If you believe you contracted a disease from your job, you may be wondering if you can receive workers’ compensation for your medical expenses. In Minnesota, this kind of work injury is called an “occupational disease”.
Workers get occupational diseases when their jobs have particular kinds of risks not present in other jobs. A common example is exposure to certain kinds of chemicals or environments. Most people do not work with dangerous chemicals in their everyday jobs. Some people have to deal with these chemicals on a daily basis, so they have a much greater risk of suffering side effects from chemical exposure.
Your employer can deny you workers’ compensation if it believes that your disease was not caused by your employment and is not a particular risk in your job or trade. Then it is up to you and your lawyer to show the causal connection.
Common occupational diseases include the following:
- Radiation sickness
- Diseases from exposure to other chemicals
- Particular types of cancer
- Eczema and other skin diseases such as contact dermatitis
- HIV and Hepatitis C
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Lead or heavy metal poisoning
Note that people can get some of these diseases from causes other than work. For example, you could have hereditary eczema or get lung cancer from smoking cigarettes. Occupational diseases must be caused directly by your work. Any hint that your disease has a non-work cause may lead to a denial of benefits by the insurance company.
If you get diagnosed with a disease that you believe has an occupational cause, talk to your doctor about treatment options and get a lawyer for help pursuing benefits.
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.