Depending on the type of work you do, you may see your workplace as very safe. Some jobs like those in construction or mining are known to be quite dangerous. However, you may not think that working in an office or a grocery store can result in injuries. However, injuries resulting from an accident aren’t the only things that can happen at work. Many workers’ compensation claims in Cincinnati result from occupational diseases or illnesses. Often, these develop over time.
If you’ve become ill and it has prevented you from working, you may be unsure about if you can get workers’ compensation benefits. In this article, we’ll provide you with some insight into occupational diseases and how you may be able to claim benefits. For personalized advice, you’ll need to reach out to a Cincinnati workers’ compensation lawyer.
Occupational Illnesses Explained
In order for a workers’ comp claim to be accepted, your illness must result from your occupation. For example, a person who works removing asbestos may develop mesothelioma or asbestosis. Someone who works in a very dusty environment may be diagnosed with asthma or lung disease. These would likely be considered occupational illnesses. However, if one of these individuals developed high blood pressure or heart disease, it would be very difficult to claim it was due to their job.
If you have become ill and you can prove it’s due to conditions at your workplace, you can seek compensation. Claims for occupational injuries are quite similar to those for injuries sustained in the course of one’s job. Ill workers can claim compensation for medical bills, lost income, temporary or permanent disability, and more. While it’s not mandatory to hire a lawyer for a workers’ comp claim, it’s in your best interest to do so. An experienced Cincinnati workers’ compensation lawyer will ensure you seek all the benefits to which you’re entitled. They will also help to improve the likelihood that your claim will be accepted.
Naturally, a doctor will need to diagnose you with an illness. Then, you will need to prove that your condition was due to your job. If you can’t do this, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get compensation from the state’s workers’ comp system. Not every condition that an employee develops will be due to the job. The insurer will be very reluctant to pay benefits if there’s no evidence that your condition developed as a result of your employment.
Common Occupational Illnesses
There are many types of diseases that workers can develop because of their work duties. However, some are more common than others and they vary in severity. While some are merely debilitating, others can lead to death. Some of the conditions which are most likely to occur are:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Computer vision syndrome caused by prolonged computer use
- Cancer due to exposure to a carcinogen
- Brain damage caused by exposure to toxic chemicals
- Lung disease due to the inhalation of certain dust, fibers or chemicals
- Hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises
- Skin diseases caused by exposure to harmful substances
- Lead poisoning
- Asbestosis and mesothelioma
- Radiation sickness
How an Attorney Will Help You with Your Claim for Compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits are not automatically awarded to ill or injured workers. You’ll need to prove that your condition didn’t result from something else like a previous illness or conditions in your home. If you hire a lawyer, they will present evidence to show that your illness was related to your job. They will likely draw on your medical records along with expert testimony to support your claim.
Your attorney will also ensure you file your claim within the specified time. In Ohio, you have two years from the date of disability to file your claim. This may be the date you were diagnosed, the date you first got the treatment, or the date you stopped working. The deadline may be extended for a maximum of six months if your diagnosis was delayed. Your lawyer will explain the deadlines that apply in your case. It’s important that you seek prompt legal advice. That’s because you will lose your right to claim benefits if you let the deadline pass.
Contact a Lawyer Today for Assistance with Your Claim.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an occupational disease, you’re likely worried about your future. You may think you can’t afford to seek treatment or take time off work. However, delaying treatment and working while you’re ill will likely make things worse. If your job led to your illness, you deserve to access workers’ comp benefits. Reach out to a skilled workers’ comp lawyer in Ohio to get the advice and representation you deserve. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you.