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If you work in the mining, drilling, quarrying or tunnelling industries, you are at risk of developing a Mine Dust Lung Disease (MDLD).

An MDLD is an occupational lung disease caused by exposure to various types of respirable dust, such as coal, silica, and other types of rock dust.

Unfortunately, those suffering from MDLDs can face serious health consequences, including silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP), mixed dust fibrosis, diffuse dust fibrosis, progressive massive fibrosis, and even lung cancer.

If you have been diagnosed with a MDLD, you may be wondering what your rights are and what your next steps should be, especially when it comes to compensation.

Here are some frequently asked questions we see from clients, which may help guide you through this difficult time.

Can I make a claim for compensation?

Yes. If you have been diagnosed with an MDLD, you are entitled to lodge a workers’ compensation claim with the state statutory insurer and/or pursue a common law claim for damages in the court. A common law claim is pursued against those entities liable for your exposure to dust, such as a former employer or occupier of the site where you worked.

Can I lodge a claim even if I have retired?

Yes, absolutely. MDLDs are predominantly latent-onset injuries, which means that they develop over a period of time following exposure to dust, sometimes even when you have already retired and left the industry. We often see symptoms develop years, and even decades, following first exposure.

All of your periods of exposure to dust likely contributed to the development of your MDLD and there is no age limit regarding when you need to lodge a claim.

What should I do if I have been diagnosed with a MDLD?

In addition to your specialist care plan, you should consider contacting a lawyer as soon as you are diagnosed.

Strict time limits apply, so it is crucial that you seek expert legal advice regarding your potential entitlements as a result of your diagnosis of an MDLD.

I was previously a smoker, does this matter?

No, it does not.

If you have a history of exposure to dust during the course of your employment, you will likely have an entitlement to compensation regardless of whether you have a smoking history.

At Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, we understand how devastating a diagnosis of a MDLD can be. We are dedicated to helping Australian workers affected by these diseases pursue the compensation they are entitled to. Our team of legal experts can help guide you through the complex process of making a claim and ensure that you receive the support you need during this difficult time.

If you have been diagnosed with an MDLD or if you have any questions about making a compensation claim, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Remember, time limits apply, so it’s important to act quickly to protect your legal entitlements.

We can help with disease exposure claims

Our experienced lawyers have a long history of fighting for the rights of people suffering from asbestos, silica and other dust related illnesses. If you've been diagnosed with a dust disease, you may have a claim for compensation. 

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We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Australian Capital Territory. If you need a lawyer in Canberra or elsewhere in Australian Capital Territory, please call us on 1800 675 346.

We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.