Employment Occupational Disease

Employment occupational disease is a severely debilitating condition affecting millions of workers, their spouses, dependents, and loved ones each and every year.  The losses an individual may experience from employment occupational disease are numerous and far reaching.  United States worker’s compensation laws include considerations for employees suffering from an occupational disease that is the direct result of being employed in a specific work environment or around hazardous materials.  Employment occupational disease laws, however, differ from in that they cover chronic illnesses, rather than the traditional worker’s compensation claims for injuries stemming from a workplace.

The prevalence of some employment occupational disease is well-known within the legal and medical community, as well as the American public at large.  Some of these diseases that appear in workers of respective occupations at a far more prevalent rate than that seen in the general population include:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in clerical workers and poultry industry employees
  • Byssinosis amongst textile industry employees
  • Radiation sickness in workers exposed to nuclear materials and X-Ray technicians
  • A number of infectious disease amongst healthcare providers
  • Anthrax and tularemia amongst wildlife conservationist and other wildlife workers
  • Partial or entire loss of hearing for a number of types of employees
  • Dermatitis or skin inflammations workers exposed to insulation, hazardous chemicals, and other harsh manufacturing agents
  • Asbestosis and mesothelioma amongst miners and persons employed in buildings with asbestos exposure
  •  Black lung or pneumoconiosis among mining industry employees
  • Various types of skin cancer and melanomas for employees under chronic sunlight exposure

The appearance of these conditions is often times extremely debilitating to employees and generally involves expensive medical diagnosis to even find the root of their ailments, let alone begin an effective medical treatment process.  Government agencies, such the Bureau of Labor, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency are in place to safeguard workers from potentially hazardous conditions, however, often times actions prove too little too late for some workers.  For example, workers of the coal mining industry will experience little or no side-affects at times until many years after their chronic exposure to the harmful carcinogens found in the mines that eventually cause a number of cancers and respiratory diseases that oftentimes prove fatal.  During an employment occupational disease civil case, the victims suffering from the disease, known legally as the plaintiff, will present their medical documentation and existing conditions, as well as detailed records of their employment history and capacities to the courts with the help of an employment law attorney.  From this point forward, it is the burden of the defendants, typically past employers and their representative insurance providers and attorneys, to prove that your personal medical conditions stem from other causes.  An employment occupational disease attorney can assist clients in ensuring this does not occur.

Of the nearly 154 million employed workers in the United States in 2008, almost 430,000 occupational illnesses will be reported according to the United States Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services.  This tabulates to an estimated prevalence of employment occupational disease at a rate of five cases per one thousand American employees.  Of these cases, estimates and studies suggest that nearly two-thirds of these employment occupation diseases stem from persons working in hazardous conditions in manufacturing industries. 

The possible affects of employment occupational disease are much further reaching than the actual medical condition on victims themselves.  External detriments caused by employment occupational disease include:

  • Medical diagnosis, treatment, and procedures
  • Loss of wages
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium for spouses and children
  • Diminished future earnings capacity
  • Wrongful death

Sadly, the number of instances of employment occupational disease is wholeheartedly underreported throughout America due to a number of factors including victims not correlating the impetus of their disease with past or current employment, fear of reprisal from past or current employers, and lack of guidance in how to file for compensatory claims against liable and responsible parties.  An employment law attorney knowledgeable in federal laws regarding occupational diseases can help you and your loved ones today.   

Do you or your loved one feel their medical condition is caused by employment occupational disease from past or present working environments?  Contact an employment law attorney right away to investigate, document, and litigate your claims today!

 

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