Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Compensation

May I claim chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation against my former employer if I believe that I contracted the disease after many years of inhaling coal dust at work?

It may be possible to claim chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation if it can be proven that the lung disorder developed as a result of your inhalation of coal dust. However, you must be able to determine that your former employer was negligent and breached his or her legal duty of care by failing to do enough to protect you from the disease.

You may claim chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation when it can be established that the condition was developed due to exposure to coal dust in the workplace. While it may be impossible to completely eliminate the threat of inhaling coal dust, your employer should have recognised the risks to their staff and done all that was possible to decrease those risks. An employer has a legal obligation to ensure that exposure to coal dust is kept to a minimum level and that their employees are supplied with the relevant personal protective equipment.

COPD is usually caused when gasses or small airborne particles have been inhaled by a worker in an environment where inadequate protection has been provided to employees. It has to be made clear that COPD is an umbrella term for several lung afflictions and it must be determined that your condition was contracted at work, rather than by personal decisions you made. For example, smoking cigarettes is the leading cause of COPD, and claims against employers where the plaintiff is a smoker can become extremely complex.

Because of the complications that can arise over proving negligence when pursuing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation, you would be well advised in consulting a personal injury solicitor. Your solicitor will arrange for a professional medical examination by a doctor with experience of COPD and lung disorders and will be able to establish that “on the balance of probabilities” your disease was caused by exposure to coal dust in the workplace, and that your employer has been negligent.

You should be aware that the insurance company representing your former employer may vigorously defend any claims for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation, as COPD is incurable and the likelihood of a successful plaintiff obtaining a substantial compensation award is high. Because of this, the hiring of an experienced personal injury solicitor is vital. By engaging a solicitor to prepare and pursue your compensation claim for COPD, your claim has the maximum opportunity of being successful.