When is an injury classified as work-related?
Getting hurt on the job can be devastating to you and your family. You suddenly can no longer bring home an income, and you’re left with medical bills to pay. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is there to pay for your medical care and to make sure you get compensated fairly. The first thing you and your attorney need to do is to determine if your injury is work-related.
What makes an injury work-related?
Work-related injuries or illnesses are those that take place as a result of exposure in the work environment. If the workplace environment causes or contributes to a condition or aggravates a pre-existing condition, then the injury or illness can be called a work-related injury by law. A work environment can be inside a facility, in a vehicle performing work-related duties and many other situations.
What kinds of occupational illnesses are there?
There are many kinds of occupational illnesses that range from lung diseases caused by exposure to asbestos to skin conditions from exposure to fibers.
Poisoning is one kind of illness that is often overlooked but happens fairly frequently. It happens when you’re exposed to toxic substances. It can be a quick reaction or develop over time. The proof of poisoning is in the blood and tissues of the body that registers with abnormal concentrations of the toxic substances. Poisoning by lead, cadmium, arsenic and other metals are common in some work environments, but most metal poisoning concerns are monitored and regulated in the workplace.
Other occupational injuries include things like heatstroke, heat exhaustion, freezing, decompression sickness, bloodborne pathogenic diseases and brucellosis. If you suffer from these illnesses, it’s worth discussing your case with someone familiar with state workers’ compensation laws.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Safety and Health Definitions,” accessed July 21, 2016