When people think of workers’ compensation cases, they usually think of incidents where a worker sustains an injury. And while injuries make up a good bulk of the workers’ compensation claims, there are also many workers who develop an occupational disease that leaves them disabled. If an employee does develop an illness or medical condition as a result of their job, they are entitled to the same workers’ compensation benefits as a worker who sustains a job-related injury.
The following is a brief overview of some of the more common conditions that workers suffer.
What Exactly Is an Occupational Disease?
An occupational disease is defined as a condition that is chronic and is a result of activities, duties, or the environment at an employee’s workplace. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency responsible for worker safety, there are certain occupations that are at a much higher risk of occupational diseases than others. They are:
· Construction industry
· Automotive industry
· Health care industry
· Mining industry
· Welding industry
· Farming industry
What Are the Most Common Occupational Diseases?
Although there are many types of diseases and illnesses that can develop because of a worker’s job, there are certain illnesses that occur more frequently. At our firm, some of the most common occupational diseases that the clients we represent develop are:
· Asbestos and mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure
· Brain damage caused by toxic chemical exposure
· Cancer caused by exposure to some type of cancer-causing agent
· Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by repetitive motion of the wrist area
· Hearing loss caused by exposure to noises from loud equipment
· Lead poisoning caused by absorbing or ingesting toxins
· Lung disease caused by inhaling hazardous dusts, fibers, or chemicals
· Radiation sickness caused from exposure to radiation
· Silicosis caused by inhaling silica dust
· Skin conditions caused by exposure to hazardous toxins
If you have been diagnosed with a disease or illness that is a result of some type of job-related exposure or activity, state workers compensation law protects you and your loved ones. You can file a worker’s compensation claim for cost of medical treatment, lost wages, vocational retraining if you are still able to work, and partial or full disability depending on your long-term medical prognosis.Workers’ compensation claims for occupational diseases can be complex and difficult to prove if the employer and/ or insurance company disputes the claim. It is not uncommon for companies to deny the claim on the grounds that the illness is the result of a pre-existing condition or some other cause separate from the employee’s job.Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA, like the attorneys at Tillman & Associates to get more information about the right steps for your situation.