Pleural Thickening

A diagram showing plueral thickening in the lungWhat is Pleural Thickening?

Pleural thickening refers to thickening of the lining of the lung, called the pleura, which is a thin layer that covers the inside of the rib cage and the outside of the lungs.

What is Diffuse Pleural Thickening?

Diffuse pleural thickening is when the pleura thickens to the extent that it causes breathlessness. When pleural thickening is found in both lungs it is referred to as bilateral pleural thickening.

What causes Pleural Thickening?

The condition is frequently, but not exclusively, caused by exposure to asbestos dust.

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis of asbestos related pleural thickening is by a chest x-ray, CT scans and lung capacity tests, combined with a history of exposure to asbestos dust.

What are the symptoms?

In normal circumstances the pleural lining allows the lungs to move smoothly while breathing. Where there is significant pleural thickening breathing can be restricted. This often causes breathlessness and tightness across the chest. The severity varies depending how extensive the thickening is.

Older couple looking out to seaWhat compensation & financial assistance is available for Pleural Thickening?

It is vital to pursue your legal rights when you are told you have pleural thickening – even if you think that the condition is not causing you many problems. The reason is that this lung disease can be progressive and indicate past exposure to asbestos dust, which carries with it the risk of more serious illnesses. There is a legal time limit for seeking compensation. If you don’t act but subsequently your condition gets worse, or you get a more serious illness, you may be out of time for claiming compensation.

The amount of compensation payable varies case by case and will take into account many factors including the severity of the pleural thickening, pain and suffering, financial loss, care, expenses and future financial loss.

You may also be entitled to separate claims for government benefits including Industrial Diseases Disablement benefit.

Also, you may be entitled to a lump sum payment from the government under the Pneumoconiosis Etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979. This is payable where the companies are not trading, and it can be a significant amount which is paid quickly by the government.

We strongly recommend you contact us straight away so that we can give you advice in relation to your individual case. Our solicitors will guide you through the whole process and will always work in your best interests.

Are there time limits for making a claim?

Generally the time limit for bringing court proceedings is within 3 years from when the asbestos related condition was first diagnosed. Claims outside of this time limit may still be allowed under the discretion of the courts if there is a good reason for the delay. It is therefore vital that you pursue your legal rights when you are told you have pleural thickening. If you don’t act you may be out of time for claiming compensation if your illness gets worse, or you develop a more serious illness. Even if your symptoms do not appear too bad, you can opt for a provisional damages settlement. This allows you to return for further damages if you suffer a significant deterioration in your current condition or you get another serious asbestos illness.

I’ve been told I have Pleural Thickening. What should I do?

If you are diagnosed with pleural thickening it is important to act and seek legal advice – even if you have no asbestos related symptoms. We strongly recommend that you speak with us straight away. By taking legal advice soon after your diagnosis – even if the symptoms do not seem too bad at that time – you can opt for a provisional damages settlement. This is a settlement now which still allows you to return in the future for further compensation should you suffer a more serious asbestos illness, or should there be a significant deterioration in your current condition. We can investigate your eligibility and apply for important government benefits available to people who have an asbestos illness. With the right advice and support there is no reason why you can’t take control and continue to live a remarkable life. Of course, a lung condition is a worry, but the important thing is to ask for help from people who understand what you’re going through.