What other sorts of diseases fall under this claims umbrella?

PUBLISHED 20 Feb 2020

What is a dust disease?

Dust disease refers to a number of chronic lung conditions caused by inhaling harmful dust particles, such as:

  • Asbestos
  • Bagasse (dry pulp from processed sugar cane)
  • Cotton
  • Dust from cutting, drilling, grinding or sanding
  • Hard metals (tungsten, cobalt, aluminium and beryllium)
  • Mouldy hay
  • Silica
  • Straw

Dust disease is not common – but if you are affected, you may not develop symptoms until years after the initial exposure.

Who is most commonly affected?

Labourers and tradies exposed to the above-listed particles are most commonly affected by this condition. Many of those affected are already retired when they are diagnosed. Fewer younger people are affected, because in recent years, the workplace has become a somewhat safer place due to a growing awareness of dust disease.

How do I make a claim?

Dust disease claims can often be complex and difficult. The first step is to consult a law firm that specialises in such matters, like Gerard Malouf & Partners.

Can I make a claim if I smoke?

Yes. While smoking also damages your lungs, a proper medical investigation can determine the root cause of your chronic lung disease and determine if it stems from dust or tobacco use.

What are the common symptoms of dust disease?

Typical signs include:

  • A sudden and persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Recurring lung infections, such as pneumonia
  • Inability to exercise

How long do dust disease claims take?

An average case may take between 12 and 18 months – but some time-sensitive cases can be fast tracked.

What type of compensation could I get?

Typically, compensation breaks down into four categories:

  • Cost of treating the immediate physical or psychological condition
  • Ongoing medical costs, such as domestic care to recuperate from long-term effects
  • Non-economic (pain and loss) damages for psychological or emotional distress
  • Loss of earnings or superannuation if the condition leaves you unable to work

What do I need to be eligible for compensation?

You will need medical evidence proving you have a chronic lung disease – and that it was caused by exposure to harmful dust particles.

What would make me ineligible for compensation?

You would be ineligible for compensation if medical evidence shows your chronic lung disease was not caused by dust particles, or if you have a condition caused by dust particles, like pleural plaques, that is not considered a “dust disease.”

If you are suffering from dust disease or another chronic lung disease caused by inhaling harmful particles, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers for a free consultation today.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.