Why choose this firm?
- Deal with your claim personally and get the best possible result for you
I have been providing legal advice in relation to people needing to make compensation claims for mesothelioma, asbestosis and pleural thickening for over 15 years, and for longer to people suffering from serious injuries of various types. I will deal with your asbestos illness or injury claim myself throughout. I will take the time to develop a relationship with you and listen to your needs and concerns. The service I provided will be personal and supportive of you. You will not feel you are dealing with a large impersonal legal advice organization where there may be numerous changes of staff dealing with your case. I believe that a true professional puts the interests of the client before their own.The firm is an accident and illness compensation claim solicitors practice based in Bristol, but we are happy to see clients anywhere in England and Wales and will always visit you at home. We have or have had clients in London, Swindon, Birmingham, Sheffield, Gloucester, Stoke, Stafford, Burton, Southampton, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Cornwall, Falmouth, Newport, Cardiff, Manchester Barrow Liverpool Newcastle Gosport Havant and Medway and well as many other English and Welsh towns and cities and in Ireland and Scotland.I founded the practice in 2007 and it has consistently acted only for the victims of accidents and asbestos cancers and illness at work, not the people who caused the injury or illness or their insurers.My aim is to give a high quality professional legal advice service delivered in a friendly, personal manner.I believe that solicitors providing legal advice in such cases have a vital role in making sure that the workplace and the environment are safe, and that those who are injured through the neglect of others get justice.I am regulated in its activity by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and must observe the strict Solicitors Code of Conduct.
- Act on a ‘no win no fee’ basis where possible
No win no fee agreements
Most solicitors providing legal advice in relation to serious injury or mesothelioma and asbestos related disease cases will enter no win no fee agreements and we are happy to do so. As experienced serious injury and asbestos related disease solicitors we will evaluate the risk in your case and advise you on whether we believe it is likely to succeed, although of course we can never guarantee the outcome.
We can fund your case either through a no win no fee agreement or a legal expenses insurance policy if you already have one if it will cover your claim. The latter could be part of your car or household insurance; we will help you find out if you are covered and advise you on which option for funding is best for you.
A no win no fee agreement with us will provide that:
- If you win we will recover your legal costs from the other party ( more likely their insurer )
- If you lose you pay nothing to either this firm nor your opponents, unless you have in some way been fundamentally dishonest in making your claim
You will not be asked to cover the cost of anything (eg medical reports, insurance premiums) as the case goes along.
- Be approachable, friendly and clear in my dealings with you
I believe the firm offers an ethical personal specialist illness and accident compensation claim service.We will always treat you as an individual but this is an outline of how your compensation claim might be likely to develop with me as your solicitor.
Your first meeting with us
After listening to the story of how your asbestos illness or personal injury was caused and advising you by phone, I will arrange to meet you and advise you at home without commitment or charge when we will:
- Take fuller details of the claim
- Explain how we would take your case forward and give you an idea of chances of success and how much compensation you might receive
- Explain how the case would be funded in relation to my costs and the opponents costs in clear terms and confirm that to you in writing
It’s then up to you if you want to proceed.
Putting the claim forward
We will write to the person to blame requesting they admit responsibility and make payment. We will interview any witnesses quickly before memories fade.
We will arrange for you to see a specialist doctor at a venue convenient to you. They will provide a confidential report. If you are happy with what it says it can be used to value your case.
Sometimes further reports are needed from different medical specialties.
If we need other types of expert, such as, care experts, rehabilitation experts, engineers or accountants to prove your case we can involve them.
You won’t be asked to pay for them.
Other party not co-operating
If the other party is not giving the information or documents they should to assist with your case we can ask the Court to make them do so without starting full court proceedings.
Valuing your claim
With the medical report and details of your losses we will discuss with you what we think is the right amount of compensation in your case.
Offering to settle
We will take the initiative and tell the Defendants how much you require, to settle your case.
Early part payment
If it’s too early to know how serious your injury or its effects will be, we will demand an early part payment. In some case we can ask the Court to order this.
