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Areas of Practice

Asbestos and Dust Diseases

Asbestos exposure claims

Claims for asbestosis and other dust diseases can be complicated.  You will need expert legal advice to pursue any potential claim.  At Andersons, we can provide the legal advice, assistance and understanding to walk you through the legal process to seek compensation for asbestosis or any other dust diseases you may have been exposed to.

Issues to consider when claiming asbestos exposure compensation

There are many issues to be considered in order to run a successful claim for compensation, including but not limited to:

  • Where you were exposed?
  • How long ago the exposure occurred?
  • Was your exposure in the workplace?
  • Does that employer still exist?
  • Were you an employee or contractor?
  • Was your exposure not related to work?

For a free appraisal, complete our 'Online Request Form' or telephone us on 08 8238 6666 and an experienced solicitor will contact you about your inquiry.

About asbestosis

Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory medical condition affecting the lungs occurring after long-term, heavy exposure to asbestos, for example in the mining industry.

Asbestos is also carcinogenic. The risk comes from inhalation of asbestos fibres. Lying dormant for up to fifty years, the fibres can cause lung cancer or mesothelioma, a form of cancer that is usually caused by previous exposure to asbestos. Even small exposures to asbestos can cause cancer.

In the past, the disease causing properties of asbestos were not widely recognised. Many people received dangerous exposures to asbestos products, often in the course of their employment.

Unfortunately, the dangers of asbestos were often known to employers at the time. For this reason, asbestos exposure can give rise to a case in negligence against the party responsible for the exposure, and entitle an asbestos victim to compensation for their illnesses.

Asbestos use has now been banned. However, because asbestos continues to exist in the community, (usually in the form of building materials) asbestos continues to constitute an ongoing health problem.

Despite the scientific evidence, asbestos victims have found it hard to obtain compensation. Governments, recognising that delays inherent in normal litigation processes were being exploited to deny sufferers compensation before they died, established special legislation with the Dust Diseases Act 2005. This legislation makes important changes to the law, significantly expediting compensation suits.

South Australian asbestos and dust diseases legislation

In particular, the South Australian legislation establishes a presumption that, where a person who suffers from a dust disease was exposed to asbestos, the disease arose out of the exposure. It also establishes a presumption that a person who carried on an activity that could expose persons to asbestos knew that the exposure could cause a dust disease. These presumptions make it much easier to obtain dust diseases compensation.

Mesothelioma compensation in South Australia

A person who develops mesothelioma will inevitably realise that they have a potential claim for compensation. The key thing is to identify the relevant source of asbestos contamination.

On the other hand a lung cancer sufferer will not necessarily link the cancer with asbestos, particularly if the person was a smoker.  However, asbestos exposure significantly increases a smoker's chances of getting lung cancer:  a smoking asbestos worker is much more likely to get lung cancer than any other smoker. In a number of cases, smokers who suffered asbestos exposure have successfully obtained asbestos compensation.

Andersons' personal injury lawyers have helped many asbestos victims obtain the compensation rightfully available to them. We understand asbestos compensation claims and have been highly successful in obtaining substantial awards for our clients.

If you think that you might suffer an illness as a result of asbestos exposure please contact Andersons on 1800 653 655 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced personal injuries team solicitors.