Law Firm Blog

Occupational Diseases

Occupational diseases are devastating to workers and their families. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits are available.

Many individuals are aware that when they are injured at work, they are eligible for workers’ compensation. However, when a person becomes sick from his or her job, that person may also be eligible to claim workers’ compensation. These illnesses are known as occupational illnesses and they are often devastating. Occupational illnesses are chronic diseases, and the workers who contract them often never recover.

If you have contracted an occupational illness as a result of working around dangerous substances, you need the help of a New Port Richey workers’ compensation attorney. You may be eligible to receive compensation, but these cases are particularly difficult to prove. A lawyer will help prove your claim, so you receive the benefits you need.

What is an Occupational Disease?

Occupational diseases are illnesses that are caused by the work conditions of a particular trade or job. These are not illnesses that the general public is at risk for, as the harmful substance a person is exposed to is not something the public would typically encounter.

Under Florida’s occupational disease statute, any disability or death of a worker that results from an occupational disease is treated the same as a workplace accident that results in injury. This means that anyone who contracts an occupational disease on the job is entitled to the same benefits as anyone that is hurt on the job.

Common Occupational Diseases

An occupational disease can be any illness or sickness contracted as a result of the person’s job. In Florida, there are some occupational diseases that are more common than others. These include:

  • Asthma
  • Asbestosis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Pneumoconiosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Sick building syndrome
  • Silicosis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Eczema
  • Skin cancer
  • Dermatitis
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Lead poisoning
  • Radiation sickness

When workers develop any of these illnesses on the job, they are entitled to receive workers’ compensation. Before they do, however, they must prove their case.

Proving an Occupational Illness

Simply becoming sick while working is not enough to file a workers’ compensation claim for an occupational illness. Workers that contract an occupational illness must establish that the disease was caused by working for a particular employer and by performing a certain job. When employees already had the condition when they began a job and they did not tell the employer of the condition, they are not eligible for workers’ compensation.

Workers who believe they have developed an occupational illness are required to tell their employer within five months after they have stopped working around the harmful substance. Employees may also inform their employer within 90 days of being diagnosed with an occupational illness or learning of a disability related to their work. Employees that do not follow these requirements are not eligible for compensation.

Are You Suffering from an Occupational Illness? Call a Florida Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you have developed an occupational illness from your time on the job, you need the help of a New Port Richey workers’ compensation attorney. At Rooth Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping individuals who become sick on the job claim the benefits to which they are entitled. We want to help you, too. Call us today at (727) 849-3400 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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