Occupational Illnesses and Workers’ Compensation
Although most workers’ compensation claims are filed after a person suffers an injury on the job, you can also file a claim if you have developed an occupational illness. An occupational illness is any type of disease or disorder caused by your work or exposure to harmful conditions.
Therefore, any condition that you developed must have occurred in the course of your work, and there needs to be a correlation between the disease and your specific exposure, backed by medical research. Essentially, there should be no reasonable doubt that your disease was caused by other factors than your job.
The types of exposure that cause occupational illnesses and conditions vary. Repetitive work movements could cause tennis elbow or joint problems, for example. Work in very noisy environments, such as a factory or oilrig, could lead to hearing loss over time. Heavy lifting work could cause long-term back and knee problems. Hazardous substance exposure could lead to cancer or other illnesses. All of these types of exposure and their resulting problems would likely make a person eligible for a workers’ compensation claim.
To ensure that your condition is recognized as an occupational illness, it would need to be on the list of recognized occupational diseases or be qualified by the Occupational Diseases Committee, if it is not on the list.
For more information on the process of filing a North Carolina workers’ compensation claim when you suffer from an occupational illness, contact the skilled attorneys with the Lanier Law Group right away.