We can demand an early part payment to
- Pay for private medical treatment; and
- Otherwise ease financial losses or strain
Settling your compensation claim
We will negotiate settlement if we can without court proceedings and always consult you in detail about that and only settle the case if you are happy to do so on our advice.
Starting court proceedings
We will start court proceedings to get justice without delay, but only if you want us to. If this is necessary we will:
- protect you against financial risk.
- give you the advice and guidance you need to decide if this is what you wish to do.
An improvement in any offer to settle may be received at this stage and you may be able to settle your case without going to court.
Less than 2% of cases go to Court for a judge to decide. If that happens you will be represented and looked after by an experienced lawyer. We have extensive experience of taking cases to court and you will be in good hands.
Asbestosis is said to be a fibrosis of the lungs caused by asbestos. Sometimes it is incorrectly used to describe Mesothelioma and Diffuse Pleural Thickening. Mereweather and Price described how Asbestosis arises as a slow growing or scar tissue around the air sacs inside the lung and spreads like a spider’s web through the lung gradually. Scar tissue does not operate as a lung so gradually limits the capacity of the lung. Asbestosis typically arises in people who have been exposed heavily to asbestos and the disease continues to get worse long after any exposure has ceased.
Asbestosis can be asymptomatic if the damage is mild but once symptoms start the patient is likely to suffer from shortness of breath, coughing and sometimes chest pain. Asbestosis cannot be reversed.
It is said that typically the disease progresses slowly and the lead in time for symptoms suffered is said to be about 20 years, although this can vary massively and symptoms may not be experienced for much longer.
Asbestosis gets worse with time. Its presence is said to be an indication of significant asbestos exposure and that means that there is an increased risk in a patient developing one of the malignant asbestos related diseases such as Mesothelioma or lung cancer.
Mesothelioma is a tumour most frequently found in the lining around the lung, but it can also be found in the perineum, the lining around the heart or the membranes surrounding the testicles. It has a direct relationship with exposure to asbestos. Few common cancers have such a strong and direct link with exposure to one particular type of substance. The cancer is aggressive and resistant to treatment.
After the initial exposure to asbestos fibres the period before the onset of symptoms is often very long. It is said to take at least 10 years for the cancer to develop and the shortest period between exposure and the onset of symptoms appears to be around 15 years typically between exposure and the onset of symptoms the period is said to be longer than 30 years, often 40-50 years.
After a diagnosis the typical survival period is only about nine to 12 months, although occasionally people survive much longer, up to five years or more.
Unfortunately there is no cure for Mesothelioma.
The risk of developing Mesothelioma increases approximately to the proportion of the dose of asbestos inhaled. However there is no evidence of a threshold dose below which there is no risk.
Asbestos Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is said to be the most common disease caused by asbestos. Some say more common than Mesothelioma. There is likely to be a massive amount of under-claiming for this condition because, so often, treating doctors tend not to look any further than smoking as a potential cause where such a history exists.
Some say that the presence of Asbestosis is the most reasonable basis upon which to say that lung cancer has been caused by asbestos. Others disagree and say that evidence of exposure to asbestos is enough. This issue is something of a battleground between people wishing to claim compensation for having contracted lung cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos and the employer’s liability insurers being asked to pay that compensation.
A non-smoker exposed negligently to asbestos dust has a five times greater risk of developing lung cancer than someone who has not been exposed. Those that smoke and have been exposed to asbestos have a very much increased chance of developing lung cancer.
It is generally agreed that the minimum time lag between exposure to asbestos and the onset of lung cancer symptoms is 10 years.
This involves a thickening of the pleural surface and can have a number of causes arising from any infection of the pleural space for example emphysema or tuberculosis however it is also associated with exposure to asbestos. Thickening can be caused by lower doses of asbestos than are required to cause Asbestosis.
Pleural Thickening is not always symptomatic. It is known as Diffuse Pleural Thickening when it extends over at least 25% of the chest wall with obliteration of the costophrenic angle at the base of the lung.
The symptoms are shortness of breath. Symptoms can get worse but they may remain static.
I cannot speak highly enough of the kindness and care and sensitivity that was consistently shown to me throughout the process. I am so grateful to Bob for all his hard work and careful attention to detail.
Ms R. Gloucester