While many workers know they can file a claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits when they suffer a work injury, they should also be aware that there are benefits available for those who develop an illness or disease that is directly related to their occupation. An occupational illness is one that is caused by environmental factors in the workplace or a work-related activity. Many workers are routinely exposed to irritants that can cause an illness over time; however, an occupational illness can also result from a one-time exposure to a toxic substance.
Other workplace factors related to occupational illnesses are noise, vibration, and extreme temperatures. A repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, is also considered an occupational illness when it occurs as a result of activities performed in the workplace.
Who is at Risk?
Some workers are at a higher risk of developing occupational illnesses than others, such as:
- Miners who can develop black lung from inhaling coal dust
- Cotton and textile workers who commonly suffer from brown lung
- Agricultural workers who are exposed to pesticides that can affect the respiratory system and mold spores that cause Farmer’s lung
- Office workers and those working extensively with computers can develop carpal tunnel syndrome
- Construction workers who deal with roofing or siding containing asbestos can develop mesothelioma or other lung diseases, such as asbestosis
- Health care workers who encounter biological hazards can contract diseases
- Welders who inhale the toxic fumes from welding materials
Filing a Claim for Occupational Illness
When claiming Workers’ Compensation benefits for an occupational illness, the burden of proof falls on the claimant. This means you will have to show a direct relationship between your illness and your workplace environment. The law says the cause of your illness must be specific to your trade, occupation, or place of employment and that your occupation was a major factor in your illness. Although you are not required to use an attorney to file a claim, working with an experienced Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyer could make a substantial difference in the success of your occupational illness claim. At DiTomaso Law, we have the knowledge and experience needed to ensure your claim meets the criteria mandated by state law and is filed within the required timelines. Claimants who do not meet the deadlines are excluded from Workers’ Compensation benefits, such as:
- Medical benefits to cover doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription medications, and travel to and from appointments
- Wage loss benefits if you miss work because of your occupational illness or you cannot continue in your present job and must take lower paying work
- Specific loss benefits if you lose your hearing, vision, or are disfigured from your illness or injury
- Disability benefits, whether temporary or permanent
- Death benefits are provided to families of workers who succumb to their occupational illness
DiTomaso Law will work tirelessly to obtain the compensation you need for your treatment and recovery. If a third party, such as the chemical manufacturer, is liable for your illness, we will hold them accountable by filing a suit on your behalf.
Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Obtain Compensation for Workers with Occupational Illnesses
If you developed an illness directly related to your occupation, you may be eligible for compensation. The experienced Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law can help you prove the connection between your work and your illness and will fight to obtain the maximum allowable benefits for your case. Call 856-414-0010 today to schedule a free consultation or contact us online. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly and Camden County.