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.