An experienced solicitor on asbestos litigation is essential.
The group is unable to provide legal advice itself. However, we have a list of specialist solicitors that are experienced in the field of asbestos litigation. These solicitors provide an initial interview free of charge to discuss the possibility of a civil claim and answer any questions the victims might have. It is most important that a lawyer experienced in asbestos claims is instructed as they will have knowledge of many of the companies and their insurers; some have extensive databases of information. They will know the correct procedure to adopt and will be able to advise you properly
Victims are placed under NO obligation to proceed with their claim at the initial interview although providing a witness statement at an early stage can make for a better case if the decision to proceed is made at a later date. This victim statement should include places of work and any knowledge of asbestos exposure. It would also be useful to inform the solicitors of any work colleagues who may be asked for collaborative evidence.
The law lays down strict time limits to make a claim.
Legal proceedings must be commenced, i.e. the formal claim must be lodged at the Court, within 3 years of the date of diagnosis of the asbestos condition, or the date when you are advised that you are suffering an asbestos condition. Please bear in mind that your solicitor needs to investigate and prepare to lodge your claim at court. Courts can sometimes extend the time limit, but they may refuse to do so.
If you are dissatisfied with your solicitor at any point, tell them. If there is no improvement, change them or report them to the Lay Observer.
What happens if you die?
If you die before your case is concluded, your case can still continue.
If you die and you had been in receipt of a DSS Industrial Injuries Assessment your case will automatically be referred to the Coroner and there will be a post mortem examination and an inquest.
If you die, your family can still pursue a posthumous claim if it is within the required time frame although this can be more difficult without a witness statement given in the deceased’s lifetime.