Toxic Exposure and Occupational Diseases
Workers’ compensation pays benefits to people who are unable to work due to a work-related injury or illness. In addition to accidents in the workplace that cause injuries, many Ohioans find themselves unable to work due to diseases they have contracted by being continuously exposed to toxic chemicals and substances. If you are suffering from a disease that you believe developed because of your job, a Columbus workers’ compensation attorney at Malek & Malek Law Firm can review your case and help you understand your options.
What is Occupational Disease?
An occupational disease is any illness that is caused by a specific industrial process. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation maintains a list of illnesses that qualify a worker for compensation. However, you may still qualify for workers’ compensation even if your illness isn’t listed. A Columbus workers’ compensation attorney can review your medical records and provide guidance as to whether you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits due to your occupational disease.
Ohio Workers at Risk for Toxic Exposure and Occupational Diseases
Almost any worker is at risk for toxic exposure. For example, someone who works in an office with toxic mold or other toxic substances can develop respiratory problems. However, some industries present significantly greater risks, including:
Jobs that involve constant or repetitive exposure to chemicals, silica, dust, exhaust, fumes, or other toxins can lead to long-term and even permanent diseases that leave you unable to work.
Common Occupational Diseases
There is a broad spectrum of occupational diseases that workers face. These can include the following illnesses:
- Lung diseases and respiratory illnesses
- Neurological illness
- Various cancers
- Dermatitis and skin infections
- Heart and circulatory illnesses such as coronary artery disease
The challenge in occupational disease cases is establishing the link between your illness and your occupation. An experienced Columbus workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help you get the documentation you need to support your claim.
Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in Ohio
The general rule is that workers’ compensation claims must be filed within one year of becoming sick or injured. For occupational diseases, however, the deadline to file your claim is somewhat different. The date of disability is determined by the most recent of one of the following:
- The date you received a medical diagnosis that you are suffering from an occupational disease;
- The date that you first received medical treatment for your disease; or
- The date that you first quit work due to your medical condition.
You must file your claim for workers’ compensation within two years of the earliest of those events. However, the longer you wait the more difficult it may be to prove your claim. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can start receiving the benefits you need.
Call a Columbus Workers’ Comp Attorney at Malek Law Firm Today
Workers’ compensation cases involving toxic exposure and occupational diseases can be very difficult for non-lawyers to pursue. Our attorneys know how to prove your case so that you can get the benefits you need. To discuss your case and what we can do for you, call us at 888-444-7440 or contact us online to request a free consultation and learn more.