Occupational Disease Lawyer
An occupational disease develops over time. Many people may not realize their job duties or workplace caused their condition. Symptoms of an occupational disease often develop slowly. Therefore, it’s hard to know when working conditions have made someone sick. Contact to occupational disease lawyer at Joel Bieber law firm and get free consultation.
Have you become ill due to unsafe working conditions or a contaminated job site? If so, you should be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. However, you might be denied coverage or receive less than you deserve. If that happens, you may need to take legal action. Contact The Joel Bieber Firm today for a review of your claim.
What Are Occupational Diseases?
Illnesses contracted in the workplace are called occupational diseases. Generally, workers who develop diseases caused by hazardous exposure can receive workers’ comp benefits.
Treating occupational diseases can be tricky. You might not realize you’re sick until it’s too late for the benefits of early treatment. To further complicate matters, an occupational illness is not always related to your current job. The illness could be traced back to a job you had many years ago.
Employers in industries with a higher risk of these diseases must take steps to protect their workers’ health. If the employer fails to do so, then it may face penalties.
Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Diseases
Workers’ comp benefits apply if you become sick due to your job. These benefits cover medical care for employees who become injured or ill because of workplace conditions. They also pay partial wages while you recover.
Some occupational diseases require long, ongoing medical treatment. The costs can add up. Thus, some companies may deny a valid claim. A company might state that an employee contracted the illness outside of work. Or it might insist that the worker is not as sick as they claim to be.
Suppose that you can no longer work in your previous role due to a work-related illness. In that case, you can receive vocational training and other benefits. But to receive these benefits, you must show that your disease is directly related to your job.
You might be ill or have a disease you wouldn’t have gotten if you hadn’t worked at the company. Workers’ compensation should pay for your medical treatment. A skilled workers’ comp lawyer can make a case for why you should receive maximum benefits.
Hazardous Materials Often Cause Occupational Disease
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), exposure to hazardous materials is the most common cause of occupational diseases.
Workers can develop illnesses even if the level of contamination is low. Brief exposure to disease-causing toxins may not pose a risk. However, long-term exposure leads to serious, sometimes fatal illnesses. When an employee spends five days a week near hazardous material for years, their risk grows.
Here are some examples of workplace hazards that make people sick:
- Toxic substances and chemicals
- Fumes, gases, and dust
- Vibrations or constant physical movement
- Extreme changes in pressure, temperature, or noise
- Harmful organisms and infections
- Radioactive rays or substances
Your job may require handling toxic materials as part of your duties. If it does, your employer must create and enforce safety rules.
For example, workers must wear protective safety gear. Employers must also limit exposure to dangerous materials. Workplaces that fail to provide safety gear are responsible for any diseases their employees develop.
In cases of employer negligence, a workers’ comp claim may not be enough to get you the benefits you deserve. However, irresponsible companies should be held accountable for allowing unsafe working conditions. Ask a lawyer about filing an occupational illness lawsuit for compensation for your medical care.
Long-Term Health Effects of Occupational Diseases
The effects of occupational diseases may be fatal. Even if you survive, treatment for cancer, chronic respiratory illnesses, or heart disease may take months or years. Even with treatment, there is no guarantee that you will be fully cured.
These diseases may also cause long-term health problems. For example, you might suffer from difficulty breathing, chronic fatigue, vision or hearing loss, rashes, or severe anxiety. Serious health concerns like these make it hard to earn a living.
Workplace diseases include a wide range of illnesses caused by harmful work environments. Some common examples include:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (black lung disease)
- Epithelial ovarian cancer
- Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS)
- Squamous cell carcinoma
All of these diseases have links to certain workplace hazards. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to win a workers’ comp settlement from a job you held many years ago. This is because your employer might argue that your condition developed after you stopped working there.
Fatalities Caused by Occupational Diseases
Many cancers caused by toxic exposure or unsafe working conditions can be fatal. Even before the person with the disease passes away, they may suffer in poor health for years. As a result, family members have to take on caregiver roles.
If the person with an occupational illness was the primary or sole breadwinner for the family, then the family faces financial struggles, too.
If your loved one died from an occupational illness, a workplace injury lawyer can still help you. Close surviving family members like a spouse, parent, or child can seek death benefits through the workers’ compensation system. In certain cases, they can pursue legal action against the employer that allowed unsafe working conditions.
These claims hold negligent employers responsible. In addition, they provide support for families hurt by the death of a loved one. You may feel uncomfortable putting a dollar value on your loved one. But a settlement could help ease many of your money problems that the employer caused.
Do You Need Legal Help After Suffering an Occupational Disease?
Do you or someone you love have a chronic medical condition? Have you developed a disease caused by hazardous materials exposure? If so, you deserve financial support.
We can help. The Joel Bieber Firm, skilled workplace injury lawyers, will file a claim on your behalf. In addition, our legal team will argue for a settlement to cover your medical care and other losses. Contact our offices today to schedule a free case review.