Workers who develop occupational diseases due to the particular risks of their jobs can recover workers’ compensation benefits. If you think that you have an occupational disease, the cost of medical treatment is probably starting to add up. You will need to take a few key steps to start receiving benefits from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
- Get a Diagnosis
To recover benefits, you should obtain an official medical diagnosis of your disease from your doctor. If you have not seen a doctor yet, come prepared to your appointment with a list of symptoms. Talk to your doctor about your concern that you got the disease at work. For example, if you work with asbestos or toxic chemicals, tell your doctor this and mention the risk of certain cancers that workers like you have.
Your doctor may need to do follow-up testing to confirm a diagnosis. Or your doctor may recommend that you begin a treatment immediately. Move forward with the testing or treatment if you can afford it. Otherwise, the workers’ compensation insurance company may accuse you of delaying treatment to make the disease worse and get more compensation. Sadly, the insurer may take any excuse to avoid paying you the money you need for medical costs.
- Get a Lawyer
Insurance companies frequently deny occupational disease workers’ compensation claims. They say that the workers cannot show that their jobs caused the diseases. Fortunately, this is frequently not the case. Some jobs have particular risks that may lead to occupational diseases. Your lawyer can help you show that you did get the disease at work, often by using your doctor’s report, testimony, and statistics.
- Report the Disease
If you have not told your employer about your illness, report it immediately. Your employer needs to know about the disease to notify its insurance company. You cannot get benefits (or get denied benefits) until the insurance company knows about your claim.
In addition, you may want to speak to your coworkers about your diagnosis. If they work under the same conditions, they also may be suffering from the same symptoms. Talking to them could encourage them to get tested and get benefits too.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your occupational disease? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.