Occupational dermatitis can be caused by irritants in the workplace. You might be particularly at risk if you regularly work with glues, chemicals or dust. As well as causing painful skin problems, they can cause long-term health issues. All employers must do all they can to try and protect the welfare of their staff while they’re at work. As such, if your dermatitis was caused because of a lack of protective equipment, poor ventilation or other forms of negligence, you could be entitled to compensation.
In this article, we’ll review when occupational dermatitis claims might be possible and how the claims process works.
Even if you’re suffering from dermatitis linked to a previous job, we could help. Our friendly team will start by assessing your claim and providing free legal advice. If it appears that you have a strong case, they’ll refer you to a personal injury solicitor from our team. So that you don’t need to worry too much about the financial impact of claiming, you won’t need to pay the solicitor upfront as they’ll provide a No Win, No Fee service if your claim is taken on. That means you won’t pay a penny in solicitors fees unless your case is settled in your favour.
Would you like to discuss claiming compensation for occupational dermatitis straight away? If so, please call on 0800 652 1345 today. Otherwise, please read on to find out more.
What is Occupational Dermatitis?
Dermatitis is a condition that affects the skin. Any part of the body can be affected but it usually affects the main points of contact – the hands and face. It is caused when an irritant or an allergen comes into contact with the skin. Several substances are known to cause contact dermatitis including:
- Some forms of dust.
- Some hair dyes.
- Soaps, detergents and shampoos.
- Some printing inks.
- Wet cement.
- Grease or oil.
- Some foods.
- Acids and alkalis.
Some of the jobs that are most at risk of contracting industrial dermatitis include manufacturing, cleaners, kitchen staff, hospital workers, hairdressers, factory workers, builders, engineers and printers.
Whatever role you work in, we could help you claim if you have suffered from occupational dermatitis because of your employer’s negligence.
Symptoms of Occupational Dermatitis
If you suffer from dermatitis, you may have to deal with any of the following symptoms affecting your skin:
- Flaking or scaling.
These symptoms will often be painful and itchy. In some cases, the pain can be so unbearable that you may have to stop working until they reside. Even tasks like doing up your laces can become impossible if contact dermatitis is affecting your hands.
Can I claim Occupational Dermatitis compensation?
When you go to work, your employer has to do all they can to try and keep you safe. While they might concentrate on reducing the chances of accidents occurring, they also need to consider the risks associated with different roles. This is called their duty of care:
Before taking on occupational dermatitis compensation claims, solicitors will usually try to ascertain whether:
- Your employer breached their duty of care in some way (negligence); and
- You have been diagnosed with occupational dermatitis; and
- Your suffering is directly linked to your employer’s negligence.
As you might imagine, proving all of these things can be challenging. That’s why we believe it’s a good idea to have a personal injury solicitor on your side. They can use their experience to try and ensure you are properly compensated for your suffering.
How much compensation for Occupational Dermatitis could I claim?
If you ask for compensation for an injury or occupational dermatitis, you won’t just ask for a lump sum to be paid into your bank account. Instead, you’ll need to explain and justify every pound you ask for. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced in industrial injury claims and will review your claim properly before filing it. Each claim is unique, but they could seek damages to cover:
- The suffering you have endured because of dermatitis.
- Any loss of amenity caused because your injuries prevented you from participating in your hobbies.
- The cost of a carer or a value for the care provided by a family member.
- Private medical treatment to help you recover quicker.
- Any loss of earnings.
- Travel costs associated with your treatment or your claim.
To find out how much you could be compensated for occupational dermatitis if your claim is successful, please call our team today.
Dermatitis compensation amounts
- £13,740 to £19,200 compensation for dermatitis on both hands that could last for years or permanently.
- £8,640 to £11,410 compensation for dermatitis on one or both hands but less serious symptoms than above.
- £1,710 to £3,950 compensation where treatment will resolve the condition within a few months.
Types of negligence that can cause Dermatitis at work
So, let’s now take a look at what types of negligence could result in occupational dermatitis compensation claims. They include:
- If your employer failed to provide suitable protective equipment like gloves or face coverings.
- Where you were working with allergens or irritants in enclosed spaces with little or no ventilation.
- If you were not allowed regular rest breaks away from any potential irritants.
- Where your employer wouldn’t listen to your concerns about your health and well-being.
- If your employer failed to make changes recommended by an occupational health specialist.
- Where allergen-free products were not considered to help reduce the risks.
We are happy to review whether you have grounds to claim dermatitis compensation. If you’d like to find out more, why not contact our expert advisors today?
How to prove your Dermatitis was caused at work
When claiming for illnesses or conditions sustained at work, your claim will probably be processed by your employer’s insurance company. That means you will only be compensated if there is sufficient evidence to satisfy the insurer of how your employer was negligent and the severity of your dermatitis.
