There are many causes of lung cancer including inhalation of asbestos.  Indeed, some estimates are that there are six lung cancers caused by asbestos inhalation for every case of mesothelioma.

In order for a lung cancer to be attributed to exposure to asbestos a person must either have asbestosis, or a substantial history of asbestos exposure must be identified. The level of exposure associated with personal home renovation, or occasional occupational exposure are not sufficient to cause lung cancer.

Asbestos induced lung cancer is more common in people who smoked.  This increased risk is not just associated with smoking, but rather the combined effect of smoking and asbestos lead to a greater rick than the sum of the two individual risks.

The symptoms, treatment and prognosis for asbestos induced lung cancer is not different to other lung cancers.

Compensation for asbestos induced lung cancer

The primary claim for compensation in a court is known as a common law claim for damages.

Courts in each mainland state have developed special procedures and processes for dealing with claims for diseases caused by asbestos.  In New South Wales, claims are brought in the  Dust Diseases Tribunal (DDT), while in other States claims are brought in special lists in the District or Supreme Courts.

Most claims are brought against former employers and manufacturers of asbestos products. If your former employer no longer exists, you can still sue if we can determine the workers’ compensation insurer of the company.

A primary issue in claims for lung cancer is whether the cancer was caused by asbestos (or some other carcinogen, most commonly smoking).  This means it is important to identify all the asbestos exposure.  However, you do not need to sue in relation to all of your exposure to asbestos.  For example you are entitled to damages, even if part of your exposure occurred overseas. We will sit with you at your home, in hospital or at our offices and take a detailed history in relation to your work and exposure to asbestos to determine who you should sue.

In asbestos induced lung cancer claims, we act on a full no win no fee basis which means we will not be paid unless you win your claim. More information about our fees is set out on our fee policy page.

How much are claims worth?

For claims for asbestos induced lung cancer, the amount of compensation will be affected by a range of factors including whether you have been able to have successful treatment, and the likelihood of further disease in the future.  If you are successful in your claim you will be awarded lump sum payout.  The lump sum is comprised of various “heads of damage”.  Heads of damage for which people with asbestos induced lung cancer are typically compensated include:

  • damages for pain and suffering and, if relevant loss of expectation of life;
  • an amount for the commercial cost of care provided by your friends and family,
  • damages for ‘out of pocket expenses’ – the medical and other expenses that you incur as a result of the disease (this head may not be payable if these expenses are paid by the Dust Diseases Board).
  • depending on your circumstances, an amount for the commercial cost of replacing services you provided to others such as young children or a sick or elderly child, spouse or parent.
  • loss of earnings and superannuation if the disease stopped you working.

What if I was a smoker?

The fact that you were a smokier does not prevent you from bring a claim.  Defendants have previously argued that the amount of damage a person with an asbestos induced lung cancer who was a smoker should received should be reduced on the basis of their “contributory negligence” in choosing to smoke.  The response to this is that smokers have an impaired capacity to chose because of the addictive nature of nicotine.

Free Case Assessment

We offer a free initial case assessment in all dust diseases matters.

We will obtain preliminary information from you and advise you whether we believe you are likely to have a claim for compensation.  We will also provide some indicative advice as to the likely value of any claim, and our costs in the event you were to instruct us.

The case assessment may be by phone, via video conference (such as Zoom or Teams) or in person. There is no cost associated with this case assessment, nor any obligation to instruct us in your matter.

To arrange your free case assessment please complete the form below or contact us by phone or email.

Case Assessment form

Contact us

We are able to be contacted by phone, email, web chat or video conferencing.  We have offices in Melbourne and Sydney, and regularly see clients who are to unwell to travel in their homes or hospital (although this is limited at present due to Covid-19).  We act for people with asbestos diseases in every State in Australia as well people living overseas.

Common Questions

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