specialise in claims for people and their families who have been diagnosed with lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure.
We make sure all our clients have the right lung cancer lawyer for them. All of our team are experienced specialists in their area and act with compassion and confidentiality.
“I can’t tell you how grateful I am for the compensation and how much difference it will make to myself and the family in the future” – Mrs. W.
Ready to talk? To start your lung cancer claim, call 0800 6895854  or

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