Pleural plaque victims in NI can now claim personal injury compensation

There was good news for victims of pleural plaque last month when the Northern Ireland government decided that they have the right to seek personal injury compensation from the firm that exposed them to asbestos.

Inhaling asbestos fibres causes pleural plaques and sufferers end up with permanently damaged lungs.

It is rare for sufferers to experience symptoms but they do feel extremely anxious as the condition means they are at a higher risk of contracting an asbestos related disease such as mesothelioma or asbestosis.

Until 2007, pleural plaque sufferers were entitled to make a personal injury at work claim if their employer negligently exposed them to asbestos. The House of Lords took away that right; a move that personal injury solicitors said was very unjust and distressing for victims.

The Scottish Parliament has already restored the right to compensation north of the border and now the same right has also been extended to those exposed to asbestos in Northern Ireland. However, victims of pleural plaques in England and Wales are still not entitled to compensation.

Personal injury solicitors are used to dealing with cases of industrial disease and should always be the first port of call for sufferers who want to raise a claim against their employer or any other individual who is deemed liable for their injury.

After assessing the situation, a lot of solicitors will take cases on on a no win no fee basis and the victim will be entitled to keep the full amount of any compensation award.

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