Work with experienced attorneys to claim your workers’ compensation. If you need an Atlanta occupational disease attorney, Moebes Law is here to help you. Contact us today.
Legal Representation for Occupational Disease Victims
Learning that you have contracted a disease or illness is devastating. It may be even more frustrating and infuriating to learn that your suffering is the result of your work.
The harm didn’t occur in a single event. It happened over time. You may have learned of your occupational disease long after you were exposed or even after your employment ended.
You may wonder – can you still receive workers’ compensation for an occupational disease?
Our law firm is here to help. We offer knowledgeable legal representation for occupational disease victims.
Workers’ Compensation for Occupational Diseases
Workers’ compensation is payable to victims of occupational disease. The Georgia workers’ compensation system covers illness arising from the scope and course of employment. When employees are exposed to dangerous working conditions and are harmed, benefits are payable.
A time period between the exposure and the injury does not prevent the employee from claiming benefits. However, the employee has the burden of showing that their injuries and harm are work-related. It is important to work with an experienced Atlanta occupational disease attorney. The Moebes Law team is here to gather evidence, protect your rights, and pursue justice for you.
What is Considered an Occupational Disease?
OSHA defines an occupational disease as an abnormal condition or disorder that results from a non-instantaneous event or workplace exposure.
Occupational disease vs. occupational injury
There are two ways that harm may occur in the workplace. A single event may cause harm in one occurrence. An event occurs, and the harm is apparent. That is an occupational injury. On the other hand, harm that is the result of multiple events, or that doesn’t produce harm immediately, is an occupational disease.
(Source: OSHA, Standard Interpretations)
Types of Occupational Disease
Types of common occupational diseases are:
- Cancer, tumors
- Breathing difficulties, asthma, congestion, pneumonia, reactive airway problems, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Miscarriage, fertility abnormalities
- Viral and bacterial illness, contagious diseases
- Repetitive stress injury, back strain
- Organ failure, heart failure, and cardiac malfunction
- Hearing loss
- Skin problems including inflammation, irritation, burns, blisters, rash, and dermatitis
- Bloodborne diseases
- Musculoskeletal disorders
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Safety, and Health Definitions)
Understanding Occupational Disease
Each work environment is unique. There are many potential hazards. Toxic chemicals may be a common example. However, there are many ways that a dangerous work environment may cause illness and disease.
What are the major causes of occupational disease?
Leading causes of occupational disease are:
- Hazardous chemicals including glues, lead, benzene, pesticides, and acids
- Airborne particles that are carcinogenic or irritants
- Biological dangers like harmful viruses and bacteria, and inadequate sanitation may exacerbate these dangers; plant and animal matter may also be a source of danger
- Dangers with the structure of the workspace and job, including poor posture, repetitive movements, inadequate tools, and poor training
- Physical conditions like noises, temperature, and pressures the worker may be subjected to
- Social and emotional conditions like a hostile work environment, an extremely stressful situation, harassment, and bullying at work
There may be many reasons that a person develops an occupational disease. Another person with the same job title may have different levels of exposure. Individuals may have different personal predispositions to contract a disease.
To receive compensation, workplace exposures must have caused the disease. Common dangers of life, like the common cold, generally do not qualify.
Georgia uses legal tests to determine whether a case qualifies for benefits. Each case is evaluated on its own merits. Our lawyers understand these standards, and we build the evidence according to them.
Benefits in Workers’ Compensation for Occupational Disease
Workers’ compensation benefits for occupational disease in Georgia cover three primary categories: medical care, replacement income, and disability compensation.
The victim may receive paid medical care. For an occupational disease, treatment may be expensive and lengthy. Still, there should be no cost or copay for the person receiving treatment. Rehabilitation should be covered, when appropriate. Treatment continues until the person reaches maximum medical improvement.
Temporary total disability benefits cover a situation where a person cannot work because of their medical condition. These benefits are a percentage of the person’s income. Temporary partial disability benefits pay a portion of the difference if a person can work in a reduced capacity.
Permanent partial disability benefits compensate a person for a physical disability that remains after reaching maximum medical improvement. In cases where the disease or condition meets standards to be considered a catastrophic injury, special guidelines apply.
Benefits that a person receives are unique to their medical condition, the treatment required, and the impact on their employment. Our experienced attorneys ensure that your benefits are correctly calculated and that you understand them.
Legal Issues in Occupational Disease Claims
As your legal representatives, we work to identify legal issues that may be present in your case. The insurance company may do everything possible to minimize your payments. That’s why it’s important to have attorneys working for you who have a track record of success.
Common legal issues we handle are:
- Proving that the occupational disease is the result of workplace conditions
- Identifying the full extent of the disease or illness and the treatment required
- Gathering medical evidence, challenging the opinion of the insurance company’s medical provider
- Calculation of Temporary Total Disability and Temporary Partial Disability benefits
- Inclusion of Permanent Partial Disability benefits when appropriate; special issues involved in catastrophic injury claims
- Filing paperwork and complying with procedural requirements to bring your claim
- Appearance at hearings and representing you in contested proceedings
- Settlement negotiations on your behalf
We are occupational disease attorneys with a track record of success. We know that the process can be daunting. Leave it in our hands while you focus on your recovery.
Free Consultations – No Obligation
Begin your case today, or learn more by requesting a free consultation. It is important to abide by strict time deadlines, so don’t wait to contact us.
Call us or send us a message. Contact our Atlanta occupational disease attorneys to start your workers’ compensation claim today.