Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Protecting Your Rights When You Face Occupational Illness
Because an occupational illness can develop very slowly, you may not even realize you are ill until the symptoms become severe. You might attribute any signs of your illness to something minor and not concerning, but the illness may progress. Further, because there has been no accident, you may not attribute your symptoms to your work.
What is an Occupational Illness?
An occupational illness is caused by exposure to a toxin or an irritant over a prolonged period of time. There is usually an identifiable link and an increased risk between the nature of the job and an increased risk of contracting an illness.
For example, a worker in health care might acquire tuberculosis from exposure to an infected person, or a coal miner could develop “black lung” from working in the mines.
In addition to the health care and mining industries, there are many other occupations where a worker might have an increased risk of contracting a disease or illness. These industries include, but are not limited to construction, landscaping, farming, exterminating, welding, and many others.
Just as there are many occupations that may have increased exposure to occupational illness, there are many types of illnesses that can occur.
These can include:
- Mesothelioma: This deadly form of lung cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos.
- Asbestosis: Caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers over a long period of time, this lung damage is characterized by fatigue, persistent cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Chronic bronchitis and emphysema fall into this category of illness, which is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
- Farmer’s Lung: Asthma-like symptoms and permanent lung damage that can be fatal may result from this illness, which is caused by an allergy to mold and bacteria found in crops.
- Coal Workers’ Pneumoconiosis: Also known as “black lung disease,” this illness is caused by inhaling coal dust.
- Byssinosis: Also called “Brown Lung,” this disease occurs among cotton, flax, and hemp workers.
- Flock Worker’s Lung: Those who work in factories that manufacture carpeting and upholstery may be susceptible to inflammation and scarring of the lungs, usually from inhalation of nylon fibers.
- Silicosis: This illness occurs in those who work with silica dust, which is found in stone, clay, and glass manufacturing facilities. Silica dust can also be produced during construction activities.
- Bronchiolitis Obliterans: This serious lung disease, which is also known as “Popcorn Lung,” causes lasting damage to the lung’s smallest airways that cannot be reversed, and has been known to affect those who work in microwave popcorn plants as well as other workers who manufacture flavorings.
- Silo Filler’s Disease: Inhaling the toxic gas from crops fermenting in silos is the cause of this disease.
Compensation for Occupational Illnesses
Workers’ Compensation benefits should include the full range of medical care and treatment, rehabilitation, ongoing therapy, and any other medically related needs.
You should also be compensated for your lost wages, occupational therapy, retraining, and more. Those who have lost a loved one to an occupational illness may be entitled to death benefits as well.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Help Workers Who Have Developed an Occupational Illness
The impact an occupational illness can have on your life and your work is powerful. It can change everything – including your hopes and plans for the future. But we can help to guide you toward getting the benefits you deserve, and the financial compensation that can give you the peace of mind you need to work toward improving your health. Please call the Wilmington workplace injury lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC at 302-888-1221 or contact us online for a free consultation. We serve clients in across Delaware, including Wilmington, Newark, Dover and Middletown, as well as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.