Workers’ compensation can cover more than merely on-the-job accidents and work injuries. It also covers occupational illnesses and diseases, which may include any of a wide range of medical conditions. These conditions are typically caused by exposure to toxic substances or other substances at the workplace. They can also result from physical exertion, repetitive motions, and more. A workers’ compensation attorney recognizes the vital importance of recovering benefits for individuals suffering from occupational illnesses or diseases. If you have been diagnosed with a condition you believe is related to your work situation, a workers’ compensation lawyer can review your claim and provide legal counsel.
Occupational Illness & Disease
By definition, an occupational disease is a medical condition that happens at an individual’s workplace or from work activity. Occupational diseases can be chronic ailments that detract from a worker’s life substantially. These conditions may affect an individual’s ability to work. They may also limit them in performing day-to-day activities. In some cases, occupational diseases can be fatal.
Numerous medical conditions may be considered occupational illnesses, thus entitling a worker to medical care and monetary benefits under the workers’ compensation system. They may include:
Asbestosis and mesothelioma: resulting from exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is now tightly regulated. However, it may still be used in some job fields and workers may be exposed if preventative measures are not taken.
Cancer: in many forms, caused by exposure to cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) in the workplace.
Hearing loss: caused by loud noises in the workplace.
Silicosis: from exposure to silica dust or crystalline silica. Silicosis may occur in miners, tunnel operators, construction workers, and others who deal with products that contain silica, such as cement.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: resulting from repetitive or awkward motions using the hands, wrists, and fingers. This condition is common in typists, assembly line workers, and individuals who work in information technology.
Byssinosis: is a lung disease caused by working in poorly ventilated areas while being exposed to cotton dust
Asthma and other breathing and lung conditions: resulting from exposure to chemicals, toxins, or particulates.
Lead poisoning: happens to workers fields of employment that deal with lead or lead-containing compounds.
Radiation sickness: occurs among workers in the nuclear industry or other jobs dealing with radioactive substances and radiation.
Skin diseases: such as skin cancer or eczema, are often caused by exposure to chemicals in fields such as hairstyling, construction, printing, or auto repair. Skin diseases may also develop by working in one of these fields and having wet hands continually.
Workers with qualifying occupational diseases might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, including payment for all medical care, medications, diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, hospitalization, and other treatments related to their illness or disease. Workers might also be able to recover cash benefits amounting to as much as two-thirds of their average weekly wage for the time they are unable to work or disabled. If the medical condition and disability become permanent, workers might be entitled to a lifetime of benefits. A workers’ comp attorney can work to get your claim paid promptly, so you have the financial support you need and deserve to get on with your life.