Occupational Illness

Occupational Illness: What You Need to Know

If you are injured on the job, you should not have to pay for your medical treatment and lost wages from having to take time off work. This is true even if your injury is not a broken bone or a thrown out back but rather an illness caused by a workplace condition.

Occupational illnesses are medical conditions that arise due to an employee’s job. These illnesses are compensable under Workers’ Compensation in many cases. One hurdle that employees will have to cross is to prove to a court that his or her job — and not some other factor — caused and/or exacerbated the condition.

There are many types of occupational illnesses, including:

  • Respiratory conditions such as acute congestion, asbestosis or silicosis, asthma, pharyngitis, rhinitis or tuberculosis. These are caused by exposure to dust, gases, fumes or vapors.
  • Hearing loss caused by noise emissions in the workplace that exceed safety standards or caused by the failure of employers to provide ear protection.
  • Skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, eczema or rashes caused by the skin’s exposure to chemicals or plants.
  • Poisoning, which is the concentration of toxic substances in the body, can be caused by exposure to mercury, lead, arsenic or any other chemical.

Other common occupational illnesses include:

  • Sunstroke
  • Heat exhaustion, heat stroke and heat stress
  • Frostbite and freezing
  • Decompression sickness
  • Anthrax exposure
  • Diseases including HIV or AIDS
  • Non-ionizing radiation effects

Deadline for Filing

In New Jersey, workers who have sustained occupational illnesses must make a formal claim within certain times periods. The general rule is that a claim must be filed within two years of the date the injury occurred. Sometimes employees have two years from when they stopped being paid by the employer. Failure to file by the deadline means that no court will hear your case.

Occupational diseases sometimes take a long time to manifest as well as take a long time to diagnosis and find the cause. You may not realize that you were injured on the job until years later. In these cases, an employee may file within two years of when he or she knew or should have known that the medical condition was work related.

If you file a claim outside the traditional two-year window because the occupational illness did not manifest until years later, one of the first things an employer will do is attempt to have your case thrown out as untimely. Fighting this is one reason why you need the help of a knowledgeable Workers’ Comp attorney.

Call 201-498-9768 today for more information

To schedule a free consultation to determine if Workers’ Comp requires your employer to pay for your injury, call New Jersey Workers’ Compensation lawyer John L. Schettino at 201-498-9768.