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 Post subject: AVS FAQ's
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:57 pm
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Question
Is it very complicated to make a claim

Answer
Not at all. If you choose a Solicitor with experience in asbestos-related illness claims then the process should be simple. Your Solicitor should carry out a free assessment in relation to the merit of your proposed claim over the telephone or face to face. If your Solicitor feels that your claim has the potential to be successful they should then make arrangements for one of their representatives to visit your home by prior appointment to get your case underway.


Question
If I die before my claim is concluded can my next of kin continue the claim?

Answer
Absolutely. If you have made a Will your executor will be responsible for continuing with the case. If you have not made a Will your next of kin can carry on with the case. This may involve your executor or next of kin entering into another funding agreement.


Question
If I have been diagnosed with mesothelioma am I entitled to any special adaptations and, if so, who should I apply to?

Answer
You should make enquiry of your Macmillan Nurse or Marie Curie Nurse in the first instance. They will be able to tell you what special adaptations you will be entitled to. If there is any particular item that you need that you cannot obtain from these Organisations and you are required to pay for them privately your Solicitor will include the cost of the same in the special damages calculation of your claim.


Question
If I receive a lump sum payment under the Pneumoconiosis ETC (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 or The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 will I have to repay this lump sum if my civil claim against my past employer is successful?

Answer
You will not be asked to personally repay the money to the Government but the Defendant is under a duty to deduct a sum equal to the lump sum you received from your damages and they will have to repay that sum to the Government. This is to avoid you receiving double compensation.


Question
I have been receiving payments of Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit for 12 months now. Will I have to repay these benefits from any compensation monies that I receive from my claim against my past employer?

Answer
You will not be asked to personally repay the benefit but the Defendant will have to repay the Government any sums paid to you by way of Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit. The Defendant can offset this against any damages for loss of earnings which they agree to pay to you but they cannot deduct it from any other aspect of your compensation claim. Therefore, unless your claim includes a claim for compensation for loss of earnings, the amount of Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit will not be taken off your compensation payment.


Question
I have been exposed to asbestos both as a self employed sub contractor and as an employee. I have now been diagnosed with asbestosis. Can I still pursue a claim against my past employer?

Answer
You can only claim damages against the past employer and because you were self employed for some of the time that you were exposed to asbestos your compensation will be reduced to take into account the extent to which you were exposed whilst you were self employed assuming, of course, that you had no safety equipment whilst you were self employed. This is because all the exposure is deemed to have contributed to your present condition.


Question
The employer who exposed me to asbestos has now gone out of business. Can I still proceed with a claim?

Answer
Yes you can. This is very often the case. Provided that your Solicitor is able to trace your past employers' Employers Liability Insurers your case will be able to proceed. The case will still be able to proceed even if your employers' Employers Liability Insurers have gone out of business because, in this case, you would be able to pursue a claim to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme but they will only pay you 90% of the value of your claim.


Question
I have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. I have made a claim for a lump sum payment under the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 and my Solicitor is proceeding with a claim for compensation against a past employer who exposed me to asbestos. Am I entitled to any other compensation?

Answer
Yes, of course. You will be entitled to compensation from your past employers, which would normally be payable by their Insurers. The amount of compensation payable would normally greatly exceed any payments made to you under the 2008 Act.


Question
I used to be a smoker and my Doctors have told me that my breathing problems are partly due to smoking and partly due to asbestos exposure. Will this affect my claim?

Answer
Yes. However, the amount of compensation that you receive will depend upon your degree of disability which is attributable to the asbestosis condition. Your Solicitors will normally ask the medical expert to provide an opinion as to how the level of disability should be apportioned.


Question
I will have to stop working because my chest is so bad. Will I get any compensation for my loss of earnings?

Answer
Provided that your chest problems are caused by your asbestos related condition there is absolutely no reason whatsoever why you should not be able to claim for past and future loss of earnings. Your Solicitor will calculate the amount that you are entitled to with reference to your past earnings and will include the same in the schedule of special damages.


Question
I have recently started to pay a gardener to do my gardening, because of my poor health. Will I be able to claim the cost of this as part of my compensation?

Answer
Provided that your poor health is attributable to your asbestos related condition, there is absolutely no reason at all why you should not be able to claim for the cost of your gardener. You should let your Solicitor have full details of any payments that you are making to your gardener and your Solicitor will include these payments in the schedule of special damages.


Question
I am currently receiving Means Tested Benefits. Will I lose my entitlement to receive these benefits when I obtain my compensation?

Answer
There is a distinct possibility that you will lose your entitlement to receive Means Tested Benefits. It is possinle to enter into what is known as a Special Needs Trust. This arrangement allows your nominated trustees to receive your compensation monies on your behalf whilst preserving your entitlement to Means Tested Benefits. Your Solicitor should always advise you about this prior to releasing any compensation monies to you.


Question
In my past employment I did not personally handle asbestos but there were many occasions when people around me were using asbestos. Am I still entitled to make a claim?

Answer
Yes, of course. Your past employer owed you a duty of care and, if you have developed an asbestos related disease because your past employer did not take all reasonable steps to ensure that you were safe, you may proceed with a claim.


Question
My wife used to wash my dusty overall. Will she be able to make a claim if she develops an asbestos related disease in the future?

Answer
This depends upon the period when she was exposed to asbestos through contact with your asbestos contaminated clothing. The Courts ruled a number of years ago that, by 1965, employers should have been aware of the potential harm caused through exposure to small amounts of asbestos, not only to their own employees but also to members of their family. Your wife will not be able to make a claim if her exposure to asbestos had ceased before 1965.


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