I am a solicitor in the Asbestos Diseases Litigation team in Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office. My blog will follow two mesothelioma sufferers 'William' and 'John' through the compensation process in real time to show how claims work and to highlight some of the issues that may arise.
Having sorted William’s and John’s funding, I informed their former employers of their claims. I sent a detailed letter, known as a ‘letter of claim’ to each of their former employers to start negotiations.
When we start negotiating cases like these, there is a set of guidelines provided by the Ministry of Justice about how each side should behave. We are usually required to give the company an opportunity to investigate the claims before we start the court process. This means that the letters of claim I sent set out the detail of William’s and John’s claims to give their former employers enough information to conduct an investigation.
The former employers have 3 months and 3 weeks to conduct their investigations and, at the end of that time, they should indicate whether or not they admit that they were at fault by exposing William and John to asbestos.
The employer’s investigation period of 3 months and 3 weeks seemed like a long time to William and to John and I had to agree, especially as we know both companies had a long history of exposing their employees to asbestos. I was able to reassure both gentlemen that this period would not be wasted time. There is plenty of work that we can do on their cases in that time and we will use it to get the case ready to start the court process if their employers do no admit fault when their investigation period expired.