Occupational Diseases and Kansas City Workers’ Compensation

What are occupational diseases and what steps must be taken for an employee to qualify for workers’ compensation?

occupational-diseasesHealth conditions which occur as a result of exposure to hazardous elements in a work environment are described as occupational illnesses or diseases. It is usually required of injured employees to link their occupational illness to the work they do in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. What are the possible manifestations of occupational diseases? What steps have to be taken for an employee to qualify for workers’ compensation?

Common Examples of Occupational Illnesses or Injuries

Loss of hearing in either or both ears due to extended exposure to harmful noise in the workplace is an example of occupational injuries. Problems may also arise due to the performance of tasks in a workplace requiring repetitive motion, including trigger finger, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and epicondylitis. Occupational diseases or illnesses may also be a result of exposure to different types of radiation in a work environment.

There are several other types of occupational illnesses for which a worker may seek compensation. It is very essential to inform your employer and get medical help if you suspect that you might be suffering from an occupational disease. When it comes to getting your workers’ compensation benefits, the help of an experienced Kansas City workers’ compensation attorney may also be essential.

Notifying Your Employer

It is required that as soon as an occupational disease or injury is diagnosed, you report it to your supervisor or employer. This should be done in writing within 30 days of being diagnosed with the problem, as failure to do this could cost you your workers’ compensation benefits. The nature of your occupational disease or injury should be described in the written notice. You should also indicate your name and address as well as the date, time, and place of your injury. You should note the delivery date of the notice and the person to whom it is delivered. It is also important that you retain a copy of the notice.

Filing a Claim

You are required to file a claim within two years of the first occurrence of the occupational disease, which must be linked to work exposure. If an employer or insurance company delays in filing the First Report of Injury notice with the Division of Workers’ Compensation, the period of limitations may be extended to three years.

Getting Further Assistance

If you need more information on how to file a claim for occupational disease, you should speak with your employer or their insurer’s workers’ compensation claims representative. The contact information of the insurer or their claims administrator would likely be on display at your workplace. Lawsuits relating to workers’ compensation are often hard to deal with. For example, your Medicare benefits, unemployment compensation benefits, and social security benefits may be affected by a workers’ compensation case. Contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (816) 399-3706 for a free consultation.

Photo credit: The AutoMotivated Cyclist via Flickr

Updated: August 23, 2019

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