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SDS Solicitors > Frequently Asked Questions – Industrial Disease

Frequently Asked Questions – Industrial Disease

If you have developed an illness because of your working conditions, Sheldon Davidson Solicitors can help you make an industrial disease claim to recover the compensation you deserve. It can also highlight the issue to encourage businesses to improve their safety procedures, and persuade other victims to come forward.

We have listed some of the questions we are often asked about these cases, and provided the answers that should reassure you about your claim.

I have found out that my industrial disease was caused a long time ago. Does this mean I won’t be able to claim?

Won’t claiming harm my relationship with my employer?

Can I still claim if the company I worked for no longer exists?

I work in an office – could I have developed an industrial disease?

Does the damage need to be permanent for me to claim?

I have found out that my industrial disease was caused a long time ago. Does this mean I won’t be able to claim?

The symptoms of some industrial diseases may not become apparent until some years later. Consequently, some victims believe they will not be able to claim compensation.

This is not the case, although there is a time restriction to bear in mind for these claims. In most personal injury cases, a claim must be made within three years of an accident occurring. When it comes to industrial diseases, an allowance is made for the possibility that you may not have discovered your condition straight away.

Industrial disease victims have three years to claim from the moment they receive their diagnosis. Waiting any longer than that is highly likely to make them ineligible for compensation, while an earlier claim may also inspire other victims to act.

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Won’t claiming harm my relationship with my employer?

An industrial disease victim may worry that their employer will think badly of them if they make a claim. Common concerns include the possibility that they may be treated unfavourably, being overlooked for promotion opportunities or even fired.

Aside from the fact that it is illegal for an employer to act in this way if you have made a legitimate claim, it is also worth noting that any compensation you are awarded will not come directly from the company. Businesses should have insurance policies in place to protect them in these circumstances, and your compensation will come from here.

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Can I still claim if the company I worked for no longer exists?

As many industrial disease claims are historical and can be traced back many years, it is sometimes the case that the company a victim worked at has since closed down.

However, this certainly does not mean you should give up on making a claim. For many people, an industrial disease claim can be about ensuring companies are more careful in future, which can be done even if your old workplace is no longer running.

Additionally, as the answer to the previous question explains, compensation in these cases comes from your employer’s insurance company, and this continues to be the case even if the business ceases to operate.

In these cases, it is a matter of tracing which insurer your former employer had a policy with and securing compensation from them.

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I work in an office – could I have developed an industrial disease?

Yes. While many people tend to associate industrial diseases with more active jobs, there have been many industrial disease victims who have developed their condition simply by sitting at their desk.

For example, people whose job involves having to type frequently and for prolonged periods may develop a repetitive strain injury (RSI) if they are not granted regular breaks.

If you can prove that your workplace environment is the cause of your condition, then this the key element needed to make a successful claim.

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Does the damage need to be permanent for me to claim?

While many industrial diseases do cause lasting and permanent damage to victims, in some cases the problem may be treatable. However, this does remove the victim’s right to make a claim, as they have still been injured through no fault of their own.

For example, some skin conditions, RSIs and sight loss cases are only temporary, but still require time off work and medical treatment. This can cause them to lose out financially, and it is on this basis that compensation may be due.

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Ask Sheldon Davidson Solicitors

If you still have questions about your claim, we will be happy to answer them. Simply call us on 0333 999 8800 or fill in the enquiry form on this page and one of our team will advise you on how to deal with your case.