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Occupational Diseases and Workers’ Compensation in California

Occupational Diseases and Workers’ Compensation in California

Occupational Diseases and Workers’ Compensation in California

When you think of workers’ compensation, you probably think about the injuries that result from incidents such as a slip and fall, a delivery vehicle crash, or a piece of equipment failing to operate properly. Most of the workers’ comp cases that result in one or more injuries are typically clear cut cases. However, there is another type of workers’ compensation claim that is not as cut and dry.

What happens if you contract an illness that was caused by a work-related event. For example, does California workers’ comp cover you if you fall ill because of prolonged exposure to harmful chemicals? The answer is not as easy to determine as it is to determine for personal injury cases, which means you should reach out to a California-licensed workers’ compensation attorney to review your occupational disease case.

The Most Common Types of Occupational Diseases

If you suffer from an illness or disease that your lawyer can link to a workplace event, you should qualify for California workers’ compensation.

Here are the most common types of occupational diseases:

Repetitive Stress Disorder

Although associated with a personal injury, a repetitive stress disorder falls in the occupational disease category because the symptoms take a long time to appear. Daily repetitive motions can produce muscle disorders that can lead to corrective surgery.

Lung Disease

At one time an occupational disease caused by extended exposure to asbestos, lung disease now impacts mostly industrial workers that suffer from diseases like asthma, silicosis, and lung cancer.

Hearing Loss

A common occupational condition diagnosed among airport workers, hearing loss in one or both ears can accompany painful headaches ad tinnitus.


Professionals that work with toxic chemicals and hazardous waste are at a high risk of contracting cancer.

Skin Conditions

Rashes and thermal burns caused by exposure to harmful chemicals can generate an incredible amount of pain, as well as scarring that never heals.

A large number of occupations can trigger the diseases listed above in addition to several other types of medical conditions. Farmers that use pesticides might become ill years after exposure to the chemicals. Factory workers exposed to hazardous levels of radiation might contract cancer. Miners that spend most of their workdays underground might have to deal with lung disease.

Submitting a Claim for an Occupational Illness

To file a claim for an occupational illness, you first contact your employer immediately after learning about the symptoms of the disease. Your employer then hands you a workers’ compensation claim form that you submit to the California Division of Workers’ Compensation. You have 30 days after receiving a diagnosis for an occupational disease to file a workers’ comp claim. If you wait longer than 30 days, you can expect to give the Division of Workers’ Compensation a valid reason for the delayed claim.

The key to getting a workers’ compensation claim approved for an occupational disease is to submit convincing medical evidence. You should provide every medical record that is connected to the disease, as well as a statement made by your physicians that links the development of the disease to your workplace conditions.

Contact a California Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Since proving your workplace caused the symptoms of an occupational disease will be difficult, you must work with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Your attorney will help you organize all the medical evidence you need to present a persuasive claim, as well as ensure you submit your claim according to the 30-day deadline established by the State of California.

Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling the PLBSH Law firm at (800) 435-7542 or by submitting the online Contact form.

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