How to make an asbestos claim on behalf of a deceased relative


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What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a natural mineral that was used widely in the construction industry during the last century. It has many properties that were seen as beneficial – like being heat resistant and very durable – which made it an attractive option for things like insulation.

Asbestos is formed by lots of small, needle-shaped fibres. If these fibres are inhaled then they can become stuck in the lungs and cause a variety of different respiratory conditions – some more serious than others.

The use of asbestos was officially banned in 1991, but due to the nature of the illnesses and diseases it is known to cause – symptoms may not develop for up to fifty years.

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What diseases does Asbestos cause?

In some cases, following exposure to asbestos it can take up to fifty years for symptoms to develop. However, in most cases the effects of asbestos become evident somewhere between fifteen and thirty years after the exposure to asbestos materials.

This means that if you were exposes to asbestos while working for the MoD, then it is likely that you will be displaying symptoms by now.

If you can prove that your asbestos exposure was due to the negligence of the Ministry of Defence, then you could have a good chance of making an industrial disease claim for compensation.

Only those who were exposed to asbestos while under the duty of care of the Ministry of Defence after 1987 are entitled to make a claim for compensation. Prior to 1987. the Crown Proceedings Act effectively provided the MoD with immunity from personal injury claims to be made by its personnel.

However, if you are a serving member of the armed forces and your exposure occurred after 1987, you should still be able to claim.

What diseases does exposure to asbestos cause?

There are a variety of different illnesses and diseases that asbestos can cause, including pleural plaques, pleural thickening, mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.

Pleural plaques

These are areas of damaged tissue that develop on the lungs.  Pleural plaques are the least severe asbestos-related condition, and they rarely form the basis of an asbestos compensation claim on their own. However they can be the precursor to much more serious conditions.

Pleural Thickening

The pleura is a fine membrane that surrounds the lungs.  Repeated or prolonged exposure to asbestos fibres can cause serious damage to the pleura, leading to the formation of scar tissue which can result in breathing difficulties and chest pain.


This is a form of lung cancer that often begins in the pleura and is a common side effect of asbestos exposure.

Lung cancer

The lung damage caused by inhalation of asbestos can cause various kinds of lung cancer.


Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory lung condition which following heavy exposure to asbestos fibres.

Symptoms commonly begin with breathing difficulties, chest pain and a persistent cough.

In a lot of cases, those who suffer from asbestos-related conditions were exposed to asbestos whilst at work.  If the asbestos exposure was due to the negligence of the employer, then you may be entitled to make a claim.

How can I make an asbestos claim for a deceased person?

Some of the asbestos-related conditions mentioned above can ultimately prove fatal, which often means that the sufferer is unable to see a compensation claim through to the end.

In some cases, diseases caused by asbestos inhalation may not even be known as the cause of death until a post-mortem is carried out.

If the sufferer was able to begin a compensation claim prior to their death, but succumbed to their condition before the claim could be settled, then it is possible for the family to take over and pursue the claim on behalf of the deceased.

If the sufferer passes away prior to initiating a personal injury claim, or if the asbestos-related condition was not established as the cause of death until the post-mortem, it could still be possible for the family to start a claim for asbestos compensation.

If you or a relative has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and you wish to make a claim, it’s important to seek legal advice straight away.

If the exposure was due to negligence on the part of the employer, then you have a good basis for a claim.  However, there are strict time limits called Statutes of Limitations within which you must submit your claim in order for it to be accepted.

For more information on how CL Legal can help you make a claim for compensation, get in touch today:

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