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According to the British Lung Foundation around 1.2 million people in the UK are living with a diagnosed case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This means that, after asthma, it is the second most prevalent lung disease in the UK. Furthermore, its incidence is on the rise, up by 27% in the last decade.

There are two main respiratory conditions that fall within the COPD category. These are:

  • Emphysema – a progressive and long-term disease resulting in inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs. Symptoms include frequent lung infections, the presence of mucus, and persistent wheezing.
  • Chronic Bronchitis – a condition characterised by inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Symptoms include persistent cough, production of mucus, and fatigue.

COPD also causes a number of other symptoms, including shortness of breath and chest pain.

Occupational factors are thought to be responsible for around 4,000 COPD deaths a year and around 15% of all cases of COPD. These factors include workplace exposure to the following:

  • Fumes
  • Pollution
  • Chemicals
  • Silica
  • Coal
  • Grain
  • Dust
  • Welding fumes
  • Isocyanates
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

If you believe you are suffering from COPD as a result of your employment or factors relating to a workplace, then Thompsons can help.

Some issues with COPD claims

In order to take on your case, our COPD claim solicitors will need to be able to prove that your illness has arisen as a direct result of your employer's negligence.

Please note, if you are a smoker and suffer from COPD we may not be able to pursue your claim – in such cases it is difficult to prove that COPD is attributable to causes other than tobacco smoking.

COPD prevalence in Scotland

According to the Scottish Government website,

  • 3.8% of people over the age of 18 in Scotland live with a verified case of COPD
  • The disease is more common among women than men, with 4.2% of women suffering from the condition compared to 3.3% of men
  • Greater Glasgow & Clyde has the highest incidence of COPD in Scotland, with 4.4% adults suffering from the condition. This contrasts with the incidence of COPD in Western Isles (2.2%), Shetland (2.3%), Borders, and Grampian (both 2.6%).

Claims against liability insurers

In the vast majority of COPD claims, compensation is paid to the claimant from the employer's liability insurance – a type of cover that is mandatory for all employers in the UK.

However, if your claim is for an employment before 1972, when the legal requirement for liability cover was put in place, there may not be a paying party if the employer is no longer trading. If your claim falls into this category speak with one of our COPD claims solicitors to discuss your options.

COPD disease compensation claims

Thompsons Solicitors are industrial disease claim specialists and our lung disease solicitors can help you achieve justice in a claim for COPD.

As a firm Thompsons is committed to ensuring access to justice for those who have suffered as a result of corporate and employer negligence. This is why we only ever act for the claimants in COPD claims; we do not act for defendants.

To begin your compensation claim today, call us on 0800 0891 331 for help and advice.

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