When most people think about workers compensation, they assume it’s limited to employees who get hurt on the job. However, our Spring Hill workers comp attorneys know that many people get sick on the job as well.
Here, we’ll discuss whether workers compensation protects employees in Florida who suffer a work-related illness. We will also explain what benefits you’ll be entitled to if your claim is approved.
Workers Compensation Covers Work-Related Illnesses
When people talk about dangerous jobs, they tend to think about professions where you experience physical risks. For example, construction workers have to work on scaffolding and risk falling and injuring their back, neck, or brain.
Gas and oil workers are also at a heightened risk of getting hurt in an explosion. They’re also required to work with heavy equipment that could malfunction at any moment.
However, there are also workers’ compensation claims filed by people who suffer work-related illnesses.
What Occupational Illnesses Are Covered by Workers Compensation in Florida?
Depending on what kind of work you do, there’s a chance that you could develop a serious illness at work. For example, if you work with certain chemicals, you could be susceptible to developing cancer.
Most people know that asbestos is instrumental in causing mesothelioma, a mostly terminal type of cancer that has been plaguing people for decades.
Some of the other illnesses that our Spring Hill workers comp lawyers have seen include:
- Asbestosis – This is a lung disease suffered by workers exposed to asbestosis. Typically, people who suffer from asbestosis have worked around asbestos for years.
- Mesothelioma – As discussed above, this is a deadly type of cancer primarily caused by exposure to asbestos.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome – This is a repetitive stress injury that causes injuries to the wrists and hands. Many casino dealers, typists, and mechanics end up with this kind of injury.
- Occupational blindness or deafness – People who are forced to work in loud or dark environments are liable to experience blindness or deafness.
- Vibration white finger – Many of our clients have never heard of this illness. It is usually suffered by people who work with power tools. Carpenters, floor installers, and construction workers are the ones likely to suffer this sort of injury.
If you suffered any sort of injury due to your job, you should call our workers comp attorneys immediately.
How Can Your Spring Hill Workers Comp Lawyer Prove Your Illness Is Work-Related?
One of the difficult things about these claims is that the insurance company is likely to say your illness was caused by something other than work. For example, if you’re diagnosed with lung cancer, your employer may argue that it was caused by smoking.
The same is true if you work around a lot of chemicals. Your employer can always say that you did side jobs that required the same types of chemicals. They will argue that there is no way to say that it was the work you did for your employer that is responsible for your illness.
This means that your Spring Hill workers comp attorney will have to prove that your illness is, in fact, work-related.
What Evidence Can Your Attorney Use to Prove Your Illness Was Caused by Your Job?
There’s a good chance that your Spring Hill workers’ comp lawyer will have to prove that your illness is work-related. This means they’ll have to submit specific evidence to demonstrate this fact.
One way they can do this is by hiring an expert who deals with the particular illness you’re suffering from. For example, if you’re suffering from asbestosis, the expert may be able to show that the building you work in was loaded with asbestosis for years.
Your workers comp attorney may be able to submit reports that show that people in your industry often suffer from this illness. For example, there are numerous studies that show that people who worked in the mines were prone to suffer from black lung.
The type of evidence your lawyer uses will depend on the nature and extent of your illness.
Why Would the Insurance Company Be Reluctant to Approve Your Claim?
For the most part, when people get hurt on the job, they’re back to work in a few weeks or months. The insurance company has to cover their medical expenses. They also have to pay out weekly benefits until the employee returns to work.
When an employee suffers an occupational illness, however, they could be out of work for much longer. Depending on the type of illness, the workers may never return to work.
The last thing the insurance company wants to do is pay out long-term benefits for someone with a permanent disability. They’ll do whatever they can to avoid paying your claim.
The good news is that your Spring Hill workers comp attorney knows this. They’ll work hard to make sure your claim is handled properly from the start. If this doesn’t happen, they’ll have no problem filing an appeal.
Can You Still Collect Benefits if You Had a Pre-Existing Condition?
Unfortunately, if the insurance carrier can prove that you had the illness before coming to work, your claim will be denied. Now, if your Spring Hill workers’ comp lawyer can prove that your job exacerbated your illness, you may be entitled to some compensation.
However, it will be very difficult for your attorney to overcome the insurance company’s claim that you had the illness long before you started working for your employer.
It’s a Good Idea to Meet With an Experienced Spring Hill Workers Comp Attorney
If you’re battling a serious illness, the last thing you’ll want to do is fight with the insurance company. You’re going to need to focus on recovering from your illness. While you do this, your Spring Hill workers comp lawyer can deal with the insurance company on your behalf.
We suggest that you contact our office and speak with one of our workers comp attorneys. All you have to do is call 954-833-5226 and schedule your free, initial consultation.