The President of the Association for Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Karl Tonks, has called for a review of the resources available for those making asbestos related claims.
2 years ago, the government pledged to create an independent insurance fund for asbestos related compensation claimants. However, the consultation was brought to a close after the coalition government came into power. APIL are keen to restart the campaign since innocent victims are still dying having received no form of compensation.
Ensuring victims receive compensation
The proposed fund would enable those victims who are unable to trace their employer’s insurers to still have access to the compensation they are entitled to. Employees who have been exposed to asbestos can often face difficulties in seeking compensation due to the lengthy time period it takes for symptoms to appear. As such, it is often difficult to trace the insurers responsible for the claim. Mr Tonk describes this problem as a symptom of a ‘dysfunctional system’ which needs to be addressed to ensure insurers are held accountable and victims have the best possible chance of receiving compensation.
Asbestos is closely linked to Mesothelioma – a type of lung cancer that affects the thin membrane that lines the chest and abdomen. An extremely high percentage of patients with a diagnosis of mesothelioma report that they have either worked in an industry associated with asbestos, or have come into contact with it at some point in their past. It is quite common for a diagnosis to only be made when the illness is in its later stages, and as such, the prognosis can often be terminal. As a result, APIL feel it is of paramount importance that victims are provided with the compensation they deserve in order to support them through the final stages of their lives. The previous failure to award innocent victims of the workplace the right to asbestos compensation has made this issue a matter of extreme urgency.