Ohio employees are exposed to work hazards every day. Some may be obvious, like working from significant heights or being required to lift heavy equipment. However, other hazards are not always so obvious, but can be just as dangerous. Exposures at work that can lead to injuries include: dust, gases, fumes, chemicals, smoke, mold, asbestos, vibrations, and radiation. This is not an exhaustive list, but represents several examples of the occupational injuries Dworken & Bernstein has handled over the years.
An occupational disease is one that generally results from repeated work-related exposure. Common examples of occupational diseases include a data entry clerk developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to years of typing or a firefighter developing cancer after years of constant exposure to smoke and hazardous substances.
To be successful in pursuing these types of claims, you must have a medical opinion that relates your condition to your repeated exposure at work. Also, in some types of exposure cases, including asbestos claims, you must have specific testing and a qualified medical exam in order to pursue a claim. Our workers’ compensation department has experienced attorneys who will meet with you, discuss in detail your work environment and medical condition and explain what is required to pursue a workers’ compensation claim for your occupational injury.
Keep in mind that Ohio law does not require that you still be an employee at the job where the injurious exposure occurred. If you have had several jobs with the same exposures over the years and need assistance in determining what employer should be responsible for your condition, one of our workers’ compensation attorneys can discuss your work history with you and advise you about your rights.
Many times, an employer will argue that personal habits, such as cigarette smoking, is the real cause of an injured worker’s illness. However, Ohio law recognizes that there still can be a compensable claim for a workplace exposure even if a personal habit, such has smoking, may have also been a factor. In these instances, it is critical your medical provider be familiar with your entire medical history so that it can be determined whether work exposure contributed to your current medical condition.
It is important that you seek an opinion from an attorney that can discuss your other exposures with you and understand how your work environment may have affected your health.
Occupational disease claims have specific requirements regarding the time limit for filing a claim. Therefore, if you think that you have a medical condition due to repeated exposure at work, contact Dworken & Bernstein at (440) 946-7656 to speak directly to one of our experienced attorneys.