Lehigh Valley: 610-435-7400

Philadelphia: 215-567-6616

Workers’ Compensation for Occupational Illnesses

Workers’ compensation claims are not limited to traumatic injury and repetitive stress/repetitive motion injuries. Under the workers’ compensation provisions of most, if not all, states, you can seek benefits if you have contracted an illness or disease because of exposure to certain substances in your work environment. This can include dust, gases or fumes, as well as chemicals and other toxic substances. It can also take the form of extreme changes in temperature, noises or pressure.

Recovering Compensation for an Occupational Disease

Under the workers’ compensation laws of most states, the presumption is that a specific disease is caused by the work environment, leaving the burden of proof with the employer to show that the disease was contracted elsewhere. Some of the most common occupational diseases include:

  • Skin rashes, skin cancer, or other skin conditions, such as eczema— Generally, these types of conditions are considered to be caused by exposure to chemicals, or by having your hands wet for long periods of time. Professions that have a high risk of skin disease including printing, hairstyling, construction, automobile repair and healthcare.
  • Lung conditions—Silicosis, asthma, asbestosis and black lung are among the most well-known. These are typically associated with occupations that involve a lot of small particles or dust, such as minors or people working in certain textile industries.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome—This is a condition that manifests in the hands of workers who perform the same motions over and over, day after day.
  • Lead poisoning—This affects people working in industries that process lead or lead compounds.

If you have developed an illness that you believe stems from exposure to certain substances or particles on your job, you can file an action to recover benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation program. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will typically require that you have a medical exam, but you can work with your own attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

Contact Metzger & Kleiner

At Metzger & Kleiner, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. For an appointment to discuss your concerns about an illness or disease that you believe was caused by conditions in your work environment, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 215-622-2210 in Philadelphia, 610-563-2186 in the Lehigh Valley, or toll free at 800-228-1760.

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