Last updated on August 2nd, 2019
Emphysema is a chronic condition in which the air sacs in the lung get enlarged and damaged. It is one of a number of diseases that forms part of COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The condition is irreversible and progressive, resulting in reduced respiratory function and breathlessness.
Emphysema can be caused by exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution, inhaling occupational dust or inhaling chemicals. If you have been diagnosed with emphysema from exposure to air pollutants in the workplace, you may have solid grounds to file a emphysema claim for compensation.
Workers employed in coal mining, dry cleaning and other industries that entail extended exposure to fine cotton and mineral dust or tiny particles of coal, grains and cadmium, are at highest risk of emphysema. Extended exposure to any of the above particles irritates the lungs, leading to emphysema.
Understanding The Symptoms And Progression Of Emphysema
Shortness of breath, wheezing, a persistent cough and pain or tightness in the chest are the main symptoms of emphysema.
Extended exposure to air pollutants causes the walls of the air sacs in the lungs to get enlarged and impedes their efficiency so they have to work harder to supply you with the oxygen you need. This tires them and you sooner, which manifests as shortness of breath even with minimal activity.
The condition cannot be cured or reversed. Over a period of time the muscles that help you breathe keep getting weaker, making it even more difficult to breathe. In the more advanced stages, you may find yourself getting breathless even when not engaged in any activity.
As the condition progresses, other symptoms such as loss of appetite, poor sexual function, depression and insomnia may start to manifest. These symptoms develop slowly but they get more debilitating over time.
Lungs slowly lose function as part of the normal process of aging but those who have emphysema lose lung function at a much faster rate.
One of the reasons why it is so difficult to treat emphysema is it the condition takes several years to develop and the symptoms manifest only when the condition has advanced considerably. The progressive nature of the disease means that the symptoms will get more severe and more debilitating over time. The only options available to those who have been diagnosed with this condition are to take steps to manage the symptoms in order to lead a better quality of life.
Why You Should Consider Pursuing A Emphysema Compensation Claim
Emphysema can have a huge impact on your quality of life. Struggling to breathe can make it difficult for you to carry on working, which can affect your earning capacity. It can also make it difficult for you to carry out everyday tasks such as household chores or shopping, which affects your independence.
As the symptoms become more severe and breathing becomes increasingly more difficult, you may even require specially designed equipment to help you breathe. All of this can take a toll on you mentally and emotionally too. Many emphysema sufferers experience extreme anxiety and depression as a consequence of their condition.
If your condition is a result of having worked in one of the high-risk industries, then you should consider pursuing an emphysema compensation claim against your employers. All employers are legally required to provide training and protective gear to protect their workers from all types of risks, whether it is protection against high noise decibels in a factory to protection against air pollutants in a coal mine.
If your employer failed to provide you with the mandated training and protective gear, they can be held liable to pay compensation for any injuries that ensue as a result of this negligence.
How To Start A Claim For Emphysema
If you want to file an emphysema claim against your employer, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with a personal injury solicitor. Filing any personal injury claim can be challenging as the onus of proof lies with you. You have to be able to prove that your condition was caused because of somebody else’s mistake.
Filing a successful emphysema claim is even more challenging because the symptoms take so long to develop. If your symptoms develop several years after your exposure to the air pollutants, it can be difficult to make the connection between the symptoms and the exposure to one particular workplace. This is where the expertise of a personal injury solicitor can make the difference.
Personal Injury Solicitors And Emphysema Claims
An experienced personal injury solicitor would have handled several such cases before and would know exactly how to build your case in your favor. Not only are they familiar with the legal process but they also have access to legal and medical professionals who can provide expert advice on emphysema and even testify in court to support your claim.
Moreover, they will know how to obtain the evidence they need to prove employer liability even if your employment records are misplaced or lost or if your workplace has shut down. This is impossible for any lay person to do on their own.
You should know that most personal injury solicitors such as ours work on a No Win No Fee basis, which essentially means that they will represent you without asking for any upfront fees to cover their expenses. At the outset you will have to sign a No Win No Fee agreement, which lays out the terms under which the solicitor will take on your case and the percentage that you will be required to pay if they win the case on your behalf. In our case this will be an agreed percentage of the total amount that the court awards you.
Hiring a personal injury solicitor to file an emphysema case on your behalf is highly recommended as it allows you to benefit from the solicitor ’s legal expertise without being out of pocket at any time. This is a far better option than trying to file your claim by yourself and adding to your stress, which may only exacerbate your existing emphysema symptoms.
Give our solicitors a call today to discuss your emphysema claim and find out what we can do for you.