What is an occupation illness?
An occupational disease is an illness or health condition caused exposure to certain hazardous elements in the workplace. Although occupational illnesses are covered by workers compensation, in order to get the benefits the injured worker will need to prove that the illness is a result of occupational exposure and not due to an external factor.
Various types of occupational illnesses are covered under the Missouri workers compensation system. Some examples of occupational illnesses covered under the Missouri workers compensation system are as follows:
• Repetitive motion injuries – Some examples of repetitive stress injuries include trigger finger and carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Disability caused by exposure to radiation at the workplace is also an example of occupational illness.
• Hearing loss as a result of constant exposure to noise at the workplace is also an example of occupational illness covered by Missouri workers compensation law. Hearing loss in one or both ears is covered by workers compensation law.
This list is far from comprehensive, and apart from these, there are several other occupational illnesses that are covered under Missouri workers compensation. In case you feel that your medical condition is a result of exposure to hazardous elements at the workplace you should take the following steps recommended by Kansas City Missouri Workers’ Compensation Lawyers:
• Report the illness to your supervisor or employer
• Get medical attention
• Consult an experienced Kansas City Missouri workers compensation attorney to get legal advice on pursuing your claim. This is especially important in the case of occupational illnesses, because unlike other injuries occupational illnesses may be hard to prove as the insurance company may try to attribute the illness to other factors external to your workplace.
Is it important to notify the employer about occupational illness?
Missouri workers compensation law requires an employee to notify the employer about the occupational illness within 30 days of diagnosis of the illness.
Failure to report the illness can jeopardize your chances of getting a claim. So, it is important that you submit a written report of your illness to the employer within 30 days of the diagnosis. The injured worker should ensure that he includes the date, time, nature of the occupational illness and all other relevant details in the report.
The injured employee should retain a copy of the notice and the details of its delivery.
Filing a claim for an occupational illness
In case the employee has to file a claim for the occupational disease, he must submit the claim to the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation within 2 years of the diagnosis of the condition, or within 2 years of the last payment was made. However, if the employer fails to submit the first injury report in time, the period of limitations may be extended to 3 years.
If you need any further information on workers compensation, feel free to contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann by calling (816) 399-3706 or by filling out the form on the right to request a free case evaluation.
photo credit: avlxyz via Flickr