If you have been diagnosed with pleural thickening, you may be able to claim compensation.
Across the UK, several people every day are being diagnosed with preventable asbestos related conditions. Pleural thickening is a serious diagnosis that can also develop into other asbestos-related illnesses like lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Our team at Macks Solicitors are on hand to help you understand if you are able to claim, what evidence you will need, and what compensation might be available to you.
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What is Pleural Thickening?
Pleural thickening is the scarring or thickening of the pleura. This is the protective coating that lines both the lungs and chest wall. Understandably, problems with this can cause respiratory issues, chest pains, and significantly alter a person’s health and lifestyle.
Pleural thickening is most often caused by repeated exposure to asbestos. Whilst this is not the only cause of pleural thickening it is often a significant contributor to it.
In the UK, several respiratory conditions and cancers are directly attributed to asbestos exposure. Asbestos, a hazardous material extensively utilised in the construction industry from the mid-1900s, continues to pose a risk today. What makes it particularly perilous is its ability to remain within the lungs for many years. Diseases caused by asbestos only surface many years after exposure.
Common Symptoms of Pleural Thickening
There are a few common symptoms of pleural thickening, most of which are closely linked to problems with chest pain or breathing issues.
Chest pain or discomfort. This is an extremely common symptom of pleural thickening and can be one of the first indicators that something is wrong. This pain will often get worse when coughing or feeling breathless.
Breathlessness. It may seem obvious but as the pleura continues to thicken, it reduces the ability of the lungs to expand properly which can lead to breathlessness, particularly at times when breathing might be heavier such as during exercise.
Pleural effusion. In some cases, fluid can build up between both layers of pleura which can be uncomfortable and dangerous.
Reduced lung capacity. As the pleura grows thicker, it reduces the amount of the “healthy” lung capacity that your body can rely on and can make it more difficult to breathe without discomfort.
Is Pleural Thickening A Disability?
There can be potential for pleural thickening to cause or be noted as a disability, especially in cases where breathing and lung function are severely impaired.
The severity of the illness can vary between cases so it is advisable to consult a specialist solicitor if you are attempting to determine the severity of your condition for a claim. For more information about making an asbestos claim, you can call us on 01642 843 667 or complete our online contact form.
What’s The Difference Between Pleural Thickening and Pleural Plaques?
Both pleural plaques and pleural thickening are conditions that impact the pleura. There are a couple of key differences worth considering if you are looking into compensation.
Whilst pleural thickening is often caused by exposure to asbestos fibres, it can also be linked to a number of other inflammations, infections or other bodily traumas. Pleural plaques are specifically caused by asbestos exposure.
Pleural plaques will be found on the chest wall, not the lungs. Pleural thickening can impact both.
Pleural thickening is considered to be more severe than pleural plaques. Whilst both can cause symptoms, pleural plaques generally do not. Pleural thickening is much more likely to impact lung function and cause breathlessness.
In England and Wales, it is no longer possible to claim compensation for symptomless pleural plaques. It is important to stay on top of your symptoms because plaques can develop into pleural thickening. If this happens you may be able to make a claim.
Can I Claim Compensation For Pleural Thickening?
Many people who suffer from health issues as a direct result of asbestos exposure can be eligible to make a claim, but there are a few things to consider.
The cause of pleural thickening will greatly impact the likelihood of being able to get compensation. Those exposed in a workplace may have a potential claim. You should speak to an experienced solicitor to see if your case might be eligible for compensation.
If a previous workplace is liable or has been found to be negligent in a way that caused asbestos exposure and therefore pleural thickening, there may be options available to you to recover compensation. A solicitor will be able to discuss these options with you.
A medical diagnosis of pleural thickening will strengthen a case for asbestos-related illness. Medical records, x-rays and other test results can be important for evidencing the link between your condition and potential exposure.
Asbestos-related illnesses have restrictions on when claims can be made, for pleural thickening, this is 3 years.
The three years run from the date of diagnosis and not the date of exposure.
Once you receive a diagnosis, it’s important to start exploring options for compensation quickly if you wish to do so.
It is usually easier to pursue an asbestos-related claim with the assistance of an experienced solicitor.
As with most compensation cases, the claim amount can vary depending on a number of factors. Claims are often worth between £20,000 and £50,000 depending on how extensive the disability caused by the pleural thickening is.
Compensation claims will usually cover things like medical expenses and the need for care caused by your condition.
The amount can also include loss of earnings if you are no longer able to work because of your condition.
At Macks Solicitors, our experienced team of specialists are well equipped to handle claims and cases related to asbestos exposure and workplace negligence.
We believe that nobody’s health should suffer as a result of their working life. We work with families to achieve the compensation they deserve so that they can continue to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
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