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Can I Get Workers’ Comp Benefits for an Occupational Disease?

occupational disease wood dustMichigan provides workers’ comp benefits to employees with job-related accidents resulting in an injury. However, what about those with an occupational disease, such as carpal tunnel or asthma? How can workers prove their claim for something that happened over weeks to months, or longer? How can workers get benefits for an occupational disease?

At Jay Trucks, we understand workers’ compensation law and how it applies to occupational diseases. Our experienced workers’ comp lawyers in Flint are prepared to help prove your claim and obtain the benefits that you need. An initial consultation is free, and there are no upfront costs.

Free Case Review. 989-244-0356

Occupational Diseases Covered By Michigan Workers’ Comp

For any injury to be covered by workers’ comp, it must be job-related. Occupational diseases cause physical harm to a worker over time, rather than being the result of a single incident. This damage may happen because of repeated exposure, such as to a toxic chemical. However, it may also be caused by doing repetitive activities, such as heavy lifting.

Michigan workers’ comp may provide benefits to workers with the following  job-related illnesses:

  • Back injuries: Workers may suffer from many types of back problems on the job. These may be the result of repetitive movements or strain on the job. Common back issues may include herniated disks or sciatica. That said, it is especially hard to prove a back injury is job-related in Michigan.
  • Hearing loss: Certain jobs put workers at risk for hearing loss. Especially if they have prolonged exposure to loud noises on the job. Employees could suffer permanent partial or total loss of hearing.
  • Skin disorders or infections: Workers in certain industries, such as auto repair, health care and agriculture are more likely to suffer from skin disorders. These workers are especially at risk for dermatitis, infections and other job-related skin disorders.
  • Respiratory diseases: Polluted job environments can lead to, or aggravate, many respiratory diseases, such as asthma.
  • Lead poisoning: Michigan workers exposed to toxic substances on the job, including lead, may also be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
  • Silica and dust diseases: Michigan has a special fund for foundry workers and others in the logging industry who develop silicosis and other dust-related diseases.

What About Preexisting Conditions?

Certain preexisting conditions, such as arthritis, certain heart conditions, or a mental illness may be made worse by certain job environments. However, as with any work injury or occupational illness, the employee must be able to provide evidence that the illness is job-related. Workers should seek medical help from a specialist and be sure to explain how work has made your illness worse. Your doctor may even order diagnostic testing to see how much worse your condition has been aggravated on the job. These records may be helpful in proving your claim.

Proving Job-Related Occupational Diseases

Linking an occupational disease, including the worsening of a preexisting illness, to your job is challenging.

Generally, workers must be able to show that their occupational disease is:

  • Due to specific environmental or industry-related conditions – such as silica dust
  • Due to conditions that uniquely exist in their work environment
  • Not an ordinary disease, such as the flu, that anyone in the public may be exposed to

Proving an occupational disease is much harder than if you had a single event that you can easily and directly link to your injury.  Employees seeking a claim for an occupational disease may greatly benefit from the legal help a qualified workers’ comp attorney can provide.

Filing Your Workers’ Comp Claim for an Occupational Disease

In Michigan, employees must file a workers’ compensation claim within two years of a known job-related illness or injury. When filing a claim for an occupational disease, you should submit a form for the injury as soon as you are aware of it. It is important to include as much detail about the injury and how it is work-related as possible. You will also need to provide copies of medical records that provide evidence of your claim. An attorney may be able to help you gather the evidence that you need.

Need Help Seeking Workers’ Comp for an Occupational Disease?

If you have sustained an occupational disease, we encourage you to contact our law office for a free consultation. This meeting is an opportunity to get answers to your questions, including whether we determine your claim has merit. There is no cost for this meeting, and you are under no legal obligation to hire the services of our firm. If we do represent you, there is nothing to pay up front. We do not collect our fees unless we obtain the compensation and benefits you need.

At Jay Trucks, we are dedicated to helping the injured, including those who get hurt on the job. Our firm has extensive experience and proven results, recovering millions on behalf of our clients. Contact our law offices to schedule your free case review. We are available to take your call anytime, night or day.

Proven Results. 989-244-0356