Are Occupational Diseases and Illness Covered by Florida Workers' Comp?
It isn’t just victims of workplace accidents that yield injuries which can lead to eligibility for Florida workers’ compensation benefits. Chronic diseases and illnesses can also provide a suffering worker the right to obtain Florida workers’ compensation benefits. When you have had to experience a workplace injury, if you lost a loved one on the job, or have developed an ailment or disease because of an accident at work or a toxic work environment, call Stephen M. Andrews. Stephen M. Andrews is a Tallahassee workers’ compensation attorney that can help you better understand your legal rights and options for workers’ compensation benefits.
How Do Occupational Diseases and Illnesses Happen?
Unlike an accident where an injury is sustained, illnesses or diseases are ailments that can slowly progress with time. They may be the result of toxins in a workplace environment or just by repetitive motion that puts major stress on our bodies. There are times when the rate that occupational diseases take place happen more often for workers than they do in the general population because they are specifically linked to a precise activity or environment.
For example, coal miners have high incidences of lung disease directly related to the type of work environment that these individuals have to do their job. While the general population may also exhibit respiratory disease, a coal miner is at a much higher risk of many different kinds of respiratory diseases based on what the makeup of the coal mine dust is that they have to regularly breathe in. Pneumoconiosis, or scarring of lung tissue, is also well-linked to the coal mining industry. It is also called black lung and coal miners report some of the highest cases of suffering from this disease. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is another respiratory condition where sufferers in the coal-mining industry also have to endure emphysema and regular bouts of bronchitis.
Some of the most common diseases that result from workplace activities or environments include multiple skin diseases, respiratory diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, computer vision syndrome, overuse affliction, and lead poisoning. When workers come down with an illness or disease from their job, it was inflicted upon them only because the job that they had to do requires exposure or certain activities. Workers who have to endure such ailments haven’t’ done anything wrong, they were not careless, but rather very real victims of their job’s requirements.
The good news for victims of workplace diseases and illnesses is that it is up to the Florida workers’ compensation insurance provider to make a strong case that the condition didn’t happen at work. They have to link the workers to other factors that may have caused the disease but when a work environment clearly has hazards present associated with a particular illness, it can be a hard case to make against the employee.
Speak with a Tallahassee Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Even though the burden of proof is on the insurance provider or your employer, this doesn’t mean that winning a Tallahassee workers’ compensation claim for an illness or disease is an easy task. Stephen M. Andrews knows how to get results for injured and sick workers in the state of Florida. Schedule your free consultation with Stephen M. Andrews today at (850) 906-9599.