Telephone Icon

020 7650 1200

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease caused by prolonged asbestos exposure. It is a form of pneumoconiosis – a long-term disease of the lungs caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres in dust. This can progress and lead to shortness of breath, serious health complications and even death.

If you or a loved one are diagnosed with the disease, then you may be able to bring an asbestosis claim. Contact our specialist asbestos lawyers to discuss your claim. Call us on freephone 0800 6895854 for a no obligation, and completely free, consultation.

what the directories say

‘Leigh Day have assembled what is probably the most experienced team of asbestos lawyers anywhere in the UK.‘"

Legal 500 2021

Ready to talk?

Speak to one of our expert lawyers in complete confidence, with no obligation

Sometimes you may see asbestosis described as pneumoconiosis or interstitial pulmonary fibrosis on benefit forms or death certificates. 

The disease usually become symptomatic many years after the exposure has taken place. We can help you with any claims, including those for asbestosis compensation after the death of a loved one. Call us on freephone +44808 2712267 for a no obligation, and completely free, consultation.

Asbestos educational grants

Leigh Day is committed to supporting research and education into asbestos illnesses and operate a charitable fund to support medical professionals to assist with education including attending conferences, lectures and professional development. To find out more email our team.

Asbestosis FAQs

What causes asbestosis?

Prolonged asbestos exposure, usually over many years, causes asbestosis. When breathed in, asbestos fibres can cause scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs, preventing them from working correctly. Unlike other asbestos diseases such as mesothelioma, doctors believe a lot of asbestos exposure over time is normally needed to cause asbestosis. 

Asbestos exposure was particularly common in the 1950s through to the 1980s. During this period, asbestos was used in many construction products such as flooring, roofing, insulation, coatings and more. People who worked in construction, engineering, factories and those in the merchant navy were most at risk of exposure and developing the disease today.
 
Common types of work that could lead to asbestosis include:
 
  • Construction workers
  • Boiler maintenance 
  • Heating engineers
  • Factory workers
  • Shipyard workers
  • Steel and textile mill workers
  • Electricians
If you cannot recall being exposed to asbestos for a prolonged period, it is unlikely you have asbestosis. It is caused by asbestos exposure many years ago, and it usually takes more than 20 years for symptoms to come to light.

How can you tell if you have asbestosis?

Asbestosis is usually diagnosed by a respiratory physician upon referral from your GP. The level of disability can vary, from mild symptoms to severe and debilitating. It can progress slowly or sometimes not at all. 

People with asbestosis are also at risk of developing further asbestos-related diseases. These have slightly different symptoms and include Mesothelioma, pleural thickening and lung cancer.

How do I make an Asbestosis claim?

When you receive an asbestosis diagnosis, you should seek legal advice about your entitlement to compensation. It is essential to instruct a specialist asbestosis solicitor experienced in acting for people living with the disease. They can advise you on whether you have a possible claim. 

If a loved one has sadly passed away from the disease, they can also advise on whether you can claim for asbestosis compensation after their death.
Contact our team for a free initial consultation. One of our expert solicitors will listen to your case, ask any relevant questions and assess whether you have a strong claim or not.

They will act confidentially and advise you on the best next steps to pursue your claim.

If they think you have a good claim, they will gather supporting evidence to strengthen your asbestosis claim. This can include:
 
  • Medical records and documents
  • Contracts of employment
  • Expert witness reports from medical professionals
  • Photographs and documents related to the working environment
  • Financial records

If you have not received an official asbestosis diagnosis, it is unlikely you will be able to start a claim. However, if a doctor or medical professional has told you that you have a respiratory illness caused by asbestos exposure, you could claim for another asbestos-related disease

Who will my asbestosis claim be against?

Asbestosis claims are brought against former employers – as the disease can take anywhere from around ten to 60 years to develop after the initial exposure. In most cases, exposure to asbestos that causes the disease can be traced back to working conditions, whether this was in a factory or any other working environment. 

Employers have a duty of care to make sure their employees work in a safe environment and are provided with adequate protection where necessary. They hold a level of responsibility should any current, or former, employees develop an asbestos-related disease.

If your former employer is no longer around, we can work to find out where the responsibility now lies and bring claims against their historical insurer. In some cases, it could be the building owner who is responsible. Our expert team will advise you on who any asbestosis legal claims will be brought against.

What time limits are there to make a claim?

You have three years from the date you become aware that your illness was caused by asbestos to start your compensation claim.
This is not the date you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos – as that will be decades ago. The three-year limit applies from the date of death when claiming for a loved one who passed away due to asbestosis.

What does Asbestosis compensation cover?

If your claim is successful, you will recover compensation for the impact the illness has on your lifestyle and its physical effects. 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 – including reasonably incurred medical fees.
  • Any loss of earnings – including loss of future salary and pensions. 
  • Care received – if you are unwell and need help and home adaptations.
  • Travel expenses – to and from medical appointments. 
  • Loss of your services – if you are no longer able to do DIY, gardening and other types of domestic tasks.

Compensation levels for asbestosis claims vary considerably depending on the facts of each particular case. Each one is assessed individually and takes into account the level of pain and suffering caused, disabilities, the lifelong impact of the disease and its financial implications.
The expert solicitors assigned to your case will be able to offer an estimate of how much you could receive.  

Am I entitled to benefits?

When you are diagnosed with asbestosis, you may be entitled to state benefits. You could be entitled to apply for a weekly payment called Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

If this is awarded, you might also be entitled to receive a lump-sum payment from the government under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers' Compensation) Act 1979 . Seek advice regarding your potential entitlements from our asbestosis team.

How do I make a claim on behalf of a loved one, after their death?

Sadly, asbestosis can be a cause of death in some cases. Whether you are claiming on behalf of a loved one who died from the disease or they pass away before the conclusion of their claim, you may still be entitled to compensation. 
 
We will work with you and the coroner to assist in their investigation, as well as helping any next of kin continuing the claim – when you are ready. Any compensation awarded after death can include cover for funeral costs and loss of income when there are dependents. 

Why choose Leigh Day?

Asbestos related claims can be complex. At Leigh Day, our experienced team of asbestos solicitors will care for you whilst fighting to obtain compensation to avoid you suffering financial hardship, on top of everything else you and your family are going through. 
We have offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Chesterfield and Birmingham to deal with asbestosis claims across the country – including the ability to visit you at home or in hospital if required.
 
We have been consistently rated in the top tier by the independent legal directories The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for our reputation as specialists with significant experience in this field.  
 
For more than 30 years, our firm has specialised in the more complex areas of personal injury law, focusing our efforts on achieving justice for our clients.

How we have helped others

Client Story

Asbestosis claim - Bernard Jack