A lot of people associate the term “work-related injury” with immediate physical injuries such as broken bones, fractures, cuts and bruises where a specific workplace accident can be linked to the injury for the purpose of filing a claim for workers’ compensation. While many work injuries and compensation claims occur in this fashion, these aren’t the only types of work-related injuries for which you may receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Some injuries take time to develop, such as occupational diseases and illnesses that are often caused by repetitive movements, constantly lifting heavy objects and regular exposure to hazardous or toxic working conditions. Even though these situations can take months or even years to result in serious injuries, workers should know that they may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Because of our background in personal injury and workers’ compensation law, the lawyers at Blount Law Firm are uniquely equipped to help injured workers and the Mid-South. We put years of experience to work every day advocating for the rights of workers suffering from occupational diseases and illnesses, helping our clients collect the workers’ compensation benefits they need and deserve.
Occupational disease as any disease that arises out of or during the course of employment and must meet the following requirements:
The disease can be linked to a natural incident in the workplace or to exposure during employment.
The proximate cause of the disease can be linked to employment.
The disease did not originate from equal exposure to hazardous conditions outside of employment.
The disease was incidental because of the nature of work and not independent from it.
A direct risk related to employment caused the disease.
A link between the disease and working conditions can be made.
Everything from repetitive lifting and twisting to highly stressful working conditions can result in a wide variety of occupational diseases, illnesses and conditions such as:
Welders’ lung and fibrosis
Chronic joint and back pain
In some cases, occupational diseases can be so severe that they result in permanent disability, which may require a worker to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance, a process that doesn’t always result in an approved claim the first time around and often requires an appeal.
Occupational diseases like these don’t develop overnight. They take time, which means it could be years before a worker needs to file a claim. In some cases, an affected worker may still be employed at the company responsible for the illness, but in other cases, the worker has since left the place of employment where the exposure occurred.
It’s important to know that if you can show causation — either because of hazardous working conditions, dangerous products or other unsafe conditions — you may still be able to file a workers’ compensation claim with an employer with whom you are no longer employed.
Because filing a claim under these circumstances can be challenging, however, it’s best to speak with a skilled, knowledgeable attorney who can speak with medical experts, get them to show that your condition was because of exposure to something at work and not something in your regular life, and walk you through the process of recovering the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve.
For more than 70 years, Blount Law Firm, has provided injured workers with the personal care and attention they need to file successful workers’ compensation claims regardless of whether their injuries were immediate or took time to develop.
Let us put our compassion, skill and years of experience to work for you. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.