I have been retired from a coal mining job for three years now and have recently been diagnosed with pneumoconiosis – can I claim pneumoconiosis compensation? My former employer has gone out of business but my doctor reckons my condition was caused from breathing in coal dust.
It is possible for you to claim pneumoconiosis compensation provided that it can be established that your employer was negligent and did not provide adequate prevention methods from contracting your condition; and that your pneumoconiosis was indeed developed as a result of your employment.
Pneumoconiosis – also known as black lung or miner’s lung – is typically the result of exposure to coal dust over a long time period. Symptoms of this condition can take years to manifest after persistent exposure to coal dust. Your case is not unusual as symptoms of pneumoconiosis are known to only become apparent when a worker reaches retirement age; in fact, symptoms of your condition rarely appear in workers under 50.
Despite the fact that your former employer has ceased trading, you still may claim pneumoconiosis compensation. However, your entitlement to make a compensation claim is restricted by the Irish Statute of Limitations which states that a personal injury claim must start from the date the condition occurred – or was diagnosed – and therefore the plaintiff has only two years in which to initiate their claim.
Claims for pneumoconiosis compensation can take some time to prepare – especially when the former employer has gone out of business – and the assistance of an experienced personal injury solicitor is essential. Your solicitor can assist in locating your employer, if needs be, and in identifying his or her insurance company.
When considering the complications potentially involved in making a claim for pneumoconiosis compensation, it is easy to recognise the importance of hiring a solicitor. Legal advice should be sought as a matter of extreme urgency to allow ample time for the compensation claim for pneumoconiosis to be prepared. If your claim is not initiated within the time frame allocated by the Statute of Limitations, you will not be able to receive compensation for your condition.