Skip to content
What are pleural plaques?

Pleural plaques are a non-cancerous lung disease that can be caused by asbestos exposure. They are the most common disease caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos-related pleural plaques are caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres which bind themselves to the soft lining of the lungs (the pleura) and cause inflammation. Over time, the soft lining can become fibrous and stiff. This is sometimes called scar tissue.

You can develop pleural plaques from any amount of exposure to asbestos, although workers are most at risk. A 2016 study found that 36 per cent of workers surveyed had developed pleural plaques following industrial exposure, compared to 18 per cent of people surveyed from the general public who had been exposed to asbestos developed plaques. You may develop pleural plaques and not know you were ever exposed to asbestos. A 2017 study found that 74 per cent of people surveyed who had pleural plaques “consistently denied” exposure to asbestos.

Pleural plaques are benign and are often detected without showing any symptoms. Over time the “scarring” can get worse and cause a condition known as pleural thickening, which can cause some shortness of breath and/or chest pain.

It is important to know that pleural plaques are not cancer and they do not “develop” into cancer. However, asbestos exposure increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer. In fact, people who have had exposure to asbestos and tobacco smoke have a much higher risk of developing lung cancer than the average population.

Can pleural plaques be treated?

There is no cure for pleural plaques. Treatment is not usually necessary as pleural plaques are benign and often do not result in a loss of lung function. That said, when pleural plaques are very extensive, they can cause lung restriction and chest pain. This is sometimes referred to as asbestos-related pleural disease.

If you are diagnosed with pleural plaques, it is important that you manage the condition appropriately with your doctor. You should seek to reduce further risk by quitting smoking, avoiding further exposure to asbestos, and minimising your exposure to airborne pollution such as smoke.

If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, even in a small quantity, you should inform your doctor. You should also complete the online registration form on our website so that we have a record of your exposure to asbestos.

Can I get compensation for pleural plaques?

In most cases, there is no pleural plaques compensation.

Australian courts have only awarded compensation for pleural plaques when they cause symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath. In these circumstances, plaques would be correctly categorised as asbestos-related pleural disease.

Given that pleural plaques are an indicator of past asbestos exposure, people who bring compensation claims for other asbestos-related conditions often also have pleural plaques.

Other asbestos-related conditions that you can claim compensation for include:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer

Most states in Australia have time limits for bringing compensation claims for asbestos-related diseases. These time limits generally run from the date you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. The law in this area can be complex and it is important to get legal advice from an expert.

What type of compensation am I entitled to?

The answer to this question depends broadly on when and where you were exposed. Any legal advice about asbestos compensation needs to be tailored to your individual circumstances.

Most states have workers’ compensation schemes as well as an entitlement to sue for negligence. Negligence claims are brought when another party, such as an asbestos manufacturer or an employer, has done the wrong thing by you, exposing you to asbestos without warning or protection, and this has caused you to develop an asbestos-related disease.

In some circumstances, dependants of someone who passes away from an asbestos-related disease may also have entitlements.

When navigating compensation for asbestos-related illnesses, you need an expert who can give you tailored advice to maximise your entitlements and help you through the process with as little stress as possible.

What to do if this information applies to you

At Gordon Legal, we understand that pleural plaques are a personal issue.

For personalised and individual advice, we offer consultations to discuss your matter.

Please call Gordon Legal on 1800 21 22 23 or our Geelong office on 1800 21 22 23 to speak with a member of our team.

Given the current environment, we are providing consultations over the phone or via video conferencing platforms.

Frequently asked questions

Pleural Plaques Compensation

At Gordon Legal, our experienced lawyers can help you make a claim for compensation if you are suffering from asbestosis or an asbestos-related disease. To be eligible for such compensation, a connection between your symptoms and your asbestos exposure must be established.

Compensation is also available for other asbestos-related conditions including:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer

It is really important that you lodge a claim as quickly as possible, as most states in Australia have strict time limits for bringing compensation claims for asbestos-related diseases. These time limits generally run from the date you are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. Yet, the law in this area can be complex so it is important that you get legal advice from one of our experts in the field.

The value of a compensation payment for asbestosis varies based on a range of factors, including the severity of the asbestosis condition and its rate of progression, as well as the sufferer’s age, medical and care needs, and potential loss of income. Compensation caps also vary based on where you live in Australia. Therefore, it is important that you get legal advice from an expert who can assist you in pursuing your compensation claim.

Our team at Gordon Legal has a rich history of assisting those with asbestos-related claims, thus we are best placed to provide you with tailored advice relevant to your circumstances.

Our experienced lawyers at Gordon Legal can help you attain the maximum compensation payment for an asbestosis claim with reference to your personal circumstances. By working closely with our team, Gordon Legal will assist in producing a comprehensive asbestosis claim that will help you to attain the greatest amount of compensation possible.

At Gordon Legal, we understand that asbestosis claims are a personal issue. Therefore, it is important that you speak to one of our experts who can give you tailored advice to maximise your entitlements with as little stress as possible. We offer consultations to guide you through this process and provide personalised advice for you going forward.

At Gordon Legal, our experienced personal injury lawyers who specialise in asbestos and dust-related diseases are best placed to assist you in pursuing an asbestosis compensation claim that is tailored to your unique circumstances.

Gordon Legal has a rich history of accomplishments in asbestos-related compensation claims, which have proudly made both headlines and history. Peter Gordon is one of the pioneers behind the no-win no-fee option for dust diseases litigation and achieved the first successful mesothelioma damages verdict in Australia in 1985. Victoria Keays is an accredited specialist in the industry with over 10 years’

experience in asbestos litigation and has been recognised by Doyle’s Guide as a leading lawyer in the area of Dust Diseases.

The above information is related to claims in Victoria. For claims outside the state, please contact our office for specific information as potential claims and time frames vary from state to state.

No win, no fee

Help when you need it most without the added stress of upfront legal fees engaging a
no win, no fee lawyer. When you need legal help, understandably, the first thing people often think is ‘can I afford it?’ To address this, our Senior Partner, Peter Gordon and Partner, Paul Henderson pioneered the ‘no win, no fee’ system to create greater access to the legal system.

We are here to help

When you’re ready, give us a call or click on the button below to send us a message. It will go straight to a caring and committed member of our team who will contact you within 24 hours.

enquire-btnEnquire now phone-btn1800 21 22 23