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Can I Get Workers’ Comp for an Occupational Disease?

Posted on : June 6, 2021

Work injuries are one type of issue that workers’ compensation covers. They also cover occupational diseases or illnesses that were caused by a person’s job or work environment. However, these cases can be challenging when employers and insurers have an easier time pinning your health issues on other causes besides your work environment. 

Here’s what you should know about occupational diseases and how to get help from a Louisiana workers comp attorney. 

What Are Occupational Diseases? 

A chronic disease or condition produced by a work activity or an environmental component in the workplace is referred to as an occupational illness, or occupational disease. Examples of occupational diseases include but aren’t limited to: 

  • Bronchitis 
  • Allergic reactions 
  • Contact dermatitis or skin irritation 
  • Asthma 
  • Hearing loss 
  • Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • Tendonitis 
  • Back and neck injuries 

More serious occupational diseases include: 

  • Asbestosis and mesothelioma 
  • Cancer 
  • Rabies 
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Anxiety, depression, or other mood disorders 
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 

What Causes Occupational Diseases? 

While anything harmful in a work environment can cause or contribute to an occupational illness, there are some that are more common: 

  • Radiation poisoning 
  • Asbestos exposure 
  • Repetitive motion, including lifting and typing 
  • Excessive noise exposure 
  • Exposure to high voltage electricity 
  • Chemical exposure 
  • Physical, mental, and emotional trauma 
  • Viral or bacterial exposure 

The most common industries that occupational diseases occur in include manufacturing and industrial jobs, hair salons, hospitals and healthcare settings, factories, and construction. 

Can I Get Workers’ Compensation? 

You may be able to obtain workers’ compensation for the development of an occupational disease if you can provide sufficient evidence that the disease was and could only have been caused by your job. 

Likely, your employer and their workers’ comp insurance carrier will try to prove that you were already unwell or that you had a previous injury that can be blamed for the new symptoms. It can be quite challenging to pursue a workers’ comp claim for an occupational disease, especially if it’s one that isn’t solely linked to your job and has other potential causes. 

When to Involve an Experienced Louisiana Workers’ Comp Lawyer 

If you or someone you love were hurt at work, don’t hesitate to reach out to a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney who can help you pursue the benefits you need while being out of work due to injury or illness. 

Contact the Wanko Law Firm, LLC today to book your initial case consultation by calling (985) 893-6530.