Workers’ compensation provides benefits for fall and other trauma injury victims in the workplace. This no-fault insurance system also applies to occupational disease victims. An occupational disease is a workplace injury that develops over the course of more than one work shift.
The same benefits are available in both situations. Workers’ compensation generally pays two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly wage for the duration of a temporary disability, as well as all medical bills related to the illness or injury.
Important filing deadlines and other legal matters apply in occupational disease cases. A Chicago workers’ compensation attorney can take steps necessary to preserve your legal and financial rights in these situations.
37 million Americans suffer from adult-onset hearing loss. Quite often, this hearing loss occurs at work. So, Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations kick in at 85 decibels. Exposure to this noise level, which is the equivalent of street traffic or a lawnmower, could cause permanent hearing damage within four hours. At 100 decibels (leaf blowers, snowmobiles, and motorcycles), permanent hearing loss can occur in minutes or even seconds.
Early-stage hearing loss is usually not hard to correct, but late-stage or intense hearing loss is almost impossible to correct. Once sound waves damage the eardrum, this damage may be irreversible.
Leaf blowers, lawnmowers, and other such devices are more than just loud. They also spew large amounts of gasoline fumes, benzene fumes, and other toxic substances. Brief exposure is usually not a problem, but prolonged exposure could cause serious or fatal illness. As a result, some jurisdictions, such as Washington, D.C. and California, have banned or limited leaf blower use.
Asbestos exposure is often an issue as well. Contrary to popular myth, builders may legally use asbestos in the United States. Additionally, many workers are exposed to asbestos during renovation and demolition projects. One microscopic asbestos fiber may cause a fatal illness, such as mesothelioma or asbestosis.
Many manual labor jobs require repetitive bending, stooping, or kneeling. Over time, these motions often cause intense pain in knees and other joints. Even if the victim has a pre-existing condition, like a bad knee from a prior sports injury, full workers’ compensation benefits are usually available.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
CTS is much like knee and joint pain for office workers. These employees are also at risk for trauma injuries. Statistically, more falls and other such instances occur in office buildings than at some construction sites.
Medically, the carpal tunnel is a narrow gap in the wrist bone. If this tunnel collapses, even a little, it pinches the nerve. That causes intense pain which starts in the hands and radiates to the shoulders.
Computer Vision Syndrome
CVS is also a problem in many office settings. Generally, if the screen is bright enough to be a light source, the brightness could affect vision.
The aforementioned time deadlines are sometimes an issue with regard to CVS and other occupational diseases. Most people do not rush to the doctor as soon as their eyes hurt. Even if they do so, they often do not connect the health issue with their work environment. So, an attorney may be able to extend the filing deadline, in some cases.
Partner with a Tenacious Attorney
Occupational diseases affect millions of American workers. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these cases.