Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a long-term disease where the flow of air into the lungs is gradually reduced as a result of damage to the lung tissue and inflammation of the air passages. Common types of COPD include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. If you believe your illness is related to your work environment then you may be able to bring a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) compensation claim.
What causes COPD?
COPD is often caused as a result of smoking; however, it can also be caused as a result of exposure to chemicals, dust and fumes in the workplace. Common working environments that can contribute to COPD include:
- working with coal, grain or silica
- working with isocyanates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or welding fumes.
It has been suggested in some research that in approximately 15% of those diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the disease can be attributed to workplace exposures, which according to HSE figures could equate to in the region of 4,000 COPD deaths each year within Great Britain.
Coal dust exposure as a result of mining is a well known cause of COPD. However, other industrial / occupational exposures include:
- cotton dust
- flour dust
- grain dust
- man-made vitreous fibres
- wood dust.
and other chemicals such as:
- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
- welding fumes.
No win, no fee COPD claims
We carry out many of our claims on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means there are no upfront costs for you and, provided that you have not misled or acted against the advice that we have given to you, no financial risk to you – even if your claim is not successful.
Time limit to make an COPD compensation claim
It is important to note that most COPD compensation claims should be brought within three years of the date of knowledge. The date of knowledge is generally the date from which you first realised or suspected that your COPD was related to your employment; or three years from the date of the onset of your symptoms when it would have been reasonable to make the connection between the illness and the working environment.
Can you still make a COPD claim if you smoke?
You can still make a claim if you are (or were) a smoker, however it does make it more difficult to establish that your COPD was caused by your work environment and it is also likely that you will receive a lower compensation award as a result. If you’d like to discuss your individual circumstances please contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.
Will my career suffer if I make a claim?
There are strict legal safeguards to protect you should you make a claim and our expert legal team are able to advise you should any employment issues arise.
Additionally, any compensation you receive will generally be paid by your employer’s insurer. It’s a legal requirement for companies to be insured, and has been for a long time, so it would be unusual for your employer to not have insurance.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis or emphysema and believe that the disease is linked to your work history it may be possible to bring a compensation claim. Please speak to one of our Industrial Disease lawyers on freephone: 0808 164 0808 for a free, no-obligation chat or complete the request a call back form and we will call you.