What to do If You Suspect You Have an Occupational Illness
Perhaps you have a perpetual cough, a rash that covers your body, or worse, a cancer diagnosis, and you’re worried your sickness came from your job.
Suppose you suspect you have an occupational illness. In that case, legal action (for workers’ compensation because of an occupational disease) can help you recover monetary compensation to pay for treatment and reimburse any lost wages you suffered because of missed work due to the illness.
What Is Considered An Occupational Illness?
If you suspect you have an occupational illness, first, it’s essential to find out if, legally, your disease is considered work-related and often covered.
Workers’ compensation will cover illnesses or diseases that employees develop due to on-the-job exposure. These diseases can range from traditional occupational diseases like black lung disease that miners suffered from coal dust and asbestosis for construction workers to newer illnesses such as COVID-19 exposure.
How Do I Prove I Have An Occupational Illness?
If you suspect you have an occupational illness, the best first step to prove you contracted your disease at work is to call the Hyland & Padilla law offices. Having an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer on your side can help you build the most robust case to prove you got sick at work.
In some cases, it will be easy to prove your occupational illness where there is a clear medical link, many others in your profession have already contracted the same disease, and it’s rare to get sick away from work.
Proving you contracted your disease at work can be more difficult when the illness is considered an “ordinary disease of life” that you can contact throughout your life regardless of your occupation. An example of these illnesses may be heart disease, high blood pressure, or lung cancer.
Building a link between your job and the condition, as well as gathering robust medical records, will be essential to building your case.
Your specific occupation may also dictate if your illness is considered occupational-related. For example, most states give police officers and firefighters special treatment because it’s recognized their jobs are incredibly stressful and strenuous, so if they develop cancer or heart disease, it’s more easily linked to work.
What Should I Do If I Suspect I Have An Occupational Disease?
If you suspect you have an occupational illness, call Hyland & Padilla right away. We offer free consultations and can help you start your case off right. In addition, we have more than 50 years of combined experience winning worker’s compensation cases like yours.
North Carolina enforces a two-year statute of limitations for worker’s compensation cases, so call right away to start building your winning case.