Occupational Disease and Toxic Exposure
Occupational Disease Claims Under Louisiana Workers’ Compensation
Are You Sick Because Of Toxic Exposure At Your Job? Are You Unable To Work Because Of An Overuse Injury?
A workers’ compensation claim does not always stem from a specific accident. You could develop an illness from repeatedly breathing harmful chemicals on the job. You could develop a disabling injury over time, such as carpal tunnel, from repetitive motions or other working conditions.
Employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment, and to take care of workers who become sick or injured just from doing their job. But occupational disease claims are routinely challenged. With offices in Metairie and Baton Rouge, the legal team at Schwartz Law Firm LLC is ready to back you up, in court if necessary.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys help you prove the connection and get you approved for wage and medical benefits.
What Is An “Occupational Disease”?
The Louisiana Workers’ Compensation statute specifically states that workers who have an occupational disease are covered the same as workers who have suffered a personal injury by accident at work.
Occupational diseases fall into two categories:
- Work-related illnesses such as lung ailments, cancers or infections caused by workplace exposure to toxic substances (chemical vapors, airborne particulates, poisons, microorganisms, molds). The toxin must be characteristic of the job, such as a nurse or lab technician exposed to infectious disease or a refinery worker inhaling benzene fumes).
- Physical impairments that develop gradually from routine job duties and working conditions, such as repetitive stress injuries (overuse injuries). Back strains, herniated disks, torn rotator cuff and similar injuries to limbs and joints may qualify, as well as hearing loss from excessive noise levels. Carpal tunnel syndrome is specifically listed in the occupational disease statute, but arthritis, degenerative disk disease and heart conditions are specifically excluded.
As the employee, you have the burden of proving that you are disabled from working and showing reasonable grounds that the disease resulted from working conditions. This is definitely the type of claim where you need a lawyer on your side.
Employers and their insurers may deny there was any toxic exposure or refute that your job duties could have caused the injury. They may argue that you have a pre-existing condition or that you were not hurt at work. Our lawyers are skilled at demonstrating the workplace exposure and medical causation aspects of such claims.
Don’t Take No For An Answer. Call Us For A Free Consultation.
Call us today at our law offices in Baton Rouge or Metairie, at 504-266-0253 or toll free at 800-711-9366. We are available 24/7 by phone or you can contact us online. We are here to help people like you secure the full and fair workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.