Worker's compensation is designed to protect you not only when you get into a random accident at work, but when you suffer from a health condition that is specially brought on by the environment and the work that you do. Many jobs have environmental factors that can contribute to the development of the disease. When you suffer from an occupational disease, you are just as entitled to compensation as if you were involved in a random workplace accident.
Important Fact #1: Occupational Disease Is Caused by Your Job Activities or Environment
When it comes to defining what exactly is an occupational disease, in most states, an occupational disease is one that is the result of either an activity that you did at work or a disease that is a result of environmental factors that you encountered when you were working. An occupational disease can impact any part of your body, such as your skin, muscles, bones, or organs.
For example, carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with doing repetitive tasks, making it an occupational disease brought on by activities you do in your job. As another example, hearing loss is an occupational disease that could be caused by working long-term in a loud environment.
An occupational disease could also be related to chemicals or substances you were exposed to at work. For example, exposure to radiation could result in radiation poisoning, cancer, and other diseases associated with radiation exposure.
Important Fact #2: Proving An Occupational Disease Lies With the Claimant
When it comes to proving you are suffering from an occupational disease, and not just a random disease or one related to your outside activities, it is up to you to convenience the worker's compensation insurance that your claim is valid.
You will need to show that the hazards that caused your disease were present in the workplace. Or you need to show that the disease is related to agents released at your employment. Or you need to show that your disease is related to your movement and job tasks. You need to make a clear connection between your job and the disease.
Important Fact #3: Some Jobs Have Assumed Diseases
There are some jobs, where certain diseases are so common among employees in that field, that it is automatically assumed that your disease is linked to your job. In this case, you don't have to try as hard to establish the link between your job and your disease. For example, a miner with lung disease, or a firefighter with heart disease, hypertension, or lung disease. In these types of situations, the process of getting worker's compensation is often easier.
If you think you are suffering from a disease that was caused directly by your occupation, you can apply for worker's compensation. You need to retain a lawyer to help you with this process in order to ensure you have a successful claim.
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