Exposure to toxic chemicals can have a variety of effects, some of which may even end up creating long-term health effects for the worker.
When the topic of worker’s compensation comes to mind, people usually imagine a single event that leads to a work injury, such as a slip and fall. However, the program covers a variety of even more severe injuries and illnesses, such as those created by exposure to toxic chemicals.
Here’s how to get compensated for these conditions:
What Diseases Are Caused by Exposure to Toxic Chemicals?
Exposure to toxic chemicals can have a variety of effects, some of which may even end up creating long-term health effects for the worker. These can be:
- Eczema or skin rashes, if the chemical came into contact with the skin
- Respiratory issues
- Allergic reactions
- Headaches, dizziness, etc.
However, there are 11 diseases relating to toxic chemical exposure recognized by Missouri law and eligible for additional compensation benefits. The most notable ones are:
- Asbestosis – caused by asbestos exposure. It’s a form of scarring of the lung that requires oxygen therapy.
- Mesothelioma – a type of cancer caused by long-term exposure to asbestos.
- Black lung disease – caused by exposure to black coal dust, which causes inflammation of the lung.
Regardless if you have one of the 11 diseases, or another reaction because of toxic chemical exposure, you may still be entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
How Do You Get Compensated?
The first thing you need to do is talk to your employer about not feeling well. These types of illnesses do not start suddenly but are generally caused by long-term exposure to the chemical.
In Missouri, your employer has the right to choose the doctor who’ll be treating you during the worker’s comp case. If you go to your own doctor, even if just for an initial diagnosis, this cost will generally not be covered by workers’ compensation benefits. Note that some health insurance providers refuse to cover treatments for work-related injuries, as worker’s comp should do it instead.
After you notify your employer that you want to see a doctor and start your treatment, you should get in touch with a Missouri worker’s compensation attorney right away.
While you technically do not need a lawyer for a workers’ comp claim, it is in your best interest to speak with one. Claims involving more complicated conditions are a bit more difficult to process, and the insurance company may try to use the details of the case to their advantage in order to lower your benefits as much as they can. A lawyer can make sure that doesn’t happen.
Missouri Workers Compensation Attorneys
If you need to file a workers’ compensation claim for exposure to toxic chemicals, get in touch with an experienced Missouri workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann for a free case evaluation and advice on how to proceed. With an experienced lawyer by your side, you have the best chance of getting properly compensated for your conditions, and access the treatment you need without troubles.
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