Occupational Disease and Workers’ Compensation
When you work with others, germs can spread. While sicknesses can move between coworkers, it is common knowledge that a case of the common cold or the flu are not reasons to file a compensation claim. That said, there are times when a workers’ compensation claim is needed. This is true when you develop a serious sickness at your workplace, an illness that could require a visit to the hospital and potentially mean you’ll miss work for days, weeks, or months.
Types of Occupational Disease
According to the NJ Department of Health, occupational diseases have certain workers’ compensation reporting requirements. Some of the work-related illnesses that have been reported and resulted in compensation include work-related asthma, asbestosis, and poisonings due to pesticides and dangerous metals.
There are also times when claims are possible from hazardous conditions. Particularly if there are instances that cause chronic conditions to an employee. This is true if there is extensive, long-term exposure to the following:
- Contaminants that are persistently present in the air
- Poisoning due to lead or radiation
- Working environments that are loud enough to do harm
If you have experienced an injury at work, be sure to report it to your manager or supervisor as soon as possible. But when it comes to occupational diseases, there can be a delay in symptoms. Keep documentation each step of the way and talk to an attorney.
Workers’ compensation is designed to protect both employees and employers. For example, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act and others like it make it possible for employees to receive medical treatment and wage compensation for work-related health issues. At the same time, employers are protected from ongoing litigation. In PA, employers can obtain the proper insurance through a reputable carrier or the State Workers’ Insurance Fund. Plus, there are paths to self-insure from liability.
Proof of Illness and Workers’ Compensation
In order to receive compensation benefits, a couple of things have to be proven. It is essential to prove an illness was developed at, or as a result of, your workplace and that your coworkers were possibly exposed to risk. That risk to coworkers has to be a hazard that is higher than that of the general public, for example.
If compensation is awarded, typically an injured worker’s benefit is 2/3rds of their average weekly salary, but there are times when this calculation shifts. There are maximum payout numbers, which means workers who are highly paid often receive less than 2/3rds of their wage. Each situation is unique, particularly if there is income from another job that can be provided. Discuss the particulars of your situation with a lawyer.
When you are suffering from an illness or health condition as a result of your work, or if you are unable to work because of a necessary medical treatment, there are ways to be compensated.
Experienced in New Jersey or Pennsylvania law, the Bucks County personal injury lawyers at Kardos, Rickles & Hand can answer your workers’ compensation questions. Contact us today to discuss your potential case.