We think you are in Victoria. If not please click 'Change'

In your state, you are required to confirm you wish to access this information. Please enter 'QLD' or 'WA' in the field below to continue.

No thanks

Asbestos compensation claims: The medical requirements

Asbestos roof | Shine Lawyers

Determining whether a person can lodge a claim for an asbestos-related disease is not always straight forward. There are many legal hurdles that need to be overcome, but it is the technical medical evidence that makes asbestos compensation claims particularly difficult.

Exposure to asbestos

There is no doubt that exposure to asbestos can lead to asbestos diseases. However, simply acquiring an asbestos disease does not mean an individual is automatically entitled to compensation. This is where confusion often arises. To have a viable claim for compensation, an individual must have an asbestos-related disease that causes, or contributes to, an impairment such as respiratory impairments, chest pains or psychological damage.

Determining impairment

An important aspect of determining whether a person is entitled to compensation is to establish the level of impairment, if any, resulting from the disease. To make a diagnosis and determine any impairment, a lung specialist will conduct a medical investigation. This can, include:

  • Chest x-rays;
  • Chest CT scans;
  • Lung function tests;
  • Lung biopsies; and
  • Lung specialist consultations.

In many cases, the assessment of impairment is complicated by other conditions such as cardiac diseases, smoking diseases, or obesity. Asbestos disease need not be the sole cause of impairment, but it must contribute in a meaningful way for a viable claim. Only when objective medical evidence is obtained confirming a diagnosis and setting out the extent of any impairment will there be good prospects for recovering compensation.

doctor-holds-chest-xray

Development of impairment

Asbestos diseases, such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, are generally a progressive illnesses. While a person with an asbestos disease may have no or minimal impairment initially, their condition may develop or worsen in the future. This may give rise to a claim for compensation, and it is critical that sufferers of asbestos disease continue to monitor their illness to protect their ability to make a claim.

Calculating compensation

It is common to see two cases that are similar on the surface result in vastly different outcomes. This often leads to the inevitable question ‘why did that person get more compensation?’ Differences in age, medical history, level of impairment and prognosis all have a significant effect on the outcome of a case and how much compensation is awarded.

The road to compensation for asbestos claims is long and fraught with both legal and medical hurdles. If you believe you have a claim for an asbestos-related disease, it is important to seek legal advice from an asbestos claims expert as soon as possible to ensure you can get the help you need.

Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: August 10, 2017.

Join the discussion

Share this article:

There are 0 comments. Be the first!

Asbestos in the workplace: What are your duties as an employer?

Asbestos is a term used for a range of naturally-occurring, fibrous, silicon-based minerals. These highly versatile minerals were once used across many industries, until the health risks associated with inhaling asbestos fibres became apparent. Although Asbestos was banned in Australia in 2003, it is still commonly found in many workplaces. According to Safe Work Australia, […]

Read more

DIY home renovators: The third wave of asbestos victims

Between 1945 and 1975, Australia was the largest consumer of asbestos products per capita in the world. We mined it, manufactured it and used it extensively across the country. Lauded for its versatility, asbestos was attractive to many industries, particularly construction. Exposure to dust was considered a normal part of the job. It wasn’t until […]

Read more

Silicosis: The silent killer

As a stonemason, Karl had no idea silica dust rising from the engineered stone he worked with could cost him his health. Now at just 39 years old, Karl suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and silicosis – a progressive, irreversible lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust. The dangers of engineered stone Karl links these illnesses […]

Read more

Case study: Landmark decision for asbestos victim in Northern Territory

After a David and Goliath battle, the entitlements for sufferers of asbestos-related illnesses have now been confirmed in the Northern Territory. Shine Lawyers has secured a High Court ruling that will define the law and entitlements of asbestos victims in the Northern Territory, ensuring they can access compensation for their injuries. The High Court ruling […]

Read more