Asbestos Diseases - Brisbane | Queensland

If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease, your first priority must be to take care of your health.

However, financial compensation may relieve some of the burden for you and your family. Our professional team understands the impact of a life threatening illness, and will work with you to minimise inconvenience and stress.

Who can make a claim?

You may be legally entitled to claim compensation if you are suffering from:

  • asbestosis
  • lung cancer
  • pleural mesothelioma
  • peritoneal mesothelioma
  • pericardial mesothelioma
  • gastro-intestinal tract cancer
  • laryngeal cancer, or
  • cancer of the bowel.

You can claim even if you:

  • left the employment where the exposure occurred
  • were exposed to asbestos 50 years ago, or more
  • had an employer who has since gone out of business
  • were exposed to asbestos with different employers
  • were self-employed or a contractor
  • were not exposed to asbestos at work (but elsewhere)
  • were exposed to asbestos in the UK or USA
  • are not sure where your exposure to asbestos occurred, and
  • smoked cigarettes.

We understand that asbestos related illness already causes a great deal of emotional strain on you and your family, and there can be additional physical difficulties related to the illness.

That is why we will visit you free of charge and without obligation, at home or in hospital, to discuss your  entitlements and the claims process - and to help work out if this is a path for you.

Can my family bring a claim?

If your family can show they were financially dependent on your earnings, they could bring a claim for the loss of financial dependency.

However, only you can claim for pain and suffering. For this reason, it is best to get legal advice and act as soon as possible. Provided that you initiate the claim, it will continue even if you die before it is finalised.

What's involved in making a claim?

We try to make it as straightforward as possible for you - but we can't do it without your involvement.

As your lawyers, our job is to work through medical and legal issues and worry about how best to put your claim. At Maurice Blackburn, we're experienced with the fact that asbestos-related claims are complicated - but our experience means less involvement for you and the quickest possible resolution.

There are a number of things you will need to do, or provide, to help us make a claim for you:

  • Speak to one of our lawyers about your work and, what you know about your asbestos exposure. This can take place in your home, in hospital or our office and usually takes about an hour.
  • Provide us with your authority to access medical records and reports.
  • Provide all documentation relevant to the claim - this can include items relevant to your work and pay and so on.
  • Answer a series of written questions with our assistance, and
  • Provide instructions (via telephone) as the matter progresses - for example, regarding any offers made.

While those who currently provide your medical care will be important, a necessary and important part of the process will be visiting independent doctors for medico-legal opinions and reports to support your claim. The doctors will ask you questions and review the tests or treatment already performed.

If you prefer help from people close to you and who you trust - particularly if you are in ill health - you can give someone your Power of Attorney to run the claim and make decisions on your behalf. We can help you with further information about how that works if required.

How much compensation?

It is impossible to provide that information without details specific to your claim. However, where there is good evidence to support your claim, it is likely that you could win compensation between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How long will it take?

The average time-frame for an asbestos malignancy claim is between three and six months, from the time you instruct us to proceed until the claim is settled.

Claims can proceed faster where there is medical evidence that you are very unwell. Some claims are resolved within weeks.

Have you registered your asbestos exposure?

If you have been exposed to asbestos, you are at risk of developing respiratory disease or cancer. Should you receive such a tragic diagnosis in the future, you may be entitled to compensation.

Listing the details of your asbestos exposure, whether it was recent or many years ago, may assist your future claims for compensation. It can also help other victims who use the database to help determine where they were exposed.

You can register for free on the National Asbestos Register, which already has more than 6,000 registrants. If you choose to register, you will not automatically become a client of Maurice Blackburn and you have no obligation to become one in the future.

Freecall 1800 675 140 for a registration form.

At Maurice Blackburn, we know that access to information as soon as you've been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease is crucial to your, and your family's, understanding of your illness. To aid in this process, we are proud to distribute the book Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient's Guide, by mesothelioma survivor Paul Kraus. To order a free copy, go to Paul's website (Qld laws restrict us from providing the link).

The Victorian Cancer Council also has a free information book for mesothelioma sufferers. To order a free copy, go to the council's website (Qld laws restrict us from providing the link).