Most people know that if an accident occurs in the workplace, they may be eligible to make a workers’ compensation benefits claim. But what if a work-related injury or disease develops gradually, rather than instantaneously as the result of an accident at work? If your condition fits this description, you may be eligible to make an occupational disease claim under New York Workers’ Compensation Law.
What are occupational diseases? Occupational diseases are illnesses or injuries that develop over time as a result of your work environment or responsibilities. The most common example is carpal tunnel, caused by repeated stress and strain on the hands and wrists. Activities such as repetitive typing or the long-term use of hand tools can lead to carpal tunnel. Other examples of occupational disease include a tile installer developing chronic pain or walking difficulties after years of kneeling on hard surfaces. A warehouse worker who consistently lifts boxes is susceptible to lower back injuries.
Industrial diseases can also lead to an occupational disease claim. The most well-known example is mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. Similarly, many types of cancer or other lung and skin conditions may develop due to exposure to harmful materials while at work. In short, any activity done regularly as part of a person’s job duties may form the basis of an occupational disease claim.
Chronic exposure to loud noise at work may give rise to binaural hearing loss. A hearing loss claim can be brought either after retirement or after you are no longer exposed to noise at work, such as changing from a noisy job to a job without noise exposure.
If you have an occupational disease, you could be entitled to lost wages, permanency, and medical benefits based on a successful occupational disease claim, just like with an accidental injury claim. In a hearing loss claim, this may entitle you to hearing aids for the rest of your life.
An experienced attorney at Lewis & Lewis, P.C. can help you make a successful workers’ compensation claim, even if you’ve been living with your medical condition for years. Contact Lewis & Lewis, P.C. today at (716) 854-2100 for more information.