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If you've been diagnosed with a disease caused by asbestos exposure, you may be eligible for compensation

Diseases caused by exposure to asbestos fibres can make it very difficult to live a normal life. You may have had to take time off work, no longer be able to work or been forced to give up doing the things you always took for granted. You may be living with a constant shortness of breath and chronic pain. Your family may also be making sacrifices to care for you. 

We understand how debilitating it can be to suffer from an incurable asbestos illness. It can be doubly so if you were unaware of the risks or weren't properly protected from exposure while doing your job.

The majority of asbestos claims are caused through work. Tragically, people can also be unwittingly exposed where asbestos is present and has been damaged or become unstable. So whether you're just coming to terms with your condition or have been dealing with symptoms for some time, we can help you.

We can help you

Our legally trained advisers are here to help you find out if you're eligible to make a no win no fee claim for asbestos compensation. If you are and want to make a claim, our specialist solicitors will consider the full impact of what you have suffered.

For free and impartial advice about your asbestos compensation claim, simply contact us on for a confidential chat. We never charge you for your call and we'll never rush or pressure you into starting a claim if you're not ready. Our aim is compassionate and simple. We're here to help you understand whether you have a claim and get things started if you want to proceed.

Asbestos-related disease in the UK

Asbestos-related diseases claim more than 5,000 lives every year. It can take 15 to 60 years for symptoms to appear. While production and use of any type of asbestos was banned in 1999, it can still be found in older buildings.

What is asbestos?

Asbestos occurs naturally. It's a fire-retardant mineral that's been used for thousands of years. We have historically used three types of asbestos in the UK. They are brown, blue and white asbestos. From the 1930s to the 1970s, all were widely used in construction and manufacturing for making things like floor tiles, ceiling, insulation and roofing materials.

American researchers first established a link between the fibres in asbestos dust and serious illness. Brown and blue asbestos were outlawed in the UK in 1985. White asbestos was thought to be less harmful but was finally banned in 1999. Before the bans, many people working with asbestos were unknowingly exposed to danger. Even now, asbestos materials in buildings built before 2000 pose a potential health risk.

Am I eligible to claim asbestos compensation?

Employers and landlords have a legal duty to protect you from exposure to asbestos. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 state that where asbestos is undamaged, it can be left alone as long as it's monitored. If the materials are damaged and likely to release fibres or dust into the air, they must be removed by a licensed contractor.

If you've contracted a related illness, you may be eligible to claim for asbestos compensation if you:

  • Used to work with asbestos materials before they were banned.
  • Manage, monitor and remove asbestos today or recently.
  • Have unwittingly been exposed to asbestos dust as a member of the public.

What illnesses can asbestos exposure cause?

There are four main conditions caused by exposure to the fibres in asbestos dust.


This is the inflammation or scarring of the lungs from exposure to asbestos dust. It can take between 15 to 60 or more years for symptoms to appear. 

When undamaged, asbestos is relatively safe. However if it's disturbed, the dust created contains dangerous fibres which are easy to inhale. These fibres stick to the lungs, causing asbestosis.

If you've worked with asbestos, say in a factory, on a construction site or have lived near a place where it's present, then you may be at risk. The fibres can also be carried on clothing and materials. You may also be at risk if a loved one worked with asbestos and was not provided with overalls to protect their clothing.

Unfortunately there is no cure for asbestosis. However, treatment will help you manage the symptoms. In severe cases after prolonged exposure, it can be fatal.


Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.Its symptoms are similar to asbestosis. It affects either the lining of the lungs (the pleura) or the lower digestive tract (the peritoneum). Tragically, this condition is almost always fatal.

For more information about mesothelioma and how we can help, please visit our mesothelioma page.

Asbestos-related lung cancer

The symptoms are the same as lung cancers triggered by smoking or other causes, as is the treatment. 

Pleural thickening

This is where prolonged exposure to asbestos dust causes the lining of the lungs to thicken and swell. As the condition worsens, it can cause chest pain and shortness of breath. While the condition cannot be cured, treatments can help manage the symptoms.

If you've been diagnosed with any of these asbestos conditions, then call us on for a confidential chat. We'll be able to let you know if you may be eligible to make an asbestos compensation claim.

Dr Hilary Jones

Asbestos-related diseases are usually life-changing and at worst, tragically fatal. Often, the best a patient can hope for is treatment that helps manage the symptoms. 

If you've worked with or around asbestos at any time and you're suffering from shortness of breath, a tight or painful chest, chronic coughing or fatigue, then see your GP immediately.

Dr Hilary Jones

Medical broadcaster and GP

What are the symptoms of asbestosis?

Asbestosis symptoms can be very difficult to live with. In severe cases, work-related asbestosis can shorten life expectancy and lead to severe illnesses such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Common asbestosis symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Extreme tiredness

An asbestos-related illness diagnosis is very stressful for the sufferer. It often comes later in life when people can be retired or approaching retirement.

Reactions can include shock, depression, despair, anger and fear, particularly for loved ones. This is especially true where the cause of the condition was preventable and caused by the historical negligence of an employer.

Lee Lucas

Head of Operations at National Accident Helpline

Can I make an asbestos claim?

An asbestos-related illness caused by working conditions is usually classed as occupational lung disease.

Asbestosis symptoms can take decades to appear. If the business where you were working has been bought, changed names or no longer exists, we can still help. Your asbestos claim may be made against the insurance company that was providing employer's liability insurance at the time. A claim can also sometimes be made using the Pneumoconiosis (Workman's Compensation) Act 1979

You may also be able to make an asbestos compensation claim if: 

  • You're unsure or don't know how, where or when you suffered asbestos exposure.
  • It's been years or several decades since you were exposed.
  • You didn't actually work for the company you think was responsible.
  • You've made an asbestos compensation claim for a lesser medical condition that has since got worse.

In the tragic circumstances where a loved one started an asbestos compensation claim but passed away before it concluded, you may be able to continue the claim for them.  

Find out about the range of state benefits you may be eligible for when suffering an asbestos-related disease.

What are the time limits for making an asbestosis claim?

The law says that you typically have three years to start your claim:

  • From the date you were diagnosed with an asbestos related illness.
  • From the date you discovered that a loved one's death was caused by an asbestos- related condition.

This is because asbestos-related diseases can take decades to develop. After so many years, you may be unsure whether you're eligible to claim for asbestos compensation. Please don't worry. If you've been diagnosed with an asbestos-related condition in the last three years then we may be able to help you. It doesn't matter when the actual exposure occurred.

We'll never pressure you to make a claim. If you decide to take the next step, we'll connect you with a specialist asbestos compensation solicitor.

No win no fee asbestos claims FAQ


We helped Katie make things right after a serious medical negligence incident.

National Accident Helpline were really helpful, always professional, always sympathetic. I'd definitely recommend them. The solicitors who they recommended were absolutely fantastic. We also got a letter of apology from the hospital and that had a great impact.

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