When people think of workplace injuries, they often think of injuries sustained in a sudden accident resulting is physical injury. While these kinds of incidents are common and injure millions of people each year, a significant number of workplace injuries occur in the form of illnesses that develop due to exposure to certain conditions, sometimes of the period of many years or even decades. Fortunately for people who develop occupational illnesses, Delaware’s Worker’s Compensation Program1 often entitles victims to benefits to pay for their lost income, medical expenses, and certain other losses in many circumstances.
Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational illness can be difficult, and it is highly advisable for anyone that suspects that his or her illness was the result of their work environment should talk to an attorney immediately. Call Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC today to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.
Respiratory conditions – Many types of employment have the potential to expose workers to dangerous materials that could cause serious respiratory conditions. Serious respiratory illness often have a substantial impact on a person’s ability to enjoy life, cause significant physical and emotional suffering, require substnatial medical care, and often can have an impact on a person’s lifespan. Examples of common respiratory conditions that are often the result of workplace exposure include pneumonitis, pharyngitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, occupational asthma, and farmer’s lung. These kinds of illnesses can be the result of exposure to chemicals, vapors, dust, fumes, and other inhaled materials.
Hearing loss – There are many jobs that could potentially result in hearing loss, a condition that can often occur after repeated exposure to loud noises. The kinds of workers that often experience employment-related hearing loss include people in the aviation industry, industrial workers, miners, construction workers, musicians, carpenters, landscapers, garbage men and women, lumber workers, ambulance drivers, and many others. Hearing loss has been linked to depression and isolation2 and can have a significant impact on a person’s day-to-day life. For this reason, people who have sustained hearing loss as a result of their work environment are often able to recover significant financial compensation.
Toxic exposure and poisoning – People who work in certain industries can often be exposed to certain substances that can build up in the body causing serious problems. Examples of the kinds of substances that can be toxic at various levels include lead, mercury, benzene, arsenic, and formaldehyde. In addition, people can be poisoned by inhaling certain gases such as carbon monoxide, chlorine, or hydrogen sulfide. When not fatal, cases of poisoning can result in significant health consequences that may affect victims for years.
Skin conditions – Some work environments may expose workers to chemicals, plants, or other substances that can cause serious skin conditions if they are touched. Examples of the kinds of skin conditions that can occur as a result of workplace exposure to these kinds of materials include ulcers, rashes, eczema, acne, friction blisters, chemical burns, and others.
Proving causation in occupational illness cases can be complicated
It is very hard for employers and workers’ compensation insurers to argue that an injury caused by a sudden accident that occurs while an employee was at work was not work-related. For example, if a person slips and falls at the workplace, there is little room to argue that any injuries sustained should not be covered under workers’ compensation. In cases involving occupational illnesses, however, establishing causation can be much more complicated. For this reason, it is extremely important for victims to retain an attorney familiar with representing people who have developed illnesses related to their work environment. Employers and insurers will often vigorously defend these kinds of claims, particularly if the link between the exposure and the illness is not clear. Our lawyers will make sure that you receive any compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact a Delaware workers’ compensation lawyer today to retain legal counsel
People who have developed an illness or medical condition that they believe may have been related to their work environment or job duties should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. In many cases, the assistance of an attorney can result in significantly greater recovery than an unrepresented party would have been able to sustain on his or her own. The lawyers of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC are committed to helping people who have been injured in workplace accidents or developed occupational illnesses recover for their losses and obtain the benefits to which they are entitled. To schedule a consultation with one of our Delaware workers’ compensation lawyers, call our office today at 302-364-6047 or send us an email through our online contact form.