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Miners need expert help despite compensation scheme

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Barnsley West MP Michael Clapham is arguing that former miners suffering from miners' knee should not have to pay for solicitors in order to claim compensation.

But can that be the right way to proceed?

Ultimately, people need advice from experts in the field. After all, how do they know if they're being offered the right amount of compensation or whether their claim has been properly assessed.

It's just over a decade since the Government launched a scheme to compensate former miners who, through work, contracted chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a form of lung disease that can be caused by the inhalation of coal dust; and vibration white finger (VWF), a disease of the fingers caused by vibrating mining tools.

In recent years those schemes have attracted attention for allowing lawyers to 'over charge' clients, leading to some solicitors being struck off the rolls.

Now the Government has confirmed that a compensation scheme will be set up for miners' knee claims.

Even with a scheme in place, claimants will need expert advice on how to present and value their claims.

Lawyers with experience in this area of law need to be involved to ensure individuals receive their full entitlements. Not all work-related conditions for which individuals can claim are covered by schemes, and in such cases the only option open to sufferers is to bring an action in the courts.

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