COPD claims

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties. If you have been diagnosed with an industrial disease, you may have a lung disease claim.

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What causes COPD?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties.

While it’s common in smokers, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that, of the annual deaths caused by COPD in the UK, work-related causes are responsible for around 15% or 4,000.

Some cases of COPD are caused by long-term exposure to harmful chemicals, fumes and dust. The lungs become inflamed, damaged and narrowed, leading to emphysema and chronic bronchitis. 

Substances that have been linked to COPD include:

  • Cadmium dust and fumes
  • Grain and flour dust
  • Silica dust
  • Welding fumes
  • Coal dust
  • Isocyanates – found in building and decorating materials like paints, coatings, foams and glues

Some of the professions known to carry an increased risk of getting COPD include:

  • Building or construction workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Coal miners
  • Welders
  • Workers in the food industry (flour and grain)
  • Foundry workers
  • Ship builders and dock workers
  • Stonemasons
  • Textile workers

Why make a COPD compensation claim?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a major cause of disability in thousands of people, many as a result of work-related exposure to chemicals, dust and fumes. It’s a slow-developing condition which means many people do not realise they have it until the symptoms start to emerge. 

As well as the financial cost of medical treatment, there is the cost to you, or your loved one, in terms of suffering, its effects on the quality of life and reduced earnings due to working days lost.

Making a claim for compensation can help ease the financial pressures of paying for:

  • Medical treatment
  • Prescriptions
  • Any extra care you may need
  • Expenses like costs of travel to hospital
  • Medical aids or equipment
  • Loss of earnings

Find out more about making a claim.

How can First4Lawyers help?

Firstly, you are likely to need legal help when making a claim of this type. In cases of industrial respiratory disease, the claim is made against the employer, who have a duty of care to ensure your safety.

If you were exposed to harmful substances during a job you had years ago, the company may no longer exist. In these cases we’d need to find the insurer of that company and claim against them.

Using our specialist solicitors means we can help you identify your options and build a case for COPD compensation with an expert in industrial disease law. 

We offer a No Win No Fee service (also known as a conditional fee agreement), so you don't have to pay for anything in advance – and if the claim is not successful, you don't pay at all.

Only pay a fee if you receive compensation

Where we offer No Win No Fee services typically customers pay 25% of the amount recovered by our solicitors, although this will be subject to your individual circumstances and the actual fee may be less than this but it will never be more. Success fees are common practice and they were introduced when the law changed in April 2013.

First4Lawyers are an award winning claims management company with a track record of delivering service that our clients love.

How much compensation will I receive for a COPD claim?

COPD compensation amounts will vary depending on whether the condition is likely to get worse, or lead to secondary illnesses. The level of lung function is also taken into account and how much it affects your daily activities. Our industrial disease law specialists will help explain your options.

Judicial College Guidelines give a range from £48,040 to £61,410 in cases of lung disease that causes significant impairment of lung function and the ability to carry out physical employment and activity.

Is there a time limit for making a claim?

You usually have three years to make a claim, from the date you were diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), so it’s important to start proceedings as soon as possible after you become aware of your illness.

I think I have a claim – what do I do next?

If you think you have an industrial disease claim and would like to explore further, just get in touch. Give us a call, request a call back at a convenient time or start your claim online.

We’ll go through your case and your options with you so you know what the best course of action for you is. You are under no obligation to proceed and there is no charge for the initial consultation.

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