Occupational disease is a slightly more unusual variety of personal injury, but one that can still be just as devastating for the sufferer and their family. An occupational disease arises as a result of exposure to specific conditions within the work environment, for example:
Asbestosis may arise due to the claimant’s exposure to asbestos during his work as an asbestos removal specialist.
The main difficulty with occupational disease claims is that employers often deny giving the worker benefits, because they are unable to identify a specific traumatic event that caused or precipitated the disease or injury. This can make it difficult to be entitled to worker’s compensation. However, Frank Eidson, PA will be able to give you the guidance and support you need to create the most successful compensation claim possible.
What conditions constitute occupational disease?
There are many different conditions that can be considered for a worker’s comp entitlement claim for occupational disease. These include:
- Asbestos-related conditions
- Chronic pain syndromes
- Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS)
- Laryngeal, bladder and other work-related cancers
- Respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Work-related stress
If you aren’t sure if your condition can be classified as an occupational disease, we recommend that you seek the advice of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They will be able to discuss your condition with you further and advise you if you may be entitled to worker’s compensation.
How quickly do I have to make a claim?
We generally advise that any personal injury claims are made as soon as possible. This is because it is normally easier to access the supporting information required for a successful claim. However, the legal time limit for filing a claim is the later of two dates:
- Two years from the date of the disabled worker’s disability, or
- Two years from the time the disabled worker knew or should have known that the disease was due to the nature of employment.
In the unfortunate event that the worker has died, the dependents must file the claim within the time limits stated above.
What should I do if I am diagnosed with an occupational disease?
If you are diagnosed with an occupational disease, you must report this to your employer in writing within 30 days of diagnosis of the condition. Failing to report an injury or occupational disease to your employer may put your eligibility to receive worker’s compensation benefits at risk.
The written letter to your employer must state the date, time and place of the injury, the nature of the injury or occupational disease and the name and address of the person making a claim.
Don’t forget to keep a copy of the letter for your own records, as well as making a note of the date that the letter was sent. If you choose to hand-deliver the letter, you should make note of the date and time that you delivered it, and the full name and job title of the person that you gave the notice to. This will help support your claim should the letter go missing or is claimed to not have been received.
If you have been diagnosed with an occupational disease and would like further advice on how to make a claim, call Frank Eidson in Orlando, FL today at 407-315-2182.