When working certain jobs, you’re going to be exposed to certain dangers that you might not be exposed in everyday life. For instance, if you’re an electrician, chances are your probability of experiencing an electric shock is higher than that of someone who isn’t an electrician. The same is true of occupational diseases. You might have heard the term “occupational disease” and know that they’re covered by workers’ compensation. But what exactly are occupational diseases? Is it just a sickness you get while at work?
Well, not quite. You may catch the flu from a coworker and miss a week of work, but this does not mean that you are eligible for workers’ compensation. An occupational disease is a condition that disables you due to exposure to a hazard to which the general public is not equally exposed. It’s that last bit that rules out the flu. You could just as easily catch the flu by being out in public.
So what kinds of things do qualify? One famous example is a coal miner who developed black lung from working in a mine. More common examples would be something such as repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or rotator cuff tears.
It is even possible to win a back injury as an occupational disease, but it’s very tough to do so. The problem is that there are special rules for back claims. The law gets very specific, very fast. Succeeding with these claims is pretty difficult unless you are very experienced in the law.
If you’ve developed an occupational disease as a result of your work, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. We can guide you through the process, and help you make your case.