Dealing with Legionnaires’ disease can be terrible because it’s like a very bad form of pneumonia. Basically, it appears when an infection causes lung inflammation. People catch this disease when they inhale the legionella bacteria from soil or water.
When you think you contracted this disease through no fault of your own, you understandably want to seek justice by making the guilty party pay for it. You can make a legionnaires’ disease claim against the other party in order to get compensation for your injuries, suffering, and losses.
How much can you get for making a Legionnaires’ disease claim, though? Let’s find out.
What Exactly Is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung condition that is similar to pneumonia, except the fact that it’s a more severe form. It is caused by infected water, more specifically the bacteria Legionella. Some people are more vulnerable to this disease, particularly those who smoke, people with weaker immune systems, or older adults.
The Legionella bacteria can spread more easily in some cases, such as:
- When the water contains a source of food for bacteria. This includes algae, rust, or limescale
- When the water temperature is high, such as between 20 and 45°C
The disease can bring symptoms such as:
- Muscle aches
- Fever (104 F or much higher)
These symptoms tend to develop between 2 and 10 days after you were exposed to the bacteria. However, this is not where it stops. More symptoms will appear in the following days and they include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Cough (sometimes with blood and mucus)
- Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
In some cases, the disease may cause infections in different parts of the body, like the heart. It can also lead to wounds.
Legionella contamination can spread more easily through complex water systems in large buildings. These include spas, museums, and hotels.
How Much Can You Get in Compensation?
If you contracted Legionnaires’ disease, you will be able to claim compensation if you can prove that it was not your fault. Compensation money can help you cover costs for any medical treatments, suffering, and losses that you’ve suffered as a result of the disease.
But how much you can receive depends on each case. Usually, factors like the circumstances of the disease, the rehabilitation needed and others will influence compensation.
Generally, the compensation amount will be affected by:
- Your psychological trauma from the incident
- The severity of your condition
- The support and care you need
- Mobility aids
- Required home modifications
- The current and future earnings lost because of the inability to work
- Medical treatment and other related expenses you had to/will have to deal with due to the disease
- Pain and suffering
- The amount of money you had to spend to travel abroad
- How and where the disease was contracted
If you were not at fault for contracting the disease, there will be an investigation to find out who is guilty of the whole ordeal. It could be your employer or a hospital you went to.
If you contracted the disease at work, then the employer would be at fault as he or she should have managed the risk and controlled it. Meanwhile, if you contracted it in the hospital, while on holiday, or in another place, the investigation will look into how the bacteria ended up spreading and why the spread was not stopped.
If you manage to make a full recovery from the condition, your compensation amounts may start at $1,000 and go up to $30,000, depending on the case.
But if the disease affected your life and it took an extended period to control, leading to you incurring expenses or losing work, compensation will increase. You can get between $25,000 and $50,000.
Lastly, if the disease caused a patient’s death, the compensation amount will skyrocket, reaching $100,000 or more.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Legionnaires’ Disease Claim?
Your chances of winning a legionnaires’ disease claim are higher if you hire an experienced lawyer. A Legionnaires’ disease attorney will know the necessary steps to prove that your disease is not your fault and that you deserve compensation.
These law experts have experience dealing with these cases and will know exactly what to do moving forward. They will do the research for you and gather all the evidence and documents.
Do you think you have contracted Legionnaires’ disease through no fault of your own? Reach out to an attorney today and make your claim as soon as possible to get the compensation you deserve.