Article content What is asbestos? Asbestos is a natural mineral previously used in many products, buildings and work places. Asbestos is a hazard if its fibres are inhaled. The dangers of asbestos have been known since the early 1900s, but unfortunately were ignored. What is an asbestos related disease? The main asbestos related diseases include asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma. These are diagnosed by a doctor. How do I know if I have an asbestos related disease? These diseases are diagnosed by a doctor. If you suspect you have an asbestos related disease, you should immediately seek medical advice. If diagnosed, you should immediately seek legal advice. How long do I have to make a claim? In most States and Territories, you have 6 years from when the disease was discovered to make a common law claim. However, the reality is that these diseases can be extremely aggressive and you should immediately seek legal advice once diagnosed. It is important legal proceedings are issued to protect your rights. Does is matter if I am unsure when or where I was exposed to asbestos? No, the reality is these diseases are often dormant for decades. It does not matter if you cannot recall when you were exposed to asbestos, whether you changed jobs, whether your employer ceased trading, whether the exposure occurred in another State, whether you were exposed to asbestos by multiple employers, whether you were self-employed or undertaking home renovations. You will still have a claim. Who do I claim against? Claims for compensation can be made against past employers, manufacturers of products or occupiers of sites dependant on your circumstances. These companies normally have insurance. What type of compensation can I obtain? If you suffer an asbestos related disease, you may be entitled to claim for past and future loss of earnings, past and future medical expenses, past and future care benefits, pain and suffering, compensation and benefits for dependants if a person dies. What happens if my diagnosis is terminal? Unfortunately, these diseases can be extremely aggressive. It is necessary to issue legal proceedings before a person passes away. In those circumstances, claims can be “fast tracked”, often leading to resolution within weeks. For more information about asbestos related disease, please contact us for an obligation-free consultation with a lawyer on 1300 FEARLESS (1300 332 753). Please note if you are in hospital or house bound, we will come to you to obtain instructions.