Compensation Fund for Sufferers of Asbestos Illnesses

Compensation Fund for Sufferers of Asbestos IllnessesThe president of the Association for Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has called for a fund to be put in place to help victims of asbestos-related illness access compensation.
Karl Tonks, the newly elected president of APIL, is leading a campaign on behalf of the association for a ‘fund of last resort’.
Due to the time delay between exposure to asbestos and the development of asbestos-related illness, asbestosis and mesothelioma claims are somewhat different to other forms of personal injury claims.
There can be difficulties in tracing the companies that employed the victims and the compensation figures to be claimed can also be more difficult to assess than in straight forward personal injury claims, in which there is usually a three year time-frame in which a claim can be brought.
Forensic accountancy services are often called upon in these types of cases to assist with calculating the compensation fee that should be sought.
Vitek Frenkel of forensic accountancy firm Frenkel Forensics commented: “There are many problems that forensic accountants come across when dealing with asbestos-related claims, not least because in some of the cases, the companies that were responsible for the negligence; and indeed the insurers of these companies; have long since gone out of business.
“A fund of last resort could work in a similar way to claims for uninsured drivers from the Motor Insurers Bureau, in that claims could be funded from a central ‘pot’ paid into by those in the insurance industry.
Claimants who have been unsuccessful in recovering compensation due to the non-existence of the insurers of their past employers could access compensation via an alternative route”.
The current system, labelled ‘dysfunctional’ by Tonks, can see sufferers of mesothelioma unable to access compensation to which they are entitled to. A fund of last resort would be paid into by insurance companies and form a central ‘pool’ of funds for which applications for compensation could be made to.
Tonks commented: “It has received the premiums with which to pay these claims. This is the industry’s corporate responsibility, and insurers individually and collectively need to step up, accept their responsibility for this scandal and put it right by agreeing to, and funding, an employers’ liability insurance bureau.”
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