Asbestos & Occupational Disease Compensation Law
Swanwick Murray Roche – Rockhampton & CQ Asbestos Disease Compensation Lawyers and Solicitors
Asbestos & Occupational Disease Claims
Exposure to dangerously high levels of dust such as asbestos, Coal Dust and silica continue to be an increasing problem in today’s society. Exposure can lead to a range of serious health problems which may be fatal. Commonly known diseases that can arise from exposure to occupational dust include the following:
- Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that commonly affects the lining of the lungs and chest wall.
- It can also affect the lining of the abdomen and the sac surrounding the heart.
- Signs of mesothelioma can range from a shortness of breath due to fluid around the lungs to exhaustion, chest pain and excessive weight loss.
- Around 80% of mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos.
- Asbestosis is one of the most common asbestos diseases in today’s society. It is a long term scarring and inflammation of the lungs due to asbestos inhalation.
- Symptoms may include shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and chest pain. Complications from this exposure can lead to lung cancer and pulmonary health disease.
- Those at risk are those involved in occupations where asbestos was present, including the construction, demolition, automotive, boiler making and power station industries where there was a prolonged exposure to asbestos dust.
Silica Induced Diseases
- Silicosis is a form of lung disease that is commonly developed in the workplace. It is caused by inhalation of crystalline silica dust and has become an occupational hazard in the areas such as mining, stone cutting, sand blasting and fibreglass manufacture.
- Like most lung diseases the symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and fever. The condition may also include distinct symptoms in the form of gradual darkening of the skin to a shade of blue.
- Scleroderma is a group of auto immune diseases that can be localised to the skin or involve other internal organs along with the skin. These diseases may include change in skin, blood vessels, muscles and internal organs.
- Symptoms may include but are not limited to thickened skin, exhaustion and stiffness and extremely poor circulation in the fingers and toes.
Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis
- Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis or CWP is a condition caused by the accumulation of coal dust in coal workers lungs. The condition develops typically over a period of time.
- Depending on the level of exposure or profusion the condition may be stable if detected at an early stage or can possibly be progressive.
- A stable condition typically is treated with removal from the mining industry.
- A progressive condition is much more serious and typically results in ongoing increasing disability and eventually death.
What we do
Asbestos disease compensation law is a key service that we provide to corporate and private clients.
We provide compensation law services to corporate clients and individuals in all compensation areas including the following:
- asbestos disease compensation claims
- public liability compensation claims
- road accident injury compensation claims
- work related injury compensation claims
- total and permanent disability or death superannuation & insurance claims
Swanwick Murray Roche is a Queensland compensation and injury law firm.
Our Queensland compensation law lawyers and solicitors can help you understand your rights and entitlements.
Our process is this:
Our process is this:
Step 1: Get in touch – tell us what happened, we are here to listen
Step 2: Free first consultation – our first consultation is free, we will organise to sit down with you anywhere in Australia and listen to your story and take down all the particulars we need to give you initial advice.
Step 3: Information – we gather up information and help you prepare the necessary materials that will assist in helping you show your claim in the legal system.
Step 4: Negotiation – We will manage all discussions with the insurer on your behalf to get you the best result possible.
Step 5: Settlement – We will process your payment as soon as we receive it.
No win, no fee compensation law services
We offer no win, no fee compensation claim work. This means that if we take your case on and it isn’t successful then you won’t have to pay our legal fees. Speak to us more about how we can arrange a no win, no fee policy.
If you are involved in an accident or are injured, there will be so many overwhelming things for you to think about. As part of our service, we will come to you, anywhere in Australia by agreement, to make things easier for you.
Frequently asked questions
I have a smoking history, will this affect my ability to make a claim?
Although the smoking history is highly relevant in the determination of these claims, it is not a matter which disqualifies a person from making a claim.
Are there time limits as to how long I have to make a dust related claim?
Time limits vary under different State and Federal laws. It is important that you report your injury to your work and workers’ compensation insurer as soon as possible. There has been a recent relaxing of the limitation dates in Queensland in regard to Dust related conditions. However a claim should be progressed quickly due to the uncertain nature of these diseases and you should contact a Lawyer quickly.
How much will it cost to make a dust injury claim?
The amount of work your case takes will determine its cost. If your claim is successful your legal fees will come out of your compensation. However you will always be awarded the majority of the damages.
How long will a dust injury claim take?
How long the claim takes depends on a few things. For example, how complex your particular situation is. These cases typically involve undertaking research into your entire work history and obtaining records over many decades.
Once a Lawyer has an understanding they will be able to give a better idea of the timeframes involved in the matter.
Do I have to prove the injury happened?
Yes. It is up to you to prove the incident happened. There are different ways that you can prove the incident occurred and we will be able to help you go through these different options with you.
Typically the first port of call is proving the timing of the exposure which is typically done by pay records, group certificates, training records and attendance records. From that point a process of disclosure is undertaken with the occupier and any relevant statutory authority to show the presence of the claimed toxic material.
X-ray investigations are also vital in showing the presence or progression of the disease.
Is there a chance I will lose my job if I make a claim?
There are laws in place to ensure you are not sacked because you have made a workers’ compensation claim. However, if you are no longer able to do your job because of illness or injury it is highly likely that your employer will not be in a position to keep you in the job in any event. In some circumstances continuation in your employment is contraindicated in the event that you cannot be provided a low dust environment.
What should I do if I have been injured at work?
To make a successful claim, you should do the following:-
- Report your injury to your employer immediately;
- Visit a qualified medical practitioner as soon as possible;
- Provide them with a full description of what occurred to you and the injuries you have suffered as a result. You will need medical evidence to show that your injury is work related;
- Lodge a claim with your employer’s insurer.
It is best to seek legal advice before completing these steps as the process is a difficult and technical one.
Will I need to go to court for my dust claim?
The vast majority of claims are settled before going to trial. In some matters, there is no alternative to court however, this is only on very rare occasions.
Can I claim for a death of a member of my family who died as a result of Dust exposure?
If a member of your family has died as a result of Dust exposure you may be entitled to claim damages under WorkCover.
What happens if I don’t win my dust compensation claim?
If you aren’t awarded any compensation you won’t have to pay any of your legal fees however, you may have to cover the legal costs of the person or company which you made the claim against.
Can I claim income protection through my superannuation?
Yes you can. If you have taken out income protection as part of your superannuation policy. Also if you are forced out of your trade or job due to your injury you may be entitled to a superannuation lump sum. You are not able to obtain these payments while you are receiving wages through a statutory claim at WorkCover.
Does my employer pay the Damages I am awarded?
No the claim is made through an insurance company and they are responsible for the payment of the damages. Like any insurance policy the employer premium may rise as a result of the claim but they are not responsible/liable for the damages paid to you.
Head to our team members page to meet our professionals.
Check out some of our recent legal updates and compensation resources that you might find useful on this Compensation Resources link. Please remember that these updates and resources are general guidance only. If you need legal advice, you should contact us to discuss your matter as your personal circumstances may not suit the circumstances described in the updates and resources.
To talk about your matter – reach out to us via any means to start a conversation. All of our contact information is listed here on our Contact Page.