Employers have workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees’ basic expenses for work-related injuries.
Employees generally can’t sue an employer for negligence if they have workers’ compensation insurance. The most common workers’ compensation claims are for physical injuries.
However, workers’ compensation insurance also covers some diseases related to the occupation or a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation does not cover ordinary illnesses which affect the general public.
Generally speaking, workers’ compensation insurance “provides coverage for occupational diseases which arise out of and are in the course of employment.”
Please don’t hesitate to contact us today for help with your case.
What Are Some Occupational Diseases Covered Under Workers’ Comp?
When someone’s work environment makes them sick, their illness is considered an occupational disease. Some categories and examples of occupational diseases include:
- Skin diseases—contact dermatitis, eczema, oil acne, chrome ulcers;
- Respiratory illness—asbestosis, silicosis, tuberculosis, COPD;
- Poisoning—by toxins such as lead, mercury, arsenic, carbon monoxide, insecticides;
- Temperature-related illnesses—heatstroke, sunstroke, frostbite;
- Bloodborne pathogens—AIDS, hepatitis B or C, HIV;
- Effects of ionizing and nonionizing radiation; or
If someone had a preexisting condition and then contracted a disease because of work, they can still receive partial benefits.
People must file workers’ compensation claims for occupational diseases within two years to receive benefits.
Silicosis and Asbestosis
For silicosis and asbestosis, special rules apply.
A claim for compensation for disability on account of silicosis or asbestosis must be filed within one year after the time of disablement, and the disablement must occur within three years from the date of the last injurious exposure to silica dust or asbestos dust.
Before the person got sick, they must have been exposed to the fibers or dust for at least five recent years.
The Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission can order that someone with silicosis or asbestosis not return to their job even if they are not disabled yet.
The person is entitled to compensation benefits if they cannot find a job with equivalent pay. The insurance also provides retraining if employees can’t work in the same job or field afterward.
Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases
Workers’ compensation insurance should pay for all of your necessary medical care related to your illness, including rehabilitative services.
It may also cover lost wages for work missed due to your disease. Generally, your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier must approve your treatment and doctors first.
The insurance company could refuse to cover any treatment that they don’t approve first. If your loved one died from an occupational disease, the insurance covers funeral expenses.
Cottrell Law Office Helps Injured Arkansas Workers
If you or your loved one are suffering from an occupational disease, the Cottrell Law Office can help. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help you navigate the claims process.
We will aid you in meeting the many strict deadlines and completing forms. We can help you access appropriate medical care, including second opinions, to prove your benefits entitlement.
If necessary we will assist with appealing negative decisions from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider.
Our skilled workers’ compensation lawyers can also explain other options you may have, such as third-party lawsuits.
If your employer unfairly denies payment or takes other unethical action, the Cottrell Law Office will advocate for you.
Working with the Cottrell Law Office gives you the best chance for a favorable outcome. Please contact us today to speak to one of our experts about your claim.