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Pneumoconiosis Compensation Claims

Is it possible to pursue pneumoconiosis compensation claims if sufferers have already ceased working in the workplace where the condition was developed? I worked as a coalminer for 35 years but was only last week diagnosed with pneumoconiosis. Is it still possible for me to claim compensation?

Pneumoconiosis compensation claims may be able to be pursued by suffers even after they have ceased working where the condition was developed. It is a common misconception that you can only claim for compensation from your current employer – it is entirely possible to claim compensation from a former employer provided you can prove that they are at fault for your condition.

Proving that a former employer’s negligence led to you being diagnosed with pneumoconiosis can be difficult, especially considering the condition can take years, or even decades to manifest itself. It is important for persons seeking pneumoconiosis compensation claims to be able to show that an employer failed in his or her duty of care before pursuing a claim for compensation. There are a number of pieces of legislation which can assist persons seeking pneumoconiosis compensation claims: the Pneumoconiosis Etc (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 was introduced for just this reason. The Act was signed into law to modernise the health and safety procedures which employers must adhere to.

One issue that may prevent you from being able to claim compensation from a former employer is if the company you used to work for has gone out of business or your employer has since died. As pneumoconiosis often takes years to manifest itself, the length of time between the time the condition is first discovered and the time compensation is sought can often be decades.

Once you have discovered the disease you have a comparatively short time in which to pursue your claim for compensation. The Statute of Limitations Act only allows for claims for compensation to be made for three years from the date the injury was first discovered – that in your case, is the date on which the injury was first diagnosed. While three years may appear to be ample time in which to mount a claim for compensation, it can often prove to be insufficient as claims can often be delayed while parties are negotiating or while evidence is being gathered.

For this reason it is imperative that you enlist the help of an experienced injury claims solicitor to help you pursue your claim for compensation. Persons seeking pneumoconiosis compensation claims should speak with a solicitor at the earliest possible opportunity.