16 Feb Getting Compensation in Arizona for Job-Related Illnesses
Most of the attention in cases of workers’ compensation is given to traumatic one-time accidents. However, there are injuries which a worker can sustain while working for his employer on a long term basis. These injuries are usually gradual and not immediately noticeable.
Regardless of this, the law provides for compensation in Arizona to workers that suffer from job-related illnesses. In order to get access to this compensation, employees have to show that the illness in question is directly related to the work done for the employer. Here’s some general information on the legal status of compensation for job-related illness and the steps for getting compensation.
What are Job-Related Illnesses?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has defined a job-related illness as one that is caused by a harmful event in the workplace or exposure to harmful substances in the workplace. An illness can also be job-related if a preexisting one is aggravated by exposure to harmful substances in the workplace. The presence of a prior illness in no way disqualifies a worker from getting compensation for the worsening of the illness by the workplace.
Common Job-Related Illnesses
There are occupational hazards associated with all workplaces. They could be mild or serious but they are still present. The OSHA has listed more than 150 job-related illnesses that Americans are exposed to in the workplace. This exhaustive list of illnesses can be broadly categorized into the following:
- Respiratory diseases.
- Skin diseases and disorders.
- Noise-induced hearing loss.
- Poisoning by harmful chemicals.
- Environmental illnesses like decompression sickness or heat stroke.
There could be overlapping amongst these categories. For instance, a worker might suffer from both skin and respiratory illnesses after exposure to such causative chemical(s) in the workplace.
Making a Case for Compensation
When it comes to work-related illnesses, the testimony of doctors and other specialists is of paramount importance. As a worker, you have to produce all medical records concerning the period under question. Your employer’s insurer might require you to take further tests in order to determine the state of the illness.
The employer also has to cooperate in showing evidence of possible harmful exposure suffered by the worker. When it comes to pre-existing medical conditions alleged to be aggravated by working conditions, the burden of proof is on the worker and his lawyer to prove that the illness worsened after exposure to the job.
Rights Guaranteed to Workers with Job-Related Illnesses.
The law recognizes the fact that job-related illnesses can develop slowly and insidiously. As a result, there is a longer time period to report the illnesses after they develop. The process of getting your claim for job-related illnesses can have a lot of intricacies and complications. In order to increase the chances of a satisfactory resolution of your claim, you should engage the services of an Arizona workers’ compensation claims lawyer.
Arizona Injury Law Group offers top Phoenix workers compensation lawyers including Wes Montrose and Briana Chua. Both are experts in AZ work comp law. Call today for a free consult to get the justice you need and deserve!