If you do wish to claim, the following proof could all be useful:
- Photographic evidence. It is a good idea to take pictures of your dermatitis. These could help to back up any medical reports. Additionally, you could take pictures or videos of your working environment on your phone.
- Witness information. Witnesses could be used in a couple of ways to support your claim. Colleagues might be asked for a statement by your solicitor to explain your working conditions. Family and friends might be asked to confirm how you’ve suffered because of your skin condition.
- Medical reports. Claims for industrial dermatitis will usually only proceed if your GP or a medical professional has diagnosed the condition. Your medical records could be used to explain the severity of your injuries and the treatment required.
- Correspondence from your employer. If you raised concerns with your employer about the damage to your skin, any emails or letters could be used as evidence. Similarly, if your workplace was reviewed by an occupational therapist, their report could be helpful too.
In addition to your medical reports, personal injury claimants may also have to get an independent medical assessment. This is something that can usually be booked locally with a medical specialist by the solicitor. During the appointment, your skin will be assessed and the impact of your dermatitis will be discussed. Once the appointment has ended, the medical specialist will send a report outlining your prognosis to all parties.
Can my employer sack me for seeking compensation?
Many people are frightened about claiming dermatitis compensation from an employer that they still work for. However, this is not a feeling you should have to deal with. Fortunately, laws exist that prevent you from being singled out for claiming compensation against an employer. That means you can’t be demoted, sacked or treated differently if you make an honest claim.
If that were to happen, you might need to claim separately for unfair or constructive dismissal. Please speak to us today if you have any questions about the claims process.
What is the time limit for making my claim?
In general, an accident at work compensation claim will have a 3-year time limit. While that limitation period will start from the date of an accident, the start date is not that clear in occupational illness claims. That’s because your dermatitis may have taken months or years to become apparent.
As such, your 3-year time limit will typically start from the date of knowledge. Effectively, this is the date a doctor diagnosed your condition and linked it to your employment.
We would advise that it’s best to start your claim as soon as possible. That’s because while 3-years does appear to be a long time, there will be a lot of work for your solicitor to complete before your claim is filed. For example, they’ll need to arrange for independent medical reports and collect other evidence to support your case.
How long do Occupational Dermatitis claims take?
The time it takes for a claim to be finalised will vary from case to case. Where your dermatitis is relatively minor and you’ve fully recovered, you might receive compensation within a matter of months. However, for more serious conditions and where your employer denies liability, the claims process could go beyond a year.
Can I claim against an employer I no longer work for?
Occupational dermatitis is not always diagnosed immediately. As such, as part of the claims process, your work history will be reviewed to see where you are likely to have contracted the condition. Your solicitor could then file the claim with the correct employer on your behalf.
No Win, No Fee claims
Many potential claims are put off from using a personal injury solicitor because they don’t want to risk losing money. That’s a valid concern and it’s the reason that many solicitors, including our own, offer a No Win, No Fee service. One of the main benefits of claiming in this way is that you won’t risk any of your own money on solicitor’s fees which should mean the occupational dermatitis claims process is less stressful.
Before accepting your case, your solicitor will review its viability. Remember, they will only take on claims that they believe are winnable. If they do agree to represent you, and you wish to continue, you’ll be sent a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is your contract and it shows what work will be completed by your solicitor. It will also set out under what conditions you’d need to pay for your solicitor’s work.
Essentially, you won’t need to pay your solicitor if you’re not paid compensation. If your claim is won, however, you’ll pay a success fee. Details of this fee are expressed in the CFA as a fixed percentage of any compensation you receive.
Legally, to stop overcharging, success fees are capped at 25% of your compensation if your case is funded by a CFA. To check if one of our No Win, No Fee solicitors could represent you, please contact us today.
Start an Occupational Dermatitis claim today
This claims article was designed to explain how occupational dermatitis claims work. We hope we’ve helped and if you’re thinking of claiming and you’d like our help, you can call a specialist advisor on 0800 652 1345 to get started. Whatever happens, you’ll receive free legal advice following a no-obligation consultation.
We’ll appoint a personal injury solicitor from our team if your case is accepted. They’ll manage your case for you from the outset so you won’t need to answer any queries from your employer yourself. To make sure you know what’s happening, you’ll receive regular updates about any progress.
During the claim, your solicitor will:
- Deal with the defendant’s insurers on your behalf.
- Work as efficiently as possible to try and secure compensation as soon as possible.
- Try to make sure any settlement offer is fair.
- Be on hand to answer any queries that you think of.
- Review any settlement amounts with you before deciding whether to accept them.
You have arrived at the end of this article on occupational dermatitis compensation claims, if you’d like further advice or have any questions, please contact us via live chat.