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Can You Claim Workers Compensation for a Medical Condition That Resulted from Shift Work?

Can You Claim Workers Compensation for a Medical Condition That Resulted from Shift Work?

Shift Work Disorder can be claimed through the California workers compensation system.

Can You Claim Workers Compensation for a Medical Condition That Resulted from Shift Work?

For many employees, working on rotating shifts is a necessity. Whether working in the health care field, in a factory, or in any other industry that requires round-the-clock staffing, there are times when employers will require their workers to be on the job at different times. However, this can have a significant impact on a person’s health.

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is vital to health and well-being. Constantly moving from night shift to day shift, or even working the graveyard shift on an extended basis, can do a number on an employee’s health. This can ultimately result in a medical issue known as Shift Work Disorder. While anyone who works shifts may experience symptoms of insomnia or excessive sleepiness, if the problem persists and interferes with daily life, it can be characterized as Shift Work Disorder. In addition, working shifts has been implicated in a number of other health conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

It may seem difficult to prove that your work schedule is a cause of a specific medical disorder, particularly when your co-workers are also working shifts. However, in California, treating doctors, qualified medical evaluators, agreed medical evaluators or regular physicians can offer an opinion on medical causation. In other words, they can give an opinion as to whether your excessive sleepiness and insomnia, as well as related health problems, are caused by shift work. This could be accomplished by performing a medical exam and diagnostic tests, and reviewing your medical record. Importantly, even if you already have sleep-related medical conditions prior to starting shift work, you could still be eligible for workers compensation. Under California law, the aggravation or acceleration of a pre-existing condition can be a work-related injury. If shift work has worsened your health, then you may be able to file a claim. An experienced California workers compensation attorney can help you determine if you have a valid case for workers compensation based on your medical history and current status.

While the concept of being awarded benefits for being “sleepy” from shift work may seem far-fetched, it is vital to remember that Shift Work Disorder is a real medical condition — and it involves more than just being overly tired. In fact, the California Workers Compensation Appeals Board has already upheld decisions awarding benefits for employees who suffered from injuries related to shift work.

There are any number of work conditions that can lead to a workplace injury, and your scheduled work times are one of them. If you are working swing shifts, your health may be impacted as a result. A California workers compensation attorney can assess your case to see if you may be entitled to an award of benefits.

At PLBSH, our team of experienced California workers compensation attorneys are dedicated to helping employees who have suffered illnesses and injuries at work. Contact our firm today at (800) 435-7542 or to schedule an initial consultation or to learn more about how we can help you.

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