Hundreds of former miners and their families have been calling a helpline to register claims for respiratory diseases before next week's deadline.

With just days left to register claims for respiratory disease, Thompsons Solicitors has been receiving up to 200 calls a day at its Sheffield-based call centre and has registered nearly 4,000 claims.

The deadline of 31 March set by the Department of Trade and Industry means that claims will no longer be possible after that date. The fact that so many former miners and their families are still flocking to solicitors' doors so close to the cut off date implies that there are many more people who may not be aware of their rights or of the deadline.

Miners should claim what is rightfully theirs

Anthony Patterson, head of miners claims at Thompsons Solicitors, which has already recovered in excess of £250 million for miners and their families, said: "After 31 March miners will lose their automatic right to claim for compensation in relation to chest diseases. It's important that miners and their families still register claims.  Miners should claim what is rightfully theirs.  Anyone who thinks they may be eligible should act now, and call our helpline before it's too late."

Thompsons Solicitors, the UK's largest trades union and personal injury specialist was involved in getting the High Court's landmark ruling for chest related diseases on behalf of former miners.

Former miners, widows of former miners, their children and, in some cases, their grandchildren can make a claim for compensation by contacting the Helpline on 0800 5877523 between 8am and 8pm - seven days a week, to check if they can register.