Lung disease is one of the most deadly occupational illnesses around, and they are prevalent in several different types of employment where the worker comes into contact with chemicals.
Occupational illnesses are defined as conditions you may suffer from as a direct result of your work, usually because of exposure to a physical, chemical, or biological agent. Lung disease is one of the most deadly occupational illnesses around, and they are prevalent in several different types of employment where the worker comes into contact with chemicals.
Workers breathe in these chemicals and, over time, their lung health is affected. A known occupational lung disease is “black lung disease,” a common name for lung illnesses coal mining workers develop as a result of constant exposure to coal dust.
If these illnesse are work-related, they are generally covered by worker’s compensation benefits.
What Lung Illnesses Does Worker’s Compensation Cover?
Lung injuries that are known to be caused by the work environment can include, but are not limited to:
- Pneumoconiosis – caused by inhaling mineral dust
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – exposure to irritants
- Mesothelioma – a fatal type of lung cancer caused by inhaling asbestos
- Bronchiolitis – caused by breathing in flavorings in food manufacturing settings
However, rather than the name of the lung disease itself, the outcome of your claim will depend on whether or not it is indeed deemed as work-related. In some cases, this can unfortunately be a difficult thing to prove.
Take COPD, for instance. While it is widely known that people can develop it as a result of exposure to fumes, irritants, or even pollution, many individuals with COPD are smokers. If you are currently a smoker or have smoked in the past, it would be almost impossible to determine which of these two factors have led to your illness: your job, or your bad habit? The insurance company will likely use this to their advantage.
This is why you may need to prepare to prove the link between your job and your occupational lung illness.
Proving Your Lung Condition is Work-Related
It’s highly recommended to work with an experienced St. Louis worker’s comp attorney, especially if you’re dealing with a claim for occupational lung injuries. Even if your employer and the insurance company seem sympathetic to your situation, these types of cases generally involved long-term treatment needs, and working with a lawyer can ensure you get a favorable settlement that would allow you to meet these needs.
Your lawyer will help you build a case to prove your injury is occupational in nature by:
- Gathering evidence from your workplace
- Talking to coworkers or former employees
- Bringing in expert witnesses
- Gathering evidence to prove your lifestyle was not a cause of your illness
- Representing you in official meetings with the insurance company, etc.
Speak With a St. Louis Worker’s Compensation Attorney
If you’re suffering from an occupational lung disease, please reach out to a St. Louis worker’s compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We can evaluate your case for free and help you determine how to protect your legal right to compensation.
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