When it comes to toxic exposure and worker’s compensation, getting compensation can be tricky due to the nature of the injury. When toxic exposure happens all at once and causes significant bodily damage, collecting worker’s compensation is rather straight forward. However, when exposure occurs over time, like all injuries that occur slowly over a period of time, filing a worker’s compensation claim may not be so simple.
Common Work Toxins That Cause Illness
If you think that your recent illnesses are caused due to current or past exposure to toxins, you should consult a doctor about it right away. In a number of occupations, you will likely be exposed to toxins every day and this can cause long-term damage.
Common workplace toxins include asbestos, benzene, arsenic, ammonia, zinc, lead, mercury, iodine, formaldehyde, and uranium. While serious large dose exposure to these toxins can produce immediate results, more often it is the long-term exposure that we need to worry about. Some toxins, like asbestos in particular, can cause conditions like mesothelioma which can manifest 20 years or more after asbestos exposure.
Why Prevention Doesn’t Negate Your Worker’s Compensation Claim
No one really wants to pay worker’s compensation for toxic exposure. Often this can cause a compounding amount of incoming claims or even media attention that hurts the company. However, if you are sick and your doctor has confirmed it was due to exposure to a toxin in your workplace, don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
One of the most common arguments that will be presented to you is that you didn’t use the recommended preventative measures like face masks enough. So thus, you can’t make a claim because it is your fault. However, the reality about toxic exposure and worker’s compensation in general is that there is no fault. If you are exposed to toxins, it is not your fault. It is completely the fault of your workplace. Even if you used preventative measures – or didn’t – you can still make a worker’s compensation claim to cover your medical bills.
What to Do Now?
If you have been to a doctor and they have confirmed that your illness or condition was the result of long-term chemical exposure, then it is time you get the worker’s compensation wheels rolling. You will need to file a report with your employer then you will want to consider getting a worker’s compensation attorney.
While all worker’s compensation cases can benefit from an attorney, it is particularly important in chemical exposure cases. You will need to schedule sampling and evidence gathering expeditions in your workplace in order to prove that exposure did indeed occur there. A good attorney can help get that ball rolling so you can get your settlement as soon as possible.
While many claims adjusters may try to argue that the chemical exposure didn’t occur at work, if you have evidence that is strong enough, they will pretty much have no choice but to settle and give you an impressive settlement amount in the process. Not only can winning that case get your medical bills covered, but it might be the kick in the pants your employer needs to make their company safer for all their employees so they don’t have to worry about any more worker’s compensation claims rolling in.
If you are in the St. Paul area and have found out that you are sick from toxin exposure that occurred at your place of employment, contact us today. The Law Office of Joshua Borken has spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of Minnesota’s injured workers and know that the worker’s compensation process isn’t always as easy as it should be.